Monday, 16 March 2015

Will Self introduces...

Over 2014 I had the pleasure of working with people in recovery from substance misuse in Liverpool, Manchester, Pistoia, Pescara and K├╝tahya. The work we were all involved in was organised by Mark Prest of Portraits of Recovery and explored self-portraiture and cultural approaches to understanding addiction, but more than that, it gave all of us the opportunity to participate in the most compelling contemporary art experiences

As part of this cultural exchange and learning programme, people participating in the project shared insights and passion, frustrations and rage. This in part, is how the idea of a manifesto came about. Building on the Manifesto for Arts and Health, those of us involved in the project, built on the sense of community that the workshops enabled. So we created safe spaces for anyone who wanted to be involved, to explore our individual and shared experiences and aspirations.

The result is the RECOVERIST MANIFESTO which reflects some of the process and the conjoined words of people in different cultures, but with the shared experience of being in recovery from substance missuse. It’s here in English and Italian and very soon will be in Turkish and Lithuanian.

Will Self has written an introduction to the manifesto, which in a pamphlet that is free from logos and individual statements, may seem a little odd. It’s not. As someone who identifies as being in recovery and as an eloquent social commentator, his analysis of the manifesto and reflections on sobriety, are succinct and poetic. He does exactly what each of us involved in this work does - he gives voice and personality to the largely invisible face of addiction - and more importantly - recovery.

All of you that have taken part in this process - whatever your story - whatever your contribution - thank you. Let us tell our shared story with pride. We are Recoverists.

The brilliant NOUS magazine is exploring the territory of  P A N I C  for its latest edition. This is one of the best things out there. Contribute or find out more by clicking on the small panic above!

Funding for Digital Projects with a Social Impact 
The Nominet Trust which provides funding and support to technology with a social benefit, has announced that its Social Tech Seed Investment Programme will re-open for applications on the 17th March 2015. Social Tech Seed is an investment programme that offers early-stage investment of between £15,000 and £50,000 to social entrepreneurs and charitable organisations who are looking to develop new ideas to use digital technology for social benefits. This programme provides funding and support to help entrepreneurs nurture, develop and test their ideas. The Trust is looking for applications that demonstrate the potential of technology to tackle some of the big social issues in sectors including:
    The environment.
The closing date for stage 1 applications will be Wednesday 15th April 2015. Applicants successful at this stage will have to submit a more detailed stage 2 application by the 27th May 2015. Read more at:

Over the next month or so, I’ll be sharing links to some of the people I have been working with who are studying at the Manchester School of Art. This week, here’s a link to the illustrator John Hogan. See more of his work by clicking on the image above. Your diligent blogger may be a little quieter over the next few weeks, as he hunkers down with some all-consuming projects.

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