Juliette Désorgues
Sciences

Health, 04 July 2019

Juliette Désorgues

Art as Activism, interview with Peter Dunn and Loraine Leeson by Juliette Desorgues.

Investigation by Juliette Desorgues

Summary

In the mid-1970s, the UK’s public health system experienced major budget cuts, initially introduced by the Labour government of James Callaghan (1974-1979) and subsequently reinforced by Margaret Thatcher (1979-90). These cuts led to the closure of several small hospitals across the country and resulted in considerably impaired health services. The Bethnal Green Hospital Campaign (1977-78) and East London Health Project (1978-1980) sought to oppose these problems using a process of collaboration and engagement with the local community and councils in East London. The conversation helps understand the artists’ general practices, the processes of collaboration and engagement at the centre of their work, and highlights their current relevance, at a time when the threat to the public health sector looms larger today than ever before in the UK as in many other countries.

Juliette Desorgues: In the late 1970s you started working on a campaign to fight the closure of hospitals in London. The Bethnal Green Hospital became the focus of this campaign. What led you to this? Loraine Leeson : Peter and I were working in Bethnal Green on a Greater London Arts fellowship to run a…

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