Talks, debates, discussions and public conversations
Tate Exchange Liverpool
2.00 – 4.00 pm, Tuesday 23 January 2018
At the start of the 21st century, in one of the world’s richest economies, why should the problem of homelessness seem so intractable? Should we blame government welfare changes, including the introduction of Universal Credit and cuts to housing benefit? Does the problem lie with the shortage of affordable housing? Or is there a problem with a growing culture of illegal street behaviour? Should we be arguing for better support services, changes in societal attitudes, or simply more affordable homes? Join the Liverpool Salon and Museum of Homelessness to debate the crisis of homelessness today, in Liverpool and across the UK. This event is a partnership between the Liverpool Salon and Museum of Homelessness and part of State of the Nation conversation on Homelessness at Tate Exchange Liverpool. Museum of Homelessness will be presenting Frequently Asked Questions an artwork by Anthony Luvera exploring the support and services available to homeless people around the UK.
Julie Fadden is Chief Executive of South Liverpool Homes. She joined the organisation in 2005, bringing more than 25 years of local authority and housing management experience to her role. For the past 12 years she has proved that if you have the right people and the right focus, you can achieve fantastic results. This approach has turned a loss-making organisation into a profitable one, a blame culture into the best not-for-profit company to work for (for four years running) and a poor performing housing service into one of the best in the country. From May 2016 to September 2017, Julie served as President of the Chartered Institute of Housing where she campaigned for organisations to work together to end homelessness for good. During this time she raised over £60K for homelessness charity, Crisis UK.
Dave Clements is a writer, adviser to local government, and first convened the Social Policy Forum at the Institute of Ideas in 2008. He has over 15 years experience in policy and strategy development, in children’s, adults’ and integrated services, working across the public and charity sectors. Dave is contributing co-editor of The Future of Community (Pluto, 2008), author of Social Care for Free Citizens (Manifesto Club, 2010) and a contributor to The Future of the Welfare State (Axess, 2017). He also writes widely on contemporary policy culture for publications including the Guardian and Huffington Post; and online journal spiked. An archive of his writing can be found here.
Follow Dave on Twitter @daveclementsltd
Anthony Luvera is an Australian artist, writer and educator based in London. His work has been exhibited widely in galleries, public spaces and festivals, including the British Museum, London Underground’s Art on the Underground, National Portrait Gallery London, Belfast Exposed Photography, Australian Centre for Photography, PhotoIreland, Malmö Fotobiennal, Goa International Photography Festival, and Les Rencontres D’Arles Photographie. His writing appears regularly in a wide range of publications including Photoworks, Source and Photographies. Anthony is Principal Lecturer and Course Director of MA Photography and Collaboration at Coventry University. He also designs education and mentorship programmes, facilitates workshops, and gives lectures for the public education departments of the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, The Photographers’ Gallery, Photofusion, Barbican Art Gallery, and community photography projects across the UK. www.luvera.com
Pauline Hadaway has worked in arts and education in the UK and Ireland since 1990 and is co-founder of The Liverpool Salon, a new forum for public debate on Merseyside. She is undertaking a professional doctorate at the University of Manchester’s Institute of Cultural Practices, researching different uses of cultural heritage as a tool for peace-building in Northern Ireland and Britain. She has been published widely including: Policing the Public Gaze (2009), published by The Manifesto Club; Re-imagining Titanic, re-imaging Belfast, in Relaunching Titanic: Memory and Marketing in the ‘Post Conflict City (2013) and Escaping the Panopticon, Photography Reframed (2017).
According to statistics published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, homelessness has been rising in the UK since 2010. Over and above the official data, homelessness charities point to the scandal of hidden homelessness affecting ‘potentially millions of sofa surfers’ and families bringing up children in unsuitable temporary accomodation. Meanwhile rough sleeping has risen dramatically with numbers of people with an identified mental health support need increasing three-fold since 2009-10 as a recent study by housing charity Shelter, found that 307,000, or one in every 200, people are now either sleeping rough or in temporary accommodation.
