Online abuse in the arts: how to prepare and respond

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Online abuse in the arts: how to prepare and respond

November 25, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:45 pm

Free webinar brought to you by The Space, in association with Arts Council England.

Sharing your work digitally and creating social content and campaigns around what you do are part and parcel of reaching out beyond your known, loyal audience. The best arts and culture has something to say, and in this polarised time of global turmoil and culture wars, where opinion sometimes turns hateful,  it’s wise to consider the issues of online abuse and harassment and how you might deal with them.

As the UK’s digital arts agency, The Space has published a toolkit to help the sector plan for and respond to online abuse. This workshop was an opportunity to explore both the issues and the guidance offered in our toolkit in more depth, and an opportunity to think about what you might do to be ready for and resilient to potential abuse online.



John White, chief operating officer, The Space and Natalie Woolman, development producer, The Space were joined by the following contributors:


Yumna Al-Arashi: photographer, filmmaker and writer

Clare Gannaway: curator of contemporary art, Manchester Art Gallery

Rowan Kerek Robertson: social media, digital comms and content expert


Yumna and Clare both experienced online abuse in the course of their work: Yumna in response to her photography and Clare when the painting Hylas and the Nymphs was removed from display the gallery wall as part of a takeover event led by the artist Sonia Boyce. They’ll talk about those experiences and how they dealt with them.

Social media, digital comms and content expert Rowan Kerek Robertson. Rowan has advised arts organisations and others on how they might protect both themselves and their staff and freelancers in digital and social spaces. She’ll offer recommendations and best practice for identifying and managing vulnerability online and in social media.


Further information

This workshop is intended for arts and cultural professionals and artists. it will be particularly relevant to organisation leaders and board members, those in comms or digital roles, or anyone who has a duty of care to staff, freelancers and associates.

Please read the Online Abuse toolkit before joining this workshop