ReferencePop culture & social change

New Brave World: The power, opportunities and potential of pop culture for social change in the UK

By Alice Sachrajda and Marzena Zukowska, with foreword by K Biswas, supported by Unbound Philanthropy, March 2021.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT (pdf)

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“In 2017 the previous report in this series, Riding the Waves, analysed how pop culture has the potential to catalyse social change in the UK. It was a scoping study exploring the themes of representation, authenticity, normalisation, narratives, novelty and relationships within the UK’s cultural landscape. But, as the name suggests, it was at the surface level of the waves, rather than the waters beneath. This report dives deep into the narrative ocean. We explore the power of cultural currents, the opportunities to harness narrative power through content on television, and we begin to shine a light on the vast, unexplored potential of pop culture for social change.”

We explore the power of cultural currents, the opportunities to harness narrative power through content on television, and we begin to shine a light on the vast, unexplored potential of pop culture for social change.

This critical report explores three key themes of Power, Opportunities and Potential outlining the landscape of key organisations and actors creating shifts in the pop culture for social change space in the UK, drawing on examples across the industry, particularly comedy, gaming and TV. Counterpoints ArtsPopChange initiative is one of the changemakers highlighted in the report, along with many of our partners and allies, including a case study of our No Direction Home stand-up comedy project and emerging work in gaming.

This follow-up by Alice Sachrajda was co-written with Marzena Zukowska — a communications strategist and co-founder of Polish Migrants Organise for Change — and offers a foreword by K Biswas, founder of The Race Beat and editor of Representology: The Journal of Media and Diversity. It features contributions from: Aneesha Hussain, Angela Ferreira, Carolyn Petit, Dawn Foster, Edwina Omokaro, Krzysia Balińska, Micha Frazer-Carroll, Huw Lemmey, Jordana Belaiche, Juliet Jacques, Leah Cowan, Marcus Ryder, Paul Christian, Suchandrika Chakrabarti.

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New Brave World will be launched at the ‘Pop Culture Meets Social Change Retreat co-hosted by Counterpoints Arts and OKRE on Wed, 17 March. Tune in to Facebook or Youtube at 11:20 am to watch the live-stream of the launch.

Author

Alice Sachrajda

Ally

Alice is a consultant specialising in creative research, storytelling and strategic communications. She works as a cultural strategy consultant to Unbound Philanthropy in the UK. Alice is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and trustee of Counterpoints Arts, a refugee and migrant arts charity.

Marzena Zukowska

Ally

Marzena is a London-based organiser, communications strategist and co-founder of Polish Migrant Organise for Change (POMOC).

K Biswas

Ally

K Biswas is a critic and essayist who has written for the New Statesman, New York Times, The Nation, and the Times Literary Supplement on everything from populism to the politics of grime music.