Wednesday, June 14, 2006

John Fox forced to leave Welfare State International

John Fox, well known worldwide for his progressive and innovative theatre company Welfare State International, has decided to leave collaborative art and work alone.

The reason? As he explains in this PDF file, 'Whose Culture?', after 40 years his work was impossibly cramped by government bureaucracy. WSI's indoor and outdoor events and commitment to community events will be sorely missed.

"We joined to make spontaneous playful art outside the ghetto -- not to work three years ahead in a goal-orientated corporate institution where matched funding and value-added output tick-boxes destroy imaginative excess. Free imagination, the essentialorgan of communion, is being poisoned. The PAYE vulture descends. Working in the art business becomes a job and not a vocation. Health and safety, child protection, alarm systems, licensing, family friendly badges and employment laws invade with their suffocating culture of inertia and fear. The final straw? The 'hot work' permit for a bonfire in a field. Had we swept the floor and were the overhead sprinklers working?"

For information on the new arts company at Lanternhouse, which has taken over where WSI left off, please visit the Lanternhouse International website.

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