Author: Michael Buser & Jane Arthurs
Date Published: 11/03/13
This discussion paper explores literature and debates on cultural activism and communities of place. Cultural activism is defined as a set of creative practices and activities which challenge dominant interpretations and constructions of the world while presenting alternative socio-political and spatial imaginaries in ways which challenge relationships between art, politics, participation and spectatorship. In our paper, we present a small range of cultural activist practices (e.g., culture jamming, subvertising, rebel clowning) which call upon irony, humour and the carnivalesque to disrupt commonly-held understandings and ways of constructing the world. Our broad aim is to tease out the ways these practices imagine and conduct ‘resistance’, present future imaginaries and engage audiences in situated community environments. In doing so, we consider how temporality and ephemerality might contribute to the development of radical, autonomous spaces and opportunities for democratic debate and political contestation. The paper also summarises associated scholarly and community-based work including the project seminar where 60 participants discussed cultural activism as well as collaborative work with activists in the Bristol neighbourhood of Stokes Croft. View File..