Creative Places and International Women’s Day

Our last gathering was all about Creative Places in Southampton, it is the start of a project which aims to support and strengthen independent venues in the city which help creative and community activity to flourish. More details here.

On March 8th, we will be marking International Women’s Day with a lunch and a workshop led by artist Deborah Ireland. More details, plus other activities that are happening in the city to mark IWD, are here.


Public Art in Southampton

We are having an evening to talk about public art in Southampton. There’s been a lot of interest in public art in the city recently, with K6 Gallery taking over old phone boxes, zany zebras getting residents out there looking at work by local artists, and the Southampton Fringe commissioning and encouraging some n161110-publicart-webew art interventions.

Public art is nothing new of course. It has been happening in the city for years and there were times when considerable investment was made, commissioning artists to work in the public realm on projects that had a high profile. Alex Batten from K6 Gallery has been busy collecting information about public art (post-war until now) to help Southampton Cultural Development Trust build the picture of what has happened to date in the city. Katie Daley-Yates from Host Productions is working with a space arts on a more coordinated approach to the public art commissioning that happens as part of planning permissions for new development. They will both tell us more about their work.  We will also be hearing from a number of local artists that have specialised in public art and having a joint discussion about the what next for public art in Southampton.

The Southampton Pride of Place Project is in the city for the whole on November, offering an evolving gallery space to explore the identity of the city. What better time to have an evening of discussion dedicated to public art and its future?

So come and join in Thurs 10 November from 7pm to 108 East Street SO14 3HD, the corner shop next to Perrys Art Shop.

We hope that the event will raise awareness of the support for public art in the city and explore how the arts community can come together to encourage more commissioning. This is not a ‘consultation’, this is local people coming together to explore the issue together. What comes out of it depends on what happens on the night.

This event is jointly hosted and run by K6 Gallery, The Caravan Gallery and Dangerous Ideas Southampton. You can just turn up, no need to book. Drinks will be available, although you are welcome to bring your own. It is a free event, but we welcome any donations to enable events like this to happen.

If you would like to contact us before the evening, please phone Rebecca Kinge on 07968 777261 or email


The Empire New Clothes 21 Sept at 7.30pm

Wed 21 Sept, 7.30pm, Gods House Tower, Winkle Street, Southampton

The Empires New Clothes is a night to explore the current fashion industry, it’s impact on people and the planet, and what we can do about it. This free event is run by Southampton Clothes Swap in collaboration with Dangerous Ideas Southampton and the Artists at GHT – A Reincarnation. Join the Facebook event  page.

The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?

Clothes swaps and stuff swaps are a free and informal environment which saves clothes from landfill and presents an exciting alternative to spending your money on new things from expensive shops and potentially unethical production methods.

GHT is a beautiful medieval building which is soon to be renovated into an arts and heritage venue. Alongside this, a group of Southampton artists are making work in, about, around the building and way more.

Unfortunately, as it has not yet been renovated there is no disabled access sorry! There are parts of the building that can get dusty too, incase anyone has breathing difficulties etc.

Clothes swaps are free but donations are greatly appreciated.

How swaps work:

1. Dig out the clothes and things you’ve had sitting around that you no longer use or want (or cannot take with you when you move). The more the merrier if you need a clear out.

2.Bring your things to the swap (please make sure they are clean/fit for some kind of use). Lay your things out in the correct section.

3.Have a rummage through everything else to find yourself some things you like.

4.Sit down, chill out and appreciate your (new) stuff!

Get sorting!


This Changes Everything – our evening together

We gathered together on Saturday 18 July to watch This Changes Everything with Southampton Climate Conversations and James Dyke at the helm, and we had quite an evening of it.18 June This Changes Everything poster

Our gathering

We gathered together in the Physics building in the University of Southampton.  We chatted to each other and met people from different organisations and campaigns involved in climate change activity. Some superbly gorgeous canapés were provided by Goswell and Milne and we had the chance to meet campaigners and organisers from Southampton Cycling Campaign, Transition Southampton, Clean Air Southampton, Beamz (sustainably engineered wooden bicycles), Sound Cycling (cycle skills training), Greenpeace and Southampton’s Real Nappy Network. We were delighted that Joe Hudson was able to take photographs for us.Milling about

The film that told a story

Naomi Klein’s film demonstrated how the dominance of fossil fuels is ripping away the connections between communities and the land. The film’s focus was on how people are impacted by environmental destruction, and showed that a people-centred story is what we need to motivate a change of approach. Campaigns about polar bears just don’t do it for Naomi.

