Gentle/Radical is a Cardiff-based artist-run organisation that draws on community and cultural praxis to deepen transformation at neighbourhood levels. We’re interested in how art can be fundamentally useful in and to society building, and how long-term and hyper-local cultural formations can feed into lasting renewal for communities. We work within a constellation of interests to include contemporary cross art form practice, socially engaged cultural work; community development; celebration/ceremony/ritual; conflict resolution; and the work of inter-faith, consciousness and healing.
Gentle/Radical build projects that work across different people, spaces, art forms and communities. We collaborate with a range of practitioners, activists and artists, but primarily people who are awake to the crisis we’re living through, and are in service to transforming it. Whilst ‘art’ and ‘culture’ are our focus, we don’t see creativity as exclusive to these spheres. We see radical thinking as the foundation of the cutting edge and visionary.
In practice our work encompasses activities that include pop-up events, exhibitions, performances, installations, sung works, published works, screenings, symposia, reading clubs, walks, talks, meals, in-conversations, gatherings, community publications, and other actions that bring people together in different ways.
Where we are, informs what we do. Complex histories of struggle and resistance inform and map onto, how we think and create. Our immediate context is early 21st century Wales, and our projects acknowledge the complex territory of colonial reach upon language, culture, identity, resource and power that has shaped Wales for centuries. We also acknowledge the wider frameworks from which Wales – a white majority European nation – has benefitted. We recognise the interwoven terrains of class, language, race, ethnicity, culture, rurality, urbanity and migration which inform the contemporary space of possibility that is the Welsh nation. We believe in the power of small nations, and in the radical potential of small, diverse, multi-lingual cultures to model at the cutting edge of equitable and sustainable 21st century futures.
We are confident it is easy to write or speak our truths, and significantly harder to live them. The aspiration to work from a place of equity and solidarity means modelling this in our lives and within our collective. What that looks like is centring healing work, the work of consciousness, and inter-personal labour. What that looks like is acknowledging that power and privilege is experienced differently amongst us. What that looks like is an acknowledgement that our political work must bring us to the work of significant transformation within. What that looks like is a deep embrace of difference and conflict as normative and inherently generative, when we are able to centre consciously held dialogues, non-violent communication, and the honouring of the multiplicity of trauma and struggle, within and around us.
Our creative labour is the work of building just and healed futures.
We see this process as perpetual learning.
And the world as our field of practice.