Between Tuesday 7th April to Saturday 9th May 2015, artist in residence Clary Saddler will launched her project Uprising at The Project Space in Newport. Delivering a project using relatable themes (e.g. a gang metaphor running parallel to the workshops), Clary aimed to inspire people within Newport to be more politically active.

Uprising takes place in a dystopian future that exists after the collapse of our own society in a world governed by gang leaders and crime lords. By 2017, the number of people voting declined so dramatically that governments eventually got overthrown by gangs who promised their followers a brighter future but failed to deliver. Now the world is in a constant state of civil war; with each gang invading – seeking new territory. A large underground movement of rebels and political protesters hold secret meetings – identifying themselves by wearing rainbow bracelets. They strive for a democratic future; their motto “the classes against the masses”. They believe they can empower the masses through creative expression.

The Project Space is a community platform for the visual and creative arts which initiates, develops and delivers a programme of performances, exhibitions, workshops and activities. Through a series of participatory arts workshops these sessions explored themes of democracy through the creation of songs, raps, rhythms & beat-poetry; graffiti art, short films (holding subliminal messages of democracy) and political theatre. This culminated in a promenade style performance entitled Uprising.

A note from the artist on completion of the project: “I’m a young practitioner who holds ‘old school’ ideals of changing the world through art. With this project I aimed to engage participants (of any age) creatively and to get them involved in the democratic process and inspire them to be more politically active. Due to the drop-in nature of the workshops (and a surprisingly hot April) it was not always easy to coax people through the door. However, I believe what we managed to achieve and script from these sessions is a good start at inspiring change within the city of Newport.”