With view to the ongoing social inequality, increasing heterogeneity and to the manifold divides in western societies, practitioners of the fields of Sociocultural Animation and of Social Art have raised similar questions: How can a coexistence between diverse communities and between individuals with unequal social or cultural capital be enhanced? How can divides be transformed into social bonds? And how can underrepresented groups actively participate in public life? In the context of these fundamental questions, Sociocultural Animation and Social Art operate with similar tactics and terminologies (participation, inclusion, community building, activation etc.). However, the two fields of practice are shaped by different historically grown self-conceptions, which come with specific approaches and theoretical discourses. When, for instance, practitioners of Sociocultural Animation speak of art, they mostly refer to creative practices or practices of aesthetic expression in general. They thereby do not transport the implications such practices have for artists. These go back to the criticism that the art discourse has brought forth based on the cultural theories of the late 20th century (such as post-colonial studies, queer studies, democracy studies etc.). On the other side, it seems often challenging for artists to take into account the logic of social work to their projects, which is based on an effect-oriented perspective that, not least, asks about the measurable impact of a project.
The workshop aims at putting the different involved fields of practice in dialogue. We intend to clarify the shared interests of Sociocultural Animation and Social Art as well as their divergences. On this basis, we ask: To what extent are these fields and practices complementary? What can practitioners from either field learn from the specific approach of the other? Where are differences and frictions and how could they be made productive? What shared concepts and methods can emerge from this dialogue?
The workshop creates an encounter of representatives of different fields who will discuss on chosen subjects that are essential for both perspectives, but interpreted and used in different ways. As an overall issue, we include the perspective on translocal practices as a way of linking global debates with local specificities. Point of departure for the discussion will be practice-based case studies. Based on the clarifications of the workshop and the therein built network we aim to develop an implementation-oriented research project. The basis for this further research has been set with the collaboration of the Institute of Sociocultural Development at the Department of Social Work and the Competence Centre for Art, Design & Public Spheres at the Department Design & Art, both of the Lucerne University of Applied Science and Arts and the Program area Contemporary Art and Cultural Production (University of Salzburg/University Mozarteum Salzburg).