For over three years, ‘Poetry Matters’ has probed and explored the role of contemporary poetry in these critical times, progressively widening the critique to include other art-forms such as theatre, film and the wider role of the ‘public intellectual’. Now, ‘Poetry Matters’ has reached a defining moment in its gestation, and is to become the spear-head for a wider movement to be called ‘Arts Social Action’. As it gains momentum you will be able to engage with its ideas and action programmes here.
Here, briefly, is what it’s all about…
More starkly, perhaps, than at any time since our first industrial revolutions, two potential catastrophes of our human making threaten our whole world and many of our societies.
One, of course, is climate change and the degradation of the environment through carbon emissions and profligate mis-use of the earth’s resources. Many believe we already know what could and should be doing, but we lack the political leadership and deeper commitment to do it. Time is running out for us and our posterity.
The second is associated with the financial and banking meltdowns of 2008. These threw many of the world’s economies into disarray, destroying jobs, incomes and social assets for the many while boosting the already obscene concentration of wealth in a relatively small, rapacious minority. So, widening social inequalities of wealth and opportunity have emerged, given fresh substance by the analyses of Piketty and others, as unsustainable and a patent threat to the future stability and survivability of our democratic societies.
Both these issues pose fundamental and imminent threats to all of us; but, collectively, we seem in denial at the threshold of necessary action. So is there a case, and is this the time, for asserting a particular, and pressing, role and responsibility for those of us in the Arts in facing up to them?
We believe there is and ‘Arts Social Action’ is to continue in the van of both the relevant dialogue and the stimulus to action . So, whatever space you occupy in your arts community, join us and watch this blog…