Liverpool has seen an increase of almost 20% in people asking for help and advice over homelessness issues since 2010, with more than 6,000 queries last year. The number of people sleeping rough on the streets of Liverpool is also visibly on the rise. However, in spite of the best efforts of many individuals working in services designed to support homeless people, a recent study found a high degree of consensus among people with lived experience of homelessness that the current system on Merseyside is not working effectively for people with complex needs. Recently elected Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has called for new approaches to help rough sleepers, through the Housing First model, which advocates getting people into a house or flat as quickly as possible and then providing them with visiting support services. However a 2017 report commissioned by Liverpool City Council points to deep structural and political problems that challenge easy solutions, while drawing a distinction between rough sleeping, homelessness, begging and ‘problems linked to ‘wider crime and criminal offences’.
Photograph from Assembly (2012 – 2014) by Anthony Luvera
Thursday 17 November 2016 from midday
School of Arts Languages and Cultures Graduate School Atrium, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester Manchester School of Art, Ormond Building Council Chamber, All Saints Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University
‘The Subject of Study – Collaboration in Research and Artistic Practice’ is aimed at exploring research collaborations in academic and artistic practice. The conference opens with an afternoon of researcher lead discussion, exploring different forms of collaborative practice and relationships between the agency of individuals engaged in collaborative research and the institutional or disciplinary context in which they operate. This is followed by an early evening Reception and Keynote by artist, writer and educator, Anthony Luvera whose work explores tensions between authorship (or artistic control) and participation, and the ethics involved in representing other people’s lives.
The Subject of Study is hosted by Common Ground, an interdisciplinary research network aimed at fostering dialogue between researchers and communities who are the subject of research, with a particular focus on the northern and border counties of Ireland. Common Ground seeks to extend dialogue across disciplines and beyond regional boundaries and has designed this conference to be of interest to researchers working in similarly contested territories or contexts. This free event is open to emerging and established academics, independent scholars and interested members of the public and may be of particular interest to Post Graduate Researchers in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Irish Studies, Drama and Performing Arts and Screen Studies. Please note that Common Ground is planning a conference in Belfast for 2017 and will be talking about our plans and inviting interest during the course of this event.
Image: Documentation of making of Assisted Self-Portrait of Ben Evans from Assembly (2013-2014) by Anthony Luvera
12:00-13:00 Registrations and Networking Lunch (to be held at the School of Arts Languages and Cultures Graduate School Atrium, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester)
13:00-15:30 Facilitated Small Discussion Groups (to be held at the School of Arts Languages and Cultures Graduate School Conference Room C1.18, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester)
Delegates draw on their own research practice to explore ethics, methodology and questions of public interest arising from relationships between research, researchers and subjects of study, asking:
– What is my relationship to the subject of my study? (ethics: power dynamics, private/public, duty of care)
– What is my process of inquiry to my subject of study? What is my position to my subject of study? (methodology: crtical distance)
– What is the public interest in my subject of study? (public interest: form of presentation, purpose of study, contribution to field of knowledge)
Ann Carragher (Fine Art Lecturer, School of Creative Arts, Blackpool and The Fylde College)
Elizabeth de Young (Editor Liverpool Postgraduate Journal of Irish Studies. Doctoral Researcher, University of Liverpool)
Jamie Holman (Artist, writer, lecturer)
Sandra Plummer (Research Associate, UCL Slade School of Fine Art)
Fearghus Roulston (Doctoral Researcher, University of Brighton)
Anthony Luvera (Artist. Principal Lecturer and Course Director of Photography, Coventry University)
15:30-16:00 Open planning meeting for Common Ground 2017 Conference in Belfast (to be held at the School of Arts Languages and Cultures Graduate School Conference Room C1.18, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester). Find out about our plans and how to bring your ideas and interests into the planning process
17:00-17:30 Reception and Keynote Registration (to be held in the Ormond Building Council Chamber, All Saints Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University, Lower Ormond Street. Manchester, M15 6BX)
17:30–19:00 Keynote, Anthony Luvera, Artist (to be held in the Ormond Building Council Chamber, All Saints Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University, Lower Ormond Street. Manchester, M15 6BX)
Through his work and the relationships upon which it is based, Anthony Luvera is interested in exploring the tension between authorship (or artistic control) and participation, and the ethics involved in representing other people’s lives. Anthony will present a recent body of work, Assembly, created in Brighton between 2013 and 2014, where people used cameras and digital sound recorders to capture their experience of homelessness. Later, in conversation with PGR, creative producer and former director of Belfast Exposed, Pauline Hadaway, Anthony will talk about his work creating long-term photographic projects with people experiencing homelessness in cities and towns across the UK, including the on going Assisted Self Portraits project and Residency, exhibited in 2008 by Belfast Exposed, which featured a series of assisted self-portraits made over a sixteen-month period in the city.
