UK Workshop on Art Activism

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Departure Lounge: A weekend workshop designing creative resistance against the root causes of Climate Change :: July 13-15, near Heathrow, London.

“Some of the most successful political movements have been those that have developed creative forms of protest: the suffragettes chaining themselves to buildings, the beautiful tree houses of the anti roads protesters, the Zapatistas with their poetic communiques and masks, Reclaim the Streets’ rebel carnivals, the Italian white overalls’ imaginative take on civil disobedience. All these forms have emerged when the unbridled imagination of art mixes with the deep social engagement of politics. The growing radical movement for climate justice needs its own new forms.

Departure Lounge is a weekend workshop where we will collectively explore the spaces between art and activism and design creative actions in preparation for the Camp for Climate Action. The Camp, which takes place near Heathrow from 14th to 21st August, has been described by the Independent as ‘Glastonbury, science seminar and protest all in one.’ It mixes low-impact ecological living, dozens of workshops and mass direct action aimed at the root causes of climate change. This year it will be targeting the aviation industry and airport expansion.

“At the workshop we will work together to create imaginative new forms of protest, share skills and ideas, and design events / actions that will take place during the Camp to engage, delight, provoke, challenge and encourage participation.

“The weekend is suitable for those who are interested in work that does not merely ‘represent’ a political issue, nor serves as propaganda but directly confronts and transforms the issue itself. If you are interested in radically engaged practices that look neither like art nor activism but take the best of both of these worlds, that sit somewhere between direct action and performance, resistance and creativity then this workshop is for you.

“A key inspiration for the workshop will be Steven Duncombe’s concept of creating Ethical Spectacles.

“Taking place from the evening of Friday 13th July to late Sunday afternoon, 15th July, the workshop will be funded on a donations basis. We hope to be in one of the villages threatened with destruction by the expansion of Heathrow airport. The exact location will be confirmed later.

“Facilitated by artist / activist John Jordan, and writer / activist Katharine Ainger, the workshop aims to inject a large dose of radical imagination into the rising movements for climate justice.

“Places will be limited so please fill in the attached form and email it to – createresist[at] — before the 29th June. We will Confirm your place by 1st July. Even if you have done nothing like this before, please consider applying. We are looking for a diversity of perspectives. If you have special needs for attendance please let us know once your application has been received and accepted.

“‘Heathrow is its own city, a Vatican of the western suburb! The airport complex with its international hotels, storage facilities, semi-private roads, is as detached from the shabby entropy of the metropolis as is the City, the original walled settlement. They have their own rules, their own security forces, the arrogance of global capitalism. They service Moloch in whatever form he chooses to reveal himself; they facilitate drug / armament, blood / oil economies.’ – Ian Sinclair, London Orbital