Kindly hosted by Battersea Arts Centre.

An invitation from Ben Qasim Monks, Executive Director at Improbable:

I work with a company called Improbable. 
 
Over the last few days, many members of the company - like many people across the country - have been shocked, saddened and angered by the decision to prorogue parliament. 
 
Some company members are engaging with that as individuals, protesting, petitioning, or responding as they see fit. 
 
On Wednesday evening I joined hundreds of others rallying outside parliament. 
 
On the way home, I started thinking about what it’d be like if arts organisations, and the arts sector, protested too. 
 
The company I work for - and many of the people and companies I work with - receives funding from Arts Council England, which in turn receives funding from the cultural ministry of a government that, on Wednesday, suspended parliamentary democracy. 
 
How do we respond to that as organisations, and as a sector? Do we go on strike? Do write to ACE, DCMS, our MPs? What conversations do we have with our audiences? 

What does civil, organisational disobedience look like? How do organisations protest? Is that something organisations should do? 
 
What are the ethics of receiving funds from a government that is perceived by many - but not by all - as having instigated a coup? 
 
Do we withdraw our labour? How could we re-purpose our labour towards action? 
 
What can we create together from this crisis? A show? A manifesto? A giant puppet of protest? 
 
How can we bring to our actions the qualities of creativity, collaboration and compassion that we’re often so good at displaying as a sector? How can our actions be based on collaboration and social cohesion rather than division? 
 
This is an invitation to get together and work on these questions - and, of course, to bring your own questions, ideas and actions. 
 
Battersea Arts Centre have offered to host the conversation in their Grand Hall. 
 
We are working to make this happen fast - next week - because it feels urgent. If we are going to respond as a sector then our window to do so is now; this cannot wait. I hope you can help spread the word to others, and that you can make it.
This event is wheelchair-accessible. Sign Language Interpretation is available on request. We welcome neurodivergent people at all our events and we can provide you with detailed information and other forms of support if you let us know your needs. Contact us at [email protected] or call 020 7240 4556.

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