Kristyn Bat Lopez
SCISSORS, GLUE, & SOCIAL WELFARE: ALTERNATIVE MEDIA AS AN INTERVENTIONIST STRATEGY
What happens to the concept of citizenship and cultural capital when public services are devolved and privatized, and what can socially engaged artists and organizations do to intervene in this process - to be responsive and of service without also colluding with neoliberal frameworks or serving the whims of entrepreneurial cultural production? Through participation in community-responsive projects that center collaboration and creative autonomy, individuals and organizations may renegotiate these entanglements, reframing themselves as active agents of change rather than passive beneficiaries or mere providers of social services. This proposed project will investigate how faith-based and other non-government organizations support civic engagement and develop social capital across three distinct welfare state models in the United States, Germany and Italy, as well as how artists working within alternative media and DIY/maker movements challenge or collude with both individualist and collectivist ideologies within each research site. A participatory action study will be developed in partnership with established organizations at location, exploring how alternative media and DIY/maker movements function “within and against” institutional systems and cultural norms. The theoretical contexts of social reproduction, care studies and community pedagogy inform this approach, with the goal of comparing modes of cultural production and interdisciplinary collaboration across diverse welfare state models.
To read the proposal in its entirety, please see the PDF below: