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Culture for Labour

In an open letter to Tribune over 500 writers, artists and musicians endorse Labour's vision of the arts, and its conception of politics as "something inherently collective, creative and transformative.”

We, the undersigned British and international artists, writers, and cultural workers, pledge our support to the Labour Party in the 2019 General Election. We believe that a Labour victory is crucial, not just for the future of the United Kingdom, but as a message to show the world that positive change on the environment, workers’ rights, migration, inequality, education and cultural policy is possible.

Like many other countries, the United Kingdom stands at a crossroads. The ‘Third Way’ is dead: we face a stark choice. On one side is the Conservative world of self-preservation, closed borders, spiralling homelessness and poverty, inertia on the climate crisis, privatised education and cuts to arts funding. On the other is Labour’s commitment to free movement and ending the ‘hostile environment’ for migrants, a green industrial revolution, protection of workers’ rights, public ownership of key industries, free education, and serious investment in the arts.

It is not just that we endorse Labour’s aim to restore funding to museums, galleries and libraries to reverse a decade of austerity, in which regional arts budgets were slashed or even cut entirely. We also support their vision of the arts as being integral to communities, and its conception of politics as something inherently collective, creative and transformative. In 2017, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said “In every child there’s a poem, in every child there’s a painting, in every child there’s music … I want all our children to be inspired, to have the right to play music, to write poetry, to learn in the way that they want.” How refreshing it is to have a leader who respects the intelligence and creativity of everyday people, and who values the arts and education not just for their role in the economy, but for their capacity to enrich people’s lives. This is not empty rhetoric: this principle translates into policies laid out in Labour’s manifesto – the most visionary offered to the British electorate in living memory.

Labour will invest £1bn in a nationwide Cultural Capital Fund to upgrade and build new libraries, galleries, museums and arts venues, and maintain free entry to museums. They will invest £175m per year in an arts pupil premium for primary school children, and establish a National Education Service to provide six years of free higher education to all, recognising that access to learning is a basic human right, and essential to the development of culture. They will abolish university tuition fees so that huge debts do not force students into an entrepreneurial mindset, end outsourcing in the public sector, and address the casualisation of the work force so that artists and writers can make a steady income from teaching and share their practice with younger people. They will provide free access to broadband, and democratise the British media, including the BBC, to help more diverse voices participate in the country’s cultural life. They will seek to protect freedom of movement within the EU and the cultural exchange that comes with it, end indefinite detention and the hostile environment for migrants. They will address the housing crisis that has made it so difficult for people on low incomes to live in the UK’s biggest cities, reverse the cuts to benefits that once made it possible for people to pursue their creative dreams, leading to a flowering in British literature, film, art, music and television.

We are excited at the prospect of a Labour government that will draw on Raymond Williams’ belief that “culture is ordinary” and William Morris’ dream of ‘art for the people’. Most of all, we are excited at the prospect of a government that operates in a utopian spirit, after years of being told that ‘there is no alternative’ to austerity, and all the misery and inequality that came with it. We may never have a better chance to realise such a vision: we owe it to the country, the world and the future to support it.


