LeftCoast Debates

LeftCoast - Pier Change

LeftCoast Debates was an opportunity to connect with our online community. Ask questions, do a lot of reading and, along with other creatives, express how we were feeling during lockdown.

The programme started on 8 April and ran for seven weeks. Each week delivered a different provocation for which we encouraged our online community to partake by responding over Twitter. The topic each week was inspired by the responses from the previous week.

Along with much the country, the LeftCoast team are social distancing and working from home.

We are delivering some work, but also have a little extra time to take stock and reevaluate how we work.

We develop much of our work by talking with people, asking lots of questions and listening. We want to use some of this time to connect with our online audience to help us inform our future work.

Each week, we’ll ask a new question.

we will publish highlights from the debate each week on the weekly question page below.

Join us on Twitter @LeftCoastUK – Live every Wednesday at 3pm and running until Friday 3pm the same week.

The last of our opinion pieces over the UK lockdown period.

This week the film LEFT COAST, Directed by Carol Salter is being released by Uncertain Kingdom, part of a collection of twenty short films, from twenty visionary filmmakers, offering a unique portrait of our nation today.

LEFT COAST features the coastal towns of North West England, as dedicated volunteers hand out kindness and food to help those left behind.

The seeds for the film began with a commission which was part of LeftCoast’s Real Estate: Micro Residency project.

We wanted to revisit the foodbanks and volunteers along the Fylde Coast to see how the Covid-19 Crisis was impacting our communities.

Last week I spoke to Becky Doran-Brown, one of our LeftCoast Makers. She’s a Community Development Worker at Revoelution Blackpool, based in Revoe and one of the National Lottery Big Local areas.

Since lockdown, Becky has been working with His Provision, a local charity that funds numerous projects within the local community.

Find out more about this week’s question HERE

Conversations with artists over the past few weeks have revealed that the creative community are feeling a whole wave of emotions when it comes to living as an artist during the pandemic. Some people have expressed that the massive change in how people interact with one another means that their practice no longer exists as they know it. Overwhelmed by the need to change how they create and present work, with a theatre maker expressing that with the departure of the creative environments they rely on has left them feeling like they are starting from scratch.

Coupled with the anxiety of feeling in constant danger or worrying about loved ones and the wider world. Loosing access to support networks and routine which gives artists the headspace, inspiration and energy  to create. All the while there is a voice in the back of your head saying that you shouldn’t waste this precious abundance of time.

Find out more about this week’s question HERE

The lockdown has created a need for some of us to find new sacred spaces. New public spaces, unrestricted admission, for an hour at least. Spaces that have become vital to our wellbeing. Spaces that we previously took for granted or did not even notice are now becoming of some value. We hold the power to create our own sacred space, outlining the boundaries which becomes a threshold to transition into whatever we need it to be. We may have lost some control, but we have strengthened bonds and developed community with the ones sharing it.

Find out more about this week’s question HERE

“We must hold these large-scale revolutions in our hearts while tackling small, radical acts every day with our hands.”

Courtney Martin, Do it anyway

For some of us, the Covid-19 lockdown has condensed our individual worlds, making our own realms simpler to rule, providing a glimpse of a possible autonomous life.

One where we can be revolutionary within our own existence, by creating a world that we want to live in.

In the UK, our freedoms are on occasion suppressed by consumerism or lack of opportunity, for example. We can refuse to forfeit our human rights to this intangible but grave threat. Promoting change does not always require public discord. Our behaviour is a collection of habits, change can derive from disruption to our lifestyle with a series of small radical acts, which combined can deliver your desired quality of living and a reduction of infringements on your rights.

Find out more about this week’s question HERE

How do we feel about the fact that many of our essential workers are the poorest people in UK society? And the working-class will be forced to work harder following the pandemic? How can artists affect change at this time?

Listen to Emily’s monologue here

Emily Maitlis’ monologue at the beginning of newsnight lit up twitter last week, resonating with so many, as one twitter user commented:

The most moving @BBCNewsnight programme I have ever seen. From poorly paid key workers to children at risk to selfless individuals who’ve died from Corvid-19, doing their best for others. BOY does society need to change to reflect ‘true worth’ & not just the richest!

People felt angry, not only because the lowest paid  and underprivileged in our society have the burden of keeping our country moving and safe, but because it is over a month into this crisis and this is the first time it had been acknowledged with any real truth on a national platform.

Find out more about this week’s question HERE

Responses to our last question, highlighted the importance of creating shared experiences and developing a sense of belonging.

Social belonging is high up on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, following physiological and safety needs.  Creating a strong bond with others can enable us to endure a lack of these basic needs. For example, people suffering hardship, lacking safety or immediate access to food often manage to keep going through the strength of their relationships with others.

Has this need for unity, connection and acceptance been highlighted because it’s suddenly missing from our lives, or because we’re starting to notice what we have been missing?

Find out more about this week’s question HERE

Some of us are slowly starting to come to terms with our new reality in the face of Covid-19 crisis. While experts tell us this way of living is temporary, the economic and social reorganisation taken in response should represent an important opportunity to rethink various aspects of our daily life and of the values that drive our individual and collective aspirations.

There’s a strong argument to say that we’ve been living in a consumerist society which has gardened our dreams and influenced our values, but what’s the effect?

Find out more about this week’s question HERE