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19.00 – 23.00

36 Lime Street, Ouseburn, NE1 2PQ

Its that time of year again!   The banner is up outside of 36 Lime Street, the doors will be open at 7pm and I have finished the Fire Risk Assessment, just need to tidy up!  Pop by if you are  in the area.  I will be printing posters to publicise the great work a group of campaigners, artists, activists and trade unionists are doing to make The Other Great Exhibition of the North happen.

I spoke at the recent Tyne & Wear May Day Rally, explaining the background to the official Great Exhibition of the North and George Osbornes vanity project, the Northern Powerhouse.  Here is an edited version.

Art is a powerful tool !– whether its music, spoken word, performance or visual art.

Art can be a call to action!

Think of the Durham Miners Gala, a major cultural & political event, with miner’s banners and brass bands.  These are statements of values.

Values such as solidarity and purpose of those mining communities.

 

But art can be used by others;

By corporations and institutions whose aim is to exploit populations and natural resources

 

This is called artwashing:  it describes the motivations of property developers that use the arts as part of their gentrification of our city’s and towns.  It describes corporations like BP and BAE Systems that seek to sponsor art exhibitions and events and draw attention away from the impact of their products on people and places.

Artwashing is about profit before people.

 

GEOTN is part of George Osbornes Northern Powerhouse project, the exhibition is an attempt to add the respectability of culture to the Northern Powerhouse project which is principally about throwing a few crumbs to the North from the Tory project table.

 

But some artists in the North reject the GEOTN

We are organising  The Other Great Exhibition of the North.  We are going to our local communities, which are outside of GEOTN’s visitor trails

 

If we as local artists don’t do this then the narrative about the arts and culture in the North will belong to politicians, institutions, the developers and gentrifiers whose aim is to extract wealth from local areas, pricing out and pushing established communities to the margins.

 

We are asking our fellow trade unionists, community activists and campaigners to support the Other Great Exhibition of the North, financially, by offering space for artists & communities to work in and by getting involved.

 

We don’t have  £5m from central government like the GEOTN. But like trade union movement, we are  self organised, self sustaining and we have an independent voice that belongs to local artists and local people and not politicians in Westminster or ‘premier partners’ like Accenture or Virgin Trains, or the former premier partner before an artist led campaign forced the government to drop them, BAE systems.

 

Get involved in what we are doing and support us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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