I wrote this article for Super Slow Way, the Creative People and Places programme in Pennine Lancashire. I’m their critical friend. This is a reflection on where Super Slow Way are now and where I think they’re going.
Here’s the opening paragraph:
‘Creative People and Places has shackled itself to a notion of “place” as an area on a map. An area in which people are said to have “low levels of arts engagement”. This is a revealing turn of phrase that is often fleshed out by attempts to explain that these areas of supposedly low cultural engagement are places in which “evidence shows that people are less involved in arts and cultural activities than elsewhere in England” because they “have traditionally had fewer opportunities to get involved with the arts”. These statements are repeated ad infinitum. The belief is that “brilliant art experiences” can somehow bring communities together. The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has and will continue to change everything. There is no going back. Brilliant art experiences aren’t enough anymore. Art is not in itself magical. Is a focus on audiences and participants having a great time watching or doing some surprisingly high-quality art all there is to it? Will that be enough when communities and individual lives have been devastated?’
READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON SUPER SLOW WAY’S PEOPLE, PLACE, TIME AND SPACE WEBSITE.