Creative Arts

Staff research

Politicized Practice

The Politicized Practice Research Group starts from a shared question rather than a specific disciplinary context, asking, how can contemporary art contribute to social and political change? Politicized Practice is not about attempting a ‘representation’ of politics.

Our aim is to act on and intervene into the political conditions of specific disciplines, for example, visual culture's relationship to art history, anti-art ideas in relation to Fine Art practice and social graphics' relationship to capital. ‘Critical practice’ denotes the various modernist projects in which a medium determines its own limits and specialisms through the use of its own methods and concepts; for example, where painting critiques painting, and thought critiques thought. 'Politicized practice', therefore, enables us to engage in a more productive collection of interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary dialogues and debates.

Through a combination of cultural production and the development of theoretical and critical perspectives we examine culture’s role in the development of the public sphere. Our work acknowledges the function of culture in the articulation of politics and asserts its contribution to emancipation through art and design. Our research in this field manifests in direct public engagement, through events, projects and publishing. The scope of research undertaken within the group addresses a range of disciplines including art and the public sphere, curation, social graphics, visual culture, histories and theories of art and all forms of contemporary art practice.

The Politicized Practice Research Group is engaged in collaborative and individual projects which can be attributed to the following areas and themes:

  • Activism and Art
  • Art and the Public Sphere
  • Social and Political Art Practice
  • Radical Aesthetics
  • Interdisciplinary Research in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Re-imagining Citizenship

Re-imagining Citizenship is an ongoing interdisciplinary project, a collaboration of the Politicized Practice, Anarchism and Theatre Activism Research Groups. With support from the Institute of Advanced Studies and the Enterprise Project Group, the project has produced a series of exhibitions and events, a risographed print-run of an interactive publication, the Re-imagining Citizenship Activity Book, and an online Living Archive, featured at the Venice Biennale in 2019 with accompanying workshops. See


Re-imagining Citizenship

Art, Activism and Political Violence

This project is a collaboration between the Anarchism Research Group and the Politicised Practice Research Group designed to build new relationships between artists and political theorists and to explore questions of political violence and art activism.

Art, Activism and Political Violence


The RaRa project was initiated in 2009 and has produced a book series and a number of symposia exploring the intersection of contemporary art practice, philosophical ideas and interpretations of radicality to promote debate, confront convention and formulate alternative ways of thinking about art practice. 


Critical Citizenship, Activism and Art

The Politicized Practice Research Group and the Anarchism Research Group are joining forces with a broader range of Loughborough researchers to convene a series of events on Critical Citizenship, Activism and Art.

Critical Citizenship, Activism and Art

Current members of the group: 

Rebecca Beinart Catie Gill Martin Lang Zoe Petersen 
Kathryn Brown Sarah Green Emma Mahony Susan Reid
Viviana Checchia Johanna Hallsten Arianna Maiorani Assunta Ruocco
Fred Dalmasso Jaakko Harkunen Sofia Mali Nick Slater
Chiara Dellerba Janet Harrison Marina Maximova Aria Spinelli
John Downey Julia Kelly Vlad Morariu Kuba Szreder
Simon Downs E Kerslake Eleanor Morgan Jane Tormey
James Ellison Ruth Kinna Corina Oprea Gillian Whiteley

Antoinette Burchill | email

Antoinette, artist, writer, performer, PhD researcher, will be delivering a participatory performance on the Confident Gaze in Public Engagement at the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) Engage 2016 conference. She is also working on leading and delivering the public engagement research strand of Mercurious an exhibition about mercury at Attenborough Arts Centre, University of Leicester in 2018. The project is led by Dr Angus Cameron, University of Leicester, and Melanie Jackson, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. For more information see


Fred Dalmasso | email 

Fred has a forthcoming chapter entitled ‘Remote Spectating: Drone Images and the Spectacular Image of Revolt’ in Fisher and Katsouraki (eds) Performing Antagonism (Palgrave Macmillan), due out in December 2016. He is currently editing a collection, Syncope in Visual and Performing Arts (Paris, Editions Le Manuscrit) following an exhibition at FRAC Picardie (Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain) in Spring 2016 which combines works/reflections from artists and theoreticians in English and French in response to Catherine Clément's book Syncope: The Philosophy of Rapture (University of Minnesota Press, 1994). He is also contributing a chapter entitled ‘Syncopolitics’ (about the syncope of the image as an allegorical method for emancipatory politics). As co-convenor of TaPRA Theatre, Performance and Philosophy working group, he is also working on an event in Palermo (with the association Arte Migrante and the University of Palermo) to discuss the notion of displacement.


