Summary of ‘Now You See Us’

brightly-coloured painting of a city scene populated by large figures

Urban Tensions by Colin Hambrook. Acrylic on canvas

Now You See Us explores issues of integration and marginalization in schools, youth zones and the workplace. We are interested in lived experience of ?inclusion?, investigating issues of participation, visibility / invisibility, resilience and resistance of disabled adults and youngsters in these contexts.

We seek to understand the ambiguous relationships between inclusion and exclusion through ethnographic studies. We aim to investigate ways of promoting agency and integration through creative expression. This will involve the facilitation of a series of Cultural Animation workshops delivered by New Vic Borderlines in which participants will explore the themes of ?inclusion, participation, connection and disconnection?, using artefacts and objects, drama, poetry, photography, and performance to co-design and create their responses to the themes and questions which they would like to further explore as part of the research.

Martin Levinson, Lucy Burke and Sue Moffatt will be working across the age spectrum, leading activities in schools, youth zones and the workplace. We will be collaborating with several partners, including:

  • PLUSS, Exeter, an award-winning Social Enterprise that supports thousands of people with disabilities and other disadvantages move?towards and?into employment each year.
  • Sands School, Ashburton, a democratic school in Devon, with a radical and alternative framework whereby it is co-run by teachers and pupils, placing an emphasis on ?community?
  • Parrenthorn High School, a comprehensive school located in Prestwich in Greater Manchester
  • Mahdlo Youth Zone in Oldham, Greater Manchester
  • Bolton Lads and Girls? Club in Bolton, Greater Manchester

Outputs from Now You See Us will include pop-up events, a co-curated exhibition, and performance at the New Vic Theatre, Stoke.

We recognise that the very concept of inclusion often presupposes exclusion as the unacknowledged ?norm? and that practices and understandings of inclusion vary considerably. It will be interesting to deconstruct our notions of ?inclusion? and ?exclusion? and of ?belonging? and ?community?. What new understandings emerge around these terms? The aim of the project is not just to facilitate ?inclusion? but to explore and understand the texture of lived experience, joining our participants on a shared journey of discovery.

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