Dancing for Citizenship: Exploring collaborative activist art

In this week’s seminar we were given this amazing little booklet. Before we go forward, I’ll give you the intro given to me when I was handed it by my tutor:

Photo taken by Anna-Rose Wain of pamphlet

Re-imagining Citizenship is a collaborative project initiated by the Politicized Practice/Anarchism/Theatre Activism Research Groups based at Loughborough University.

The Re-imagining Citizenship Activity Book/Re-imagining Citizenship Living Archive forms part of an ongoing dialogue around themes related to art and political activisms. Since 2014, artists, researchers and associates of the three Research Groups have organised exhibitions, installations, performances and participatory events to explore the potential for art practices to re-imagine citizenship. These culminated in a series of activities during in March 2019, including the production of the Re-imagining Citizenship Activity Book which has thirty different contributions, inviting readers to respond creatively to sets of instructions (using text, images, video or audio) and to upload them to the Living Archiveon the Home Page of this website.

From 11 May to 24 November 2019, the Re-imagining Citizenship project will be exhibited at Palazzo Mora at the European Cultural Centre as part of the Venice Biennale. Contributors to the Re-imagining Citizenship Activity Book will run a series of related workshops throughout the exhibition period. Come and join us there!

Re-imagine, participate, respond! Help us develop and share new, creative approaches to citizenship! 

This extract was taken from http://re-imagining.org/about/ where you can find even more information about the piece.

I was excited about the concept of a collaborative piece, centred around social action not artistic ego. The anonymous accreditation of the artists involved impressed me and humbled me to consider what authorship truly was, specifically it’s purpose.

I was keen to take on their call to action and how better to do such a thing as with three other art peers! Inspired by the spirit of teamwork, me, Imogen and James set about finding an activity in the booklet which struck a chord with our ideas of citizenship, whether it be challenging them or resonating with them. ‘Be a Citizen Dancer’ it was.

The instructions were simple:

Photo taken by Anna-Rose Wain of pamphlet pg. 70

Here was our result:

Imogen is shown in the first shot, dancing to Michelle Obama’s speech on sexual harassment in Northern America(taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYrXA…) in Loughborough Students Union.

The middle clip is of James dancing interpretatively to Piers Morgan’s controversial opinions on gender fluidity (taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V00lN…) in the intimate environment of his bedroom.

Lastly, is myself(Anna-Rose) dancing adhocly to Pope Francis’ response to the sexual abuse allegations against catholic clergy(taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2dgf…) at my local chapel in Loughborough.

I hope you enjoyed engaging with my creative shenanigans of dissent! If you so happened to find this topic interesting or have any questions/suggestions, I love a good chin-wag so please do get in touch. Thank you for reading!

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