Acting on the Margins: Arts as Social Sculpture (AMASS)


£374,001.56 (a total value of 2,977,330€)

Partners and collaborators

University of Lapland (coordinator), Associação de Professores de Expressão e Comunicação Visual, University of Malta, University of Borås, Charles University in Prague, Corvinus University of Budapest, PACO Design Collaborative

Logo for AMASS research project showing project acronym.


The central problem AMASS addresses is that the arts has not been harnessed to address societal challenges through comparative and European-wide Research Innovation Action (RIA), analysis, synthesis and policy development. This untapped potential of the arts undermines joint action between different artistic genres and geographic locations, and thus the advancement of the EU as a stronger global actor, the fostering of fundamental rights based on mutual trust and democratic change within the EU. The overall objective of the project is to address this European-wide lack of synthesis of the potential of the arts that can lead to generating alternative or unconventional solutions to societal challenges and policy development. The aims thus will be to discover and analyse the underpinning structures that influence the functioning of arts in societal challenges (specifically SC6) through arts-based RIA. The challenges addressed by AMASS are geopolitically oriented: the future of work in creative, cultural and other sectors; radical ideologies and extremism; societal polarisation and stratification; lack of civil society participation; populism; migration.

This project will identify, explore, collate, evaluate and analyse existing and new innovative productions, experiments and case studies from the perspective and the physical positioning of the European countries “on the margins”. AMASS, which is located in Europe’s culturally often underserved Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern regions, will set up 35 experiments in these peripheries to investigate the educational effects of the STEAM model in integrating the arts with science through participatory and multidisciplinary approaches. This will be accomplished through technologically enabled visual expression and problem-based learning that will offer solutions to the geopolitical challenges, and policy recommendations and development that will foster inclusive, innovative and reflective societies.


  • Developing multidisciplinary methods for capturing, assessing and harnessing the societal impact of the arts
  • Reducing isolation amongst women, children and minority groups from peripheral EU regions through various forms of participation in the arts
  • Educating women and children through various educational models and philosophies of participation that are informed by arts-based approaches
  • Evaluate and develop new policy frameworks for using arts to overcome societal challenges
  • Valuing and learning through alternative knowledge systems with the purpose of decolonising institutions, enable communication and implement policies

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870621.


Expected Results

  • Culturally marginalised and / or socially underprivileged groups will express their problems and collaborate on finding solutions through innovative arts education practices. Artists and art educators will be sensitised for and gain experience in catalysing social and educational empowerment. New methodologies developed will be used in their future educational and artistic work.
  • Tackle exclusion and various forms of poverty by formulating, experimenting with and testing innovative art-based practices aimed at mutual understanding, dialogue and civic participation.
  • Prioritise, recognise and promote the value of creativity within the peripheries of Europe. Acknowledge creative potentials and act on creative opportunities. Render audible and visible the voices from positions of marginality.
  • The integration of the arts in the strategic overall and regional goals and policy making processes of the EU that relates to the fight against exclusion, tackling a variety of poverty issues (cultural, educational, skills and so on), and youth unemployment.