Radical ESSEX




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Alicja Rogalska

In collaboration with University of Essex Social Sciences Faculty and Art Exchange, we are delighted to announce Alicja Rogalska as our artist-in-residence.
In a project devised by the three partners, Alicja will work in residence with academics in the Social Sciences Faculty to develop a new body of work culminating in an exhibition at Art Exchange, screenings on Big Screen Southend and an events programme to be announced in the coming months. The residency will be informed by and highlight the important research stemming from the Faculty over the past 55 years.

Professor Jason Glynos from the Department of Government is the lead academic on the project. He said: “It is hard not to be excited by this imaginative and bold experimental initiative.

“Research staff in the Faculty of Social Sciences have long produced work that is widely acknowledged to be world-leading, generating new perspectives that help us better understand social, economic, and political issues linked to sexuality, race, migration and refugees, inequality and poverty, technology, ideology, and so on.

“These perspectives often open up new ways to imagine, analyse, and tackle things differently.

“To bring an artist’s sensibility and creativity into contact with this work provides a unique opportunity to explore, in a distinctive way, the contribution Essex research makes to speculative and critical thinking.”

Alicja’s practice is interdisciplinary and encompasses research and production with a focus on social structures and the political subtext of daily life.

She has been widely exhibited and participated in residencies internationally, including Paradise Air in Matsudo/Tokyo, MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, IASPIS in Stockholm, MeetFactory in Prague, National University of Colombia in Bogota and TATE Britain in London.

She attended the Home Workspace programme at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut and has received grants from Arts Council England, Instytut Adama Mickiewicza and the European Cultural Foundation, in addition to artist bursaries from Artsadmin and a-n.

Speaking about the residency, Alicja said: “This is a truly fantastic and unique opportunity for me as an artist whose work and research engages with social and political issues and draws a lot on social sciences and my background in cultural studies.

“I’m hoping to specifically address what ideas for alternative, desirable futures are being discussed and researched at the moment, especially given the current crisis of political imaginary in wider society.”

University of Essex, Faculty of Social Sciences
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Radical Essex is a project re-examining the county in relation to radicalism in thought, lifestyle, politics and architecture. A programme of events will take place across Essex throughout 2016 and 2017, shedding light on the vibrant, pioneering thinking of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The project will celebrate the crucial role Essex has played in the history of British Modernism and its utopian ideologies under the themes ‘The Modernist County’ and ‘Arcadia for All’.

The Radical Essex site is designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio and Alex Rich, developed by Twelve.

Radical Essex is led by Focal Point Gallery in collaboration with Visit Essex and Firstsite. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England it forms part of the country wide Cultural Destinations programme, a partnership with VisitEngland, supporting arts organisations to work with the tourism sector to deliver projects that maximise the impact culture has on local economies.

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If you are a business or arts organisation interested to be involved in the project or learn more information, please contact us here

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our project partners: