How do we unlock the potential of communities to create positive social change together?
This is one of the driving questions behind 3FF’s work. The Urban Dialogues project is one crucial piece of the puzzle as it builds bridges between artists from different faiths and beliefs, enabling them to use their art as a vehicle to promote closer cooperation between communities.
The 2011 Urban Dialogues programme focuses on visual art and will establish a number of interfaith collaborations between artists. It is run in partnership with the Radical Middle Way, Art and Christianity Enquiry and the JCC for London. As well as bringing people together to experience what they have created, the artistic projects will themselves address issues of understanding and shared action between different groups in society. Individual artists interested in promoting change are also welcome to join the programme.
To get the programme started, 30 artists from Muslim, Christian and Jewish backgrounds spent an evening at the Mitre in Angel in mid-April, discussing ideas for collaborations and how artists can work together to improve relations between communities. Some of them had been involved in the project before or participated in last year’s Interfaith Arts Festival, but most were new to Urban Dialogues.
The artists engaged in “speed networking” sessions and later on had time to explore each other’s ideas in more detail over food, with the ultimate aim of creating new collaborative groups. Groups on the programme can apply to have their collaborations funded through awards sponsored by JHub, Edmond de Rothschild Foundation and Mica Gallery.
Programmes Officer Hadiya Masieh said:
“Last year’s Interfaith Arts Festival was a fantastic achievement for everyone involved – some great collaboration brought people together in a really inspiring festival space. This year we’re hoping to get even more exposure for the artists involved by displaying their collaborations in different galleries around London. We’re also planning a big art event for later in the year – a celebration for all our communities – of which we’ll be sure to keep you updated.”