The arts and crime education charity Rideout has worked with People’s Palace Projects and Queen Mary, University of London, to produce The Argument Room: a series of live debates interrogating the intersection between the arts and social justice.

The final interactive discussion of the year was hosted at Queen Mary, University of London, and was broadcast live online from 6.00pm, 15 December 2011 at when Baroness Lola Young discussed the cultural sector’s response to what has become dubbed “the UK riots”.

“What the arts are really brilliant at doing is raising questions.” Young explained. “[They] allow us to talk yet also can open it up for people to say ‘I hate what you have just said, that’s totally wrong! The people of Tottenham did not feel the way you just depicted it on stage. This is what it was like.’ So it opens it up for a wider range of people.”

The discussion was chaired by Chris Johnston, previously Fellow in Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Warwick, Co-Director of Rideout and author of several books on performance practice. The audience included Topher Campbell; Artistic Director of the RedRoom, Barby Asante; Visual Artist and Curator of 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, Zoe Ingenhaag; Associate producer, Tricycle Theatre, and Irfan from the Refugee Youth Council. Contemporary productions about the UK riots were also discussed, including the Triangle Theatre’s ‘The Riots: Tottenham Transfer’ by Gillian Slovo, which was devised from spoken evidence.

The Argument Room is an interactive debating forum that explores how the drive for social change and social justice is informed by creative practice, be that in theatre, film or the visual arts. The vibrant discussion is live streamed online where the public can pose questions in real-time to the speakers via and Twitter, using the handle @argumentalism.

To access past discussions with Juliet Lyon (Prison Reform Trust), Chris Goode (Actor, Writer and Director), David Wilson (Professor of Criminology and Vice Chair of The Howard League for Penal Reform), Beatrix Campbell (Writer and Broadcaster) and Lola young (Independent Cross Bench Peer, arts and heritage consultant and creative producer)visit