“Like all citizens and their organisations, artists are part of civil society. They have a distinctive role within it when their work gives voice and visibility to people who are marginalised or not easily heard. In all societies some groups and interests dominate, thanks to their position, strength or control of resources. For everyone else, culture may be the only legitimate (or safe) form of expression. It has enabled women, ethnic or religious groups, people with mental ill health or disabilities, the young, LGBT people, foreigners and many others to explore identity, validate their experience, find common ground, organise and assert their human rights. In enabling this, cultural action can be a crucible of social development and civil society. Having a voice is the essence of democracy – and culture can be a powerful voice.” François Matarasso

One of the key features of a strong and healthy community is the acknowledgement of and celebration of similarity and difference – between older people from different ethnic and/or cultural backgrounds, and between old and young.

Much of our work is to develop projects that seek to oppose and confront ageism, stereotyping and other forms of discrimination against older people and minority groups. If we can foster feelings of acceptance, tolerance and understanding in the young, there may be scope to influence opinions in the wider community, leading to a possible decline in racial incidents and a drop in the number of stereotypical or prejudiced remarks.

You can find out more about our cohesion work by having a look at some of the best examples here:

Things We Leave Behind
Roma Celebration

This work emphasises our commitment to intergenerational dialogue and exchange – bringing young and old together to make shared work, explore ideas, stimulate creative thinking, challenge negative perceptions, and share their thoughts and views with the wider community.

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