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Week 8: Artists & Designers- Social Change (ART718)

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Week beginning 23rd November 2023

Artists and Designers/Social Change


What is Socially engaged art?

Socially engaged art is that which empowers communities whilst retaining the integrity of the artistic practice. One should not be sacrificed for the benefit of the other. The art should have a positive and uplifting impact on its audience and participants, with the people at the centre of the artistic output. It can take just one artist or a critical mass of practitioners to make impactful change on a community or social issue. for the benefit of the other. The art should have a positive and uplifting impact on its audience and participants, with the people at the centre of the artistic output. It can take just one artist or a critical mass of practitioners to make impactful change on a community or social issue.


"Socially engaged practice, also referred to as social practice or socially engaged art, can include any artform which involves people and communities in debate, collaboration or social interaction. This can often be organized as the result of an outreach or education program, but many independent artists also use it within their work. The term new genre public art, coined by Suzanne Lacy, is also a form of socially engaged practise."



Suzanne Lacy is renowned as a pioneer in socially engaged and public performance art. Her installations, videos, and performances deal with sexual violence, rural and urban poverty, incarceration, labor and aging. Lacy’s large-scale projects span the globe, including England, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, Ireland and the U.S.


Mr and Mrs Peak 2017, Suzanne Lacy

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