Date 25 May 2019
Location Main Floor
‘Culture is Infrastructure. It is not mere surface’. Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania and Artist; ‘We don’t need alternatives; we need an alternative thinking of alternatives’. Boaventura Sousa Santos, Portuguese Social Scientist and Thinker; ‘In the forefront of our move toward change, there is only [art] to hint at possibility made real’. Audre Lorde, American Writer and Civil Rights Activist
Over the past twelve years, like a contagious weed, austerity has embedded itself into the everyday life of communities and neighbourhoods; impacting on the core humanity, rights and essential dignity of the most vulnerable.
At the same time, we speak increasingly about the role art – socially engaged art, in particular – might be able to play in alleviating the divisions austerity has created and in re-building more resilient, civic communities.
Is this really feasible? Can artists and art organisations – medium, big and small – play a pivotal role in re-building democratic infrastructures – in re-imagining the core principles and values of cultural democracy? Or will they merely be complicit in putting a plaster on the ravages austerity has brought about?
What might real social change look like in practice? Where are the viable blueprints? Who else needs to be part of the collective action in order to bring it about? How do we begin to recognise the most urgent issues? What kinds of strategic/creative risk might be involved in owning them? And how might we begin to lay the foundations that will enable us to reimagine, rebuild and redistribute?
With visual, live art, spoken-word artists and dramaturges: Isabel Lima, Gil Mualem-Doron, Selina Nwulu, Stephen Tiller, Juan delGado, Hamdi Khalif, Dana Olărescu, Natasha Davis, Richard DeDomenici, Zia Ahmed, Bern O’Donoghue, Farhad Berahman, Edin Suljić, Hassan Mahamdallie, Marcia Chandra, Laila Sumpton and Hodan Yusuf.