Gillian Whiteley | email

Gillian has been awarded a 6-month University Fellowship to focus on Art Activism and its Publics from August 2017. She is currently researching the radical traditions of the pamphlet and its use in contemporary art for an essay in a book Art, Politics and the Pamphleteer she is co-editing for the RadicalAesthetics-RadicalArt (RaRa) book series (Bloomsbury).Whiteley and Tormey are collaborating with Radar Artscentre to commission artists’ responses, culminating in For and Against: Art, Politics and the Pamphlet, a two-day research and public ‘festival’ event in May 2017, including an exhibition at Charnwood Museum, Queen’s Park in Loughborough curated by Whiteley. She is also co-organiser of an ongoing project Art Activism and Political Violence (AAPV) with Prof Ruth Kinna. An Independent Social Research Foundation-funded 2-day workshop was held at LU in September, designed to build new relationships between artists and political theorists and explore questions of political violence and art activism. This initiative stemmed from a longer collaboration between colleagues in the Anarchism Research Group and the PPRG. Whiteley and Kinna are currently expanding the AAPV network, planning a publication based on the workshop, a public event and an external funding bid plus two seminars with Emma Mahony (14 December) and Gavin Grindon (10 May 2017). 

Meeting dates 2019/20 

Wed 16 October 2019 2pm in Wavy Top WAV046

Wed 13 November 2pm in WAV046

Wed 4 December 2pm in SMB102

Wed 12 February 2pm in Edward Barnsley 63.1.08

Wed 11 March 2pm venue tbc

Wed 6 May 2pm venue tbc



Wed 12 February  2pm-4pm

Join us at a Re-imagining Citizenship project collective reading session. This event will take place in room 63.1.08 of the Edward Barnsley Building.

As a response to the handbook, Tom Nys and Sophia Kier-Byfield set up two reading group sessions at the Palazzo Mora in Venice, in the margins of the biennial. In a similar fashion, also addressing one of the two main themes there, they would like to bring the concept to our academic home base of Loughborough University.

Under the title of “[Re-]Imagining the Family: Forms, Values, Planning and Alternatives”, the reading group session will deal with the role of the traditional family in contemporary politics. Together we will read Chapter 10 from “Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center” by bell hooks. Even though this text was originally published in 1984, Tom and Sophia believe it is still extremely relevant in regard of current ideals, values and norms about what constitutes a family, and that it will instigate fruitful discussions.

No prior knowledge is required and the texts well be accessible at the event. There is no pressure to read anything beforehand. The intention is to both read and discuss together on the day.



White Poppy intervention Loughborough 13 November 2019

Wednesday 2pm 13th November Wavy Top building WAV046 Loughborough University

Join us for a practical white-poppy making session in which we will put together a commemorative wreath and respectfully perform a collective action – No More –  and we will walk in procession across campus.

White poppies were initiated by the No More War movement in 1920s – see . There are many anti-war/pacifist war memorials, one of the most well-known is at Gentioux-Pigerolles, Creuse, France – it bears the inscription ‘maudite soit la guerre’ (war be damned) see



Wed 20th March 11.10 – 1pm

Institute of Advanced Studies/Nation/Reimagining Citizenship event

Buffet and talk, invited Dutch artist Jonas Staal

MHL117/a/b – more info coming soon!


Wed 27th March 12.30 – 3pm

Institute of Advanced Studies/Nation/Reimagining Citizenship event

Buffet, film, talk/performance, invited Portuguese artist Rita Marcalo

Martin Hall Exhibition Space – more info coming soon!


Re-Imagining Citizenship… continues reinstalled till November 2018

An exhibition collectively curated by the Politicized Practice/Anarchist/Theatre and Performance Research Groups at LU Arts Radar gallery, Martin Hall Exhibition Space forming part of Loughborough University Arts Festival

Wednesday 17th October 1pm in Martin Hall Exhibition Space

Alchemy/Schmalchemy improvised sound performance/discussion in response to pieces in the exhibition followed by

2pm planning meeting for range of events relating to questions of citizenship and nationhood 2018/19 (collaboration with funding from Centre for Research in Communication and Culture and Institute of Advanced Studies) include week commencing 22nd and 29th March (Brexit week) and after, a mock/mass/collective citizenship test and a one-day research event on Wednesday 27th March…more info to come on these.

