Sunday, 13 November 2016

...unmentionable horrors

In Sydney, I’m honoured to be giving the Mike White Memorial Address and in doing so, hope to generate some thinking around culture and the arts in this time of burgeoning inequalities and social injustices. Mike died last June and his presence and erudite observations will be sorely missed by all of us gathering at the eighth International Arts & Health Conference. 

He was a superb thinker and speaker, and an impossible act to follow.

What on earth would he have made of the colossal mess of the gated community that is the UK, the unfolding chaos of Brexit and the unmentionable horrors over in the
Land of the Free. Which ever way voters were going in either country, they were inevitably influenced by a rabid press, fixated on caricatures and propagating bullshit, whilst all the time the complacent masses carried on shopping, facebooking, having it off and perhaps, just perhaps - not giving the longer-term any deeper thought than their pithily constructed 140 character postings and gurning great selfies. Bloody hell - we’re an ugly world, and our democratically elected politicians adequately reflect this vacuity. 

Almost 47% of the electorate didn’t vote in the US, and now there are riots about the results. Hmmm! Which ever way it was going, it was going to be unpalatable. Now it’s ugly and we can only hope apathy before future elections is replaced by pro-activism - and that we all challenge the complicit press in their lazy, self-serving ‘reportage’. So - histrionics - self aggrandisement - manipulation of the truth and delusional self-centred individualism. Narcissism is the dish du jour, and much more on that very soon. 

With civic engagement in mind, perhaps people should take part in surveys like this one.

Gulbenkian Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations: invitation to take part in a new survey
What Next? is working with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Institute of Cultural Capital (ICC) on an Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations. The first phase of the Inquiry (until December 2016) is focused on research, mapping the landscape, defining what we mean by 'civic' and the 'civic role' and identifying examples of existing great practice. You can read more about the survey HERE. 

Keeping the theme going, (and thanks to Arts Development UK)
If you Care about the Future of Art Education (England), email your MP NOW! "This year we saw an 8% drop in the uptake of arts subjects from the previous year and the decline was confirmed by the Department for Education (DfE) when they announced a further 1.7% decline in the number of students taking at least one arts based GCSE. At the recent debate in Parliament, several of the MPs that spoke mentioned how much they were moved by letters they had received from their constituents concerning the importance of creativity and the negative impact the EBacc is having on it. We need to keep up the pressure so we are asking you, today, to please write again – or for the first time – to your Member of Parliament asking them to oppose the EBacc. The Bacc for the Future has been highly successful so far in campaigning against the EBacc. It’s very easy to email your local MP if you follow this link - there is a template letter which you can copy and paste to your MP by inserting your postcode. It takes less than a minute so please, if possible, please do show your support by emailing your MP.”

The Isle is Full of Noises
by Victoria Hume
The Isle is Full of Noises is a sound and animation installation that explores what it is like to hear voices. It is largely based on a workshop held in summer 2016 in Durham with people who hear voices. The workshop reinforced the need to challenge widespread prejudice about voice-hearing, and to assert that not only is this a normal phenomenon, but that ‘we are people, that have lots of other things going on; voice-hearing is just a tiny part of that’.
Click on the video below for more.

Arts Access and Participation Fund (UK)
The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has announced the latest grants to be awarded through its Arts Access and Participation fund. Through the fund grants are available for not-for-profit organisations to test, implement and develop ambitious plans to widen access to and deepen participation in the arts. Priority will be given to projects working in areas of social and economic deprivation outside of London. Applications for funding can be submitted at any time. Read more HERE.

Artists International Development Fund (England)
The next application deadline for the Arts Council England's Artists International Development Fund is 5pm on the 22nd March 2017. This funding stream is for artists to develop links with artists, organisations and/or creative producers in other countries. Freelance and self-employed artists can apply for small grants of £1,000 to £5,000 to spend time building these links to broaden their horizons and open their work to other perspectives. The programme is open to emerging and mid-career artists working in combined arts, literature, music, theatre, dance, visual arts and crafts and design. Applicants must have received recognition for their work in England and not have extensive international experience. The application must also a letter of support from the overseas partner/host. Read more HERE.   

Brexit Report highlights challenges ahead for UK’s creative industries
A new report from the Creative Industries Foundation has identified freedom of movement and a loss of EU funding as two key concerns for the sector in a post-Brexit landscape. The 73-page report outlines how the creative industries can ‘survive and thrive post-Brexit’ and was produced from evidence provided by around 500 contributors at 11 meetings held by nationwide. Information and opinions were also gathered from a members’ survey. The foundation, a not-for-profit company with more than 1000 members from across the sector including a-n, is also calling for the government to use the Brexit decision – which 96% of its members voted against – as an opportunity to ‘reboot education and training’ for young people. Read more HERE.


No comments:

Post a Comment