[1]

“Education involves ethics and aesthetics hand in hand. It is beautiful because it is ethical”              Paulo Freire

Platform’s education work and exhibitions are creative opportunities for people to meet together, share, learn, and make change happen. It cuts across all of Platform’s work, demonstrating our values, processes, and concerns. The participants are at the centre of this work, investigating art and activism, politics and social change, environmental and visionary thinking. We aim to create time to reflect, think, and feel, in the context of collective and individual practical actions towards a socially and ecologically just future.

A major programme is “Voices that Shake![2]“, an intergenerational project with young people 16-25 years, on arts, race, media and power which was launched in 2010. We initiated it with spoken word artists Sai Murray of Liquorice Fish, Zena Edwards of Conversations: Verse in Dialog, DJ Eric Soul of Afrogroov, and Ana Tovey of Chocolate Films, politics educators Ed Lewis and Paula Serafini, together with young people.

Other trainings, workshops, and skill-shares run alongside courses such as “The Body Politic: Social and Ecological Justice, Art, Activism[3]” (2004 – 2009).

For one-offs, we cover a range of areas from ethical fundraising, to finance & climate change, and are developing power and privilege training.We are often invited to share our campaigning and research at gatherings, special events and conferences, from grassroots campaigns to NGOs, arts organisations to formal education, to occupations and protest sites.

Exhibitions and art events are very important in this work, as different things can be felt, said and done in the context of culture. We most often work collaboratively with other artists and makers, sometimes initiating projects, sometimes responding to invitations such as the major 50-day project C Words: Carbon, Climate, Capital, Culture[4] at Arnolfini, Bristol (2009), or Gentle Actions: Art, Ecology, Action[5] in Oslo (2010). In December 2015 we did ‘Deadline Festival[6]‘, a high-profile, unsanctioned occupation in Tate Modern (London) – a 3-day arts and teach-in programme dismantling BP, colonialism, and its sponsorship relationship with Tate. Whether it’s working with DJs, performance poets, visual and sound artists, in places such as diverse as the street, art galleries, indie venues, squats, or community centres, art can reach people in ways that straightforward campaigning cannot (and vice versa).

 

Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: https://platformlondon.org/oil-the-arts/education-and-exhibitions/educationexhibitions-17-2/
  2. Voices that Shake!: https://www.voicesthatshake.org
  3. “The Body Politic: Social and Ecological Justice, Art, Activism: http://old.platformlondon.org/bodypolitic.asp
  4. C Words: Carbon, Climate, Capital, Culture: https://platformlondon.org/p-publications/c-words-carbon-climate-capital-culture/
  5. Gentle Actions: Art, Ecology, Action: http://gentleactions.wordpress.com/about/
  6. Deadline Festival: https://deadline.org.uk