Our world is trying to solve a 400 year old story where the earth is seen as a machine and we are its masters. This is where the long road to global warming began. In the Alberta tar sands area, the indigenous population, who have a constitutional right to go onto the land, have been denied that right and the area has suffered from some devastating destruction and pollution.

Of course, nature can hit back through storms and floors. After hurricane Sandy in New York is was clear that the hardest hit were the most marginalised.

Thousands of gallons of crude oil spilled into the river in Montana near the Yellowstone park, yet President Obama in 2012  showed how proud he is to see the country “drilling all over the place”. We saw how the environment is traded for economic gain in the Eldorda site in Greece and witnessed the community fight against a polluting power plant in India. We heard how China’s fossil fuel pollution is literally choking the country (“where can we buy clean air”) and how in 2014 coal consumption declined and today the country is the biggest producer of solar panels in the world.

Naomi’s response is that we already have enough fossil fuels in our reserves, indeed we have 5 times as much as in our carbon budget if the world is to keep within the globally-agreed 2 degree limited for global warming.

The bottom line is greed. The core problem is the economic system and capitalism. The global economy is still based on growth without limits. If this is the fastest way to growth, why are so many people on the frontlines so sceptical? If climate change could be taken seriously, this would change everything.

What if renewable energy could be the rebirth of our future? Renewable energy shows we have to work with nature, where the wind blows, where the sunshines, that is where we need to harness our energy. Create local organisations that make the rules, communities taking back the power on important decisions.

Germany has intervened in its energy production and now 30% of its energy comes from renewable sources. Employment is going up, emissions are going down. This happened because of the people, they fought against polluting energy and won. As a society, we need to take direct action, communities need to be stronger.

Naomi finished the film with a powerful message – we could reinvent a different future.

Our discussionWatching the film

The purpose of Climate Conversation‘s events is to provide a place where we can talk these issues through and work through ideas for action, and so a vibrant question and answer session followed the film. We discussed capitalism and consumerism; whether we start with encouraging political change; the opportunities that the Transition Movement gives us to focPanel pictureus on positive action (including an active group here in Southampton); how we need to cycle here in our city; and encouraging us to get involved in campaigns to protect our meadows on the edge of Southampton. And we also talked about pineapples in Portswood, the serious point being about how if a pineapple imported from the other side of the world costs us £1, there must be some social or environmental costs somewhere along the line.

Finally, anyone had the chance to give a 30 second pitch about their project or action, and here we plugged our next chance to get together to celebrate collaboration: our Common Ground picnic on 14 July.

Grant Sharkey and friends

Grant SharkeyAfter all the seriousness of climate change, we needed something to lighten the mood and this came in the form of Grant Sharkey and his friends playing songs for the climate. Hard hitting and hilarious, Grant showed how music can be part of the story of change.

We're fxxxed


This Changes Everything

What a title! Southampton Climate Conversations is holding a free screening of This Changes Everything on 18 June at 5pm at the University of Southampton.

18 June This Changes Everything poster

This second Climate Conversations event at the University of Southampton is a free screening of the Naomi Klein documentary This Changes Everything. This will be followed by an audience discussion, free food and drink, and more conversation amongst the stalls in the foyer.

Please register for a FREE ticket (includes food & drink) from:

About the film:
Filmed over 211 days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change. Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

About Climate Conversations:
Climate Conversations is a Southampton-based network of people who want to talk about global and local environmental change and respond through positive action. We want to see Southampton as a low carbon, healthy city.

Saturday 18th June 17:00-21:00
Building 46, Highfield Campus, University of Southampton


In Conversation With…

Our next event on 9 June is based on an interview format, enabling in depth conversations with two of Southampton’s talented artists – Don John and Sarah Filmer, with questionning led  by Catherine Wright. There will also be opportunities for everyone attending to get involved in the conversation. This is part of a series of events In Conversation With….,  offering a platform for  people involved in creativity in the city. Have you reserved your ticket yet?


