Social Works? EDI


Axis is delighted to announce that submissions are once again open for Social Works?, the journal of social practice art. Building on our recent AHRC-funded SAFEDI project with Manchester Metropolitan University and Social Art Network, this will be a special issue on equality, diversity and inclusion in social art asking: How social art might influence EDI policy and institutional practice, and help to change communities’ relationship to arts organisations?

We would love to receive your abstracts/proposals on topics including, but not limited to:

  • How social art can model equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Case studies of social art projects centred upon equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Challenges for social artists from marginalised backgrounds / working in marginalised communities
  • Case studies on social art and policy making

We are looking for a mix of pieces of writing between 600 and 2500 words, as well as word-image pieces (e.g. comic strip, ‘zine spread, collage - max. 3 pages).

There are 8 bursaries available. We will pay £350 for each selected submission.

About Social Works?

Social Works? is an artist-led journal for and about social practice art in the UK and beyond. It was founded by Axis in 2018 as part of the 'Models of Validation' project with Manchester Metropolitan University and Innovate UK and launched at the first Social Art Summit in Sheffield.

In September 2021, we published our long-awaited second issue of Social Works? journal. You can find out more about issue 2 of Social Works?, as well as read the parallel digital edition of the journal, also published in 2021 here.


SAFEDI stands for ‘Social Artists for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’. The SAFEDI research project took place in 2021 and involved six projects, which brought together social artists, community participants, arts organisations, researchers and policy-makers to understand what kind of barriers underrepresented people face around access, culture and creativity.

SAFEDI was created in response to research which shows that the arts are not reaching diverse audiences (ACE, 2020) and the creative industries are ‘failing to make use of diverse talent in the UK’ (Carey, 2020). We believe that equality, diversity and inclusion are EVERYBODY’S issue, and that social practice artists are especially well placed to create innovative new models for the sector.

To find out more about the SAFEDI project, click here.

Submissions guidance

Expressions of interest should be no more than 300 words in length.

Please use the online form here to make a submission.

The deadline is 16 May 2022. For those with access needs submissions via audio and video recording is also accepted.

All submissions will be reviewed by the Axis team and an independent reviewer. We will let you know the outcome by the week of 6 June.

Proposals will be judged on the following criteria:

1. Relevance / innovation in EDI
We are looking for submissions that reflect on what social art and artists have to offer to best practice in EDI. This might be in the form of a think-piece, manifesto or personal experience, or a longer essay on a specific aspect of EDI.

2. Relevance / innovation in social practice
Social Works? Journal deals with themes and debates from and about participatory and social practice art.

We define ‘social art’ as art that makes social relationships and structures the primary medium...instead of, or in addition to the use of material and digital media (Ravetz & Wright, 2020, p.15).

All submissions to Social Works? will be assessed on their significance to the field of social art, so in your expression of interest please be sure to describe how your work speaks to socially-engaged / participatory practice and practitioners.

3. Quality of submission
Social Works? Is a journal for artists by artists. We want compelling, persuasive, thoughtful and erudite pieces which help to progress discussions in the field.

If your expression of interest is successful, you will be expected to send a first full-length draft by 27 June 2022. We will then send some feedback in advance of a final version by 5 September 2022. We are happy to discuss alternative timeframes with individual selected contributors.

Access requirements

Please contact us if you have any access requirements and we will be happy to assist you.

You can listen to an audio version of this application below.