Chair: Fionna Barber (Lecturer, Art History, Manchester School of Art – Manchester Metropolitan University)
7 pm – Conference ends
Anthony Luvera is an artist and writer. His work has been exhibited in galleries, public spaces and festivals including London Underground’s Art on the Underground, the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery London, Belfast Exposed Photography, Australian Centre for Photography, Malmö Fotobiennal, PhotoIreland, Goa International Photography Festival, and Les Rencontres d’Arles Photographie.
His writing appears in a wide range of publications, including Photoworks, Source and Photographies. Anthony is Principal Lecturer and Course Director of Photography at Coventry University. He gives workshops and talks for the Royal Academy of Arts, National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery, the Barbican Art Gallery, and community photography projects across the UK.
This event has been made possible through the generous support of the University of Manchester’s artsmethods and the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership.
Join the Liverpool Salon on Saturday 5 November at 2.30 pm to debate the future of the UK economy.
While Project Fear was accused of exaggerating the long-term economic impacts of breaking with the EU, early indications – from the fall in sterling to fears of losing access to foreign skills and investment – suggest that the short to medium term impacts will be painful. Yet, with economic output already weak, borrowing high and productivity and wages on the slide, the UK economy has been in trouble for decades. After years spent ‘kicking the can down the road’, has Brexit finally forced the future of the economy back onto the political agenda? And if so what does that future hold?
Here in the North much has been made of plans to devolve power to local authorities and appoint metro mayors for big city areas such as Greater Manchester and Merseyside to build a future ‘northern powerhouse’. Yet, many remain sceptical about the potential, let alone the will, to initiate ambitious projects that could turn the economy around. Behind the rhetoric of building a new industrial revolution, the powerhouse economy has delivered very little beyond the beginnings of a property boom, limited cultural regeneration, and a boost to Manchester’s financial services and ‘creative industries’ sectors. Meanwhile, many new industries and ambitious infrastructure projects with the potential to revolutionise the UK economy – from fracking, nuclear power and biotech to new runways and high-speed trains – continue to face considerable resistance.
Is the powerhouse running out of steam? Or can the North come up with a ‘modern, active industrial policy’ that is capable of providing the jobs, houses and public services that people need? If Brexit provided the political wake up call, what should future economic plans look like and who will drive them?
Hilary Salt is a Founder of First Actuarial LLP and provides actuarial and consultancy advice to pension scheme trustees and employers and works extensively with trade unions where she assists in collective bargaining situations and advises on the pension schemes run by trade unions themselves. Hilary has recently been re-appointed as the independent adviser to the governance arrangements of the NHS Pension Scheme, a position she previously held for 10 years.
Rob Killick is the founder and director of the digital agency Clerkswell and also the software company EasySharePoint. He is a writer and speaker in his spare time and the author of the economy blog The UK after the recession.
Laird Ryan is an urbanist. town planner and editor of OpenDemocracy’s LocalismWatch site, aimed at making sense of the government’s localism agenda. Laird’s CV includes roles in government, academia and the third sector, including acting as chief advisor to Stoke’s Elected Mayor, leading a ‘Green Papers’ initiative, enabling the wider community to engage with public policy at an earlier stage and higher level. Laird currently designs distance-learning modules for University College of Estate Management, Reading and is Vice-Chair of a Liverpool-based environmental charity.
