Active Witnesses: The voices and face of participants in socially engaged arts projects

Amna Qureshi (Designer)

Research output: Artistic and non-textual formExhibitionArt in coproductionpeer-review


This exhibition brings together people and outcomes which form part of the EU-funded, Horizon 2020 research project ‘Acting on the Margins: Arts as Social Sculpture’ (AMASS). One of the central objectives of AMASS is to develop multidisciplinary methods for capturing, assessing and harnessing the societal impact of the arts. It also aims to reduce isolation amongst women, children and minority groups through a research testbed that features various forms of participation in the arts. Alongside its emphasis on artistic participation, AMASS aims to educate women, children and others through pedagogical strategies that are informed by arts-based approaches. AMASS explores and highlights alternative knowledge systems and has involved hundreds of participants in its projects: from Roma women to migrants, children, persons with disabilities and young people living in poor suburban districts.
Active Witnesses foregrounds the participants in its many creative projects on the large AMASS Wall, with its many faces and voices capturing experiences and realities in a variety of cultural contexts. The participants are direct witnesses of realities that impact their lives, but in AMASS they also actively intervene in these realities through artistic action. Socially engaged art is therefore a means of responding to issues like cultural exclusion and discrimination by feeling, voicing and doing. Apart from the portrait photographs and testimonials on the AMASS Wall, the exhibition is also presenting videos and projections that document many projects that form part of this research. Finally, a handful of objects produced in a few projects are also included, introducing a tactile element that bears witness to the material beauty of some of AMASS’s outputs.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherLapin yliopisto, Arktinen keskus
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2022
MoEC publication typeF2 Public partial realisation of a work of art
EventActive Witnesses: The voices and face of participants in socially engaged arts projects - Gallery Valo, Arktikum, Rovaniemi, Finland
Duration: 17 Feb 202213 Mar 2022

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design


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