Film: Encounters, Art Transforming Lives, 2010-13

Encounters:Transforming Lives is a practice-based research project under the direction of Paul Heritage that aims to create a live and interactive exhibition illustrating and investigating how young people transform their worlds through the arts.

In each phase of the project, the installations build on the knowledge and experience of young people.

The interdisciplinary research is driven by the following imperatives:

  • investigating the capacity of digital arts to create active citizenship
  • connecting young people with policy makers, in order to enhance the development of policy affecting young people
  • connecting young people with public audiences, to foster dialogue and support knowledge transfer about the means by which young people seek to transform their worlds
  • pursuing the enquiry with young and emerging artists, enabling them to articulate and disseminate their questions and understandings through the prototype for a multimedia exhibition that is created in the installation;
  • seeking the most effective formats and platforms for enabling young people to engage in public debates though digital installation.


The project achieves its impacts by engaging with a growing range of policy-makers, artists and arts organisations. As the project progresses, its public visibility and impact increase. The cumulative databank of images and video/audio material is handed on and added to by each successive group of young artist-activists, creating a growing archive resource which is available for study at People’s Palace Projects by request.

Paul Heritage was invited to present to the World Economic Forum at Davos in January 2013 on the themes investigated in the ongoing research; future Encounters actions include an installation at the State Legislative Assembly in São Paulo and a public debate between legislators, policy makers, academics and young artists.


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