We think of art as a relationship that constantly unfolds in the realm of the common, a process and a continuum. We see our role in this unfolding relationship as celebrating and supporting connections between art and social change. When we say art, we mean the ways we sing and dance together, the ways we listen and want to be heard, how we look and hope to be seen, how we think of our bodies and how we move through space, how we feel and want to be felt, for example.
We currently do this through a programme of public events called Episodes comprising performances, discussions, screenings and collective learning. Developing iteratively, each informing the next, they often involve watching, listening, talking or dancing together. They are a continuation, through friendship and solidarity, of conversations we are entangled in both locally and internationally. Especially, Episodes are committed to experiments in a sociality that goes beyond personhood and that propose new ways of living in the world today, born of collective desires and struggle. More on them here.
We are also trying to practice being accomplices with specific UK based activist and political communities who we have long-term relationships with, supporting their specific struggles.
We do our best to act in solidarity with local groups whose ideas, experiences and struggles we feel especially connected to, recognising how critical the resistance of these groups is. We co-operate closely with specific groups who are pushing back against the violence of racist borders, poverty and criminalisation of sex work; taking their lead on projects and events they want to see happen. Each activity is suggested and decided upon by the community then managed by them with Arika’s collaborative support. A few of those events are open to a wide public, like parts of the Sex Workers’ Festival of Resistance and the How to Ally with Sex Workers on Decriminalisation of Sex Work events. However, most are specifically with smaller more discrete groups and are not broadly publicised. Other events we organise, such as the Episodes, are directly nourished and informed by the multiple insights these smaller projects generate. More about Local Organising here.
Arika is inspired and galvanized to do this work by many predecessors: artists, organisers, witches, anarchists, students, educators, heretics, activists, militants, mothers, children, as well as those who make trouble in between and at the peripheries of these and other categories. We hope in our work to pay tribute to these histories, and carry on the belief that radical forms of resistance can find crucial support in the aesthetic registers of social life.