Conflict and activism

Barker, Garry (2018) Conflict and activism. In: Art, Materiality and Representation: Royal Society of Anthropology annual conference, 3-4 June 2018, Clore Centre, British Museum. (Unpublished)

Abstract

This panel was convened in order to bring together various approaches to ‘conflict and activism’ that had an anthropological reading within a fine art context. In particular it explored drawing practices in relation to inner city realities. My own peer reviewed paper ‘Drawings of stories told’, was concerned with drawings made in response to being embedded within a community development organisation, (Newton Futures) and of how the drawings made in support of community development led on to a series of further drawing led investigations, that responded to stories being told to myself as I was making drawings standing in the streets of my local community. The presentation was developed out of the research material I had developed for a chapter in the book; ‘Collective and collaborative drawing in contemporary practice’. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 192-215. ISBN 9781527503472. The chapter ‘Drawing as a tool for shaping community experience into collective allegory’ explored how a practice that began with being embedded within a community development organisation, moved on to walking through a community and drawing, and had become over time a practice that was responding to the stories told by individuals met whilst drawings were being made. The development of an allegorical practice that had further evolved from this work was also highlighted, and a debate was undertaken as to what were the real benefits of this type of work to the community that had stimulated the initial idea.

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