Social Glue

Call for Papers “Creative Communities 3: Risks & Possibilities”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

September 26th- 28th 2012 – Gold Coast, Australia

Hosted by Griffith University Centre for Cultural Research

‘Creative communities’ is a well-worn phrase conventionally equated with notions of well-being, civic participation and social inclusion. Creativity in this sense is regarded as social glue that bonds individuals together through collaboration in various forms of creative projects – be it visual art, drama, dance, theatre,music, writing or a combination of these. that bring communities together in positive and fulfilling ways.

Similarly, community connotes a wholehearted feeling, the strength of relationships in networks or inclusiveness through a sense of shared characteristics and values.

There is now a significant body of practice, policy and academically focused work that highlights the importance of the ‘creative community’ in fostering community well-being. At the same time, however, the term creative community throws up a number of questions that remain largely unaddressed in existing research, for example;

  • How does creativity actually impact community?
  • What is lost when the term ‘creative communities’ is imposed on place?
  • How are decisions on processes of inclusion / exclusion in creative practices made and who controls such decisions?
  • What happens to a creative community when access to resources that facilitate its creativity are lost or compromised and what sort of factors can contribute to this – e.g socio-economic change, civil unrest, urban redevelopment, shifts in state and government policy?

Call for Proposals

Griffith Centre for Cultural Research invites proposal submissions from scholars, artists & cultural workers, designers, urban designers, architects and policy makers interested in presenting oral papers, presentations, interactive workshops, panels or roundtable discussions on the following Conference themes;

1. Creative Communities At Risk

  • Perceptions of societal danger- Aversion and subversive behaviour
  • Individual versus collective risk and possibility between invisibility and presence
  • Laws and regulations and their impact or influence on creative communities

2. Itineraries of engagement

  • Creative Practice and cultural indicators in policy making
  • Idealization and leadership
  • Professional versus hobbyist perspectives of creative practice
  • Public events as catalysts for community
  • Observing and evaluating participation in creative engagement
  • Possibilities of participation- gatekeepers

3.Transcultural dialogues

  • Emergent global creativities
  • Community, creativity and post transnational trauma -, for example, 9/11- Bali bombing, London ‘youth’ riots, Black Friday Victorian bush fires
  • Cultural tourism /mis-tourism
  • Asia Pacific heritage ·dialogues

4. Politics of networks

  • Digital social networking (lived environments versus online/virtual)
  • Politics, kinship, and the role of communities /Creative geographies, ecologies and networks
  • Migration of skills and experience (migrants/refugees, professional arts workers, skills exchange learning, mentors and novice)
  • Flexible and local forums and networks, complexity in varied contexts
  • Hard-to-reach’ membership cohorts.

5. Diversity and inclusion: Creativity as a catalyst for reconciling difference Social Sustainability and the creative artist: socially responsible creative commitment

  • Personal Development as a liberating force: confidence building in community sub groups
  • Collaboration: reliable interdependence: links through non-political non-biased creativity
  • Transparency and ownership: who owns the project
  • Old and skilled/young and skilled: forging links and breaking down generational barriers

Proposals due 23rd June 2012 to gccr [at] griffith [dot] edu [dot] au

Please use this form to submit your application.

Applicants will be notified of the acceptance of abstracts by 20th July 2012 at the latest.

For more information, click here

For program updates, please visit

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

Declining newspapers: arts moving into empty spaces


Artists love disused space. Artists And Makers have been tweeting me about the Empty Shops Conference they’re running on October 19. Meanwhile here’s another example of a street artists moving into a disused property. The collapse of the newspaper market in the US has been even more precipitous than it has been here in the UK. Print ad sales fell by a horrendous 30% in the first quarter of 2009; titles have been disappearing at an alarming speed.  The newspaper is a strange but crucial part of the social glue in the US, a country where there is no such thing as a “national” newspaper outside of USA Today. Americans are losing a major part of the way in which they tell their stories.

Out of decline comes opportunity. Here’s an example of one street artist Bumblebee, who has been opportunistically taking over empty newsboxes on the streets of Los Angeles, to create a series of narrative tableaux, linking the declines of newspapers to that of another endangered species.

The art, it has to be said, is pretty grim. Nice idea, though…

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology