Art, enterprise, activism

Haywood, P and Ingleson, SJ 2010, Art, enterprise, activism , in: 5th International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference 2010, 1st to 3rd September, 2010, Cardiff University. (Unpublished)

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“We publicly declare that education divorced from life and politics is lies and hypocrisy” (V. I. Lenin, 1918). Enterprise Education can be a medium of artistic creation within which shared identities are recognisable because of common experiences. In our practice we are constructing a means of expanding on artistic considerations connected to form and aesthetics in social landscape representation to inform collective action; echoing notions of social constructivist education but also requiring all active participants to recognise a shared concept or value. The challenge is how to harness or even step outside the mechanisms which interpellate and regulate a community’s representations, recognisable identities and values, in order to achieve alternative emancipatory forms of social enterprise, educational process and political action. “Guns to Goods” (“Gunpowder Production”), is an evolving social enterprise theme that mitigates gun crime. Through engaging young people in a new social enterprise, we are actively reducing gun metal, grinding or smelting, into a raw material for fabricating new products and materials for commercial use; the basic idea is to create concepts for ideology focused commodities to be manufactured from the gun metal of confiscated weapons; thereby giving a voice and a role to young people within a wider, community driven, gun crime reduction and social cohesion programme. This example is specific to the focused needs of collaborative partners that already operate as social enterprises in the Inner South Manchester urban area and evidences how existing networks and partnerships can make use of creativity and design in their own processes to build larger and more invasive social campaign messages. In this instance the process is leading to the distributive retail of ethically branded goods and the securing of supply chains from manufacturing and procurement, whilst maintaining core input from under-represented voices in the community. The problem of street weapon proliferation is one that majorly impacts on young people as both consumer and victim; there is clear evidence that young people offer a vulnerable and pliable customer base for those prepared to make business from the sale of ballistic hand-held devices and bladed weapons. CARISMA and other charities based in inner urban Manchester are working to counter street violence and insecurity and build social cohesion. What our research has come to rely on is a process of self-branding. This is not intended to reflect, in any meaningful way, on tried and tested marketing techniques; it is better characterised as a set of speculative, non-scientific processes that explore emotional and intellectual territories representing common purpose in the context of campaign activism (enterprise). Effectively, the groups and individuals that collaborate on this and similar, earlier, creative interventions are converting the concept of a social problem / issue into a story or contemporary folklore that has marketing value when designed as image, motif or ethical brand. To associate with socio-geographically focused ethical and significant campaigns potentially offers a third party business or sponsor an added value; this is the contract that offers the greatest potential for economic exploitation leading to sustained social enterprise in the communities partnering the University in this research. The procedures followed in this practice based research echo contemporary notions of storytelling in marketing and brand creation; “when these brands speak, consumers listen intently. When these brands act, consumers follow....” (L. Vincent, 2002) It has become very noticeable how much people want to believe their actions, or non-actions, as passive audience or consumer can be responsible for the social benefits delivered by others and this offers the greatest opportunity for propagating both message and belief in relation to social campaign enterprise.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Themes: Subjects / Themes > L Education
Subjects / Themes > N Fine Arts
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: 5th International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference 2010
Refereed: No
Depositing User: PJ Haywood
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2011 16:51
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 22:34

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