Summer Reading 1 – Solidarity Not Charity

Owen Kelly and Sophie Hope discuss Solidarity Not Charity, by Nati Linares and Caroline Woolard. As often, this leads to a wider discussion.

Episode 021     June 7, 2024
Contributors    Sophie Hope     |   Owen Kelly    

Owen has a cough that refuses to go away, with the result that the podcast he had planned as the first of the summer reading series lies unrecorded – or at least unrecorded in any way that anyone would voluntarily choose to listen to. Instead we begin this short series with a look at Solidarity Not Charity, an episode that Owen and Sophie recorded in January 2022.

Nati Linares and Caroline Woolard wrote Solidarity Not Charity, and this “rapid report” analyses “arts and culture grantmaking in the solidarity economy”, a term that it borrows from a long standing radical, feminist economic movement.

As often, discussing parts of the report leads to a wider discussion about the issues that the report addresses. Can we assume that grantmakers have our interests at heart? Can we assume that we have a working relationship with funders, or should we see ourselves in a struggle against what they stand for?

Whatever happened to the strategies of self-funding that people at many different times and in many parts of the world used to build autonomous oppositional structures? Has this possibility disappeared in the rush to consumption?

The book provides a valuable resource in at least three ways. It presents a coherent argument. It presents a lot of interesting case studies and examples. It serves to trigger wider discussions.