Since its outbreak in early 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a crisis permeating all types of human activity. It could, thus, be conceived as a distinct hyper-phenomenon – perhaps, the first of its kind in recent history. The creative and cultural industries represent one of the sectors hardest hit by this global health crisis. At the same time, the outbreak of the pandemic has coincided with a particularly worrying phase in the climate crisis, with 2020 being pronounced the hottest year on record (NASA, 2021). In Glasgow’s COP26 meetings (31 October – 12 November 2021) questions of how we use the products of science and technology for human progress emphatically resurfaced, and the urgent need to rethink sustainability was recognised by delegates. Amid this context of parallel emergencies, being resilient can only be seen as the first step towards being transformed.
DRHA 2022 will provide a forum for debate across the Humanities, Arts and Sciences, focussing on interdisciplinary responses to the combined challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and climate crisis. The aim of the conference is to put forward new models of operating, reaching out, connecting audiences, distributing content and engaging communities, with and through digital technologies. How can the cultural and creative industries benefit from technological advances and use innovation to develop new, sustainable, models and practices, as well as reach out to diverse audiences? How is Covid-19 likely to transform culture and creativity? What positive changes could emerge from the devastating context of the global pandemic? How can digital sustainability be rethought in an age of climate crisis? How can digital technologies reshape and transform creative practices to make them more resilient to the medium and long-term challenges projected for the sector and for society at large?