An Experiment in Collaborative Change-making in the Arts
We are in crisis, a pandemic crisis, a climate crisis, a capatilst crisis, of crisis of racial discrimination, gender discrimination, class discrimination and on and on. Artists have the skills to help in the multiple fights and battles that need to happen in order to achieve social and political justice and change. Put out a planet on fire. And begin to heal.
But how can artists give a positive or healthy contribution to the huge systematic change that must happen at this eleventh hour, when the toxic systems we work in are simply a micro to this macro?
It feels selfish to focus on ourselves in such an urgent time. But our working environments are failing and it is suffocating the possibility the we can be agents for change. It is closing the door to the most important voices. If we dont first address these issues we will simply perpetuate these exploitative and abusive cycles we claim to against fight.
We begun our process by questioning and mapping the areas of crisis that are affecting independent cultural workers and artists. It was important to identify as many problems as we could. Taking away the judgement that some issues felt small and silly compared to others.
The task was simply to recognise that this is an ecosystem and if even a small part is rotten it effects everything.
We captured our findings using two concepts, two metaphors that can carry the fragments of knowledge we want to share with you. The first one is the Home, a large virtual communal space for everyone in the arts world who dreams of a social change; a place of safety, fairness, and inclusion.
The second one is the Suitcase, a miniscule piece of personal space people take with them when they need to leave their home, often in order to survive.