Amina Abbas-Nazari, designer, artist, researcher
Paul Abbott, artist, musician
Lawrence Abu Hamdan, artist
Alejandro Acía, artist and designer
Lolly Adefope, comedian and actress
Gaby Agis, dance artist
Fatema Ahmed, editor
Joe Alexander, writer and director
Rachael Allen, writer
Andy Amfo, writer and actor
Darran Anderson, author
Katherine Angel, author and lecturer
Vasiliki Antonopoulou, artist
Holly Antrum, artist and filmmaker
Johann Arens, artist
Henrietta Armstrong, artist
Bruce Asbestos, artist and curator of Trade Gallery
Jesse Ash, artist
Oreet Ashery, artist and filmmaker
Will Ashon, writer
Lydia Ashman, learning curator, writer
Anna Aslanyan, journalist and translator
Miriam Austin, artist
Toby Austin Locke, writer and lecturer
Caterina Avataneo, curator
Giles Bailey, artist
Manca Bajec, artist, managing editor of the Journal of Visual Culture
Bibi Bakare-Yusuf at Cassava Republic Press
Rachel Baker, speech therapist, artist
Debbie Ballin, filmmaker and writer
Peter Barber, architect
Stephan Barrett, musician and research administrator
Robert Barry, writer, musician, reviews editor at The Quietus
Ania Bas, artist
Jordan Baseman, artist
Susan Beattie, artist, puppeteer
Eleanor Beaumont, assistant editor, Architectural Review
Sharmilla Beezmohun, author and co-director/producer of Speaking Volumes
Rebecca Beinart, artist and curator
Anat Ben-David, artist
Louise Benson, writer and deputy editor of Elephant
Josephine Berry, writer, editor, lecturer
Anna Best, artist
Crispin Best, writer
Gonçalo Birra, artist
Verity Birt, artist, researcher
Jos Bitelli, artist
Z. Blace, artist and cultural worker
Katrina Black, programme curator, writer
Eddie Blake, architect
Grace Blakeley, economist and writer
A K Blakemore, writer
David Blandy, artist
Phoebe Blatton, writer
Eddie Blake, architect
India Block, assistant editor, Dezeen
John Eng Kiet Bloomfield, curator
Owen Booth, author
Shumi Bose, writer, Central St Martins
Billy Bragg
Uma Breakdown, writer and artist
Maeve Brennan, artist, filmmaker, lecturer
Tim Brinkhurst, musician, artist and music manager
Natasha Brown, theatremaker, writer and actor
David Buchanan, filmmaker and translator
Amy Budd, curator and writer
Gary Budden, writer and co-founder of Influx Press
George Bularca, artist
Johnny Bull, illustrator, graphic designer
Giles Bunch, artist and anthropologist
Tim Burrows, writer
Will Burns, writer
Judith Butler, author
Sam Byers, author
Cüneyt Çakırlar, academic
Kit Caless, writer, publisher
Steven Camden, author, playwright, screenwriter
Harriet Cameron, lecturer and sometime painter
Paul Carlin, editor
Cibelle Cavalli Bastos, artist, musician and independent researcher
Sophie Chapman, artist/learning curator
Helen Charman, writer, poet and university teacher
Jack Cheshire, musician
Diana Chire, visual artist, founder and editor of SheZine
Toby Christian, artist, writer, lecturer
Jasmina Cibic, artist
Tom Clark, writer and curator
Ami Clarke, artist, writer, lecturer, founder of Banner Repeater
Leah Clements, artist
Paul Clinton, writer and critic
Lucy Clout, artist, lecturer
Esther Collins, artist and programmer
Nathan Connolly, publisher, Dead Ink Books
Tom Cordell, filmmaker
Natasha Cox, artist and programmer
Tom Crawford, artist
Barry Crisp, landscape designer
Jonny Cuba, music producer, Soundsci
Thomas Cuckle, curator, Kunstraum
Thom Cuell, editorial director, Dodo Ink
Gillian Darley
Toni Davey, artist
Susanna Davies-Crook, artist, writer and curator
Gabriella de Matteis, editor and writer
Emma Dean, curator
Antonio J. de la Fe Guedes, dancer, performer and choreographer
Grace Denton, artist and writer
