#r3fest 2016: Leeds-London-Cardiff


With the fabulous contribution of many of you, the RUN! RUN! RUN! Biennale 2016 became a reality and indeed the riot that it was. The presentations and ensuing conversations were engaging, challenging and inspiring. Curated by Dr Kai Syng Tan FRSA SFHEA, Annie Grove-White and Dr Carali McCall with the support of Dr Andrew Filmer, Dr Alan Latham and Dr David Hindley amongst many others, the Biennale was sponsored by Leeds College of Art. The cross-country events in Leeds, London and Cardiff were weird as they were wonderful, foregrounding running as the medium, metaphor, material and methodology to cut across the borders of cultures, disciplines, arguments and positions, powerfully summed up on the final night in Cardiff, when a small army of artists, academics, authors and performance makers invaded the beautiful grounds of the National Athletic Indoor Centre and created artistic interventions. Please find a few links to resources that may be useful:


  • Ben Graham, Deputy Director, Headway East London (a charity for people affected by brain injury) who participated in the event with member Danny Harding: ‘Thanks for including us. I think it worked really well – especially considering how diverse the crowd was. Well done! It was good fun and quite inspiring! Danny was very happy he came – he said he would never have gone to anything like that if you hadn’t invited us, and was intrigued by how deep and interesting the discussions after the films were.’
  • Professor Anson MacKay, University College London Ex Vice Dean for Social Science who reprised his role as Resident Tweeter in #r3fest 2014: ‘I just wanted to say that I loved the workshop – I don’t get enough opportunities to meet people from such a wide variety of professions (or obsessions!) who share a passion for running in one form or another. Thank you again Kai was asking me to come along’
  • Dr Doug Sandle BA. Phd. CPsychol. AFBPsS. FRSA, Chair: Fields of Vision -the arts in sport, Member of organising committee, Leeds Headingley LitFest who spoke at the Leeds Leg: ‘Many thanks for inviting me today – it was a very good session overall, informative, interesting and well organised’.
  • Sarah Brown, Principal Keeper, Leeds Art Gallery, Chair of Leeds Leg: ‘Thank you so much for the invitation to be involved yesterday. It was a very inspiring and stimulating afternoon  – with a great introduction to some extraordinary people and their work’.
  • Deborah Turk, student volunteer (Access course) from Leeds College of Art: ‘Thanks for a great day yesterday – very inspiring and so humbled to be in the same room as some of those speakers! If you have any further events that you would like help with I would be delighted to help out.  […] The only thing I would say about the day is that perhaps it could have been longer especially in light of those people travelling long distances as I think a full day would have been even more inspiring!’
  • Lois Bentley, student volunteer (Access course) from Leeds College of Art:  ‘I just want to say that I have not stopped thinking about “method and metaphor” in art practice – trying to get my head around it. The time with you continues to influence me in a good way’. 
  • Jenny from Women’s Running Magazine: ‘Thanks for the invite. I’m afraid the editor and I will not be able to attend on this occasion, but please do send over any post-event info you have! They sound like fab events’.
  • Hackney Tours / Simon Cole who took part in the London Leg: ‘It was a real pleasure.’
  • Julien Carrel, Director of the pioneering biannual L’Entorse festival in Lille, France that explores the sport-art entanglements who attended the Leeds Leg: ‘Caught a lot of very interesting perspectives’


‘Other conferences could take a leaf out of #r3fest’s book’ − Dr Alex Lockwood, Guardian 2014. Of the pioneering first biennale (RUN! RUN! RUN! International Festival of Running) exploring running as an arts and humanities discourse. Join 3 female artist-researcher-runners Dr Kai Syng Tan, Annie Grove-White and Dr Carali McCall in 3 energising events in 3 cities. The RUN! RUN! RUN! Biennale 2016 #r3fest draws on the success of the inaugural RUN! RUN! RUN! International Festival of Running which took place at the Slade Research Centre in 2014At the second run, now re-named RUN! RUN! RUN! Biennale 2016, we will explore running as a metaphor and methodology for us to think about the body, gender, ageing, the city and borders. We will be joined by 27 guests and colleagues from 16 academic, artistic and charitable institutions (click on links to book your free tickets below): 

– How does running (dis)connect people across borders? November 21 / Leeds: Discussion. 2-4pm. MA Creative Studio. Leeds College of Art Blenheim Walk, LS2 9AQ. Participants include a Dean of School of Arts from Leeds Beckett (Dr Lisa Stansbie), a Reader in International Relations from Queens University Belfast (Dr Debbie Lisle), and a 74 year old retired academic who founded a network investigating the link between sport and art (Dr Doug Sandle).

