Acting on the Margins – Art as Social Sculpture

Acting on the Margins – Art as Social Sculpture

From 2020 to 2023, the Centre for Cultural Policy Research at The Swedish School of Library and Information Science, Borås University,  leads a work package in the EU-funded research project Acting on the margins – Art as social sculpture (AMASS).

The participating countries are Finland, the UK, Sweden, Malta, Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Portugal.

This project seeks to analyse, synthesise and promote the role of arts in societal challenges by departing from the perspective and the physical positioning of the marginal and contribute to the study of valuable experiences,  insights  and case studies from a marginal positioning. 

The project also aims to research in-depth the ‘margins within the margins’: i.e. marginalised groups within each of the participating countries and these groups’ involvement in the arts. By implementing artistic experiments that offer the possibility of transformation  (hence, the  title’s reference to ‘acting on the margins’), this arts-based action research will be used to ‘sculpt’ social groups, much in the sense that German artist Joseph Beuys gave to the term he coined in the 20th century—social sculpture.

The University of Borås is responsible for work package 1; Literature review and policy analysis. The work package focuses on compiling existing knowledge on the impact of arts on societal issues to guide the other work packages in understanding limitations and possibilities for cross-country replication of implementation. Through the work of WP1, the AMASS project will develop multidisciplinary and comprehensive methods for capturing and assessing the impacts of arts on individuals, communities, and policy-making on local and national levels.


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

Link to Acting on the Margins – Art as Social Sculpture