Award Winning Artist Selina Thompson Seeks Young Collaborators For Sortition Project

Award Winning Artist Selina Thompson Seeks Young Collaborators For Sortition ProjectImagine scrapping elections and instead selecting politicians at random. What would you do if your name was drawn out and you suddenly found yourself in charge? How do you think the country should be run?

Award-winning performer Selina Thompson is sending out a far-reaching call to action for young people from all backgrounds to put their names forward for a new project this Summer.

The provocative new work, Sortition, will bring together a randomly selected team of young people under 30 from Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland who don't vote, feel like voting doesn't work and that politics as usual doesn't represent them. Sortition is co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK's arts programme for the First World War centenary, supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation, and will go on to be premiered this September at Arnolfini in Bristol.

Birmingham based artist Selina, whose shows including Edinburgh Fringe 2017 sell-out Salt., Dark & Lovely, the forthcoming Missy Elliott Project, Race Cards and Chewing the Fat, said:

"I stumbled across the idea of Sortition - the idea that governments could be selected using the lottery - think Jury Service but for Parliament. And I became obsessed with the question - if tomorrow we had to build a government that way, what the hell would it look like? And what if all the people that were selected were people that had never voted before, and felt disconnected from the system as it stands!?

"I want to run a version of this experiment. I want to imagine that this happens, and that a small group - 12 people - have to come together as a government, work through their differences, the gaps in their knowledge and democracy as we understand it to build a new constitution together.

"At the end of June, we'll select 12 names, and we'll invite those people to spend a week in Bristol arguing, writing, and day dreaming a new constitution into existence. We'll look after you - pay you, put you up somewhere nice, feed you well. We'll spend about two days getting a crash course in as many weird and wonderful ideas about how to run a country as possible, and then three days trying to think about how we'd put them into practice in a post Brexit, post Trump, post Scottish Referendum, post last election work."

The team of 12 selected young people will be brought to Bristol in July for five days to take part in a creative experiment, working alongside political provocateurs, experts and troublemakers, to explore how the people are represented in parliament - and ultimately reimagine politics in the UK today.

The project is an experiment in direct action - when representative government turns into real representation, what goes down? Sortition examines how we ensure are voices are heard, what it means to elect others to speak for us and what are the possibilities when we scrap politics as usual and start over.

Further details on Sortition are available at www.sortitionproject.com.

Sortition is part of Represent, a series of artworks inspired by the Representation of the People Act 1918. While the act gave the vote only to some women over 30, Represent invites young female artists to explore democracy, equality and inclusion in contemporary Britain. Presented by 14-18 NOW and supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Represent is accompanied by a programme of events, talks and professional development opportunities.

Web and social media links: www.selinathompson.co.uk | www.arnolfini.org.uk | www.1418now.org.uk | @SelinaNThompson | @ArnolfiniArts | @1418NOW | www.sortitionproject.com | #representnow

14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK's official centenary commemorations. It commissions new work by leading contemporary artists across all art forms; the programme has included over 200 artists from 35 countries, taking place in 160 locations across the UK. Over 30 million people have experienced a project so far, including 7.5 million children and young people. 16.7 million people took part in LIGHTS OUT in 2014, and 63% of the population were aware of Jeremy Deller's, 'We're here because we're here'. The UK tour of the poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper has been seen by over 3.75 million people to date. 14-18 NOW has won many awards for its work, including the National Lottery Heritage Award, 2017. 2018 is the final season, marking 100 years since the end of the First World War. 14-18 NOW is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the DCMS with additional funding from The Backstage Trust, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Clore Duffield Foundation, NatWest and support from individuals.


Jerwood Charitable Foundation is an independent grant-making foundation and UK registered charity dedicated to imaginative and responsible funding of the arts, with a particular focus on supporting talent and excellence. It works with exceptional, dedicated artists and producers enabling them to develop and thrive at important stages in their practice, often in partnership with leading UK arts organisations.
https://www.jerwoodcharitablefoundation.org/.



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