Dark Economies

Programme Lead: Professor Tanya Krzywinska


This research group examines ways in which our collective experience and future are informed and shaped by darkness. We address the ways in which darkness impacts on various aspects of our lives, livelihoods and experience, mobilising the 'dark' to help tackle some of the key economic, psycho-social and cultural challenges that we face. We have a wide cross-disciplinary and diagnostic remit: from cryptocurrencies, blockchain and the dark web; dark skies, festivals and tourism; art-based, audio and narrative articulations of the dark; from social interaction to shopping and fashion; the effects of new technologies and emergent social conventions on memorialisation, mythology, death, dying and loss.

Research questions

  • How can the dark economy inform the development and success of new visual technologies such as AR and VR? (design, content, thematic)
  • How can we apply aspects of the dark economy as a creative bridge to kickstart emergent technologies, applications and services?
  • What applications and services can be developed using blockchain?
  • How can dark narratives bridge diverse media and art platforms?
  • How can we use creative practices and dark mythologies as tools for negotiating grief and death, to promote an enrichment of well-being and a sense of social agency?

Research opportunities

We welcome applications for PhD or MPhil that align with the Dark Economies programme.