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Wednesday, 1 December 2010


It is a tough time in the arts at the moment. Whilst commercial galleries may continue to court the big spenders, it is the public galleries and artist run spaces that will suffer the most- and these are the places that are either open to all of the public or the places that nurture and invest in emerging talent. Art can be seen as a luxury and so spending goes from this area first and we (artists, art lovers, curators, writers, poetics, illustrators, makers ad. in.) are being put in the position where we need to remind people of the intrinsic value of the arts to creativity, development, forward thinking and expression both with in the arts and beyond.

This is what we like to see:

We believe that the current proposed cuts to university funding threaten the existence of arts and humanities education in England and Wales. It is for this reason that we have made the decision to occupy the Slade School of Art building. We demand that the government provide the same protection for arts and humanities in universities as is provided for the sciences. We vehemently oppose the transformation of the university system into market based model; education should be a public debate, not a private economy.

Therefore we the students of the Slade are offering a space for the assembly of all art colleges in England in order to organise non-violent direct action against what we view as an attack by the government on the arts. This is not a virtual exchange, this is a physical assembly. We are demonstrating the value of physical space for art education through the continuation of our day-to-day activity, as well as by inviting other colleges to participate in open events, lectures and workshops. Our occupation is not designed to be disruptive, nor will it engender any damage to the building. Rather, we want to highlight the value of intellectual and cultural exchange within art courses. This is not a boycott, it is an act of support.

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