Following my afternoon at the Marc Jacobs Daisy Love launch event, I made my way over to the New Wing of Somerset House. For a ‘new wing’, it looks pretty old. Turns out it was built in 1856, so it’s not so new after all. It is, however, a beautiful venue all the same, so it is understandable that it was chosen to be home to PROCESS! Festival, which is what brought me there!
Organised by the wonderfully talented OOMK, residents of Somerset House Studios, PROCESS! Festival saw over eighty emerging and established artists and activists come together for a two day celebration and discussion of the process of creative and collaborative artistically focused social movements.
In the context of high speed media & access to infinite information, how do we create time, space & approaches that can enable us to process the social & political climate & create new media and outputs?
The weekend featured a range of zine creators and exhibitors, alongside talks, workshops and demos surrounding the concept of the blend of the digital world, the creative world and social change.
I headed into the Work in Process panel discussion, which I knew I’d love to attend from the online description alone!
How are alternative arts and education spaces enabling people to learn, reflect and develop a creative practice? Panellists discuss the challenges faced by systems under austerity and highlight projects that are helping to encourage independence and forge new routes into the arts. Speakers include Shiri Shalmy (ANTIUNIVERSITY NOW), Artist and Education Advocate Bob and Roberta Smith, Karla Marie Sweet (BBC / Arts Emergency), Louise Shelley (Collaborative Projects Curator of Communal Knowledge Showroom Gallery).
Here are a couple of my favourite quotations from the panel:
‘The words we use for the creative process are key to define it as a political practice.’
‘Turns out running a protest is just a whole lot of admin.’
‘I don’t need permission to learn from other people.’
‘Culture is enriched by diversity.’
One particularly lovely element of the festival was its communal zine table, where everyone and anyone could drop off their own independent publication and paperclip their details to it, should anyone be interested to find out more about their work. It’s such a lovely way to get to know the work of lesser known zine artists and bring to light topics that need to be discussed, as well as highlighting humour that deserves to be appreciated!
Thank you to OOMK and Somerset House for such a lovely festival – I’m so excited to research the work of new artists and activists that I’ve discovered thanks to PROCESS!