Cédric Fauq, Laura Harford, Elspeth Mitchell, Lara Ratnaraja, Rommi Smith & Alex WiddowsonRepresented: Platforms not compromise

Photo by Fiona Allen.

Represented: Platforms not compromise is a programme of talks, workshops, screenings and discussions highlighting an urgency for equality in representation and critiquing misrepresentation, under-representation and misinterpretation. Events will take place between – 17 October 2019.

In a climate statistically defined by structural inequality the programme will include artists who call upon their own personal experiences of identity, gender, addiction, mental health, age, race, class, sexuality or disability, to highlight truth, equality and authenticity. We will look at how these artists and cultural producers represent the complexities of identities, individuals, communities and perspectives in their work, and question whether or not they need to have had personal experiences akin to those experienced by a group in order to represent that group fairly? This will allow us to consider how we benefit from seeing rich representations of our own experiences projected back at us through art and how such work can develop our understanding of groups that we do not identify with. With this in mind we must also consider how we look beyond simple gestures.

In conversation with artists, illustrators, writers, curators, performers, activists and Lincoln communities, the programme aims to welcome, acknowledge and present a growing plurality of voices. Speaking to and with a contemporary multicultural reality we will critique platforms, mechanisms and tools seeking to change, disrupt and dismantle how institutions and organisations establish and grow minority audiences for projects – affording genuine experiences of work with and without a focus on the representation of artists of colour, womxn, queer, trans, intersex and non- binary artists.

Represented: Platforms not compromise will bring together artists and communities to share cultures and identities that strive for just representation. Contributors include: artistic director Kerry Campbell, curator Cédric Fauq, participation curator Laura Harford, researcher and producer Elspeth Mitchell, cultural consultant Lara Ratnaraja, poet Rommi Smith and illustrator Alex Widdowson.

In Autumn 2020 Mansions of the Future will host Innovation in Engagement, a two-day conference delivered in partnership with the University of Lincoln. This conference will promote cross-organisational learning and share exemplary creative practices which nurture diverse participation, meaningful engagement and afford agency to underrepresented groups.

Burdened by Mansions of the Future’s temporary reality (2018 – 2020), the individual and collective learning afforded by Represented: Platforms not compromise will inform approaches for both Innovation in Engagement and urgent conversations with partners and communities, considering what’s next for the city.

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