– How does running (dis)connect people with the city? November 23 / London: Screening. 6-8pm. Exhibition Room. Pearson Building (Department of Geography). UCL Gower Street, WC1E 6BT Representatives from two charitable organisations will join us: A Mile in her Shoes is a volunteer-led registered charity that helps women find their feet through running. Headway East London is a charity for people affected by brain injury. They will be responding to films that will be screened that evening made by artists including Annie Grove-White and Joe King (Royal College of Art).

– How does running (dis)connect people with their body? November 24 / Cardiff: Performance. 6-9pm. National Indoors Athletics Centre. Cardiff Metropolitan University CF23 6XD. New live art will be premiered at the stunning National Athletics Indoor Stadium by international performance maker Eddie Ladd, artist Dr Carali McCall and Anna Brazier (who had retired from 30 years of practice as a psychologist). Catrin Kean will also be presenting. Catrin is She was lead writer on the BBC Wales drama series BELONGING, the winner for four years running of the Welsh BAFTA for Best Series, also winning the Best Screenwriter Award for her work on the show. She has won a number of awards for her short films, including MOTH, which went on to be made as a single film by S4C and won a BAFTA Cymru for Best Single Drama. Most recently Catrin’s short film DAD for S4C/EBU won the 2016 BAFTA Cymru in the Children’s Programme category. It was also nominated for a Special Award at the Prix Jeunesse International Festival 2016.

RUN! RUN! RUN! Biennale 2016 is sponsored by Leeds College of Art and run by the RUN! RUN! RUN! International Body for Research.


*How does running (dis)connect people across borders? November 21 / Leeds: Discussion. 2-4pm. MA Creative Studio. Leeds College of Art Blenheim Walk, LS2 9AQ http://r3fest2016_leeds.eventbrite.co.uk

#r3fest kicks off at Leeds with a discussion (21 November 2-4pm, Leeds College of Art). Drawing on the current (anti)migrant crisis, global endurance athletic activities and artist Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba’s seminal performance Breathing is Free: 12,756.3(ongoing since 2007, an attempt to physically experience world refugee crisis by running the diameter of the earth, 12,756.3km), we ask: how does running (dis)connect people across borders? Presentations and discussions with academics, artists and friends from the running community include: Stephanie Case (Free To Run), Dr Debbie Lisle (Queen’s University Belfast), Dr Doug Sandle (Fields of Vision), Dr Karen Throsby (University of Leeds), Dr Lisa Stansbie (Leeds Beckett University), and Sarah Brown (Leeds Art Gallery).

*How does running (dis)connect people with the city? November 23 / London: Screening. 6-8pm. Exhibition Room. Pearson Building. Department of Geography. UCL Gower Street, WC1E 6BT http://r3fest2016_london.eventbrite.co.uk 

Next, off to London for a screening of artist’s films (23 November 6-8pm, University College London). We ask: how does running (dis)connect people with the city? Following films by Jenny Baines, Musquiqui Chihying, Veronique Chance and Joe King a discussion chaired by geographer Dr Alan Latham (UCL) will take place. Respondents include writer Simon Freeman (Like the Wind), artist Jo Volley (Slade School of Fine Art, UCL) and representatives from charities Headway East London and A Mile in Her Shoes.

*How does running (dis)connect people with their body? November 24 / Cardiff: Performance. 6-9pm. National Indoors Athletics CentreCardiff Metropolitan University CF23 6XD http://r3fest2016_cardiff.eventbrite.co.uk 

The series ends on a high, at the stunning National Indoors Athletics Centre in Cardiff with an evening of performances (24 November 6-9pm). We ask: how does running people (dis)connect with their bodies? We begin with performances and screenings with international performance maker Eddie Ladd, artists Carali McCall and Anna Brazier, followed by discussion chaired by Dr Andrew Filmer (Aberystwyth University). Last but not least, presentation and readings by illustrator / lecturer Amelia Johnstone (Cardiff Metropolitan University) and writer Catrin Kean, followed by discussion chaired by Annie Grove-White.


RUN! RUN! RUN! Biennale 2016: Rundown from kaisyngtan on Vimeo.

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