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Posted 08.03.19

Create your proposition for change in the world with us at Tate Exchange 2019

By Phillip Buchan

What change do you want to see in the world and who do you need to have a conversation with to make it happen? What’s your proposition?

From Tuesday 12 to Friday 15 March 2019, Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth School of Creative Arts invite members of the public to explore the issues that affect us all and create their own Propositions for Change as part of Tate Exchange at London’s Tate Modern.

Visitors will be invited to test their attitudes and preconceptions, participate in three-way dialogues with artists, non-profit organisations, campaigners and activists, and solve complex problems together, across four days at Tate Exchange on Level 5 of Tate Modern’s Blavatnik Building.

What shall we do?
Posing the question that “Power separates people from what they can do. What shall we do?”,  students from Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth School of Creative Arts’ continuum of creative education, from early years and school-age to undergraduate and MA-level, will present a programme of events to crowd-source plans and effect positive change in our communities.

This four-day programme of events is free and drop in and accessible for all ages and abilities. Students will be on hand to welcome visitors into the space and help them to create propositions for change, answer the questions that matter and build plans for a better future.

Invited speakers and guests will include respected political activists, policy-makers, researchers and historians in varied fields including social justice, inclusivity, animal rights, environmentalism and the arts, in addition to representatives from Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs partners across the UK, France and Spain. Each day will take its theme from propositions created by members across the creative continuum, covering the fields of: touch, gender & identity; creative education; borders & migration; and voices of activism.



On Tuesday, activities grouped around the theme of touch focus on the issues relating to the body, to gender, experiences of feminism, politics, play and gentle activism. Visitors are invited to work together to create a collaborative tablecloth, create and manipulate wax sculptures, and debate plastic use and misuse with members of London’s mudlarking community, who have been featured in the Guardian and on the BBC.

On Wednesday, students from Plymouth School of Creative Arts lead discussions around creative education, equality and artistic integrity, while Plymouth College of Art students bring a unique project to London focused on social debt. Visitors can create from sustainable materials, contribute to research around how debt in society impacts our everyday lives, debate whether working-class children are being allowed to fulfill their potential in education, and more. There will be an opportunity to meet London-based campaigners for mental health awareness and a Plymouth-based society that leads community regeneration through activities in disused urban spaces.

The flow of human beings across borders, migration and place-making are at issue on Thursday, with homelessness both inside the UK and at its periphery debated by activists, and opportunities to construct alternative world maps and experience contemporary performances based on personal experiences, everyday life, social space and architecture. Participants can meet visitors from across Europe with Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs, write a letter to a refugee, and join Print Club for the day.

Finally, on Friday art, activism and agitation take the floor at Tate Exchange, alongside the Making Learning symposium. Visitors can discover how art is being used to help veterans reintegrate into society, hear people tell their stories about coming out, create art about positive body representation, and put themselves in the shoes of military spouses and families.

Making Learning Symposium 2019 - Dialogues on Creative Education and Social Justice

Running alongside and as part of Propositions for Change, the second biennial Making Learning symposium will take place on Friday 15 March from 12pm to 5:30pm, focusing on the twin themes of creative education and social justice.

Plymouth College of Art believes that high-quality education for life in creative practice is the catalyst for personal, professional and cultural transformation. The 2019 Making Learning symposium will run as a day of dialogues, exploring propositions by recognised figures as well as voices that often go unheard in the fields of art, creative education and social justice. This inclusive, call and response symposium is open to academics, artists, politicians, educators, changemakers and activists. Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth School of Creative Arts and invited guests will instigate a series of lightning-talks, pitches and debates putting forward propositions related to the themes of creative education and social justice.

The symposium will open with the proposition to explore pedagogical opportunities of risk in art education at a time when art and education are themselves under threat. Policy agendas at all levels are marginalising the arts. At the same time, social and economic factors place unprecedented strain on the institutional fabric of education.

Invited guests and speakers will include:

  • Áine O’Brien, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Counterpoints Arts, London, a leading national organisation in the field of arts, migration and cultural change.
  • Michelle Angela Ortiz, a visual artist, skilled muralist and community arts educator who since 2008 has led community building and art for social change public art projects both independently in Costa Rica and Ecuador and through the United States Embassy as a Cultural Envoy in Fiji, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Venezuela, and Honduras.
  • Hassan Mahamdallie, a playwright, writer and specialist in diversity and art, who authored Arts Council England’s The Creative Case for Diversity and was until recently Director of the Muslim Institute (UK).
  • Christopher Sebastian, an author, researcher and advocate for social justice and animal protection.
  • Dr Kerry Chappell, Creativity in Education researcher and co-leader of the Creativity and Emergent Educational Futures Network.
  • Dr Penny Hay, artist, educator and Director of Research for 5x5x5=creativity, a charitable company researching children and young people's creative development.
  • David Cotterrell, an installation artist working across media and technologies to explore the social and political tendencies of a world at once shared and divided.
  • Peter Jenkinson OBE, an independent Cultural Broker, Founding Director of openº, a platform for civic imagination and renewal and Honorary Fellow of Plymouth College of Art.
  • Shelagh Wright, a Founding Director of openº and a Director of the Together Foundation, Mission Models Money and ThreeJohnsandShelagh.
  • Stephen Bush of the Flourishing Lives coalition, which aims to transform the older people's wellbeing sector.

There will be opportunities on the day for visitors to the Making Learning symposium to make a two minute open-platform proposition about education in relation to creativity, learning, emancipation, democracy and societal/cultural transformation.

Join us for the whole day or just a part of it. We’ll release a programme of topics and dialogues for the symposium on our digital platforms ahead of the event.

Join the conversation using the #MakingLearning hashtag.

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This is the third year that Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth School of Creative Arts have taken up residency Tate Exchange. Dr Stephen Felmingham, Senior Lecturer (Academic Partnerships) at Plymouth College of Art, said: “Social justice and creative education are hardwired into everything we do at Plymouth College of Art. We know this implictly and are proud to see it reflected in the achievements of our students and graduates, both within the creative industries and the wider impact of their actions.

“Working with Tate Exchange has provided us with a uniquely focussed way to test our beliefs around social justice and creative education, on an international platform and in a public space. Although each iteration of Tate Exchange has been different, a continuous point of reflection has been the purposeful relationship between creativity, learning, risk and experiment that we have carried forward into our continuum of creative education.”

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