Last year, we were able to give out grants to some of the thousand-ish C4AA workshop alumni. These artistic activists in Croatia, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, the UK, and Hungary created seven artistic actions to increase public engagement with the seriously problematic issues of the lack marginalized communities’ access to public health care.
Throughout 2017, we mentored these groups on more deeply engaging audiences, working in coalitions (where not everyone might completely understand the concepts of artistic activism), and making sure to invoke the weird, surprising and utopic in their campaigns. Many of our alumni included in their projects C4AA-style training for their communities of artists and activists. Many of these workshops focused on storytelling, utopia visioning, and inducing a variety of creative work from the marginalized communities the groups serve.
So, introducing the projects of the 2017 Artistic Activism Grantees:
TRANSummer Camp and the Ethical Clinic for Gender and Sex Characteristics
Arian Kajtezovic & Trans Mreža Balkan
The TRANSummer Camp on the Croatian coast inspired members of the Croation trans community to become creative activists, and led to a public media campaign, video series and event advertising the “opening” of a (fake) clinic for trans health. The project included an ambitious survey on the healthcare experiences and needs of trans and gender variant people in the Balkans in multiple languages.
Sex Worker Stories
Emy Fem & Catalina Diaz
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
A series of creative workshops for sex workers, including a 7-day workshop modeled on the C4AA Art Action Academy.
The workshops enabled sex workers to tell their own stories, and shift the narratives and stigma around sex work. Videos created during the workshop have been shown at festivals in New York and Berlin.
Politaoke is non-partisan political karaoke project in which participants can reenact real contemporary political speeches from local, national and international politicians. Now you too can deliver the great rhetoric filled speeches of today’s most important politicians in this audience participation performance!
No Borders in the NHS
Diarmaid McDonald, ACTUP London & Docs Not Cops
A creative action against the introduction of mandatory immigration checks and upfront charging in the UK’s National Health Service, including a systematic social media campaign under the hashtag #PatientsNotPassports.
The action helped create new chapters of Docs Not Cops in three cities, an online day of action, a twitter storm, and 2 days after implementation the Government made their first concession, backtracking on their plans to force school nurses and health visitors to carry out immigration checks.
Transparency on R&D Costs
Irene Romero & Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) Europe
A set of strategies to highlight the high cost of medicine and lack of transparency in the pharmaceutical industry including a funny and disturbing satirical website, video, and press conference to promote their fake organization, the Association of Honest Pharmaceutical Representatives.
A Day in the Life of An Escort
Kate McGrew & SWAI
A photo project/online feed to increase visibility of sex workers and increase the sex workers’ sense of community of voice, in response to a spate of violence against the community in Ireland.
The project led to a piece in The National, and increased area interest and conversation about violence against sex workers.
Krisztina Kolos Orban & Transvanilla
A set of interactive experiences at the Sziget festival in Budapest, aimed at social change to improve every day life of trans and gender-nonconforming persons.
These seven diverse and creative artistic activism projects aimed at changing perceptions and policies around public health access for marginalized groups implemented in 2017 express the range of what groups can do beyond the typical protest or PR campaign, and really it’s just the beginning. We’re so glad to see that our alumni are using our workshop materials and exercises to train their communities in being bold, visionary and action-oriented.
Big congratulations to our 2017 grantees. We love that our philosophy and methodologies of artistic activism are spreading around the world and helping so many groups do such fantastic things.