[NetBehaviour] #PostRefArt

ruth catlow ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org
Sun Jul 3 11:13:21 CEST 2016

Thanks Steven and Anita, for initiating this conversation.

I, like many people I have spoken to over the last week (including our 
many European friends and colleagues in the UK and on the continent) 
have found this last week very distressing.

The referendum promoted a narrative, supported in ALL mainstream media, 
(not just in the UK it seems, but across Europe)... that characterizes 
the British people, and especially the English, as 
wannabe-again-Imperialists, and (depending on their class) either dumb, 
uneducated and racist; or hubristic Neoliberal muppets.

This narrative is now amplified (and seemingly proved) by an upsurge of 
street-level racism and hostility towards our neighbours from Germany, 
Poland, Greece, Romania etc who have enriched our lives by making theirs 
in the UK.

Before the referendum, I found myself uneasy about actually campaigning 
for Remain in spite of my desire for pan-European peoples' alliance- 
because I couldn't ally myself with the dominating political arguments 
proposed by the Tories (and backed up by big-business and the 
establishment), and didn't want to participate in a process that further 
stamped on the dignity of people in the UK who are already so 
disenfranchised by the effects of austerity cuts (and many years of 
other systemic injustices). The social-liberal 
layer in the UK is now finding its voice, but the reporting of the 
protests reinforces the Leave-voter caricatures.

So I am looking for better information. Here's some 

A UCL study has shown that the poorest 20% of British workers have 
indeed been affected adversely by immigration... [nevertheless]....Asked 
which of the following they considered to be forces for good, a 
considerable proportion of leave voters expressed support for 
multi-culturalism (29%), social liberalism (32%), globalisation (49%), 
the green movement (38%), feminism (40%) and even immigration (21%). 
About half of the voters, whether leave or remain, felt capitalism was a 
force for ill rather than a force for good (51%:49%).

Whatever we do, I think we need to build solidarity with other people 
who are suffering the effects (and they are many) of the bank crisis and 
resulting austerity politics.



On 02/07/16 19:19, Steven Ball wrote:
> I’m posting this to following a brief conversation with Anita McKeown, Ruth, and Marc.
> The ramifications for life in the UK after the EU referendum are still very unclear. Parliamentary politics is in meltdown and the direction of travel for future government seems to be further right, the economy is looking precarious, meanwhile a toxic wave of overt public racist violence is spreading across the country. It is tempting to think that we are entering a disturbingly illiberal dystopia. Artists cannot sit by or remain in a bubble while this happens, the necessity of responding to this situation is urgent, but what can we do, what are we doing?
> The purpose of this discussion is twofold:
> - Firstly and most simply to make connections, to share information about what we are doing in response as part of our practice, to share news and information of any exhibitions or opportunities to produce public responses to the current situation.
> - Secondly to speculate how we might produce and present work that responds to the current situation, what is the nature of that work, who does it address, and where will it be exhibited.
> We invite and welcome your action, thoughts, and ideas.
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