When we imagine Southampton…

Blog by Rebecca Kinge 13/04/16

Last night, Transition Southampton organised a thought-provoking night of conversation about Southampton. Imagine if you wake up tomorrow and Southampton is as you would like it to be? What does it look like? How do you feel? What are you doing? What is your life like? These were the questions that we tried to answer, and answer them we did.

The subject of imagining our city reminded me of the group conversations that we had last October at  our Dangerous Ideas event “What sort of city should Southampton be?”, which we hosted in the lead up to the Council’s local plan issues paper. (Here is the document that was produced and submitted as a result.  SCC Local Plan issues community response Oct15)

Last night was organised in the innovative “World Café” style, which gives everyone a chance to contribute to the discussion, rather being dominated by the loudest voices. I’m not sure how many of us were there, but we filled every chair in the Friends Meeting House. Clare Diaper, the Chair of Transition Southampton, set the scene reminding us of the many conversations that have been happening across the city over the last couple of years on a whole range of issues such as health, inequality, tax avoidance etc as well as those more frequently associated with sustainable living. The evening was a chance to bring it all under one roof, creating a vision for the city and encourage similar conversations in every community, every network of people until we have something comprehensive that reflects the whole community’s wishes for Southampton.

In the middle of each of our café tables was a piece of paper where we drew our vision, and wrote down our ideas in a truly collaborative way. Whilst we all sat and focused, two women, Christine and Christabelle had the role of being a “butterfly” between groups. They circulated the room whilst we chatted, listened into the many conversations and then identified the common themes that emerged. I paraphrase them, but here are some of the issues that they reported as coming through loud and clear last night:

The City needs to respond to the needs of people and the environment. People want to be closer to nature, trees and water, and they want these to be social spaces. They want this linked with skills and apprenticeships. Fewer cars and less emphasis on the pursuit of capitalism. We all need more time and space to access greater opportunity.

As a final summary, we all had to identify three things that we see as priority and we positioned them on a post it note on a beautiful hand drawn picture of a tree, which represents how a city and its people that can flourish in a truly ecological way. People were at the heart of this thinking.

Transition Southampton will be sharing the pictures and notes from last night, and analysing the priorities that emerged. Importantly, we will all meet again in a month or so to help focus on this vision and move it to the next step, which is the action needed to achieve change.

Within last night’s group was Denise Baden from University of Southampton. Denise is an associate professor with expertise in sustainable development and is working on the search for Utopia no less! She has offered to help secure funding for these Imagine Southampton conversations to continue, to reach more widely into the various different parts of our local communities and ensure that it leads to positive change. You might wish to join her Facebook page “If I were a well meaning dictator I would….”

I hope you will also be part of this continued conversation. You can hear about the next Imagine Southampton event via Transition Southampton‘s email list or keep in touch via social media. We know that something needs to change. Let’s make sure it happens in a way that puts people and planet at the heart.





9 June 16 Creative City: Local Talent

Dangerous Ideas Southampton and friends are hosting an evening event on Thursday 9 June to celebrate the significant contribution of local grassroots artistic talent to Southampton. More details to be announced soon, so watch this space!

Our fringe event will happen after this daytime conference: Culture City: Supporting a Creative Southampton by the CHAOS Network, in association with the Southampton Cultural Development Trust and SoCo Music Project at Central Hall on the 9th June 2016 from 9.30-4pm.


Co-operation, women and food justice

We had a great start to the year, with Kate and Paul Maple sharing some tips and experience on how to use film for community purposes. Thank you Kate and Paul. Thanks also to the Roundabout Cafe in Mansbridge, which was set up by the local housing association to provide a place for local people to meet and learn new skills.

We also spent the evening with Nathan Brown from Cooperantics on 23 February, learning about co-ops and how relevant they are to the future of our city. They come from a radical history and remain strong part of our local economy, employing hundreds of people, engage many volunteers too and are based on a principle of collective ownership. This event was timed to connect with the Solent Social Enterprise Zone’s festival week.

March sees the annual International Women’s Day and there are a number of events happening with a women’s theme across the city, plus we are planning a lunch too on Tues 8 March at the Art House. More details about all these events here.

On 16 March, we are pleased to be connecting with food projects across the city to explore food justice here in Southampton. More details here.