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How should we, as artists and creatives, respond to a new relationship to Europe and the world after Brexit? While a Creative Industries Federation survey suggested that 96% of creatives favoured remaining in the EU and journalists continue to ask whether Brexit spells disaster for the UK’s ‘cultural eminence’ and London's cosmopolitan art scene, others are more open to exploring the future and starting to offer a more positive take. Not least, Grayson Perry sees ‘fantastic’ opportunities to challenge the ‘same old comfortable ideas’ and in doing so ‘reach new audiences’. Can Brexit – the largest democratic mandate in UK history – become a springboard to transformation of the arts and cultural sectors? Can the act of shaking off EU regulations help create a new critical climate of opinion? If so, what should be our ambitions in reshaping discourse and practice? As Article 50 is triggered and we commence shaping post-Brexit Britain, a series of three public debates explores the fundamental issues most directly affecting the future of the arts in the UK and Europe, and whether Brexit can be used to our advantage.
The first in the series looks at whether borders matter. Should artists have unrestricted freedom of movement? Are artists a special case or should all of us, regardless of profession, be entitled to live and work in the country of our choice? Could Theresa May’s new ‘global Britain’ offer greater opportunities for the arts than an EU-bound Britain? What is the relationship between the local and global? What about cosmopolitanism? How might the creative and cultural sectors engage regional and national identities and traditions?

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