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Heartland, The The, 1986

Beneath the old iron bridges, across the Victorian parks,
& all the frightened people running home before dark,
Past the Saturday morning cinema–
that lies crumbling to the ground,
& the piss stinking shopping centre in the new side of town.
I’ve come to smell the seasons change, & watch the city,
as the sun goes down again.… READ MORE

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Confidence, Nicole Mollet, 2016 Confidence, Nicole Mollet, 2016

Confidence, Nicole Mollet, 2016

This is part two of a three-part series of posts about Opportunity Areas.  Part one is here.

Part two explores Sarah Butler’s work in a little more detail.  Creative consultations, writing stories for Creative People and Places, advocacy of socially engaged writing as part of regeneration agendas, poetry hoardings ‘covering’ demolished social housing sites whilst new builds spring up and working for the New Deal for Communities. … READ MORE

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Shut-up People's Bureau in Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre Shut-up People's Bureau in Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre

Shut-up People’s Bureau in Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre

Everyone loves an opportunity don’t they?  What about a whole area of opportunities: an Opportunity Area?  Investors love them.  Property developers love them.  Local councils love them.  The State loves them.  Even (some) artists love them.  Opportunities for all!  (Well, not people living in social housing … Oh, and not homeless people … Erm, and not market stall holders … Low income families who bought their own council home?… READ MORE

This is a little part of a draft section of my PhD thesis.  It examines Creative People and Places, particularly, their People, Place, Power: Increasing Arts Engagement conference, suggesting empowerment may not be all it’s cracked up to be, especially when ‘delivered’ by state-sanctioned, instrumentalising arts organisations and artists – the foot soldiers of state social art provision…

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Street Art Heroes , Alex Senna, Cultural Spring, Creative People and Places project in Sunderland and South Tyneside, 2016.  Interestingly, Senna's work adorns gentrified streets in Camden and Shoreditch as well as art fairs and other places around the world...  Another foot soldier of gentrification? Street Art Heroes , Alex Senna, Cultural Spring, Creative People and Places project in Sunderland and South Tyneside, 2016.  Interestingly, Senna's work adorns gentrified streets in Camden and Shoreditch as well as art fairs and other places around the world...  Another foot soldier of gentrification?

Street Art Heroes, Alex Senna, Cultural Spring, Creative People and Places project in Sunderland and South Tyneside, 2016. 

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Free Balloon. Free Balloon.

Free Balloon.

This is a short response to my experience of taking part in Tabloid for the Oppressed , an invite-only event that was part of the Hidden Civil War programme at the Newbridge Project in Newcastle upon Tyne.  A critical reflection not about the aims of the event but rather about the strange feeling I got when I realised I was at an arts event about ‘the oppressed’ at which the participants were almost 100% white, where there were more men than women, where the presenters were all men, where most people there were from a certain class and possessed higher-than-normal levels of cultural capital. … READ MORE