Reflections on an art and politics of social engagement

Leeson, Loraine (2014) Reflections on an art and politics of social engagement. In: The Impossible Constellation, 2nd-3rd June 2014, University of Lincoln.

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I will discuss my practice that for over thirty-five years has explored ways in which art can be used to support social change. Central to this have been processes of collaboration and participation that have brought cultural dimensions to activism and community-based knowledge into the public domain. I will show how lessons learned from working alongside the trades union movement and the communities of London’s Docklands informed subsequent engagement with a range of groups, local organisations and individuals, drawing on new technologies as they emerged to enable their voices to be heard. Finally I will describe some recent and current projects. The Young Person’s Guide to East London involved hundreds of teenagers in identifying what they considered to be best in their neighbourhoods and of interest to their age group, leading to the production of a publicly accessible online resource that also offered a glimpse into what lay behind the gloss of Olympics hype. Meanwhile Active Energy is an ongoing project involving citizen-led innovation by older people that focuses on renewable energy. It has already led to a wind-driven lightwork for the roof of an AgeUK building, collaboration between seniors in the US and UK, a water-driven installation opposite the Houses of Parliament, and a working tidal turbine in process.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > CREATE/Feminisms cluster
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Socially Engaged Practices cluster
A. > School of Art and Design
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts
Item ID: 16175
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Loraine Leeson
Date Deposited: 20 May 2015 11:00
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2018 03:21

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