Sunday, 4 November 2018

Arts & Health

Do you want to influence Arts Council England’s next ten year strategy? This consultation is really important to any of us committed to equality, social justice and health across this wider arts and cultural agenda. You have until 2nd January 2019 to respond. Read on…

Shaping the Next Ten Years
‘The Arts Council is currently developing our new strategy for 2020-2030, which will shape our development, advocacy and investment approach over the next ten years. After gathering and analysing a wide range of evidence, and holding conversations with the public and with stakeholders, we have identified a series of proposed outcomes that we believe we should aim to achieve by 2030.  You can read more about the outcomes below. In this first stage of consultation, we are asking a wide range of stakeholders if they agree that these outcomes are the right things for Arts Council England to focus on over the next decade, and if so, how we might work together to achieve them. We would like to hear from a diverse mix of individuals, groups and organisations.’ Full details HERE.

An Australasian Perspective
I am very much looking forward to spending time in New South Wales later this month working with Vic McEwan on a long term piece of work which follows on from The Harmonic Oscillator to which the CAD Factory have been awarded the 2018 Australian Prize for Distinctive Work from the Council of Humanities Arts & Social Sciences. This is an enormous honour and I’m thrilled to have been a part of this work. You can read some of my account of this work in Critical Care which is available directly from me, or from TATE Liverpool and HOME bookshops. For those of you itching to hear more from Vic about his ongoing work, I can host a very small number of public places at a free event I am facilitating at MMU on Thursday 8th November between 11am and 12noon. Details directly from me HERE. And Vic will be giving a public seminar on Wednesday 7th November between 16:00 and 17:30, the details of which follow.

The Butterfly Kiss: Exploring The Materiality, Affect and Performativity of contemporary arts practice within complex community settings
MMU Brooks Building, Room 4.48
Vic McEwan, The Cad Factory
The Cad Factory is an Australian based organization creating an international body of work that often deals with the fractures borne from the lived experience of people and place. Positioning creative practice as an open ended and responsive examining of the poetics of care within our communities, The Cad Factory encourages arts practice to bear witness to, contribute to and respond to the thresholds and tensions, blends and blurs ((Seigworth, Gregg 2010) of the lived experience.

Guided by the MAP (Materiality, Affect and Performativity) of communities and of cross disciplinary arts practice, The Cad Factory positions itself in what Anna Tsing might call “Zones of Awkward Engagement” in order to engage with and contribute to various communities.
Hear about projects ranging from long-term collaborations with Indigenous communities around histories of massacre and colonisation, projects exploring health within clinical settings, as well as projects examining complex issues around suicide, environmental and cultural loss and climate change. Contact details for this are not with me, but are HERE.

There is much on my mind right now - and it comes out here - like a throbbing boil that needs lancing. Although I’m sure one should never lance a boil -
but you know what I mean.

I watched Harry and Megan What’s their Name over in Australia doing their thing around public discussions of mental health, mental illness and mental difference - and I know - all discussions about our psychic terrain should be made in public. I’m acutely aware of his dysfunctional family background too, and if royals have any contemporary purpose, maybe this is it - some deep public analysis of the ‘nature or nurture’ arguments that surround mental distress in all its forms. Then I watched some highlights of the Invictus Games - and one can’t fail to be moved by the physical and mental strides these athletes have made, from some unimaginable horror to televised heroism of the 21st century. Rousing stuff. But look a little closer at the Invictus Games website and have a peek at just what proud ‘supporters’ they have on board including amongst others Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Leidos and Saab - all either major armament manufacturers, or arms logistics and comms.
Image posted on facebook by CakeInternational (I kid you not)
Nick Deane writing for the always interesting New Matilda observes that, “on the one hand these companies and their shareholders grow rich through creating, selling, researching and constantly ‘improving’ weaponry and weapons systems. But it is weaponry that has produced the horrific injuries sustained by the Games’ participants.” You can read his compelling article in full HERE. With the appalling story of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the UK and US continued commitment to selling arms to Saudi Arabia, perhaps the Invictus Games should think carefully about its ‘supporters’ and not simply let them appease their guilt and keep their investors coffers full.

Poetry Emergency

Poetry Emergency is a two-day festival exploring emergency and liveness in radical poetic art, taking place in Salford and Manchester on 23rd and 24th November 2018. Bringing together some of the most challenging and surprising poets and performers of the moment, we ask how poetic art can intervene against passivity and fear in order to agitate and inspire. In the emergency-prone moment of anxiety and disaster-creation, how can the mini-revolutions of language art snowball into communities of support and resistance? Crossing between poetry readings and performance, and integrating workshops and discussions into the programme, Poetry Emergency will be a rare and exciting creative and learning event for the North West. Full details HERE. 


For the first time over 2017-2018 Socialiniai meno projektai has conducted an in-depth research study of accessibility of Lithuanian art museums/galleries to people living with disabilities. Over 100 interviews have been conducted with people with disabilities and with representatives of museums across Lithuania. This is a ground-breaking large-scale piece of work that will be shared across Lithuania in November and December. The study has been supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Culture Council. Full details and registration HERE.

Entelechy Arts

General Manager£30,000 - £32,000
Deadline - 16th November
Entelechy Arts is a pioneering arts charity working in the fields of art and social change. Based in South-East London it has achieved national and international acclaim for its work with older people and those with complex disabilities. For over 25 years the company has been making exciting, contemporary work in the centre of its community. Entelechy Arts is looking for a brilliantly organised General Manager to help deliver a busy and exciting programme. Full details HERE.

Storytelling for Health Conference
We are delighted to announce that ABMU Health Board and the University of South Wales are working together with a range of partners towards the next conference ‘Storytelling for Health 2: Patient Stories’, which will take place on 27th, 28th and 29th June 2019.  We will be narrowing the focus slightly for this conference to look at how patient experiences are captured, presented and understood through story.  We hope this will make for some provocative and productive conversations. See full details HERE.

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