Guns to Goods
Guns to Goods has evolved into a creative enterprise start-up partnership with a Moss Side, Manchester based charity. The problem addressed was to build social cohesion and collective remedial action with and for communities affected negatively by weapons based crime. Initially supported by AHRC funding. This practice project is an evolving collaboration between researchers, artists, CARISMA (Community Alliance for Renewal, Inner South Manchester Area), Greater Manchester Police and the Mines Advisory Group International.
The initiative relates to continuing campaigns that seek to address gun ownership and proliferation. It has, so far, destroyed 220 long-barrel firearms, placing them beyond use and symbolically converting their metal into fresh artefacts of aesthetic and economic value. The narrative that has brand value for the main charity partner and links to related endeavours offering crime solutions. Products offer a canvas for expression and gestures, adding to campaign resources through participatory design. The current focus is on public art outputs, utilising the metals sourced from recycling. ‘Show//Metal CIC’ is a secondary spin-out creative enterprise and ethical brand that has the specific role of raising advocacy through fashion related outputs that immediately associate with the mission of combating violent crime.
The project was shortlisted twice for Times Higher Education ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community’ Awards (2010 and 2011). It received a Manchester Beacons for Public Engagement award in 2010 and an Unlimited Potential Catalyst Award in 2011. It was presented at the 6th International Conference on the Arts in Society in 2011, and the 7th Conference of the European Research Network, Sociology of the Arts in 2012. It featured in national and international BBC news coverage.