Our March pick for the curated π—œπ—¦π—”π—–π—¦ 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗼𝗳 π˜π—΅π—² π— π—Όπ—»π˜π—΅ series is ‘Arts, Culture and Community Development’ edited by Rosie R. Maede and Mae Shaw, selected by our Communications Officer Cristina Ciampaglione.

About her choice, Cristina says:

The book is an extraordinary opportunity to question concepts we, as Arts Professionals, may often overuse during work practices. One of the questions that resonated with me is: “To what extent can engagement with the arts really challenge or upend systems of power and oppression?”

In the book, Jennifer Beth Spiegel, in my opinion, answers the question by affirming that “social circus programmes typically seek to offer those involved a set of tools for viewing and engaging with the world differently.” This concept is then further explained when she quotes Cirque du Soleil’s Community Workers Guide (Lafortune and Bouchard, 2010), which states: “The primary goal [of social circus] is not to learn circus arts, but rather to assist with participants’ personal and social development by nurturing their self-esteem and trust in others, as well as by helping them to acquire social skills, become active citizens, express their creativity and realise their potential”.

From reading this book I truly further believe that community arts initiatives can activate social change – awakening societal awareness, inciting reflection and activism and promoting active participation that potentially can transform civil society.

If you would like to consult the ISACS Library, get in touch at marketing@isacs.ie,Β and we can book you in for a research spot at our Hot desk.