Re-Imagining Citizenship

An exhibition collectively curated by the Politicized Practice/Anarchist/Theatre and Performance Research Groups at LU Arts Radar gallery, Martin Hall Exhibition Space forming part of Loughborough University Arts Festival

Opening 4pm Wednesday 30th May 2018 till Saturday 14th July 2018

In government parlance, being a citizen means to be recognised as a ‘subject or national’. What is at stake in re-imagining new forms of citizenship and modes of civic participation? How can the notion of citizenship - in our trans/post-national society - be reconfigured without subjection?

This exhibition centres on the concept of the citizen-artist/artist-citizen to explore the potential for art practices to re-imagine citizenship. It brings together a range of audio-visual and text-based responses with contributions by artists and researchers from across and beyond the University. It includes artworks produced by staff and students at the Institut Supérieur des Beaux-Arts of Besançon (France) with whom the Politicized Practice/Anarchist Research Groups and the Theatre and Performance Research Group has an ongoing dialogue around themes related to art, performance and political activisms. There will be a themed in-conversation Skype event with invited guest artist Tania Bruguera, on Monday 12th June at 1pm.

Collectively curated by the Politicized Practice/Anarchist/Theatre and Performance Research Groups at Loughborough University.

The Politicized Practice/Anarchist/Theatre and Performance Research Groups are working together on a number of initiatives, including a collectively curated exhibition Re-imagining Citizenship (plus themed in-conversation event with artist Tania Bruguera at 1pm Monday 12th June) at Radar’s gallery space which will form part of the Arts and Humanities Festival in June 2018. We are also working on an event around ‘nationhood’ for 2018/19 (linking to Institute of Advanced Studies forthcoming theme) and a series of funding bids relating to alternative/critical perspectives on citizenship.

If you are interested in discussing, getting involved or contributing in any way to the work of the groups or to our current projects and research initiatives, please come along to any of our research seminars and/or planning meetings. All are welcome.

Meeting dates for planning, exchange of info and discussion (further info/locations to follow)

Wed 21st November 2pm

Wed 6th February 2pm


PPRG/ARG/TPRG Research seminars/events

Wednesday 25 April 2018, 1pm-3pm – Martin Hall MHL117a/b 

What does Citizenship mean in the 21st century? Protest, papers, politics

Dr Nina Power, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy University of Roehampton, London 

This talk will example the technical and activist definitions of citizenship in relation to the possibility of protest, belonging and precarity. How do these elements combine and pull apart when we think about questions of asylum, public debate and the freedom

of assembly? Drawing on philosophy, politics and law, this paper will suggest that we need to understand citizenship as a constant set of antagonistic relations.

 Nina Power teaches Philosophy at the University of Roehampton andis the author of multiple articles on politics, culture, philosophy andfeminism. She is a founding member of Defend the Right to Protest, a campaign group set up in the the wake of the student protests of late 2010/early 2011 in opposition to the harsh police tactics and criminalisation of protesters that occurred on these and subsequent protests. She is a corresponding editor for Historical Materialism and is on the organising committee for Marxism in Culture. She writes for many magazines and newspapers, including The Wire, frieze, Strike! and The Guardian.

 Wednesday 22 November 2017, 12.00pm || Martin Hall MHL 0.07

Re-imagining Citizenship Stéphanie Jamet(Institut des Beaux-Arts de Besançon) and co-editor, with Fred Dalmasso of recently published Syncope in Performing and Visual Arts, 2017, Le Manuscrit  
 Stephanie Jamet abstract 22-Nov-2017

Wednesday 25 October 2017, 12.00pm || Edward Barnsley 63.1.07 Engineering the imagination, creating spaces of appearance: political performativity and Welfare State International Dr. Gillian Whiteley (School of Arts, English & Drama)

Gill Whiteley abstract 25-Oct-2017

PPRG/ARG/TPRG Planning meetings

Wednesday 21 February 2018, 2-4pm || Design School LDS018

Wednesday 2 May 2018, 2-4pm || Design School LDS018