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Finding space to critique C Words

As one of five C Words Co-Realizers one of my jobs is to reflect on the events which take place in the gallery. Yet, within the walls of Arnolfini I find it hard to find intellectual space or critical distance from the work. Fortunately, I shan’t be based in Bristol for the whole of our two month run of events. Each...

Challenging Climate Racism

Under the capitalist system, in order that England may live in comparative comfort, a hundred million Indians must live on the verge of starvation – an evil state of affairs, but you acquiesce in it every time you step into a taxi or eat a plate of strawberries and cream. The alternative is to throw...

Imagination Feeds on Disobedience

Together with other PLATFORM collaborators I have been spending time in the gallery, talking with visitors about their responses to the C Words exhibition. Today, one such conversation elicited a comment which has stayed with me all day: “It’s interesting – but its not art is it.” “Why do you say that?” James responded. “Because...

The Journey Home

Today PLATFORM opened a discussion on what happens after 29th November, when the C Words season at Arnolfini comes to an end. Since before PLATFORM arrived in Bristol those of us involved at the hub of the C Words melee have been meeting weekly to discuss the enormous logistics of the project: two months and...

Roaming Around the Lesser Debris of History

Today I sat, I took time watch Ursula Biemann’s film Black Sea Files. The film is showing as a video installation in gallery five at Arnolfini until Sunday 8th November. The film explores the lives of oil affected communities, from Baku in Azerbaijan, through Georgia to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, tracing the route of BP’s...

The Responsibility of the Artist

For many people the C Words season raises questions about the responsibility of artists and creative practitioners in the context of the social and environmental challenges which our society faces. Last week’s Embedded conference sought – in part – to explore this issue. For some – Art sits outside a frame of responsibility – Art might be seen as...

From Coal to Oil – Fossil Fuel Focus

Next week C Words will train a spotlight on Tar Sands, described as ‘The most destructive industrial project on earth’. Join us at Arnolfini this Sunday, 25th October 2009 from 19:00 for a special preview screening on the brand new film H2Oil. I arrived at Arnolfini late on Wednesday morning, at the start of a...

The Bristol bus boycott & other stories

On Sunday afternoon, Virtual Migrants presented a performance and talk: The Centre Cannot Hold, Part 1. The performance examined the social inequalities around the issue of climate change. The following discussion looked at why those most effected are largely not the industrialised economies causing it; the connections between environmental crises and migration; and local Bristol...

C Words Slow Travel weekend, An Epilogue

The C words opening was advertised as a slow travel weekend. Sustrans’ art and the travelling landscape opened their Slow Travel Agency for business, while visitors and collaborating artists were encouraged to arrive by foot, bike, boat, bus and train. I arrived home around 02:30am on Monday morning having taken almost eight hours to travel...