Karen Di Franco, curator and writer
Beatrice Dillon, musician
Catherine Dixon, designer and lecturer
Lettice Drake, architect, Practice Architecture, university teacher
Kevin Duffy, publisher, Bluemoose Books
Flora Dunster, art historian
Louisa Dunnigan, editor
Graham Dunning, artist and musician
Joe Dunthorne, writer
Tom Dyckhoff
Brent Dzekciorius
Theresa Easton, artist and AUE organiser
Will Eaves
Sadie Edginton, artist and educator
Ruth Angel Edwards, artist
Travis Elborough, writer
Naomi Ellis, artist
Leanne Elliot Young, founder of CommuneEAST
Brian Eno
Gareth Evans, curator, producer, writer
Paul Ewen, author
Gianluca Fantoni, Senior Lecturer
Adham Faramawy, artist and lecturer (Goldsmiths)
Marcia Farquhar, artist
Mark Fell, artist
Shiva Feshareki, musician
Steve Finbow, writer
Jem Finer, musician
Susan Finlay, writer and artist
Ciarán Finlayson, assistant editor, Artforum
Liza Fior, Muf architecture/design
Clare Fisher, writer
Chris Fite-Wassilak, critic and writer
Kevin Foakes, designer and musician
Katrina Forrester, academic
Siobhán Forshaw, Curator of Community Programmes (Whitechapel Gallery)
Vicky Foster, writer
Jack Frayne-Reid, writer, musician, Reel Politik podcast founder
Nell Frizzell, writer
Helen Frosi, artist-curator and library worker
Daisy Froud, architect, Bartlett School of Architecture
Merlin Fulcher, Architecture Foundation
Anna Furse, theatre artist and academic
Beverley Gadsden, artist
Adam Gallagher, artist
Harry Gallon, writer
Roxman Gatt, artist
Rowan Geddis, curator
Felicity Gee, academic and writer
Rachel Genn, writer, artist, filmmaker
Carl Gent, artist and musician
Jonathan Gibbs, writer
Ed Gillett, writer and filmmaker
Marcus Gilroy-Ware, writer and academic
Tariq Goddard, novelist and publisher of Repeater Books
Salena Godden, author and poet
Annie Goh, artist and academic
Paloma Gormley, architect, UCL and UAL
Holly Graham, artist
Jenny Graham, painter/printmaker
Ian Greaves, writer
Aoibheann Greenan, artist
Keira Greene, artist, filmmaker
Katerina Gregos, curator and writer
Neil John Griffiths, co-founder of Arts Emergency
Sean Griffiths, architect, University of Westminster
Fisun Güner, art writer and critic
Meghna Gupta, producer / director
Rose-Anne Gush, writer, art historian, lecturer at University of Applied Arts, Vienna
Amy Gwatkin, filmmaker and photographer
Josh Hall, writer
Peter Hallward, Professor of Philosophy, Kingston University
Paul Hamlyn, painter
Philip Hancock, poet, actor, painter and decorator
Dan Hancox, writer
Ceri Hand, cultural worker
Lynsey Hanley, writer
Laura Hanna, performer
Marcelle Hanselaar, artist
Kerry Harker, founder and artistic director, East Leeds Project
Matthew Harle, writer and archive curator
Phineas Harper, Architecture Foundation
Hayley Harrison, artist
David Harrison, artist
Lyndon Harrison, painter, set designer and educator (Summerhill School)
M John Harrison, writer
India Harvey, artist and playworker
Frances Hatherley
Owen Hatherley, writer, culture editor of Tribune
Eloise Hawser, artist
Chris Hayes, writer and editor
Dan Hayhurst, musician
Charles Hayward, musician
Libby Heaney, artist and lecturer at the Royal College of Art
Edwin Heathcote, architecture and design critic, Financial Times
Tony Heaton, sculptor
Simon Henley, architect and writer
Nina Hervé, co-director, Rough Trade Books
Andy Hewitt, artist, teacher
Katie Hickman, curator
Rose Higham-Stainton, writer
Charlie Hill, writer
Gram Hilleard, artist/filmmaker
Fiona Hingston, artist
Sophia Hinton-Lever, cultural worker and educator
Chris Hoare, photographer
Peter Hobbs, writer
Kate Hodges, writer
