Black Lives Matter – Public Art project asking the question… #WhoseFuture?

#WhoseFuture is a new creative collaboration set to amplify diverse creative voices throughout the city of Bristol.

Launching this week, curated by Rising Arts Agency, #WhoseFuture will showcase works from 40 young Bristolian creatives, giving platform to the city’s voices while also asking important questions about its future, on the city’s streets.

Rising Arts Agency, Out of Hand and Bristol City Council have joined forces to bring this powerful creative campaign to Bristol’s billboards in response to the ongoing Black Lives Matter campaign, as well as inequalities suffered by young people and the impact on them from the wider Covid-19 lockdown.

Recent events have amplified the resonance, urgency, and importance of this project for Bristol, but #WhoseFuture also represents an age-old struggle for youth resilience, security, agency and the need for positive social change. Creating a huge outdoor arts showcase celebrating a striking portfolio of bold visual multimedia imagery from Rising’s network of young creatives, this project presents a unique opportunity for us to listen, reflect and act, and for our young people to be heard.

Rising Arts Agency is a community of young creative thinkers aged 16-30. Their mission is to empower Bristol’s under-represented young people to fulfil their creative ambitions and to affect wider social change through the arts. The agency is co-created with and for young people, and is fiercely independent.

Cllr Asher Craig: “#WhoseFuture is a powerful statement to the city. In order for us to move forward, it is important for us to listen to all the voices in the community – including Bristol’s young people. We have worked on a number of projects with Rising Arts Agency, including their radical Transforming Leadership programme, BE IT. This campaign is a testament to the insight that our young people have and the power they can bring to city wide conversations.”

Rosa ter Kuile, #WhoseFuture Campaign Manager Rising Arts commented:

“As an arts agency, our mission has always been to champion the unheard voices of creative young people and to fight for a fairer society. Recent events have shown us that our work has never been so important. #WhoseFuture is about challenging the status quo, bringing Bristol’s young creative community forward and celebrating a different vision for the future.”

Out of Hand is a design, print, distribution and outdoor media company based in South Bristol, which operates its own outdoor advertising network throughout the city. In support of the #WhoseFuture the team has donated these locations free of charge throughout the exhibition duration.

Nigel Muntz, Out of Hand Commercial Director, added:

“Whilst other outdoor media owners have ‘paused’ their sites until paid advertising returns, we have worked hard to come up with meaningful ways to utilise the space and give something meaningful back to the community who have supported us pre-pandemic. We are really excited to donate the majority of our advertising sites for this month-long exhibition, which will reach all corners of the city.”

In addition to supporting the campaign with this large format space, Out of Hand will also be supporting Rising in creating an online shop to showcase and sell the works on display, as well as managing the print and delivery.

This commission has been made possible by using Section 106 developer contributions funding for Public Art, secured through the planning system.

The commission has also been supported by the developers of The Chocolate Factory, Generator Group South West and The Burgh Arts project.

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