Transnational Learnings for Enhancing Art Activism
A project aiming to enhance the skills of artists-activists in Europe so they can better situate themselves as artists, political subjects and workers at a time of crisis and social conflict.
Led by Dr Paula Serafini (CAMEo Research Institute, University of Leicester) and Professor Ross Parry (School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester)
The current conjuncture is characterised by a series of overlapping social, political and ecological crises. In response to this, artists across the world have in recent years increasingly turned towards practices that denounce injustice and/or engaged with different communities in order to address local needs and ameliorate social problems.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and further accentuated many local and global injustices and forms of inequality, and one of these has been the precarious condition of artists and cultural workers. From Argentina to Greece and the UK, the pandemic has resulted in artists self-organising to provide forms of community care, but also, to organise as workers, and to demand improvements in their work conditions.
With this in mind, this impact project aims to translocate learnings from Latin America, a region with a long history of socially and politically engaged art, to provide artists and activists in Europe with tools that can enhance their practice and help them situate themselves as artists, political subjects and workers at a time of crisis.
The project will build on fieldwork research on art and social movements carried out in Argentina by Dr Serafini, specifically the project (Counter)Narratives of Neoextractivism in Argentina: Mapping Creative Resistance (2017-2019), as well as secondary research on other countries in Latin America. It will translocate the findings from this region to the contemporary European context.
Project outputs and beneficiaries
The project consists of two workshops aimed at artists-activists in Europe: one in Athens and one online. The workshop in Athens will provide artists and activists with new tools and knowledge to enhance their social practice in the local context. The online workshop, in turn, will generate an environment where participants from different European contexts can acquire new tools and create international networks of mutual learning. There will also be a short video sharing the outcomes of the workshops.
The primary beneficiaries from the project are artists-activists in Europe. Participants in the workshops will benefit by
- building knowledge of contemporary movements in Latin America and how they have organised creatively to achieve their goals;
- acquiring tools such as models for devising creative actions, devices for constructing effective narratives, and skills in digital campaigning and multimedia design;
- developing practice within a dedicated (and ‘safe’) set of creative and social spaces;
- extending professional networks, communities of practice, agency and influence.
The project also aims to benefit the cultural sector and policy makers, as well as other academics in the social sciences and the general public in participants’ home countries.
Transnational Learnings for Enhancing Art Activism is a project in collaboration with filmmaker, facilitator and independent researcher Konstantina Bousmpoura (Greece) in partnership with mAPs (Migrating Artists Project), a transmedia cooperation project between five European countries supported by the EU Creative Europe programme. It is funded through the University of Leicester’s ESRC Impact Accelerator Fund, and supported by the One by One international research initiative.
For more information, please contact Dr Paula Serafini