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 9 – 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.

Rommi Smith, image by Lizzie Coombes aka Betty Lawless.

Rommi Smith, image by Lizzie Coombes aka Betty Lawless.

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.


Programmed Events
Booking required

#The Oscar Wilde Temple: Rethinking platforms for artists & communities
with Laura Harford
Wednesday 9 October, 5.30pm - 6.30pm

Laura Harford is Curator (Participation) at Studio Voltaire in London. Laura’s talk will cover concerns including how curator intervention can avoid diluting generous representations presented by commissioned artists, progressive methods for organisations to provide authentic offers to local communities, and how to listen to and act on public concerns relating to the misrepresentation of their communities.

#Approaches to representing neurodiversity: Screening & talk
with Alex Widdowson
Thursday 10 October, 5.30pm - 7pm

Alex Widdowson creates animated documentaries about the diverse mechanisms that cause people to think in a particular way. He’s covered topics such as cognitive disabilities, addiction and mental illness. The event will include screenings of a number of Alex’s films, demonstrating his approach to representing neurodiversity. He will discuss the ethical concerns of an artist when interpreting the lives of others, many of whom are vulnerable.

#Platforms Not Compromise: Panel discussion
with Cédric Fauq, Dr Elspeth Mitchell, Lara Ratnaraja (chair) & Rommi Smith Saturday
12 October, 1.30pm - 3pm

An open discussion around the development, delivery and maintenance of new and existing platforms for artists, performers and cultural producers that successfully present work that is concerned with ideas of representation, including misrepresentation, under- representation and misinterpretation.

#Representation, Reflection, Resistance
with Rommi Smith
Saturday 12 October, 3.30pm - 5pm

Drawing on James Baldwin’s adage of bearing witness via Mary Oliver’s instructional poetics of noticing we work together to examine themes and ideas which emerged in the panel discussion (taking place beforehand), and in questions from the floor. Via a series of discussion and writing-based prompts, together, we’ll explore concepts of sensation, presence and reaction, moving into ideas of manifesto and change.

#Class Inequality & Curating: Talk & discussion
with Kerry Campbell
Wednesday 16 October, 5.30pm - 7pm

For her talk Kerry Campbell will share previous projects in Luton and Sheffield as well as discuss her intentions for Mansions of the Future's legacy year. With an emphasis on the impact of social class, she'll consider both statistical and more nuanced structural inequality and consider the capacity of curatorial practice to intervene - necessarily affording dignity and representation to diverse voices.

#Communal Lunch: Equality, Disability & Diversity
with Jo Tolley
Thursday 17 October, 12 noon - 2pm

Join Jo Tolley, a public speaker, writer and activist for this month’s Communal Lunch; together we will discuss our awareness and understanding of equality, disability & diversity in contemporary society. Part of our Volunteer Masterclass Programme, therefore MotF volunteers will be given priority.