Art, Expression and Democracy

Posted on April 27th, 2016 by Holly Ryan

Launch of exhibition and workshop at Bank Street Arts, as part of the ESRC-funded seminar series “Civil Society Strategies for Democratic Renewal”

From the 27th to 29th April, Bank Street Arts in Sheffield will play host to an array of national and international exhibitors whose artworks aim to amplify, challenge and redefine political issues of the day.

As part of an ongoing Economic and Social Research Council Seminar Series exploring “Civil Society Strategies for Democratic Renewal”, this two-day exhibition will feature works by:

  • Jane Laurie AKA Mutiny, Artist in Residence at The Crick Centre
  • Stanislaw Cabezas, Visiting Researcher at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Nicaragua and Dr Holly Eva Ryan, Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Crick Centre
  • Julia Tulke, PhD student of Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, New York.
  • Sophie Harman, Reader in International Politics at Queen Mary’s University in London and Craig Dean Devine, the Director of Photography for ‘Pili and the Left Ones’.
  • The #RiotID project, led by Anna Feigenbaum and Minute Works with the Bournemouth University Datalabs team
  • The 2015 World Photography Organisation/Crick Centre Student Focus Finalists

BSA prints  WPO at BSA

The exhibition will take place across two of the Bank Street Arts galleries, with Jane Laurie AKA Mutiny also contributing an outdoor wildlife mural to draw attention to endangered species across the globe. Weather permitting, it may be possible to catch a glimpse of Jane at work on the 27th and 28th April.

The “Art, Expression, Democracy” exhibition will lead up to a multidisciplinary workshop/ seminar on the 29th April. The workshop is designed to draw together artists, academics and activists for a day of discussion and debate around the following set of questions:

  • What is the relationship between art and democracy?
  • What kind of role(s) can ‘the arts’ play in democratic renewal?
  • In what ways can art production/reception bring about new forms of political engagement? What are the limits to this?
  • In what ways does political art also work to neutralise critique and reduce democratic space?
  • On the streets or in the gallery: where is political art at its most effective? What kinds of new possibilities and challenges do artists-as-activists face in the era of digital revolution?

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