Issue 15 | December 2023

Welcome to the December edition of The Miaaw Monthly which tells you what to expect this month, and provides a few pointers to things you might like to explore.

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The final podcast for November arrives today at the usual time, wherever you are.

In today’s podcast, the 29th episode of Common Practice, Zeynep Falay von Flittner discusses what drives her, her personal journey, the work of Falay Design, Transition Design, and her roles as the founder of Design Activists for Regenerative Futures, and as a member of the board of Systems Change Finland.


Every Friday a podcast appears at approximately 12:34 UTC. Sometimes we get so eager that they appear an hour or two early to allow for any lag across the internet. Mostly they arrive on time. With that in mind, here are the podcasts that will drop in December.

Friday December 1: Meanwhile in an Abandoned Warehouse | Episode 68

Owen Kelly and Sophie Hope talk with Susan Jones about what she has termed the impossible arts infrastructure. They discuss the recent Aberdeen Summit and the work presented there; and how structures of arts funding and arts management collide with the desires and needs of practitioners.

Friday December 8: Ways of Listening | Episode 2

In the second episode of Ways of Listening, titled Building Listening into Everything, disabled artist and drag king Lady Kitt talks to host Hannah Kemp-Welch about their practice of ‘mess making as social glue’.

Kitt describes a ‘collaborative sandwich’ activity that helps to build relationships at the start of a community project, and ways they make space for listening throughout this work.

Friday December 15: A Culture of Possibility | Episode 35

François Matarasso and Arlene Goldbard talk with Judith Marcuse, founder and director of Judith Marcuse Dance Projects (JMP) and of the International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC) based in British Columbia, Canada. She’s been a powerhouse of imagination, production, and advocacy for more than 40 years.

Among her projects have been large-scale multi-arts festivals; multi-year collaborative projects with youth; a major, Canada-wide study of community engaged art for social change; a national mentorship project; and a national network.

Friday December 22: Common Practice | Episode 30

Sophie Hope talks with Raluca Voinea, member of The Experimental Station for Research on Art and Life situated in a village north of Bucharest, Romania.

The Station is a joint venture of a group of artists, curators, theorists, economists and others, who, together with, co-own and co-manage a plot of land founded on values such as love of art, respect for nature, friendship, belief in emancipatory practices, sharing of resources and mutual trust.

Friday December 29: Friday Number 5 | Episode 11

As the year comes to an end we conclude our dive into the historic backwaters of Miaaw with a repeat of Episode 28, Structures of Feeling. Owen Kelly and Sophie Hope dig out their copies of Marxism & Literature and discuss the cultural theory that Raymond Williams develops there.

They reflect on Williams’ insistence on keeping in mind that we live our lives as processes, and that cultural theory needs to avoid turning these into finished products that we can dissect at our leisure.


All our podcasts are available from, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Overcast, RadioPublic, Soundcloud, Spotify, and Stitcher.

You can also listen to them at the website where you will find additional links, notes, and references accompanying each episode. You will also find a full archive of all the previous podcasts there.


Mini ICAF coming soon

We heard recently from the people at ICAF who told us to “consider this your official invitation to Mini ICAF 2024 taking place across Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 March, 2024 – so save the date!”

Mini ICAF forms a smaller counterpart to the international festival and acts as a bridge between festivals. They still have to finalise the programme as we write this newsletter but they have told us that we can “expect an inspiring and provoking programme that will bridge the ideas, dilemmas and discussions that came up during ICAF 2023, whilst paving the way to our future festival, in 2026”

You can find out more here!

The fake Poetry of real War

From the Monocle Minute:

Against a backdrop of heightened global tensions, Russia’s war in Ukraine grinds on. But beyond the usual tactics of an invading army, there are suspicions that less conventional methods are also being employed. For example, Russian disinformation campaigns seem to be using poetry to sow discord.

Poems falsely attributed to one of Ukraine’s most revered 19th-century writers, Taras Shevchenko, have been circulating online. The verses juxtapose the Ukrainian government’s conscription of the poor in wartime with the excesses of the ruling classes.

“Russia isn’t just spreading fake news,” Volodymyr Yermolenko, president of Pen Ukraine and host of the Explaining Ukraine podcast, explains. “Russia’s war is as much in the hearts and minds of Ukrainians as it is on the battlefield,” he says. “Shevchenko is one of the founding fathers of the Ukrainian nation and it is deeply damaging for his work to be distorted.”

Round and round and up and down we go again

Last week we received emails telling us that “the world’s leading event for circular economy thinkers, doers and leaders hits Brussels in April 2024, showcasing the most impactful circular solutions from around the world. Online participation is open to everyone”.

The 2024 edition of the World Circular Economy Forum will mark the eighth iteration of the forum and “occurs at a pivotal moment for economies, societies and our planet”. Interestingly from our perspective, to enable participation from around the world, the forum will be live-streamed online, open to all and free of charge.

So while “attendance in person is by invitation only”, you can view the entire proceedings and make up your own mind by heading to the WCEF2024 website.

Culture and Development

François has put a text about Culture and Development on his A Restless Art website recently and it’s already had a lot of downloads, so it has obviously raised more than a little interest.

He wrote it for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in 2020. It’s in five languages and you can find it here.

Happy reading!

The Last Tweet

We have all reduced our participation on (what we still refer to as) Twitter over the last year, and Arlene and Owen have ramped up their activities on Mastodon, the decentralised, billionaire-free network.

Last week Arlene wrote that its seems as though currently people on Twitter ”cannot hold two truths or contradictions simultaneously. You have to pick one oppressor, who can do no right and deserves no human rights, and one oppressed, for whom every act is rationalized and justified. Here is one of several excellent recent articles on this: (I’ve got many others if you want to read more.)”

John Scalzi, the SF writer, recently posted a long essay that began:

”Elon Musk, the most unfathomably insecure and pathetic billionaire the world has ever seen, has gone mask-off antisemite, and that means that while I had already reduced my participation on the former Twitter, now I’m off it entirely. I’m keeping the account so that no one can swoop in and take a screen name that’s been associated with me for the last fifteen years, but no more posting, and no more participation.”

We feel the same.

We feel that, for us, its well past time to leave. We will continue posting on Mastodon, Facebook and other places, and we will try to increase the circulation of our newsletter. We will return to this subject in January as part of a larger discussion of how to move forward in a decentralised way that is congruent with our aims in producing the podcasts, working for cultural democracy, and doing the work we do.

Consider this an early New Years Resolution!

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