Pauline Hadaway has worked in arts and education in the UK and Ireland since 1990 and is undertaking a professional doctorate at the University of Manchester’s Institute of Cultural Practices, researching different uses of cultural heritage as a tool for economic regeneration in Northern Ireland and Britain. Pauline is currently a policy correspondent for the public policy research network ‘DevoCulture in the North’.
Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has exposed the astonishing depth of disaffection between different regions and sections of society and between large numbers of British people and their political institutions. Many fear the consequences for democracy of overturning the decision to leave the EU. However, for many who are signing petitions or marching for a second Referendum, fears of a post Brexit Britain seem to prevail. Meanwhile politicians seem paralysed, unable to confront reality, let alone govern. In an atmosphere of anger, fear and recrimination, there is a sense of things falling apart.
But whatever we think about the outcome of the Referendum, most would acknowledge that the problems we face as a society did not suddenly arise on the morning of 24 June. Over the last few years, the Liverpool Salon has been hosting public conversations around the very issues we are grappling with today: questions about citizenship, national borders and migration; about democracy, political agency and the political choices that face us; about the future of the economy. Above all questions about the kind of society we want to live in.
Once again, we are joining forces with Ullet Road Unitarian church to host a public conversation. The theme is post Brexit Britain and the direction it should take. How do we go forward as a society? What values do we defend and take with us. What challenges do we face? We don’t propose to re-fight the Referendum. And we don’t expect to find answers to all our questions. But we want to be part of a new national conversation arising from the grassroots. We are inviting speakers with different points of view to lead off the discussion. We will be announcing them over the next weeks. But hope that people from all shades of opinion will join us and contribute their ideas and opinions to the conversation.
Ullet Road Unitarian Church, Ullet Road, Sefton Park, Liverpool L17 2AA
Friday 12 August from 7 – 9 pm
All are welcome. There is no charge, but feel free to make a donation. And bring some food and drink if you can, to add to the spirit of good will and conviviality that The Liverpool Salon and the Unitarians seek to promote.
John Fitzpatrick worked for many years in community law centres in Brixton and Hammersmith in London and joined the University of Kent in 1991. He is Director of the Kent Law Clinic and teaches human rights law at Kent. The Law Clinic provides free legal representation to those who can’t afford it – in employment, housing, welfare benefits, immigration, asylum, public rights of way and other cases. while teaching students in the process.
Pauline Hadaway has worked in arts and education since 1990 and is co-founder of The Liverpool Salon, a forum for public debate on Merseyside. In her doctoral research at the University of Manchester, Pauline is exploring different uses of arts, heritage and culture as tools for peace building in Northern Ireland. Pauline has been published widely including: ‘Policing the Public Gaze’ (2009), a report for campaign group, The Manifesto Club and ‘Re-imagining Titanic, re-imaging Belfast’ in ‘Relaunching Titanic: Memory and Marketing in the ‘Post Conflict City’ (2013). ‘Escaping the Panopticon’ will be published in an essay collection by I.B. Taurus in 2017.
‘Days of Hope? Exploring the Co-operators Yearbooks (1917-22)’ at the Co-operative Education Conference 2016.
My paper presents findings from early explorations of the Co-operator’s Yearbooks following six months’ research in the National Co-operative Archive, Holyoake House, Manchester. The research began with an interest in the Cooperative movement’s role in rebuilding society and the economy following the First World War.
The conference will be held in the Geoffrey Manton building, on the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Manchester Campus, just off Oxford Road opposite Manchester Aquatics Centre.
Common Ground is a one day conference organised by myself and Sarah Feinstein at the University of Manchester on 10 May 2016. The event is aimed at building dialogue and exploring relationships between academic researchers and communities who are the subject of research in Ireland, mainly focusing on experiences in the North and Border counties. This free event is open to emerging and established academics. Independent scholars and interested members of the public are also welcome. The conference will be of particular interest to Post Graduate Researchers in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Irish Studies, Drama and Performing Arts and Screen Studies.
9.30 – 10.00 am – Tea, coffee and registration.
10.00 – 11.30 am – Discussion: Northern Ireland, over researched and misunderstood?
