When we emerge from this seismic uncertainty, we are all going to need a new approach to our relationship with the planet and our global community. This pandemic has exposed the inequalities that exist in our towns and neighbourhoods and we need to think deeply and creatively about our shared futures.
D6 is taking this time to reflect, to deepen relationships and to enhance existing and future programmes through meaningful exchange with artists and partners.
In a cultural field shaped by national policies and political agendas, many of us have been complicit in a prevailing, unsustainable, doctrine of infinite economic growth. Here, competition is a founding principle of a model based on doing more in less time, with fewer resources and for a wider reach.
In our current world, ravaged by COVID-19 we can plainly see how this paradigm of economic growth causes deep societal divisions. From the denial of basic human rights to the climate crisis, from social exclusion to intercultural division, from access to state welfare to wildly differing economies, many of our fellow citizens are excluded.
Through our work, we know that the arts can build trust between strangers, reveal stories untold, make connections across borders and give voice to those less heard. The arts can be a shelter from a storm, a playground for innovation and risk, a place for building empathy and trust - good for our minds, our wellbeing and our souls.
From intervention to activism, we know many of you are challenging the status quo and driving cultural change within your own communities.
This is the other narrative, which unpacks the value of culture to our society and our planet, interweaving our lived and shared experiences and countering Economic Growth with an ambition for Degrowth.
Over the next few months, D6 is proactively exploring and testing this thinking through our international project, Contested Desires; as part of a UK consortium participating in the Julie’s Bicycle’s Accelerator Programme; and with others in our region working with refugees and asylum seekers as part of a new Sanctuary Culture Network. With our Associate Digital Curator, Dominic Smith, we will create online moments for exhibition and debate, launching the first during this year’s Refugee Week in June.
In and amongst this scrabble to find a new normal, our thoughts go to those whose lives have been turned upside down and to those making a positive difference in this time.
Image: Contested Desires, Xarkis, 2020