Upper Space Presents Politika


Politika – Art & the Affairs of the City explores the growing field of urban intervention in relation to cultural activism and social change. Scheduled to run parallel to the party political conferences happening across the UK, Politika offers a diverse program that includes an exhibition of provocative artworks from across the world, live participatory interventions, public workshops, talks and debate connecting contemporary art and theory to grassroots community activism.

Politika will see a merging of the intersections between art, social justice and activism as artists and the citizens of Greater Manchester assert their right to the city. The exhibition is situated within an old cotton mill in Ancoats – the world’s first industrial suburb.

Manchester is where the world’s first manifestations of industrial capitalism took shape, and from which came the neoliberal ethic of intense possessive individualism, and its cognate of political withdrawal from collective forms of action. These chasm between citizens and political institutions grow. If the city is both the producer of citizenship and the generator of innovation, it is the soil in which democracy lives. Without the city and maximized exchanges, democracy loses strength to create potential futures.

There is scope to generate an answer, another view, in order to sustain another ideology against consumerism and the disempowerment it represents. Politikacreates opportunities for people to transform themselves from passive consumers into active participants – active citizens.

Curated by Barney Francis


The Engine, Hope Mill, Ancoats, Manchester, UK

19th September – 1st October 2014 

Contributing artists:

Peter Kennard (UK)  // Epos257 (CZ) // Ztohoven (CZ) // Chim-Pom (JP) // VOINA (RU) // Francisco Tapia (CHI) // Shift//Delete (UK) // Brandalism (UK+) // WochenKlausur (AT) // Bill Posters (UK) // Franck Allais (FR) // Leah Borromeo (UK) // Tracey Moberly // Steve Lambert (US) // Robin Hood Minor Asset Management Cooperative (FI) // The Vacuum Cleaner (UK) //  John Beieler (US) // Peter McNaughey (UK) // Ben Parry (UK) // Ed Hall (UK) + citizens of Manchester.

Note – showing for the first time in the UK:  Chim-Pom, Francisco Tapia, Robin Hood Minor Asset Management, Brandalism, with new unreleased works.



You can see the full programme here:


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