John Hodgkinson, artist
Jennifer Hodgson, writer
Thom Holbrook, architect, design advocate for Mayor of London
Charles Holland, architect, University of Brighton
Richard Hollis, writer and designer
Miki Holloway, commoner
Wayne Holloway, writer/director
Jenny Holt, filmmaker, academic
Law Holt, musician
Lizzie Homersham, writer and editor
Fielding Hope, curator
Mimi Hope, artist
Srećko Horvat, philosopher, co-founder of DiEM25
Michael Hrebeniak, filmmaker and academic
Bethan Hughes, artist and researcher
Paul Hughes, artist
Bryony Hussey, artist/educator
Timothy Hyman RA
Evan Ifekoya, artist
Stan Iordanov, artist
James Ireland, writer and theatre-maker
Lars Iyer, writer and lecturer at Newcastle University
Will Jackson, writer, director and performer
Helen Jacobs, artist and educator
Wesley Jacobs, sculptor and foundryman
Juliet Jacques, writer/filmmaker
Eva Jaeger, assistant curator, designer
Rebecca Jagoe, artist, writer and editor
Nazmia Jamal
Heidi James, writer and academic
Keith Jarrett, writer, performer, educator
Tom Jay, illustrator
Kerri Jefferis, artist
Maïto Jobbé Duval, artist and set designer
Esther Johnson, artist and filmmaker, Prof at Sheffield Hallam University
Eliel Jones, writer and curator
Ellie Jones, gallery owner
Martin Jones, painter and Senior Lecturer
Rhian E. Jones, writer, critic and historian
Mel Jordan, artist, teacher, writer
Sophie Jung, artist and writer
Evi Kalogiropoulou, artist, filmmaker
Meena Kandasamy, writer
Helen Kaplinsky, curator and writer
Roz Kaveney, writer and poet
Natalie Kay-Thatcher, artist
Verity-Jane Keefe, artist
Patrick Keiller, filmmaker
Joe Kennedy, writer and lecturer at the University of Sussex
Sam Keogh, artist
Masha Kevinovna, writer and director
Amy Key, writer
Priya Khanchandani, editor, Icon
Jess Kirkby, arts administrator
P Kirkby, photographer and ‘consumer’ of artworks
Sharon Kivland, artist, writer, editor, publisher
Kiriil Kobrin, writer and historian
Alina Kolar, publisher, Arts of the Working Class
Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou, editor at Public Seminar and lecturer at UCL
Alex Kovacs, writer
Stevan Krakovic, music producer
Josephine Kyan, filmmaker
Adriana Kytkova, film programmer and short film producer
Ed Lake, editor
Gonçalo Lamas, writer and artist
Jack Latham, musician
Mark Lazenby, artist and art director
Mark Leckey, artist
Colin Legge, artist, writer
Matt Lees, director, Shut Up & Sit Down
Loraine Leeson, artist and chair of Arts for Labour
Lawrence Lek, artist
Rebecca Lennon, artist and visiting lecturer at AUB
Mica Levi, musician
Wendy Liu, writer
Kris Lock, artist
Lucy Lopez
Josie Long, comedian and co-founder of Arts Emergency
Hannah Lowe, writer
Ed Luker, poet, writer, and lecturer
Adam Luria, documentary director and producer
Donna Lynas, curator
George Lynch, writer
Patrick Lynch, architect
Sarah Lynch-Jones, artist
Chooc Ly Tan, artist, DJ, lecturer
David Mabb, artist and MFA Fine Art Course Leader Goldsmiths
Sam Mackay, writer and researcher
Daniel W. J. Mackenzie, musician, artist and organiser
Patrick Mackie, writer
Sophie Mackintosh, writer
Alex Macpherson, writer and critic
Fred Macpherson, musician
David Madden, sociologist, LSE
Michelle Madsen, poet, journalist, theatre maker
Sabrina Mahfouz, writer
Sophie Mallett, artist
Rachel Mann, literary agent and editor
Oliver Marchant, writer and musician
Zoë Marden, artist
Dan Marre, artist/writer
Mira Mattar, writer and editor
Rebecca May Johnson, writer and academic
Angus McCrum, artist
Justin McGuirk, writer and curator
Jon McGregor, writer
Alex McKenzie, musician
John Medhurst, writer
