Become a commoner

Rehearsing the dance. Two adults roll in the long grass, their legs and arms in the air.

Common  Agency Projects, Rehearsing Commoming Actions At Wanstead Flats October 2020. (Photo: Felicity Crawshaw)

Find out more about the commons, acts of commoning and the ideas behind the exhibition.

The exhibition invites you to become, or recognise yourself, as a ‘Commoner’.

The commons is historically thought of in relation to land and resources that are held for common use. Now it also includes the cultural commons such as open source software and knowledge in the digital world.

Increasing privatisation, individualism and the impact of austerity have eroded the commons. Activating the verb ‘to common’ is a way to renew public life. Acts of commoning can be woven into every aspect of life and become a way of living. A life where we can connect to produce shared rituals and resources that we look after together. Getting involved through co-operation, mutual care and exchange can heal and make change in our communities.

Become a Commoner

The ideas for commoning offered in the exhibition are timely as society addresses the impacts of extreme disruption from COVID-19. Commoning can help process trauma and loss to find meaning and aid recovery.

Mirroring the commons movement there has been a shift in thinking from, “you’re on your own” to “we’re in this together.” Co-operation through neighbourhood mutual aid groups has resulted in taking care of one another. Acts of commoning can rebalance our ways of imagining, living and working to realise a more collective future.

Visit the exhibition or watch the virtual tour online. Are you inspired to become a commoner?

Days of Commoning

Each We are Commoners venue hosts Days of Commoning: events to explore the exhibition themes, through activities, talks and film. Each event looks at commoning from a different perspective such as fashion or nature.

Watch the panel discussions and find more resources here.

Where Next?

Artist: Fourthland

Rituals of making.

A close up of the exhibit, two rustic bowls on black stands and a large hanging decorated with small bundles of straw.

Artist: Gelawesh Waledkhani and Lise Bjørne Linnert

Collaborating with undocumented migrants in Norway.

Learning resource: Healing

Thinking about how artists use materials and skills.

A leaf has been decorated with embroidery stitches.

Become a commoner

Learn more about commons.

Rehearsing the dance. Two adults roll in the long grass, their legs and arms in the air.


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