Episode 012

From community to participatory arts









François Matarasso first worked as a community artist in 1981. Since then he has worked in community arts, participatory arts, and as a writer and researcher. He has just published a new book called <em>A Restless Art</em>, which looks at the growth of participatory arts and argues that it has succeeded in moving cultural discussions forward.

In this episode he talks with Owen Kelly and Sophie Hope about the history of participatory art, and the kinds of things that have inspired him. He explains why he felt he needed to write the book, and discusses what motivates him. He discusses why he believes that, against the odds, community artists might actually have succeeded in what they set out to do.

Attentive listeners might note that, in this episode, Sophie seems to play a less active role than usual, while wondering if they can hear the sounds of a baby interrupting the conversation from time to time. The answer to both these questions revolves around the fact that Sophie’s eight week old baby Henry wakes up during at some point during the recording and makes a determined effort to join in.