The Contributors




Sophie Hope

Sophie Hope is a lecturer and practice-based researcher at Birkbeck, University of London in the Film, Media and Cultural Studies Department.


Owen Kelly

Owen Kelly grew up in Birkenhead, worked in Brixton, and now lives in Helsinki. He currently works as principal lecturer in online media at Arcada, a university of applied science in Helsinki.


Abhijit Sinha

Abhijit is a social innovator, and the founder of Project DEFY.


Megha Sharma Bhagat

Megha Bhagat is a social innovator with a legal background. She has worked on designing strategies for livelihood creations, job creations through alternate learnings and is responsible for DEFY’s growth strategy, viability plans and partnerships.


Arlene Goldbard

Arlene Goldbard is a writer, speaker, social activist, and consultant who works for justice, compassion and honor in every sphere, from the interpersonal to the transnational. She is known for her provocative, independent voice and her ability to inspire and activate. Arlene’s essays have appeared in such journals as Art in America, The Independent, Theatre, […]


Jonathan Gross

Jonathan Gross is a researcher and teacher in the department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King's College London. He has previously worked at the Universities of Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield.


Stephen Pritchard

Stephen Pritchard is a researcher, community artist, art historian, academic, writer, activist and filmmaker. Proudly working-class and a socialist, he is fervently opposed to (but also a part of) the neoliberal institutionalisation of the arts.


François Matarasso

On his website François explains that “My work in community and participatory art stands on the belief that everyone has the right to create art and to share the result, as well as to enjoy and participate what others do. Shaping your own cultural identity – and having it recognised by others – is central to human dignity and growth. If people can’t represent themselves culturally how can they do so in any other way, including politically?"


Susanna Paasonen

Susanna Paasonen is professor of Media Studies at the University of Turku. She has an interest in studies of popular culture, affect, sexuality, and media theory. She is the author of Carnal Resonance: Affect and Online Pornography (MIT Press 2011) and Many Splendored Things: Thinking Sex and Play (Goldsmiths Press 2018).


Alison Jeffers

Alison Jeffers is a Lecturer in Applied Theatre and Contemporary Performance at the University of Manchester where she has worked since 2009. Her research interests include: cultural democracy; applied theatre practice and research methodologies; participatory theatre with marginalised groups; community arts history and practice; performances of citizenship and belonging. She co-edited Culture Democracy and the Right to Make Art, with artist Gerri Moriarty


Cathy Hunt

Cathy Hunt is a cultural strategist based in Brisbane and working across Australia and Asia Pacific. As one of the founding Directors of Positive Solutions, she specialises in policy formation, strategic planning and the funding and financing of the arts. Cathy has worked throughout Australia and in Hong Kong on the development of cultural policy, […]


Sally Labern

Sally Labern is a visual artist whose work combines autonomous practice, short term collaborations and durational socially engaged projects like the drawing shed. She works in sculpture and drawing, film, print and live performative works. She is deeply interested in resilience and the shadow which informs the ideas within her work; and she is a sculptor who makes/remake things


Agnieszka Pokrywka

Agnieszka Pokrywka was born in Poland and lives in Finland. By heart she is a multimedia explorer interested in participatory, collaborative and open source practices.


Nick Mahony

Nick Mahony is a researcher and project worker with a long-standing involvement in the politics of public engagement and participatory democracy. He is co-founder of the Movement for Cultural Democracy – a new movement that initially emerged from participatory sessions organised in September 2017 at The World Transformed festival.


Timo Cantell

Timo Cantell works as the director of the Urban Research and Statistics Unit of the City of Helsinki. In this capacity he edits Kvartti, a quarterly print and web publication that presents the work of the unit to the citizens of Helsinki.