Gentle/Radical is a Cardiff-based social practice artist-run project. From culture they connect community, politics, spirituality and social justice, building projects from the ground up. While these are ideals, easy to speak and harder to uphold in practice, bridging the gaps between ideals and practice – is precisely the work.
Their activities shift according to cultural need, interest, and the challenges communities are facing. For them ‘cultural need’ means addressing the gaps in mainstream cultural practice, provision and thinking. Understanding radical thinking as the foundation of the creative and the visionary. From pop-up events, exhibitions, performances, installations, sung works, published works, film screenings, symposia, walks, talks, meals, readings, gatherings to other actions that bring people together.
They want to work in ways that address the historical disinheritance – cultural, economic, political, spiritual, ancestral – of people who have yet to experience the power they are consistently told is available to them. To do this work, and anchored in decolonial, ecologist and intersectional values, they collaborate with community activists, campaigners, educators, researchers, faith practitioners, historians, artists, writers, journalists and others, with the aim to change the way power works, while opening the conversation to everyone. Since not only art should be useful to society, but that challenging task is probably the most important thing culture can do at this time.
Image from Decolonising Environmentalism Symposium organised by Gentle/Radical starring Julia Dahr’s documentary ‘Thank you for the rain’.