TAKING PART conference

Goldsmiths University of London & Southbank Centre
Friday 29th and Saturday 30th October 2010


“Inequality is divisive. It polarises societies, it divides regions within countries, and it carves up the world between rich and poor”1. It is also one of the reasons for our current lack of genuine civic and political engagement.
If participation in arts and cultural activity is the powerful catalyst for civic engagement that we claim, could the arts be making an even more dynamic contribution to the development of our civil society? Could the arts and culture be working together with third sector organisations to tackle inequalities, create stronger alternative voices and invite different people to the table?
Could they be creating innovative ways to:

  • promote social solidarity
  • increase cohesion
  • enable marginalised groups to engage in active citizenship

And even if they could, should they consider this to be part of their role?
How might research support third sector organisations, enabling them to develop and evaluate the most effective ways of working with the arts?
The TAKING PART conference will share research findings; it will hear about the wide range of national and international arts practice engaging directly with the community, creating new contexts for debate and animating the dialogue in challenging and exciting ways.
It will provide a unique opportunity to strengthen links and develop a shared understanding between third sector organisations and those working in arts and participation.
The two days will offer opportunities to share effective practice, listen to keynote speakers and contribute to the thinking; but shared through the creative methods of World Cafe, Open Space Technology and pecha-cucha.
And, there will be plenty of time for the kinds of informal networking and exchanges that help to create new partnerships and consolidate old ones.
Word limit for abstracts: 250 words
Send ideas to takingpart@gold.ac.uk by June 25th 2010
For more information and registration please see:
1 Angel Gurria OECD’s Growing Unequal? 2008

By Sacha Kagan

Research Associate at the ISCO - Institute of Sociology and Cultural Organization (ISKO - Institut für Soziologie und Kulturorganisation), Leuphana University Lueneburg, Sacha Kagan founded the International level of Cultura21, Network for Cultures of Sustainability, as well as the International Summer School of Arts and Sciences for Sustainability in Social Transformation (ASSiST). The focus of his research and cultural work lies in the trans-disciplinary field of arts and (un-)sustainability. Doctor in Philosophy (Leuphana University Lueneburg) with a thesis on the subject of culture, the arts and sustainability under the perspective of complexity ; M.A. in Cultural Economics (Erasmus University Rotterdam) ; and Graduate of Sciences Po Bordeaux (political sciences). For Cultura21, Sacha is also coordinating the eBooks series, the regular updates on our multi-lingual website, the English section of our webmagazine and the work of our Lueneburg-based interns.