The late John Whyte famously observed that ‘relative to its size Northern Ireland is possibly the most heavily- researched area on earth’ with hundreds of books and thousands of articles published since the current ‘troubles’ began there in 1968. Since his seminal ‘Interpreting Northern Ireland’ was published 25 years ago, many thousands more research studies have been undertaken, books and articles written, mostly approaching Northern Ireland as a case study for understanding the causes and remedies of violent conflict. Is there a danger that an over emphasis on understanding the region through studies of community, conflict and ‘cultural difference’ could lead to ‘stereotyping’, as the general and largely unexceptional experience of living and working in Northern Ireland tends to slip out of view? And what about the ‘researched community’? Could Northern Ireland be suffering research fatigue? And in what ways are the subjects of research able to engage with and respond to research findings? How do cultural managers and cultural practitioners manage the demands of researchers? And how does this sit within the policy framework of the cultural sector and cultural institutions?
Four speakers open the discussion with ten-minute presentations, provocations and perspectives on the theme. Followed by an open discussion among audience and speakers, chaired by Pauline Hadaway (PGR, University of Manchester, writer and researcher and convener of The Liverpool Salon).
Fiona Barber (Reader in Art History, Manchester School of Art)
Dr. Chris Gilligan (Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of West Scotland)
Professor Roger McGinty (Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Manchester)
Dr. Laurence McKeown (Playwright, socially engaged artist and filmmaker).
Sheelagh Colclough (Belfast based collaborative arts practitioner)
11.45 am – 12.15 pm – The Liverpool Postgraduate Journal of Irish Studies
Liverpool Postgraduate Journal of Irish Studies presented by Co-founder, Seán Hewitt, PhD Candidate at University of Liverpool, Institute for Irish Studies.
12.30 pm – 1.30 pm – Lunch
1.45 pm – 4.00 pm – Film Screening followed by conversation and Q&A with the filmmaker
You Were Never Big on Luxuries: Art, Life and Conflict – Manchester premier of a documentary film that looks at how EU Peace funded projects have used the arts to deal with the legacy of conflict in the north of Ireland. The film has a specific focus on the Aftermath project, which used photography, music, and film to interact with participants in the project – victims/survivors of the conflict and those displaced by conflict. The film features interviews with artists, political activists, academics, and those tasked with providing funding for the arts
The screening is followed by a conversation between the film’s Director, Laurence McKeown, and Dr. Alison Jeffers Lecturer in Applied Theatre and Contemporary Performance, University of Manchester.
4.00 pm – Conference ends
This all day conference is free and open to all. However, we may be able to make a contribution towards some travel expenses for Post Graduate Students travelling from outside Greater Manchester. For more information, please contact Sarah and Pauline on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Feinstein and Pauline Hadaway are undertaking doctoral research at the University of Manchester, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. Pauline’s research interest is Culture and Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland. Contact Sarah and Pauline on email@example.com
The Conference ends at 4:00 pm.
This event has been made possible through the generous support of artsmethods and the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership.
Dr Laurence McKeown is a writer, playwright, and filmmaker though sees those roles within the broader context of political activism, academia, and the role that the arts can play in both. His involvement in creative works, political education, and academia began during his period of incarceration as a political prisoner (1976-1992). Following his release from prison Laurence completed a doctoral thesis at Queen’s University, Belfast which examined the development of Irish republican prisoners’ politics and methods of organisation. His thesis was published in 2001 entitled Out of Time. In the 1990s Laurence co-wrote a feature film, H3, based on the 1981 hunger strike within the prison which he participated in (for 70 days) and during which 10 prisoners died. Laurence then began to work as a playwright, using full-length plays and bespoke theatre to explore issues concerning the legacy of the conflict in the North of Ireland. He was Coordinator of the Aftermath project, funded by the EU PEACE III programme, based in Co Louth & Newry/South Armagh 2012-2014 (www.aftermath-ireland.com). In the project Laurence used the arts (film, photography, and music) to engage with victims/survivors of the conflict and also persons displaced by the conflict in Ireland and internationally. Laurence’s most recent documentary film, ‘You were never big on luxuries: Art, Life and Conflict, was premeired at the end of April 2015 as part of the Belfast Film Festival. Laurence founded the festival in 1995 when it began as the West Belfast Film Festival before expanding to become city-wide in 2001. Laurence was Chairperson of the festival from its inception in 1995 until 2005. He remains on the board of management. Laurence is also a member of the Board of Northern Ireland Screen, the main funding body for filmmaking in Northern Ireland.