Susana Medina
Vandna Mehta, producer, community arts, events and manager for Diverse Artists Network
Sophie Meinicke Hansen, artist
Jenny Mellings, artist and educator
Ben Messih, Heritage Education Manager, South London Gallery
Metahaven, filmmakers, artists, designers
Jeremy Millar
Graeme Miller, artist
James Miller, novelist and academic
Bridget Minamore, writer
Anna Minton, writer, University of East London
Anton Mirto, artist/director
Jessa Mockridge, artist and writer
Loraine Monk, artist, Artist Union England Exec member
Alan Moore
Harriet Moore, literary agent
Jenny Moore, artist, musician, and educator
Thurston Moore, musician (Sonic Youth)
Frances Morgan, writer
Thomas Morris, writer and editor
Charlotte C Mortensson, artist
Jake Moulson, architectural designer
Roberto Mozzachiodi, teacher at Goldsmiths and cultural worker organiser
Neel Mukherjee, author
Hugh Mulholland, MAC Belfast
Robert Mull, architect
Michał Murawski, anthropologist, lecturer at University College London
Douglas Murphy, architect, writer and lecturer
Cathy Naden, writer and programmer
Mohammad Namazi, artist, researcher, and educator
Bobby Nayyar, publisher
Daniel Neofetou, writer
Hatty Nestor, writer
Sophie Netchaef, curator, project manager, writer
Carl Neville, writer
Henry Jackson Newcomb, artist, curator
Hugh Nicholson, artist
Helen Nisbet, artistic director, Art Night
Alex Niven, writer, lecturer at Newcastle University
Megan Nolan, writer
Tessa Norton, writer and artist
Lulu Nunn, curator, HOAX
Derek Ogbourne
Nathalie Olah, writer
Tom Overton, writer and curator
Barnie Page, curator
Sue Palmer, artist
Yorgos Papafigos, artist
Kayla Parker, artist filmmaker
Andrew Parkes, editor and literature programmer
Aimée Parrott, artist
Alex Parry, artist
Shreepali Patel, academic and filmmaker
Lara Pawson, writer
Florence Peake, artist
Maxine Peake, actor
Naomi Pearce, writer
Jenny Pengilly, artist educator
Miranda Pennell, artist filmmaker
Amy Pennington, artist
Hestia Peppé, artist
Imran Perretta, artist
Hannah Perry, artist
Holly Pester, poet, writer, and lecturer
Alex Pheby, writer
Heather Phillipson, artist
Lauren Pikó, historian, University of Melbourne
Pil and Galia Kollectiv, artists
Adam Pinfold, DJ
Shiromi Pinto, writer
Jeff Pitcher, photographer
Joanna Piotrowska, artist
Laura Plant, curator and designer
Matthew Plummer Fernandez, artist
Jocelyn Pook, musician, composer
Emily Pope, artist
Rowan Powell, editor, PSS Press
Chris Power, writer
Augusta Pownall, deputy editor, Dezeen
Sean Preston, editor, Open Pen
Eva Prinz, publisher, Ecstatic Peace Library
Stephen Pritchard, community artist, writer and art historian
Agata Pyzik, writer and critic
Peter Quicke, Ninja Tune (co-CEO), Association of Independent Music (Chair)
Robert Rae, writer/director in film and theatre
Chal Ravens, music journalist
Rayan Raydan, art project manager, curator
Gareth E. Rees, writer, musician
Irene Revell, curator and writer
Simon Reynell, music producer, Another Timbre
Keith Ridgway, writer
Frances Rifkin, Radical Theatre practitioner, Utopia Arts
Laurie Robins, artist filmmaker
Tim Rogerson, cinema programmer
Sally Rooney, author
Leone Ross, fiction writer
Julian Rothenstein, book publisher
Marie-Gabrielle Rotie, choreographer and lecturer
Lee Rourke, author
Sinéad Rushe, theatre director
John Russell, artist
Niki Russell, artist, writer and curator
Ilona Sagar, artist
Prem Sahib, artist
Ben Salavati, editor
Susanne Salavati, cinematographer
Kareem Samara, musician and composer
Otto Saumarez Smith, historian, University of Warwick
Zoë Sawyer, creative practitioner and curator
Aura Satz, artist and lecturer
