A properly critical critical friend - my first blog as Super Slow Way critical friend...

A properly critical critical friend - my first blog as Super Slow Way critical friend...

I’m very excited to be Super Slow Way’s critical friend. I have been critical of Creative People and Places in the past but have always been intrigued by Super Slow Way - its team and its approach to programming. This is the first blog post about my experiences.

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Neoliberalism and the Arts

Neoliberalism and the Arts

This is rough draft of a paper I’m writing at the moment. I’m becoming increasingly concerned by the infiltration of arts and culture by neoliberal capitalism. The publication of the Cultural Cities Enquiry and launch of London’s Creative Land Trust this week are, I argue, clear examples of the neoliberalisation and corporate takeover of the arts. This paper attempts to begin to explain how and why neoliberalism has invaded the arts.

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Rule Britannia! 40 years after Derek Jarman's cult film Jubilee was released, this clip sums up the sinister English nationalism behind #Brexit

Rule Britannia! 40 years after Derek Jarman's cult film Jubilee was released, this clip sums up the sinister English nationalism behind #Brexit

“You wanna know my story babe. It’s easy. This is the generation that grew up and forgot to lead their lives. They were so busy watching my endless movie. It’s power babe, power. I don’t create it, I own it. I sucked and sucked and I sucked. The media became their only reality and I owned their world of flickering shadows. BBC. TUC. ITV. ABC. ATV. MGM. KGB. C of E. You name it, I bought them all and rearranged the alphabet. Without me, they don’t exist.”

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Art, artists & Marx’s base and superstructure theory by Black Socialists of America

Art, artists & Marx’s base and superstructure theory by Black Socialists of America

I came across an amazing thread by the Black Socialists of America (BSA) on Twitter . It is really interesting and aligns with many of my own arguments about artwashing and the instrumentalisation of art and artists. BSA gave me permission to reproduce the thread as a blog post. It is essential reading for anyone involved in arts and cultural activities.

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Place Guarding: Activist Art Against Gentrification - my book chapter originally published earlier this year in "Creative Placemaking"

Place Guarding: Activist Art Against Gentrification - my book chapter originally published earlier this year in "Creative Placemaking"

This is a copy of my book chapter which was published earlier this year in Creative Placemaking: Research, Theory and Practice (2018). The book is edited by Cara Courage and Anita McKeown and is published by Routledge.

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Home is where we start from: Cultural Democracy and Working-Class Struggle

Home is where we start from: Cultural Democracy and Working-Class Struggle

The struggle for cultural democracy is part of our fight back against those who have always sought to keep us down – who have always told us: “KNOW YOUR PLACE!”

I know my place: it’s called HOME. We all have homes of one sort or another. And home is where we start from. Not art galleries or spectacles or museums or whatever else we are told are “cultured” places. HOME. This is the place where we build our own cultures, our way.

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Caught Doing Social Work? - Socially engaged art and the dangers of becoming social workers

Caught Doing Social Work? - Socially engaged art and the dangers of becoming social workers

This is the text from my workshop “Caught doing social work?” which was part of Manifesta 12’s M12 Education Club conference in Palermo on 19th October 2018. The workshop was held in the community centre in the ZEN social housing project. The text was used as mini provocations which led to a really interesting discussion about instrumentalism of the arts and artists, gentrification and artwashing.

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No Breathing Space: V&A, Artwashing & the Theft of Robin Hood Gardens (a reblog of an article I wrote for Bella Caledonia)

No Breathing Space: V&A, Artwashing & the Theft of Robin Hood Gardens (a reblog of an article I wrote for Bella Caledonia)

I am reposting this article which was originally published by Bella Caledonia here because it formed the basis for my keynote speech at Lancashire Arts Exchange along with the film A Cacophony of Crows which you can see here. It deals with the artwashing of Robin Hood Gardens by state agent, the V&A.

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A Cacophony of Crows - Film about how V&A's theft of a piece of Robin Hood Gardens is artwashing as creative destruction and class redomination

A Cacophony of Crows - Film about how V&A's theft of a piece of Robin Hood Gardens is artwashing as creative destruction and class redomination

This is a film about V&A’s crass exploitation of council housing following its “acquisition” if some pieces of Robin Hood Gardens in the Labour controlled London borough of Tower Hamlets - a once iconic council housing estate that is being demolished to make way for luxury apartments. It was part of my keynote given as part of Lancashire Arts Exchange on 8th November 2018. I explored how this example of state-led artwashing relates to David Harvey’s arguments around how neoliberalism uses creative destruction and arts/culture/media as a means of re-enforcing class domination.

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In my beginning is my end - a film about the impact of neoliberalism on our cultures, the instrumentalisation of art, & cultural democracy

In my beginning is my end - a film about the impact of neoliberalism on our cultures, the instrumentalisation of art, & cultural democracy

This is a film with narrative from a performance I gave in Belfast earlier this year about neoliberalism, instrumentalism and cultural democracy.

“We must trust in our individual and collective selves.  We must remember our struggles.  We must remember that official arts and culture and, for that matter, the creative industries, reflects only one rather small part of our arts and culture.  We do not live in a cultural democracy.  The cuts to state-sanctioned arts and cultural production makes this assertion starker as each day passes… And cultural policy, like fortune, has always favoured the rich and powerful.”

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Gentrification - part 5 of the first chapter of my unpublished book "New Bohemias: Artists, Hipsters & Gentrification"

Gentrification - part 5 of the first chapter of my unpublished book "New Bohemias: Artists, Hipsters & Gentrification"

This is the fifth section of the first chapter of my as yet unpublished book. The conclusion to this sample chapter will be published later today.

See previous posts for earlier sections...

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