Principles for a Sustainable & Inclusive Practice
Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Take space to make space
This concept is at the heart of my creative practice, as theatre maker, curator and producer: we need to be conscious of our privileges and use them to the best of our ability to create space for historically marginalised people. This will look different in each locality and culture. For me, in the UK, this has materialised via my theatre company Global Voices Theatre which introduced international theatre by underrepresented voices or co- founding the Migrants in Theatre movement, to better the representation of 1st generation immigrants both on and off stage.
Taking/Making space will be tokenistic and nothing more than culture appropriation if it wasn’t done from a place of genuine co-creation where partners, collaborators and communities have an equitable part to play in artistic projects. Not all art works need to be 100% co-created but where the levels of co-creation are high, the benefits from the process are higher too and the impact of the project is deeper and more meaningful - both for individuals as well for groups and communities. Testimony to this idea is my involvement and the impact of Arts & Homelessness International.
The third quarterstone for sustainable and inclusive art making is the idea of “legacy”. The days of the artist “parachuting in '' need to be gone forever. The idea that the “artist” knows it all and can come to “illuminate” the people to whom art is “brought to” is condescending and old fashioned. The artist(s) exist in the community and vice versa - it is a relationship of codependency in the best sense of the word. The most important day in an artistic project is the day after*.
Working slowly is a radical act in the face of capitalism. This is essential if we want to rebuild a more solid and holistic foundation for art making and touring in the future. Working slowly is more inclusive of difference in all its forms: it allows time for reflection, true learning and understanding. This in turns favours co-creation processes, the building of meaningful legacy and the solidifying of new spaces. This virtual circle increases connectedness, collaboration, inclusivity, equity and fairness to name but a few.
*borrowed from the very clever Matt Peacock