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After meeting together for the first time in January in Leeds, the UNION 19 cohort met up again in early April, this time based with our friends at Artlink  in Hull.

The overarching theme of the weekend was “Creating Connections: The Artivist as Go-Between” and a full outline of the weekend can be found here.

Cultural Mega-Event

Part of the context of going to Hull was the legacy of the work done in 2017 when Hull was City of Culture and the local UNION participants coordinated a day of presentations, discussions and visits under the theme, “Hull’s Hangover – connection, community and change in the wake of a cultural Mega-Event”.

As participant Steph Robson reflected in her blog:

“I started to wonder more about the activism side of things. How we can use arts and culture to influence change in an area, change peoples attitudes and help sustain democracy.As Professor Franco Bianchini research identified – arts and culture mega-events are not a one-off solution to systemic decline. And that is a bigger question that involves us all answering.”

Turning In

The Sunday focused more on the personal…looking at each person’s own “artivism” and what it meant to them.

Two weekends in and it was clear how different people in the group were carving out their own learning journeys. As participant, Lauren Saunders, wrote her own ending for the weekend:

SUNDAYS TAKEAWAYS:

  • Calm down.
  • Take risks.
  • Turn on. Tune in. Drop out.
  • I am a Restless Conspirator

And so, onwards to Manchester and Weekend 3

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