Call for contributions, 2024

The UK Communities Conference 2024: Expression
18­­–21 July, Braziers Park, Oxfordshire
Call for contributions.

Deadline: 18 March 2024
Submit here.

Expression can mean many things—a painting, a song, a political stance, desire, an ideal, an objection, doubt, faith, gender, grief, even love. This year’s edition of the UK Communities Conference looks at how we express in community, guided by the idea that communities might unlock more of the richness of human potential than individualistic ways of life. They may demand more of us, calling forth abilities we didn’t know we had, or confront us with new perspectives, connecting us with parts of the world we wouldn’t otherwise see.

We’re inviting contributions on all aspects of this theme: creative activities like dance or poetry workshops; sessions on political expression or activism; organisational practices like inclusive facilitation; and expressive practices engaged with the land, alongside more conventional talks and discussions—anything that can be linked to our focus on communities. We’d like this to be an accessible event, with lots of different ways to take part. If you’re someone who loves to build community through creativity and sharing, this is a space for you to bring your knowledge.

We’re also interested in blocks to expression, both within communities and in the wider culture, and especially in how communities can work against this. This includes blocks that might be experienced by particular groups, due to factors like class, race, or gender. If you’re someone who sees yourself as “not creative”, or there are things you struggle to express, we invite you to bring along your fears and blockages; we hope we can work with these, too.

Besides contributions directly linked to the theme, we’re once again welcoming communities to introduce themselves—to talk about who they are, what they care about, and how they work. If you’d like to introduce your community, you can talk about whatever you want, but we’re especially interested in talks that touch on our theme. As in past years, we’ll also be running open spaces to explore questions that arise during the event.

All contributors will get a free place at the conference and will be able to claim some travel expenses. In response to feedback from last year, we’re extending the event by a day, seeking a relaxed pace with more opportunities to network, socialise, and celebrate together.

We don’t want to be too specific in what we’re asking for—any contribution on intentional community will be considered. The rest of this call is a list of questions to inspire ideas, but the shape of this event is as much down to you as it is to us. We look forward to hearing from you!

In joyful anticipation,

The 2024 UK Communities Conference Team