Fionna Barber is Reader in Art History, Manchester School of Art. Originally from Portadown in Northern Ireland, Fionna has taught Art History at the Manchester School of Art for over twenty years. Before that she taught at the University of Ulster and for the Open University in Northern Ireland. She has published extensively on Irish art and is the author of Art in Ireland since 1910 (Reaktion 2013). As an OU tutor Fionna also taught several students in Long Kesh / The Maze Prison and her recollections of this time are included in the Prisons Memory Archive films We Were There: Women of Long Kesh and the Maze Prisons (Aguiar 2014) and in the latest version of Inside Stories: Memories from the Maze and Long Kesh Prison (McLaughlin 2005/2016). Her current research interests include memory and trauma in post-conflict art in Northern Ireland, and she is additionally researching a monograph on Irish women artists during revolution and reconstruction (1916-c.1930). She has also recently co-curated (with Laura McAtackney and Katherine O’Donnell) the exhibition Con and Eva: We Meet beyond the Earth’s Barred Gate, opening at the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast on 18 May and which will also be shown in Manchester later in 2016.
Chris Gilligan is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of the West of Scotland. His main field of research is in the broad area of nationalism, racism, sectarianism and migration. His publications include: Peace or War? Understanding the Peace Process in Northern Ireland; Northern Ireland Ten Years after the Agreement; Migration and Divided Societies, and The Public and the Politics of Immigration Controls.
Roger Mac Ginty is Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, and the Department of Politics, University of Manchester, where he teaches on the Peace and Conflict Studies MA programme. He edits the journal Peacebuilding (with Oliver Richmond) and is currently working on everyday indicators of peace and insecurity in four Sub Saharan countries, and on a project on the data collection by UN peacekeepers. He has published widely on international Peacebuilding, including most recently International Peacebuilding and Local Resistance (Palgrave), Everyday peace: Bottom-up and local agency in conflict-affected societies.
Sheelagh Colclough is a Belfast based multi disciplinary artist who has 15 years of experience in collaborative arts practice: arts education and engagement, production, programming and research. Her work includes: commissioned installations, facilitation, research, consultation and presentations for organisations and festivals in Ireland and Europe. She has been part of the outreach and education team for the Turner Prize 2013, Derry-Londonderry UK City of Culture and for the UK Paralympic Flame Festival 2012. In recent years she has exhibited with Golden Thread and PS² galleries in Belfast and has programmed and participated in a series of collaborative practice events for Ulster University. She completed a collaborative artists residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre with The Performance Corporation, Dublin in 2015 and will be in residence with IZOLYATSIA, Ukraine in July 2016. Sheelagh is currently a board member of Blue Drum, a Dublin based community arts and cultural rights organisation. Much of her work examines the hierarchies of state sanctioned social interventions present in many community and collaborative art projects from which The Sheelagh Foundation was born; a tongue in cheek, conceptual institution adept at conducting bipartisan research and performative consultation at surprisingly reasonable rates. Sheelagh has received Arts Council of Northern Ireland awards for her work.
Seán Hewitt is a PhD candidate as the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool. Sean read English at Girton College, Cambridge, before moving to the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, where he gained an MA in 2014 and where he is currently studying for a PhD on the works of J.M. Synge. His research is funded by the AHRC. He is the founder and general editor of Liverpool Postgraduate Journal of Irish Studies.
Alison Jeffers’ research interests in theatre focus on some of the ways in which theatre and the arts are used in a wide range of settings – from theatre work with refugees and asylum seekers to community plays in major cities in Britain and Ireland. The threads that link these practices include considering the role of story and storytelling in a wide variety of performance settings, the role of participation and creativity in community-building, and questions of authority and authorship in community-based creative practices. Alison has recently published work on community plays and community consultation processes in Belfast and is working on an edited book about the community arts movement of the 1970s and 1980s.
