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Ben Rogaly


Ben Rogaly is an academic writer with a strong record of community engagement and oral history work. Since 2003 he has worked with artists (including film-makers, photographers and theatre-makers) and with oral history narrators to co-produce films, plays and photography about food work, migration and place in India and the UK. At the heart of his practice is the life story interview, in which narrators are involved (often over several sittings) in telling their stories of work, migration, place and belonging.

Ben is using his time at Metal to continue collaborating with oral history narrators in Peterborough from a previous project ( and to work with audio recordings and transcripts from the 76 oral history interviews he conducted as part of that project to make progress towards writing a book, which is to be published by Manchester University Press.

The intention is that experiences of work in the food sector (fields, packhouses, processing factories, warehouse and distribution centres) in and around Peterborough will be a key theme. As part of his residency he co-produced a series of films with Peterborough-based film-maker Jay Gearing. The trailer can be viewed here, and the full films are available here. The films and Ben’s writing form part of a wider project Creative interruptions, that runs from 1st October 2016 to 30 September 2019 and is led by Professor Sarita Malik of Brunel University.

Ben is a member of the Geography Department at the University of Sussex. In May 2018 he gave a public lecture at Sussex, drawing on the work he has been doing during his residency. More details about his research and links to his writings can be found at

Ben Rogaly’s Blog Posts and Articles:


Read about the dinner Ben held at Metal on the Creative Interruptions Project website, by clicking here.

Text of talk by Ben Rogaly in the Cheltenham Science Festival session on Populations and People, June 9th 2017

Contesting Neoliberal Common Sense: Bottom-up History and the Struggle over Urban Space 

Sitting outside: conviviality, self-care and the design of benches in urban public space.