On the 5th of May 2022, young people from Astor College, Dover, Canterbury Academy, and Canterbury College, chanted ‘education is our right, freedom is our plight!’, while waving placards, and celebrating their politics.
This was a day of work exploring the idea of politically engaged artistic practice bringing together staff and students of the Politics and Graphic Design teams with students of local colleges, organised in conjunction with KaMCOP (Kent and Medway Collaborative Outreach Programme). The event drew on the research of David Bates and Tom Sharkey and the expertise of William Hill to explore what happens when politics meets art.
The day started with a series of workshops enabling participants to explore the political issues which concerned them the most. We then applied consensus forms of decision-making to arrive at an agreement over the issue which participants wished to stage their political intervention about. The theme for the intervention was freedom and choice in education. Participants worked with staff and peers to produce placards, devise chants and express the rhythm of their politics through drumbeats. The intervention then took the form of a political carnival which processed around the Canterbury campus. This caused much interest from staff and students alike as broke off their usual business to enquire what all the fuss was about. One of the participants commented ‘everybody felt included and comfortable. We had to push ourselves out of our comfort zones, but that only helped us to learn and grow’.
Expect more fuss from the team when we do a similar event later in the year.
Read more about the CCCU Activism Research Network here