Social Art For Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (SAFEDI)


SAFEDI header image

Image: SAFEDI enSHRINE installation (Image description: orange text on white and purple recycled paper that reads 'access obstacles')



Funded by an AHRC fellowship, SAFEDI was designed to drive significant change in how both arts and non-arts organisations tackle issues of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. The project centred around artists involved in social practice, who are often overlooked yet play a pivotal role in community building. In these turbulent times, marked by social unrest and a global pandemic, the call for transformative action is urgent.


Axis joined forces with research partner Social Art Network (SAN) and Manchester Met. University. These invaluable partnerships were instrumental in offering the necessary expertise and insights that fuelled the project's achievements.

Activities and Artists:

Under the guidance of lead artist RM Sánchez-Camus, SAFEDI collaborated with a unique assembly of commissioned artists and researchers:

  • enShrine Collective: Sarah Li, Sofia Barton, Dan Russell, and Lady Kitt focused on creating "Access Recitations" to advocate for more inclusive and accessible cultural spaces.
  • Jar Squad: Carmen Wong, Rachel Dobbs, and Tess Wilmot engaged with communities to promote the art of food preservation.
  • WAAS: Sarah Dixon & Sharon Bennett explored the role of cultural spaces in supporting the experience of parenting.
  • Flatness: Shama Khanna tackled current societal challenges to foster dialogue around EDI policy.
  • Building Warmth: Lily Lavorato discussed what genuinely welcoming spaces should entail.
  • The Human Memorial: Yuen Fong Ling initiated public conversations centred on equity and inclusion using the symbol of the empty plinth.

Support Mechanisms:

The artists received essential support, including specific funding for accessibility needs and wellbeing sessions, particularly valuable for those who were delving into their own lived experiences of exclusion.


SAFEDI has acted as a catalyst for genuine, positive change. By bridging the chasm between socially committed artists and mainstream cultural organisations, the project has begun to reshape the conversation towards more inclusive and accessible spaces for everyone.

For a more detailed look into the impact of SAFEDI, check out the Evaluation Report written by Sally Fort.