Ullet Road Unitarian Church, 57 Ullet Rd, Liverpool L17 2AA York Street entrance.
Friday 6 November at 7.30 pm
The Liverpool Salon and Ullet Road Unitarians invite you to join them to debate the nature of radical politics today in the historical light of ideas of ‘spiritual freedom’, freethinking and tolerance for dissent. We ask, who are today’s political radicals, how do they connect to the history of radicalism and what are the challenges for reigniting radicalism in the contemporary world?
When Parliament abolished the Court of Star Chamber in 1640, it established the principle of defending individual liberties and freedom of conscience against the arbitrary power of governments to silence political opposition and religious dissent. In the words of John Milton, freedom of conscience meant that ‘no man ought to be punished or molested by any outward force on earth whatsoever because of a belief or practice in religion according to conscientious belief’. Religious dissent and radical politics often went hand in hand; as people like eighteenth-century Unitarian radical John Cartwright argued, it was not enough to hope and pray for a ‘better world’ to come, but that ‘we should mend the world we are in’. The concept of ‘spiritual freedom’ became key to Enlightenment understandings of tolerance and freethinking, which advocated robust engagement with others over matters of principle, opening the door to radical political movements that advanced the cause of universal suffrage, equality and individual and collective freedoms.
From ‘counter extremism’ legislation, to fears of ‘radicalisation’, censorship and speech codes that restrict what we can say, Britain appears to be straying a long way from Enlightenment principles of tolerance and freethinking. What are the links between radical politics, political freedoms and tolerance for dissent? Are these historical concepts still relevant today? Or are some forms of radicalism simply beyond the limits of tolerance? If there are limits ontolerance, where do we draw the line and what are the implications for reigniting radicalism today?
Reigniting Radicalism is a Battle of Ideas 2015 satellite event. The Battle of Ideas is a weekend of high level, thought provoking public debate taking place on 17 & 18 October at the Barbican, London. For more info and tickets visit Battle of Ideas 2015
Guided Tour of historic Ullet Road Church: 7pm
Pauline Hadaway has worked in arts and education since 1990 and is co-founder of The Liverpool Salon, a new forum for public debate on Merseyside. In her doctoral research at the University of Manchester, Pauline is currently exploring different uses of arts, heritage and culture as tools for peace building in Northern Ireland. Pauline has been published widely including: ‘Policing the Public Gaze’ (2009), a report for campaign group, The Manifesto Club; ‘Escaping the Panopticon’ (2012) and ‘Re-imagining Titanic, re-imaging Belfast’ a chapter in ‘Relaunching Titanic: Memory and Marketing in the ‘Post Conflict City’ (2013)
John Fitzpatrick worked for many years in community law centres in Brixton and Hammersmith in London and joined the University of Kent in 1991. He is Director of the Kent Law Clinic and teaches human rights law at Kent. The Law Clinic provides free legal representation to those who can’t afford it – in employment, housing, welfare benefits,immigration, asylum, public rights of way and other cases, while teaching students in the process.
Rev. Philip Waldron is a Unitarian District Minister for Merseyside. His principle churches are Ullet Road Church, Wirral and Southport Unitarians. This is Philip’s first Ministry. Philip graduated from Luther King House (Ecumenical College) in 2015, studying Contextual Theology. Philip also attended Bishop Grosseteste College in Lincoln, gaining a BA in Community Theatre. Philip has been published contributing to ‘Liverpool Unitarians: Faith & Action’ (2014). Philip ran a community theatre company in Liverpool from 2005 – 2010, producing original plays which explored themes of social class, The Duel (2006), The Vindictive Duchess (2007).
Pete North is Reader in Alternative Economies at the University of Liverpool. He gained his BA in History and Politics in 1984. After a few years working for the Departments of Employment, Trade and Industry, and Environment, he gained his MA in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford (1993) and his PhD from the School for Advanced Urban Studies at the University of Bristol (1997). He was a post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Sheffield (1996-7). Between 1997 and 2002 he was Senior Research Fellow at the Local Economy Policy Unit at South Bank University. He joined the University of Liverpool in 2002.Read the full article...