Tate Modern Workshop

Fairground With CCCU, University of Kent, People United, Valleys Kids, Whitstable Biennale

Fairground Ride by Iantresman (Own work) CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fairground Ride by Iantresman (Own work) CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Join us at Fairground to explore the exchange between art, politics and ideas

Fairgrounds were sites of exchange that enabled traders to buy and sell their goods, but that also drew together diverse populations in carnival, excess and play.

For Fairground at Tate Exchange different parts of these traditional fairgrounds are playfully updated and transformed to give a new twist on this space of exchange. As the week unfolds there will be unusual stalls, unexpected tours, pop-up performances and plenty of opportunities to get involved. Be prepared to be challenged, entertained and engaged – or just come along to see what is going on as the fairground comes to life.

Our fairground is suitable for all ages. What will YOU exchange?

Fairground attractions include:

  • Smash the Patriarchy: Become a feminist killjoy and pop the patriarchy balloons in a feminist re-conceptualisation of the classic Test Your Strength game.
  • Coconut Complaints: Got a complaint about anything political? Is it making you go cocoNUTS? Well, why don’t you shout it out at Coconut Complaints!
  • Test Your Mental Strength: Engage in a never-ending, ever-evolving, never-concluding, ever-revolving, never-resolving, vertigo-inducing debate. How long will YOU last?
  • We are Diaspora: Stories, poems, images. Weave a home from the threads of your and our journeys.
  • Splat-the-Baddy: Release your baddy down the pipe and have them meet their fate!
  • The Cage: Test your patience and your … compassion? Is freedom indivisible? Enter the cage, and find out!
  • Waste Not, Want Not: Drop in to see a carnivalesque live art intervention, that playfully explores social marginalisation and capitalist exchange

And more attractions!

  • For Me, For You, For Us -  Can an exchange really be free? Visit our stall and make a choice. Who will benefit rom your actions – you, someone you know or a stranger? People United invite you to drop in anytime to help create a collective work celebrating generosity and kindness. Working with artist Lucy Steggals, they ask you to give something personal – but free – and then make a choice. 
  • Whitstable Biennale, with a group of young people aged 18-24 from the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, and artist Esther Collins invite you to Put Your Face in the Hole. Taking inspiration from the photo-opportunity amusement you can poke your face through a screen and adopt a new body or see yourself in another landscape. 
  • Co-created by Anne Culverhouse-Evans (Artist in Residence at Valleys Kids) and Hollie Mackenzie (artist and PhD candidate at UKC) they reinvent the famous puppet show Punch & Judy by creating new intersectional characters and peaceful props that can then be played out in Peace & Judy
  • Make a medicine bag for the social ills of today using ingredients that have been sourced from the Valleys, Wales and Kent, England, at the Medicine Stall. 
  • Contribute to the Merry-go-round with a comment about an artwork from the Tate Collection, current exhibitions, events, or workshops. 
  • Anne will also be running a family friendly work-shop throughout the week, Patchwork Poster/One Piece Becomes a Masterpiece, creating small postcards that will form a large poster each day and will be available to view online.

Fairground at Tate Exchange is a collaboration between Christ Church University, the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent, Whitstable Biennale, People United and Valleys Kids, the artist Kelly Green with contributions from Astor College.

About the Associates

Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU)

Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU)

Canterbury Christ Church University is inspired by its Church of England foundation, strongly committed to transforming individuals, creating knowledge, enriching communities and building a sustainable future.

About the Activism Research Network: Dr David Bates is Director of Politics and International Relations and Co-Director (with Dr Matthew Ogilvie) of the Activism Research Network  – based at CCCU. The Activism Research Network is concerned with the following questions: ‘What makes for successful activism’? ‘How can activism both inform and transform the political agenda?’ ‘What is and ought to be the relationship between academics and activists?’ Our research seeks to inform progressive forms of political mobilisation, through the development of evidence informed toolkits, workshops and engagement with stakeholders.   

School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent

School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent

The MA in Politics, Art and Resistance enables experiments with experiential learning in the area of politics and international relations, especially focusing on the relationship between art and political resistance. 

The MA in Politics, Art and Resistance is a programme in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent. The teachers involved in the programme are Iain MacKenzie, Adrian Pabst and Stefan Rossbach. For Tate Exchange we are working in collaboration with Hollie Mackenzie, a former student on the programme now studying for her PhD.

People United

About People United

People United is a creative laboratory and arts charity. It is our mission to create a more kind and caring society through the arts. We develop innovative projects, undertake research and support artists in developing new participatory work. We are a catalyst for kindness.

People United believes that in order for us to live well in our increasingly complex world, we need to strengthen our capacity for empathy, compassion and concern for others. We believe that the arts have a practical and imaginative role to play in making this happen. 

Valleys Kids

About Valleys Kids

Valleys Kids is a Community Development Organisation based in the South Wales Valleys. At its heart it is about changing lives for the better, working with some of the most marginalised communities in Europe.

We have a 39 year old history of developing innovative projects in play, youth and family work and from the outset the arts have been at the heart of our practice. We are delighted to become Associates of the Tate Exchange project. This is an opportunity for our communities to place themselves in the centre of London. For many of our young people and families this will be their first ever visit to the U.K. capital.

Whitstable Biennale

About Whitstable Biennale

Whitstable Biennale is a festival of performance, film and sound, taking place every two years on the Kent coast.

The event has grown out of Whitstable’s artistic community, and has developed an international reputation for showcasing ambitious and experimental new work, and engaging audiences in a rich programme. 

Tate Modern

Tate Exchange

Blavatnik Building, Level 5

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit


12 April 2017 at 12.00–18.00

13 April 2017 at 12.00–18.00

14 April 2017 at 12.00–18.00

15 April 2017 at 12.00–18.00

Past Events

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