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Invoke Democracy Now presents

Democracy and the Arts in Europe: Artists in a global world

Tuesday 28 March
From £5.00
to £7.00
All orders will be subject to a fee of £1.50 except if your tickets are free or if you are a member

In a nutshell

Part of a series of panel discussions to explore the implications for the arts of leaving the EU. 

Go on...

How should we, as artists and creatives, respond to a new relationship to Europe and the world after Brexit? 

While a Creative Industries Federation survey suggested that 96% of creatives favoured remaining in the EU and journalists continue to ask whether Brexit spells disaster for the UK’s ‘cultural eminence’ and London's cosmopolitan art scene, others are more open to exploring the future and starting to offer a more positive take.  Not least, Grayson Perry sees ‘fantastic’ opportunities to challenge the ‘same old comfortable ideas’ and in doing so ‘reach new audiences’. 

Can Brexit – the largest democratic mandate in UK history – become a springboard to transformation of the arts and cultural sectors? Can the act of shaking off EU regulations help create a new critical climate of opinion? If so, what should be our ambitions in reshaping discourse and practice? 

As Article 50 is triggered and we commence shaping post-Brexit Britain, a series of three public debates explores the fundamental issues most directly affecting the future of the arts in the UK and Europe, and whether Brexit can be used to our advantage. 

The first in the series looks at whether borders matter. Should artists have unrestricted freedom of movement? Are artists a special case or should all of us, regardless of profession, be entitled to live and work in the country of our choice? Could Theresa May’s new ‘global Britain’ offer greater opportunities for the arts than an EU-bound Britain? What is the relationship between the local and global? What about cosmopolitanism? How might the creative and cultural sectors engage regional and national identities and traditions? 

What to Expect

Each event creates a wide-ranging discussion/debate, introduced by a panel of invited speakers from a variety of organisations, with plenty of time for questions, commentary and debate from the audience.


Munira Mirza is an adviser on arts and philanthropy and has written extensively about cultural and social policy in the UK. She was deputy mayor for Education and Culture at the Greater London Authority. She has worked for cultural and charitable organisations including the Royal Society of Arts, Policy Exchange and Tate. Munira is a Royal Opera House board member and a founding supporter of Change Britain.

Eca Eps (aka Sarah Peace) is a Nigerian born writer and artist whose work centres on human rights and conflict, freedom of thought, conscience and expression. Her practice extends across film, photography, intervention, installation and performance. She has exhibited in London, in her second home, Lagos, and internationally. Her work was profiled in Phaidon’s 2015 publication, Creative Dissent in the 21st Century. 

Jo Glanville is the director of English PEN, a charity that defends freedom of expression and promotes literature. She was an award-winning editor of Index on Censorship and is a former BBC current affairs producer. She has written for a number of publications including the Guardian and the London Review of Books.

Mark Ball is the outgoing Artistic Director/CEO of London International Festival of Theatre (2009 – 2017). He will become the Associate Artistic Director at Manchester International Festival, focusing on the creation and delivery of the artistic programme for Factory, Manchester’s flagship new space for large-scale performance and art works.

Manick Govinda is Head of Artists’ Advisory Services and a Producer at Artsadmin, vice-chair of a-n the artists information company and convener of the Manifesto Club’s Visiting Artists Campaign. He writes extensively on freedom of movement and free expression matters in the arts. He speaks in a personal capacity.

Alastair Donald (Chair) is associate director of the Institute of Ideas. He’s co-founder of think tank New Narratives - a group of designers and artists exploring how to respond to a Post-Brexit world, convenor of the Future Cities Salon, and co-editor of The Lure of the City: from slums to suburbs (2011).

There will also be a screening of a short video work by artist Shiraz Bayjoo, selected by Manick Govinda, Un Appel (French meaning 'a plea') was commissioned by Open Source. Departing from General de Gaulle's 1940 call to arms broadcast to France's colonies, the work explores questions of freedom and independence in colonial settings. Shiraz Bayjoo is a London-based artist working in lens-based media and painting. He is interested in narratives that permeate the veneer of globalisation.

Who's Involved

Invoke Democracy Now

A non-partisan campaign group set up to promote and defend democratic rights and freedoms.  They believe that the referendum on our membership of the European Union was a unique and significant opportunity to engage in democracy and that the result must thus be upheld.

In association with...

Institute of Ideas Arts and Society Forum aims to encourage open discussion of issues and controversies relating to the state of the arts today, aligned with the Institute of Ideas' mission to expand the boundaries of public debate.

New Narratives is a group of architects, designers, planners, artists, creatives who view our post-Brexit world as a once in a lifetime opportunity to rethink every aspect of what we do; as a springboard to action and as a transformation of our existing tired creative and cultural sectors.

Find out more

Web: http://invokedemocracy.org / 

Facebook: /invokeDEMOCRACY/ 

Things you should know

This event is suitable for ages 16+

This event is wheelchair accessible.