Join us for the second event in our Anti Racist Care D&D series.

As life opens back up again, how can we create spaces and organisations that truly care about all of the people working and living within them? How do we take into account each person’s individual needs in a genuine and authentic way? We have partnered with The Albany in London as part of their Festival of Radical Care, Maketank in Exeter and Leeds Playhouse for a series of conversation events that will be hybrid ‘on the ground and in the cloud’. Meaning that you can choose whether to attend in person or online. We want this to be an ongoing conversation, with each event building on the last - therefore, you are invited and welcome to attend all three if you so wish. All conversations will be facilitated by Leeds based artist and Improbable Board member, Pauline Mayers.

Invitation from Olya Petrakova, Artistic Director, Maketank

I envision Maketank serving as a place for listening and healing, a place for everyone to come together and feel safe.  A space for trauma to find a release, to be met with deep compassion, with care and humility, and for everyone who comes to walk away with a sense of transformation, agency, and hope. I genuinely want to seek ways to move forward with a spirit of equality and solidarity, to feel connected by a sense of commonality.  To heal the past, the face the present, and to imagine the future where we all are simply human.

Invitation from Pauline Mayers, OS Facilitator with Improbable, writer and theatremaker

The UK today is the most divided it’s been since my childhood. Everyday through the news, politics and social media, there is yet another thing to fear, be angry about, be resigned about or simply ignore. However, as I am positioned by society as a black woman, I have no choice but to be in a constant state of alert. At a time where the world is in the midst of a pandemic, people in the Global North are overcoming fear, grief, depression and anxiety after months of being locked away from each other. Yet the leaders of this country have taken it upon themselves to choose this very moment to declare a ‘culture war’ on our society. This ‘tactic’ is nothing new. 

Successive governments have declared various versions of the ‘culture war’, to gain and win votes, to retain and maintain power. This has been happening since the Windrush Generation came to these shores. Whilst the earth literally stood still over the last eighteen months this government, rather than using this moment to do things differently, to encourage us all to come together to make changes to how we live, work, entertain and socialise in ways that could benefit us all, have instead chosen to continue to exploit the differences between us for their own ends. This often means that identity becomes a political football. 

As a daughter of the Windrush Generation, I am often at the brunt of such conversations. Society is quite happy to literally debate, dehumanise, fear or ignore my existence simply because of the colour of my skin. Most days, I soldier on through. I do so knowing I am broken by the ways people who look like me are portrayed in the media, seeing report after report that my life chances are less than others in this society, that in so many ways I am not accepted as an individual. The dominating culture has spoken and made clear that division is what they seek. 

However, I believe that the arts can be the bellwether of a movement that not merely resists such blatant attempts of individualism and selfishness. The arts can be a galvanising force in our society, where people are reminded of their humanity and connection to each other. There is a reason this government is seeking to control the arts and heritage sectors by placing people in prominent positions who are favorable to the ‘culture war’ cause. So given this backdrop, given this is something that affects us all, what is the response from the arts to what is happening across the UK. What do we need to do to create working environments that will benefit us all?

I will be facilitating this conversation using a process called Open Space Technology (OST). OST is a simple way for groups of people to think, work and take action together around a shared concern. There is no set agenda and you decide what to discuss. You are free to move between conversations in a single session depending on what interests you.

We hope to see you there!

Booking for this event has now closed.