Test Sites Poole Workshop: Alternative School of Economics

Test Sites is a three-year programme by Arts Catalyst investigating elements of environmental concern – such as flooding, pollution, and species loss – within specific locations impacted by ecological change. At Poole Harbour, the project primarily focuses on the health and wellbeing of our ecosystems and of ourselves. 

For this workshop, we invite experts, members of the local community, active organisations, groups and individuals to join us at Lighthouse Poole to reflect on what role we as active citizens can play regarding the local ecology and its transformations. For instance, how can we prevent water pollution by environmentally hazardous industries whilst at the same time encouraging a sustainable and flourishing economy? The project aims to collectively imagine the future of Poole Harbour by bringing artists together with a diverse group of voices to exchange tools, strategies and knowledge. 
Our everyday lives are strongly affected by economics and the environmental changes that often occur as a result of them. Taking this as a starting point, we want to take an alternative approach to the local ecology by looking at it through the lens of the area’s main industries such as oil, fishing and tourism, kicking off with this workshop facilitated by The Alternative School of Economics
Through the workshop we will have the chance to: 
- Learn more about Poole Harbour 
- Connect with people and groups who have different forms of expertise about the area
- Exchange operative and creative tools that will benefit our initiatives 
- Grow our network and form new collaborations
- Clarify our intentions and ambitions for the future of the area
If you are interested in participating please email anna.santomauro@artscatalyst.org
Lunch will be provided on the day.
The Alternative School of Economics is a collaborative project by artists Ruth Beale and Amy Feneck; it is both an artwork and a way of working. Their work explores economics creatively, taking economics as a starting point for investigating wider political, social and cultural themes. 
Two significant elements underpin its approach:
It considers economics in a broader sense; that it is not only a vehicle for the study of money and finance, but for everything, encompassing politics, geography, conflict, sociology and social relations; a way of thinking about many aspects of life through the filter of economics.
The other is that the project strives for collaborative learning, with others, in a non-hierarchical way. It draws links between self-education and ways of working as an artist, in which study is self-motivated and stems from both personal and political interests and experience. Through this approach, it encourages open investigation into particular subject areas that highlight the complexities and challenges of everyday life. Past work has looked at issues relating to language and the need for learning English and the distribution of wealth across London, with physical outputs including posters for future study, films, pamphlets, photographs and publications.
This workshop has been organised in collaboration with The Arts Development Company and Lighthouse Poole, with the support of the University of Westminster and Bournemouth University.