I’m an actress, writer, director, citizen. I also have to earn a living, currently I am working as freelance creative and communcations professional. You can find out more about that here on Linkedin: uk.linkedin.com/pub/deborah-mason/7/610/901/
I’m interested in whether cultural engagement can create political engagement. Following on from that whether political engagement of the citizen can create political change – real change not just a change of government but of what government means.
I should say (just in case the above statement is mis-interpreted) that I believe in democracy and that I think we all deserve a better democracy than the one we are currently living in.
About this blog:
Mostly this blog is about my thoughts on cultural/political engagement. However there is also quite a lot about my adventure directing Julius Caesar – which was a kind of prolonged experiment to test out my theories. Some reviews, pictures and a storify of one night’s tweets are on the Julius Caesar page.
More about me!
What Next? Southwark www.whatnextsouthwark.co.uk
What Next? is a nationwide movement seeking to enhance the national conversation about the value of arts and culture. It aims to engage the public as active participants in this debate. What Next? Southwark is part of this movement and seeks to make a difference at a local level. There is a powerful trend towards encouraging individuals and communities to articulate what the arts and culture mean for them. What Next? Southwark wants to contribute to a process that nourishes the active engagement of a diverse public and empowers them to speak for themselves.
The Alternatives http://thealternativestheatre.com/
I have recently set up, with Julie Weston, a new non-professional theatre group seeking alternative ways of doing things, seeing things and presenting things. We were part of the RSC Open Stages project with a production of King Lear (with a female Lear) in 2015.
Artists’ Assembly Against Austerity http://artistsassembly.wix.com/artistsassembly
I am on the steering group of the AAAA – currently I am working with the PCS Union on a conference on the Future of Arts and Culture in Britain – details of the conference here:
Details of the #SHOWCULTURESOMELOVE campaign here https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5zViue3YfFVMGYtdWh0TVkyU1E/view?usp=sharing
Collage 365 and Create 365
I became involved with #Collage365 in April 2013 and completed the challenge of creating a collage a day for 365 days in April 2014 – the results can be seen here: http://www.pinterest.com/debdavemason/collage365/
I am hoping at some point either this year or next year to exhibit and sell the collages. They were done as a kind of diary of my life and I found the process very useful psychologically.
Having completed Collage 365 I found I needed something to take its place so I started Create 365 – a simple challenge to do something creative every day. Because this isn’t a diary project I’ve found it harder to stick to the ‘every’ day bit – but it’s my project and my rules! I have also persuaded my best friend to join me in doing it. You can see my progress here: http://www.pinterest.com/debdavemason/create365/
Is She Having Fun www.isshehavingfun.wordpress.com
My friend Bruce, alerted me to the ongoing threat from organised misogynist organisations targeting feminist bloggers and together we started this small campaign to help people understand what was going on and hope to devise some strategies to combat it.
The Possible Theatre Collective http://possibletheatrecollective.com/
Springing from my Manifesto for a Reimagined World – the Possible Theatre Collective aims to facilitate through collaborative action more theatre that addresses inequalities and springs from grassroots momentum.
Beaconsfield Contemporary Art: http://beaconsfield.ltd.uk
I am an occasional volunteer for Beaconsfield Contemporary – a brilliant non-commercial contemporary art gallery and project space with a great cafe.
Wellbeing of Women: www.wellbeingofwomen.org.uk
I used to work for this brilliant charity, before I worked there I was a volunteer, now I don’t work there anymore I’ve gone back to being a supporter and occasional volunteer. They do important work funding research that will lead to better health outcomes and save the lives of women and babies. I ran the London Marathon for them in 2013.
Southside Players: www.southsideplayers.org.uk
I have worked with Southside Players a community/amateur theatre group over the last 20+ years.