Reasons to be Cheerful 2017: Community art and hope

Artist: François Matarasso

It is easy to feel pessimistic in 2017 but community art is hopeful. Its steps may be small but they work towards a just society. Still, artists who work to further human rights, social justice, community organising and empowerment face difficult choices in today’s world – where they have choices at all.


What does it mean to act with integrity?  To be an ally? To enact solidarity? How do we interrogate the values we justify and defend? In a socio-political world where every choice is a political and ethical one, what choices and alliances can we make? What risks and compromises are involved? 


There are no universal answers to these questions because our situations are different. What makes sense here, now, to me, might not for you, there, tomorrow. But we can learn and gain strength from each other, from our work, our knowledge and our achievements. We can be or become part of a movement. 


In this conversation we invite people to share stories from their work that give them hope in difficult times. The conversation will be facilitated by three people with very different backgrounds: Tania Cañas, a theatre maker based in Australia; François Matarasso, a writer from Europe; and Risham Waseem, a filmmaker from Pakistan. They will each share some ideas to help focus the discussion and draw together any common themes that emerge.

Thursday 30 March 10.00