Sunday, 24 May 2015

❊ the living sea of waking dreams ❊

humane citizenship & societal empathy

Thanks so much for all the email about the future direction of our network, its fluid title, content and direction. For those of you who mentioned how much you love our get-togethers here in Manchester, I am planning a free evening networking event for June/July which I’ll confirm on the blog over the next couple of weeks. It’s working title is WHAT IS IT? Look out for more details next week.

I know, I know…but it's catchy

Please don’t worry if it looks like the arts will be savaged by the government in the latest round of cuts, as the dear old Bank of England is asking you, the cash-strapped public, to have ‘a say’ in whose mug-shot next appears on a £20 note. They want suggestions of artists of import, so long as they are dead and aren’t fictional! Their Hollywood matinee inspired leader, Mark Carney will make the final decision and the cash goes into circulation in 2020. So who springs to mind? If Grayson Perry had popped of the mortal coil, he/she would have been a good one - can you imagine Claire staring out at you?

Those Chapman Brothers have given us food for thought with their disgracefully ‘doctored’ bank notes and more. I’d love to see a fascist-inspired Mickey Mouse on a £20 note - although he’s universal, I guess he’s just not British enough. The there’s all those poignant postage stamps designed by Steve McQueen for Queen & Country featuring the faces of UK service personnel killed in the Iraq, but deemed inappropriate to have on our letters. I wonder if any of those soldiers were amateur artists? (note - I love the word amateur - always seen as something lesser somehow than the ‘professional’, but derived from love).

No, I’d be interested in how we can get someone less obvious than Turner or Bronte and a socially engaged artist on this money. - perhaps someone who because or despite of health issues became something great. A nice ironic twist. Let’s give it some thought eh? Terry Pratchett = writing and dementia, Iris Murdoch too. Sylvia Plath (I know she wasn’t born here) and Spike Milligan = poetry and mental health. I have a soft spot for Virgina Woolf and William Blake who between them were poetic and visionary and who had a fare share of mental distress, but it would be good to think of someone from a less privileged background. John Clare perhaps? Ah no, I’ve got my early front runner - Sarah Kane - for poetically reimagining and confronting the fragile and volatile human psyche through drama.

I wonder if you caught sight of the report from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman  this week - Dying without Dignity - it filled me with some small horror. It’s a short and upsetting report based around the complaints of people’s end of life experience in the UK. I do recommend it, as well as thinking about preparing an Advanced Directive with the people you care about. If anyone from any of the Palliative Care, Hospice or Dying with Dignity organisations would like to hold a more creative event here at MMU, I would be happy to host and co-facilitate it - get in touch. On another note, but not entirely disconnected, I’m writing a book chapter that in part, takes in these themes, and if you have been involved in performance-based practice/research with older people, maybe people facing their mortality, but where your work/research has provoked/revealed very unexpected moments - please get in touch.

A Dementia and Imagination Event at MMU
On the 25th June I’ll be holding a mid-point, day-long event at MMU to explore the ongoing Dementia & Imagination research project. It’s a free event and you get lunch thrown in too! BUT - and here’s the catch - there are very limited places, and because it’s about sharing the obstacles and opportunities of research within a clinical dementia setting, it will be an active day that really needs input, commitment and expertise from artists, clinicians, researchers and planners. We want to share our practice and inform future research and direction. So, if you want to hear from our research team, from our intervention and research artists and you work in a dementia context, we’d love to hear from you. Send a 200 word (maximum) expression of interest to before Wednesday 3rd June at 10:00am. Just explain who you are and why you’d like to come. Clearly, we are looking for a good mix of people to take part, so sorry in advance that we can’t invite everyone who applies. We will open it up to the wider network and limited places on Monday 8th June. Please note - only email the address above with expressions of interest and not my personal email - thanks.

Funding for the Rehabilitation of Offenders and Ex-Offenders 
The Triangle Trust has announced that the next closing date for applications to its grants programme is noon on the 5th November 2015. During this funding round, the Trust will provides grants to not for profit organisations and charities working for the rehabilitation of offenders and ex-offenders. The Trust would like to see applicants use these grants to develop sustainable income sources, so that when the grant comes to end the applicant organisation's income will not be reduced. Grants are available for up to £40,000 or 50% of the organisation's current annual income, whichever is lowest, per year for 3 years.

The Trust also holds a separate funding round for organisations working with carers. This is due to open for applications in spring 2016.

Comic Relief UK Grants Programme 
Through its new UK Main Fund, Comic Relief will provide funding for activities that create positive social change across the UK. To be eligible for funding projects must address at least of five themes. These are:
  • Supporting young people that face challenges and have limited opportunities
  • Support people who face violence, abuse and exploitation
  • Supports those in severe financial hardship
  • Supports disadvantaged communities
  • Aims to empower and give a voice to marginalised groups of people, so that they can challenge injustice and bring about positive changes for those who face discrimination and stigma.
The funding will be available to registered charities and other not for profit organisations that operate England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. For further information on the funding themes and how to apply please click on the link below. Although there is no upper limit to the level of funding available, Comic Relief expect most grants to fall between £10,000 and £40,000 (per year for up to three years). Applications can be submitted at any time. Read more at:

and finally, as post-Soviet states continue their 'conservative turn', feminist artists stand up to address gender injustice in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.Click on the Smart Mary poster above for more details


No comments:

Post a Comment