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School for Creative Activism (SCA): Advocacy Campaigns to Challenge High Medicines Prices

December 15-18, 2014

Barcelona, Spain

HMI

School for Creative Activism (SCA): Advocacy Campaigns to Challenge High Medicines Prices
 
The seminar is open to activists currently working on or interested in advocacy campaigns that challenge the high price of medicines.
 
The SCA is based on the idea that in order to bring about policy change, rational, fact-based messaging is not enough, and that the well-worn tactics of activists – such as marches and petitions -- no longer have the impact they may once have had. In order to achieve change, activists need to operate within the realm of popular culture -- in the realm of signs and symbols, images and expression, narratives and dreams. If they wish to operate effectively in this terrain, activists need to understand the tools and techniques of creative activism: the combination of social activism and artistic practice.
 
Using a range of contemporary examples of organizing and activism from around the world, participants will study the ways cultural creativity has been employed for raising awareness, building organizations, influencing legislatures, and drafting policy. They will explore ideas from cultural theory to cognitive science to social marketing. They will learn to apply these ideas through a range of practical exercises designed to unlock their imaginations from the prison-house of the possible – and then to figure out how to make the impossible possible, through new strategies and tactics. On the final day, the group will conceptualize, create and stage a sample creative action.
 
The School for Creative Activism will be led by CAA co-founders Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert.
 
Stephen Duncombe is an Associate Professor at the Gallatin School and the Department of Media, Culture and Communications of New York University where he teaches the history and politics of media. He is the author of Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy.
 
Steve Lambert is a conceptual artist and currently Assistant Professor of New Media at SUNY Purchase. His work has been shown everywhere from marches to museums both nationally and internationally, has appeared in over fourteen books, four documentary films, and is in the collections of The Sheldon Museum, the Progressive Insurance Company, and The United States Library of Congress.

Seminar Materials