I have received a bursary to attend a symposium and public forum exploring issues arising from UK City of Culture, looking forwards to what ‘legacy’ might mean for Coventry. Day 1 introduces ethnographic research, field research and participant observation methods and brings researchers that have been working with publics through participation and creative practices to share their work. For day 2, entitled Arts and the Urban Commons Forum, artists, curators and scholars share their work and ideas around the city and culture’s role in living together empathetically.
Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture has now come to an end. This mega-cultural event brought with it an image-change agenda which seeks to remodel the city as a destination for cultural tourism, alongside claims of generating pride and well-being amongst Coventry’s citizens. In tandem with UK City of Culture 2021, significant city centre regeneration projects have been ‘green-lighted’ including the proposed City Centre South scheme.
We will hear from artists, curators, researchers and local citizens, offering insight into some of the cultural activities that are played out in the city as well as the broader context of arts and culture as a UK government process of regeneration. We imagine questions of agency, function and the depoliticization of arts and culture will result from the talks and conversations planned for the day.