The Rich as a Minority Group is a project by artists Ruth Beale and Amy Feneck in collaboration with GCSE Sociology classes from Little Ilford School in Manor Park, Newham. Together, the artists, students and teachers used active research processes to investigate and gather material about wealth, class and social and economic inequality. Through discussion they unpicked the complex relationship to and understanding of ‘the rich’.
The project will be explored and displayed over three weeks at Rabbits Road Institute, through an exhibition, study day, and workshop.
The project and its title refers to an article written by Anne Simpson in the teachers journal ‘Contemporary Issues in Geography and Education’ from 1984, in which she outlines a radical proposal and practical strategies for why studying the rich is necessary, she states:
“In order to understand poverty and deprivation amongst groups at local, national and international levels it is necessary to examine wealth and privilege. In order to understand powerlessness in some groups, it is important to focus on the ways in which power is maintained by others.”
For the artists, this proposition resonated with current economic inequalities in the UK. By activating this study in a state secondary school in a borough of London with one of the most economically diverse and disadvantaged populace, they aimed to re-evaluate questions of wealth and power in society, linking with one of the aims of the journal from which the study originates:
“To encourage the realisation of the links between critical understanding and the active transformation of the world in which we live.”
The exhibition will encompasses the work made by students and artists over 8 sessions, including a documentary film of two field trips in which interviews with a wealthy philanthropist and economist take place, and a series of posters developed as teaching aides for future study.
The display will be open to the public 28th, 29th and 30th of April and 5th, 6th and 7th May 12-6pm. it will be free and there is no need to book.
The exhibition will be accompanied by two talks: Why Study the Rich? on Saturday 23 April, and Ways of Working- Alternative & Radical Education in Schools on Saturday 30 April. Follow the links to find out more and book your free places.