(Re)discover and resist

(Re)discover and resist | University of Exeter

Art and Loss of Social Housing

Our sense of self is intimately connected with where we live. The loss of social housing in the UK has impacted how people relate to their homes. For example, the Right to Buy policy offered the possibility of home ownership to social renters, but also saw those unable or unwilling to buy their homes increasingly marginalized by ongoing demolitions, regenerations, and policy interventions.

This event explores how art can facilitate ‘finding’ in conditions of housing loss and precarity. It includes a screening of the film Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle (Velvet Joy Productions), an exhibition of the works of artist Jordan McKenzie, and a panel discussion.

Making History!

A chance to get creative with the past! For centuries, artists and writers have used the past as an inspiration for new works: from the history paintings of Raphael and Reynolds, to Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. This event gives you a chance to explore your artistic side, responding to particular stories from history to create your own art or piece of creative writing. We will focus on the kinds of histories being told and constructed in the Tudor and Stuart period. Bring your own materials, or use the ones we’ll supply (including oils, watercolours, pastels, and clay). Age 16+.

Thinking Through Fragments: Might and Right

How can we use the past to think about the present? The ancient Greek historian Thucydides claimed that his work would be a ‘possession for ever’, helping his readers understand war, politics and power – but his ideas are often used to make the world seem simpler than it really is, with dangerous consequences. This event will use games and role-playing to explore a key episode in Thucydides’ account, opening up issues of might and right, realism and idealism. A performance of this episode will then bring these debates to life, followed by a talk on how he can help us make sense of the world. (Age 14+)

Paignton Lantern Procession

The Paignton Lantern Procession will take place through a series of community making workshops through regional partners Torre Abbey, Paignton Library, Brixham Edge and the Palace Theatre, with Doorstep Arts as the lead cultural delivery partner.

The work is part of a larger programme of children/young people’s participatory arts in areas of high deprivation and fragmented community cohesion in Torbay. Paignton town centre is receiving intervention through participatory action research – it is a site which has been lost to the local community due to endemic drug use and violent crime, and the lantern procession is serving as a visible act concerted community reclamation – animating and re-invigorating the central street with the involvement of local families.

The research examines how poverty and financial precariousness are creating a context where children’s access to the arts is limited based on geographic and economic barriers to access. The larger programme of participatory activity is called ‘Stepping Stones’ and is made possible through funding from Arts Council England, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation.