It’s been an incredibly rough year for most, not least those of us who make a living in the arts. At Civil Disobedience, we’ve been extremely fortunate to secure some work and hardship funding, keeping us afloat during the pandemic, but that’s not to say we’ve got to this point unscathed.

Yes, we’re very lucky compared with many of our artist and arts industry friends to have pulled through a very turbulent year, but these last 12 months have still taken their toll, financially and mentally. The stress and uncertainty we’re all dealing with has seen us go into survival mode, keeping our heads down and focusing our energy on looking after ourselves and those around us.

It’s fair to say that we’ve dropped the ball on all non-essential work during this period — there’s practically tumbleweed rolling across our blog and social media pages — but we’ve decided it’s time to dust ourselves off and get our focus back on the work we’re passionate about, with our sights set firmly on the future. So to that effect, we wanted to share a brief update on where we’re currently at, and what’s on the horizon for Civil Disobedience.

Paisley Radicals is coming together

In late 2019 we won a commission by TH.CARS 2 and Renfrewshire Council to create a large-scale outdoor performance marking the 200th anniversary of the Radical War in Paisley. It’s a really great piece of Scottish history that’s not currently taught in schools and we were dying to tell the story in a very public, high profile way — until Covid-19 cock blocked us, that is.

However, the funders of the project have been brilliant in supporting us in creating something unique and “Covid-compliant”. What we’ve ended up with is an exciting experience that draws contemporary parallels on the right to assemble, protest and the fight for universal suffrage. It’s got Civil Disobedience written all over it and we can’t wait to share more information with you once the project embargo is lifted.

We’ve been working on this project throughout 2020 as well as the start of 2021, and have now entered the final stage of delivery from our end, so watch this space for more details on the end result over the coming months.

Civil Disobedience and Keith Alessi

Our working relationship with Keith Alessi is still going strong and we’ll continue to support him and his one-man show Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life throughout 2021. Keith performed the show at Online@theSpaceUK Season 2 in January and got fantastic response, with the show being shortlisted for an OnComm award.

Creative Scotland’s EDI Advisory Group

We were absolutely thrilled to find out in February that Barry has been selected by Creative Scotland to join their new Equalities, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Advisory Group for a period of two years, until 2023.

The group is made up of 12 independent individuals who each have a clear commitment to the development of arts and culture in Scotland, and its purpose is to tackle inequalities and eliminate discrimination, ensuring that as many people as possible can access and participate in arts and culture across Scotland. We’ll share more about Barry’s EDI work in due course, but take a look at the full Creative Scotland announcement in the meantime.

Persistant & Nasty

We’re super-proud of our colleagues and sisters in the Persistent & Nasty team. Not only have they doubled down on their efforts to share the voices and stories of women in TV, film and theatre during an exceptionally challenging year, they’ve also taken on an additional commitment by starting a weekly Coffee Morning Zoom in lockdown.

The Coffee Morning, which just turned one, offers camaraderie, arts chat and support to anyone who wants to join in a friendly and social setting. It takes place every Friday at 11am (UK time) — email if you want to check it out. And you can listen to the most recent episode of the Persistent & Nasty podcast, with Shakara Carter, now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and SoundCloud.

That’s it for now, but we’ll be back with more project news and musings soon.

%d bloggers like this: