School of Communication
Central to the vision of the School of Communication is a question that grounds our practices, methods, values and priorities: What does it mean to be human? Never has this question been more pertinent, poignant, painful, expressive and celebratory. Nor has the work of communication practitioners and researchers been more relevant in the context of pervasive inequalities, false news and systemic injustices.
Every year, around this time of year, in our pre-Covid lives at the Royal College of Art, our students put up a graduate exhibition in our South Kensington and Battersea campuses in London. The exhibition is a mark of progress; a celebration of their journeys, degrees and of the next steps to come.
Oftentimes, visitors to the graduate exhibition think of it as an ending. But we know that it never is – it is a beginning. Just as we centre questions at the core of our learning, our graduates leave with their own questions. The pursuit of these questions in their practices and careers – as we have learnt from our graduates over decades – leads to significant and exceptional contributions to communication practice, research and the world beyond.
This work therefore cannot be seen in isolation. On the one hand, it is a small snapshot, an expression on a screen of the culmination of a 2-year MA and 3+year MPhil/PhD journey from Animation, Information Experience Design, Visual Communication and Communication Research in the School of Communication. On the other, it is a collective testament to the importance of creative and critical practice. It is a note to self: Nothing can stop creativity. Not even a pandemic.
There are 131 questions, investigations and expressions that ask us to reflect on our understanding of what it means to be human today. As you listen/watch/read, look through the curated collections and take part in the 16-days of events, please reflect on the work of our graduates to form your own hopeful questions.
What You See Is Not What You Get. It is something that is completely and utterly extra-ordinary.
Dr Rathna Ramanathan
Dean of the School of Communication