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WI(L)DER COLLABORATIONS : reflections on community engaged arts practices

©Beth Carruthers 2005

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The London based group Platform’s projects vary in scope and size from local neighbourhood actions to their current 10 year long international project tracking the corporate politics of oil and climate change, “90% CRUDE”. Platform has been described as many things – an arts group, a forum for political dialogue, an environmental campaign – but, in essence, it is an idea, a vision of using creativity to transform the society we live in; a belief in every individual's innate power to contribute to this process. Source: Platform’s webspace:
Platform has been working in this area for 21 years.

Another highly successful UK based group is Welfare State International. They work with celebration and ritual, and at 40 years of age, have been around even longer than Platform. Their focus is social transformation. They …advocate a role for art that weaves it more fully into the fabric of our lives; that allows us to be collaborators rather than spectators.

Another organisation I wish to mention is Common Ground. Founded over 20 years ago, Common Ground is an arts and environmental organisation working with communities in the UK around concerns of local distinctiveness and relationship with place. Their projects have been written up extensively and have inspired many similar events, such as the community mapping projects that have become popular throughout North America.