Tag: participation

The parliament of invisible people

You see them sometimes, late at night, cleaning offices for people they never meet; or unloading vans from empty bus lanes in the small hours. Mostly, though, we don’t see them, even on the other side of a counter, or a phone… Read More

Worlds within words

Yesterday two short conversations reminded me of the pitfalls that make words so elusive, so fascinating and so important. The first was a question after I spoke at the Teach Through Music conference in Deptford. I’d been asked to give a talk… Read More

Optimism is a valuable resource

  Jubilee Arts was a pioneering community arts project founded in 1974, in West Bromwich, an industrial town west of Birmingham. It thrived for more than 20 years, making imaginative and serious art with local communities. Then, during the ‘aspirational’ New Labour… Read More

Sing out your bile

In Finland when a lot of people start complaining they might be called a ‘valituskuoro’, or a Complaints Choir. Two Finnish artists have made a reality of that metaphor, not just once but again and again around the world. In 2005, Tellervo… Read More

Power, promises and participatory arts

Circuit is a four year programme, led by Tate and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, that aims to connect young people with galleries and museums. Roz Hall is the programme’s critical friend and she has written an interesting post on ‘Peer Led approaches… Read More

The Pinning Stones

Portraits from The Pinning Stones by Ray Smith On Thursday, the residents of Scotland decide whether to leave the United Kingdom and establish their own state. Whatever your view of the possible outcomes, we should be thankful that negotiations are not being conducted with arms… Read More

Art across borders

Migranland It is in the nature of artistic work to reach beyond the boundaries of language, culture and context. You don’t need to know anything about Japan in the Edo era to be captivated by the prints of Hokusai or Kuniyoshi. You… Read More

Whose line is it, anyway?

One lovely evening this summer, I stood waiting in the lobby of the Market Theatre in the Herefordshire town of Ledbury. The sunshine spilling through the windows was starting to get uncomfortably warm, but no one seemed to mind. The space was… Read More

Naked emperors

‘I want to change, but not if it means changing,’ a patient once said to me in complete innocence. This insight from psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz came to mind as I listened to some of the discussion at and around the latest ‘State… Read More

Streetwise in Seville

There was a spontaneous peal of applause in the Teatro Central at the end of this film yesterday, where I showed it during a talk about community arts at a performing arts and social inclusion conference in Seville. The Answer to Everything is… Read More