A Post-Election Call to Action
And what do we do now?
Well, that was most definitely an election.
Many people are asking what now?
Some are asking it in fear, some in uncertainty, some with concern, and others (obviously, given the vote) with joy.
From the Fun Palaces perspective, we think ‘what now?’ is answered by coming together, by realising we DO have power as individuals and groups of people, we ARE capable of creating for, with and by ourselves.
Whether you are buoyed up by the election or feeling totally broken by it, the truth remains that each of us is more likely to make an actual difference if we start with our own lives first, if we start where we are – right where we live – with our neighbours, our local community, ourselves.
When we started Fun Palaces we knew we weren’t the only ones who believed in community, in grassroots action – we have linked with, and continue to link with, many organisations and individuals who care as much as we do about people-power. Who also believe that together we can be a real force for change, that my action in my community, and your action in yours, can come together as a collective voice that our politicians cannot ignore – and that, with or without their support, can create value regardless.
We have always known that Fun Palaces are political as well as personal.
It is political to believe that communities can create for themselves – both local events and the longer-lasting legacy of new relationships, re-formed friendships.
It is political to believe that the small and the local matter as much – and should be as well-funded, as well-protected – as the smart metropolitan.
It is political to believe that culture belongs to everyone.
It is political to believe that high art and populism can and should sit alongside each other, that hard science and hands-on kitchen experiments should be accessible to all
It is political to believe that arts and sciences can learn from each other and we might create more, create better, create the new, if we work together, from the very beginning.
It is political to believe that we have plenty of buildings and we need to better and more equitably use the ones we already have.
It is political to believe that public spaces belong to all of us.
It is political to believe that everyone is an expert, everyone a scientist, everyone an artist, that there is genius in everyone – and that everyone deserves an equal chance to explore and build on that genius.
And it is political to believe that when we work together, from the grassroots up and from the local out, we can each make a difference, in our own communities and from our own lives.
Many Fun Palaces Makers told us that they learned so much about where they live from making a Fun Palace. They also told us they learned about themselves – that they didn’t know they could be so resourceful, capable, passionate – ACTIVE.
However you feel about the election results, and especially if you are feeling worried or upset, we invite you to join us in making a difference, on whatever scale suits YOU – and in making that difference locally, where you are, with and for your own community.
This is how it was last year.
We can’t wait to see how it will be this year, and next year and in ten, fifteen years’ time. This was never a one-off, we are passionate about sustainable, long-term change with people and community at the core – from the grassroots up, from the local out.
“I wanted to do this, however small and local, to sow a seed – get something started – plant the idea that we are more than just the labels we get stuck with – the mothers – the farmers – the traders – the artists… I’m well aware that there are hidden talents in our community and my vision is that people will emerge with identities that will surprise people who thought they knew them – had them pinned …”
Fun Palace Maker, Pateley Bridge, 2014
And if you have no idea where to start – why not do what Crystal Palace Fun Palace did last year? Put up signs in local shops telling people you’re going to make a Fun Palace of arts and sciences, involvement and action, right where you live. Set aside a table in your local pub, get some paper and pens and let people suggest what they’d like to do, as they have a drink and a chat.
Then do it with them.
None of us have to do this alone.
But if we want to make a difference, we do need to do something.
Please get in touch if you have any questions – our job is to help you make Fun Palaces,
Stella, Sarah-Jane, Hannah & Kirsty