SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge

Working Paper
January 2011

Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement

Haywood, P & Ingleson, S 2011, Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, unpublished unpublished Journal Article, , Gateways is jointly edited and managed by UTS Shopfront at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, and the Centre for Urban Research and Learning (CURL) at Loyola University in Chicago, USA, Sydney & Chicago, Australia and USA.

Abstract

 Enterprise Education can be a medium of artistic creation within which shared identities are recognisable because of common experiences.  In our practice we are constructing a means of expanding on artistic considerations connected to form and aesthetics in social landscape representation to inform collective action; echoing notions of social constructivist education but also requiring all active participants to recognise a shared concept or value. The challenge is how to harness or even step outside the mechanisms which interpellate and regulate a community’s representations, recognisable identities and values, in order to achieve alternative emancipatory forms of social enterprise, educational process and political action.

 
“Guns to Goods” (“Gunpowder Production”), is anevolving social enterprise theme that mitigates gun crime. Through engaging young people in a new social enterprise, we are actively reducing gun metal, grinding or smelting, into a raw material for fabricating new products and materials for commercial use; the basic idea is to create concepts for ideology focused commodities to be manufactured from the gun metal of confiscated weapons; thereby giving a voice and a role to young people within a wider, community driven, gun crime reduction and social cohesion programme.
This example is specific to the focused needs of collaborative partners that already operate as social enterprises in the Inner South Manchester urban area and evidences how existing networks and partnerships can make use of creativity and design in their own processes to build larger and more invasive social campaign messages. In this instance the process is leading to the distributive retail of ethically branded goods and the securing of supply chains from manufacturing and procurement, whilst maintaining core input from under-represented voices in the community. The problem of street weapon proliferation is one that majorly impacts on young people as both consumer and victim; there is clear evidence that young people offer a vulnerable and pliable customer base for those prepared to make business from the sale of ballistic hand-held devices and bladed weapons. CARISMA and other charities based in inner urban Manchester are working to counter street violence and insecurity and build social cohesion.
 
What our research has come to rely on is a process of self-branding. This is not intended to reflect, in any meaningful way, on tried and tested marketing techniques; it is better characterised as a set of speculative, non-scientific processes that explore emotional and intellectual territories representing common purpose in the context of campaign activism (enterprise). Effectively, the groups and individuals that collaborate on this and similar, earlier, creative interventions are converting the concept of a social problem / issue into a story or contemporary folklore that has marketing value when designed as image, otif or ethical brand. To associate with socio-geographically focused ethical and significant campaigns potentially offers a third party business or sponsor an added value; this is the contract that offers the greatest potential for economic exploitation leading to sustained social enterprise in the communities partnering the University in this research.

Notes

 

Publication Details

Type
unpublished Journal Article,

Publisher
Gateways is jointly edited and managed by UTS Shopfront at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, and the Centre for Urban Research and Learning (CURL) at Loyola University in Chicago, USA
Sydney & Chicago , Australia and USA.