International Symposium Santiago
TMC  /  Presentations of rc at eu/international level


Nick Owen, CEO of TME attended a 2-day International Symposium Santiago (Artivistas) which was attended by over 100 artists, education and cultural leaders delivered by Balmaceda Arte Joven in Santiago.

He presented on the work of the Risk Change programme and asked how can arts and culture improve community cohesion between migrant and host communities. Nick then was invited to vist BAJ in Antofagasta, in the north of the country where he presented the Risk Change work to an audience of 50 artists, urban regeneration professionals and students. He was invited to visit an urban regeneration programme using visual arts in the communities of the Calle Juan Sebastian Bach, in the north of the city.

We learned the importance of building new international collaborative partnerships between organisations and with young people , not only to create opportunities  for young people to achieve their potential – including as emerging artists – but at the same time, promoting understanding of each other and our cultures. Within this context, we learned that many social issues facing us in the UK e.g. migration and community cohesion are also faced by communities in Chile with many of the same questions of what the arts can achieve in this context.

We learned what the concept of ‘artivism’ (political and social activism through artistic practice) means to artists working in a country that is still immersed in memories of suffering from the Pinochet era and how that continues to influence, the expression of that suffering through art, resulting in extraordinary innovative practice.

We learned about the vital role that artists play in combating oppression, and the risk of reprisals and death for that work: and we saw the prevalence of high quality, vital and innovative street art which was continuing to give voice to people who are still dealing with the consequences of the Pinochet regime. We were reminded constantly that despite the reality of abject poverty, the arts regularly and implicitly ‘give dignity’ to children and young people. Nick welcomed the opportunity to share the work that TMC is undertaking with its Risk Change programme particularly to artists and fellow professionals working in the field of migration and community development through the arts. This has enabled him to extend his network and contacts with a view to continuing to build bridges across disparate global communities who are all facing similar issues.  

As a result of this, we are looking at building a longer term and sustainable relationship through developing a memorandum of understanding between our organisations which identifies this and outlines the principles for future work together.  Our next steps include:

o  to devise, develop and deliver an international artistic Programme – with a focus on Artivism – working across England and Chile (with potential links to partners in Peru) which might include:

o Developing artistic practice with and by excluded communities including those from migrant communities and creating opportunities for migrant communities in UK and Chile to share and develop artistic work digitally;

o Supporting an international capacity building sharing and delivering best practice in work with excluded young people

This visit was co-financed by Arts Council England and teh Anglo Chile Society.