Socially Engaged Art

“The radical imagination is not a ‘thing’ that we, as individuals, ‘have’. It’s a shared landscape or a commons of possibility that we share as communities. The imagination does not exist purely in the individual mind; it also exists between people, as the result of their attempts to work out how to live and work together.”

-Max Haiven, Crises of Imagination, Crises of Power p.218

Dynamics of social, economic, and political oppression prevent us from fully exercising our right to imagine a better reality for ourselves, our communities, and society. Spaces to collectively reimagine new ways of being in the world are limited, and for some people non-existent. And yet, the possibility of change, individual and collective, highly depends on an acute and highly toned ability to radically imagine. Food coops, participatory budgeting and tool libraries are some examples of collectively re-imagined and implemented social systems. The Radical Imagination Gymnasium proposes a workout plan to both flex and strengthen the underused muscles of the radical imagination with the hopes of improving our ability to reconstruct our social reality.

The Radical Imagination Gymnasium is a collaborative project by Guestwork (Erin Charpentier & Travis Neel), Patricia Vazquez and Zachary Gough. 


Workout 1: with Walidah Imarisha

Octavia's Brood co-editor Walidah Imarisha will facilitate a workshop around collective visioning/writing on social justice issues.

Workout 2: with Tamara Lynne

This experimental workshop will utilize Theater of the Oppressed exercises as a point of departure to collectively reimagine social and economic structures. Participants will collectively imagine 24 hours in Utopia.

Workout 3: with Carmen Papalia

This workshop will establish an open working space dedicated to the consideration of our agency in public and institutional settings, and what actions we must take in order to explode normalcy and realize our potential as embodied learners.

Workout 4:with Renee Sills

Yoga for Commonwealth will use the for of a yoga class to explore ideas of collective exchange and balance. We will use our bodies as source material for visioning mutual support of the common good.