Jane Scarth, Curator of Public Programmes (Whitechapel Gallery)
Aki Schilz, director, The Literary Consultancy
Izabella Scott, writer
Erica Scourti, artist and writer
Fernando Sdrigotti, writer
Francesco Sebregondi, Forensic Architecture
Lynne Segal, Professor of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck University
Tom Sewell, artist
Benedict Seymour, artist filmmaker and writer, Goldsmiths
Tai Shani, artist
Monica Shanta Brown, artist, educator and curator
Nick Sheerin, editor
Farhana Sheikh, writer
Louise Shelley, curator
Tamar Shlaim, editor/nail artist
Daniella Shreir, translator; editor Another Gaze
Holly Shuttleworth, producer, Serpentine Galleries
Nastassja Simensky, artist and AUE National Executive Committee Member
Nicky Singer, writer
Catherine Slessor MBE, architect, former editor, Architectural Review
Gillian Slovo, author
John Smith, artist filmmaker
Sophie Smith, academic and writer
Dylan Spencer-Davidson, artist
Christiana Spens, writer, academic and artist
Daniel Spicer, writer, critic and poet
Tracy Spiers, writer, illustrator, creative consultant
Verity Spott, poet, performer and musician
Martha Sprackland, editor of Poetry London
Amia Srinivasan, writer and academic
Larry Stabbins, musician
Patrick Staff, artist
Eve Stainton, artist/choreographer
Bob Stanley, writer, songwriter, film maker
Helen Statman, artist and theatre maker
Trevor Stuart, artist and theatre maker
Lucy Steggals, artist
Silja Strøm, artist
David Stubbs, writer
Jamie Sutcliffe, writer and publisher
Gabriel Szatan, journalist/amateur humourist
Ayesha Tan Jones, artist, musician, community organiser
Dan Taylor, writer and lecturer (Goldsmiths)
Hugh Taylor, music journalist
Kate Tempest, poet
Josie Thaddeus-Johns, journalist and editor
Alice Theobald, artist and musician
Rudi Thoemmes, publisher
Darcy Thomas, writer, producer and broadcaster
Ben Thompson, writer
Milly Thompson, artist
Onny Thomson, artist/facilitator
Sung Tieu, artist
Jeremy Till, architect, pro-Vice Chancellor, UAL, Head of Central St Martins
Maija Timonen, writer/filmmaker
Nikki Tomlinson, producer and artist
Oliver Trattles, musician, record producer, actor
Daniel Trilling, writer
Wil Troup, co-founder of Ransom Note site/label
Dolly Turing, poet and musician/sound artist
Josh Turner, editor
Luke Turner, artist
Luke Turner, writer and co-founder of The Quietus
Subhan Uddin, recruiter for the creative sector
Deniz Unal, artist
Jack Underwood, poet and academic, Goldsmiths
Paula Varjack, artist
Robert Vesty, performer and academic
Owen Vince, writer and artist
Marina Vishmidt, writer, editor, lecturer
Ben Victor Waggett, artist, technician
Isabel Waidner, writer
Oliver Wainwright, architecture critic, The Guardian
Ker Wallwork, artist
Joanna Walsh, writer, artist, editor
Matthew Walsh, cinema programmer
Dan Ward, artist/writer
Patrick Ward, artist
Martyn Ware
Kay Watson, curator
Lucy Watson, writer and architecture editor, Financial Times
T J Watson, artist
Harriet Welch, writer
Richard Whitby, artist, lecturer
Bryony White, writer and academic
Joy White, writer and academic
Saskia Wickins, set designer and studio coordinator
Kishani Widyaratna, editor
Ben Wiedel-Kaufmann, writer, lecturer and art historian
Will Wiles, author
Olivia Wiles, artist
Tom Wilkinson, Architectural Review/Warburg Institute
David Williams, writer and performance maker
Eley Williams, writer
Christopher Wilson, designer and writer
Jason Wood, writer and curator
Josh Wright, artist
Joy Yamusangie, artist
Nayia Yiakoumaki, curator
Luke Younger, musician
Laura Yuile, artist
Aisha Zia, writer
Adam Zmith, writer