Culture as the parliament of dreams, the forum in which people can express, contest and negotiate everything they cannot put into words and laws—the metaphor came to me more than 20 years ago, as I was travelling to a meeting at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. I kept working at it, finally using an invitation to speak at a Regional Arts Australia conference to set out my thinking. It probably wasn’t the best audience for an essay that I admit is rather dense, though I have always liked it.
About the same time, I started a second blog, called ‘parliament of dreams‘, where I explored ideas about cultural democracy. Over subsequent decade, that site accumulated 345 posts, 41 pages and a library of downloadable resources. I stopped updating it in January 2023, and it will be taken down, as I consolidate my work on this site. Not everything there is worth saving, but what is will find its way here. I’m reviewing the blog posts, and the best of them will be grouped into thematic collections—e.g., on culture during the pandemic or the ethics of community art—that will be available to download as PDFs when they’re ready. In the meantime, you can read the essay that gave that site its name here: