SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge

Other Published Research Output
August 2011

Guns to Goods

Ingleson, S & Haywood, P 2011, Guns to Goods, (Start-up Enterprise and Artefacts), www.gunstogoods.org, Greater Manchester, UK.

Abstract

‘Guns to Goods’ is an early stage social enterprise based in inner urban Manchester, UK. The basic idea is to design and develop new products for manufacture using recycled metal harvested from police-confiscated guns that then leads to retail, thereby developing a system of income generation supporting social campaign promotion. The impact sought is to build social cohesion and collective remedial action with communities affected negatively by gun ownership and gang related crime. Supported by funding from the AHRC (Knowledge Transfer Fellowship ref: AH/G017115/1) the ‘Guns to Goods’ story is an evolving collaboration between researchers, artists, the charity CARISMA (Community Alliance for Renewal, Inner South Manchester Area) and the Greater Manchester Police.

Notes

This is a creative enterprise project initially inspired by a locally (Moss Side, Manchester) based charity supported, in turn, by the Serious Crime Unit of the Greater Manchester Police. Guns to Goods creates new products for manufacture using recycled metal harvested from police-confiscated guns that then leads to retail, thereby developing a system of income generation supporting social campaign promotion. This project aims to promote ongoing citizen led initiatives affecting reductions in weapons proliferation and gun ownership by providing a means of physically destroying weapons, placing them beyond use and symbolically converting their metal into fresh artefacts of aesthetic value.  The project potentially supplies a narrative that has brand value for the main charity as well as the various public and third sector endeavours contributing to crime solutions. Importantly, if successful, it will provide space for public expression and creative gestures, adding to campaign resources, through product design and product enhancements.
 
How can arts practices be designed and applied to successfully further inclusive social programmes; in this case to assist in measures for reducing the incidence, threat and impact of serious crime? The primary purpose of the ‘Guns to Goods’ is to solve a logistical problem of how to recycle metal from weapons stored in custody into a form that can be further manipulated to meet artistic and commercial ambitions; thereby raising momentum in the production of social interest creative enterprise whilst simultaneously and symbolically destroying guns. The goal is to generate new opportunities for creative outputs and expression relevant to a set of specific contextualising factors. Whilst the current initiative is focussed on the specific needs of its partners in the Inner South Manchester urban area, if successful, it will provide evidence from experience of how collaborative professional and social partnerships can make use of creativity and design to facilitate community empowerment through enterprise.

Publication Details

Type
Start-up Enterprise and Artefacts

Publisher
www.gunstogoods.org
Greater Manchester, UK