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Social Works? Live 2019 at Manchester School of Art

Social Works? Live 2019

A film about "Social Works?: Live", an Axis Event celebrating socially engaged practice, held at Manchester School of Art. This film captures the essence of a day dedicated to the vibrant interplay between art, community, and dialogue.

The event united artists, commissioners, and social arts practitioners from across the UK fostering an environment of collaboration and shared inquiry into the critical role of engagement in the arts. With 11 commissioned artists and a dynamic fringe space, "Social Works?: Live" posed fundamental questions about the direction and impact of socially engaged art amidst contemporary challenges.

Our film delves into discussions that place people at the heart of artistic practice, whether as the medium, the materiality, or the outcome. It's a realm where the process is as significant as the product, and engagement with communities is paramount.

Featuring voices from the event, the film provides insight into the motivations and reflections of those at the forefront of social practice. From the empowering metaphor of "hyena in petticoats" to the therapeutic aspects of art, the documentary showcases the diverse approaches and philosophies that drive socially engaged art today.

"Social Works?: Live" was not just about showcasing artwork; it was an invitation to think deeply about the role of art in society, to challenge preconceptions, and to celebrate the potential of art to bring people together. This film is a testament to the power of social art to instigate dialogue, collaboration, and change.

Dive into the rich, layered dialogues and discover how social practice is beautifully executed within the community. "Social Works?: Live" is a beacon for anyone interested in the intersection of art and social engagement, offering inspiration and insight into the transformative potential of art in public life.


Further reading

Knowledge base

Aberdeen Summit: Artists' Exploitation


The Zero-Hour Artist

By Lucy Wright

‘Care-fuelled Leadership’: an artist’s perspective

By Lucy Wright

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