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Shelley Sacks

Oxford Brookes University
Social sculpture professor and practitioner
Shelley Sacks is a social sculpture practitioner well known for projects like Earth Forum, Exchange Values and Frametalks, and for the key role she has played in developing the field of contemporary social sculpture, the inner dimension of sustainability and connective thinking and practice. After studying with Joseph Beuys and later, collaborating in Beuys' Free International University, Shelley returned to South Africa in the mid 1970s to explore ways to work with the social sculpture ideas within the liberation struggle. Integrating Paulo Freire's and Beuys' transformative proposals she set up NGOs focusing on creative strategies for cooperative development and education-for-democracy. Based in Oxford since the mid 1990s her focus on the 'philosophy of freedom in practice' and 'inner technologies for transformation' have connected her academic research, writing, lecturing and the interdisciplinary 'creative strategies' programmes she has developed with her global work as a social artist and inspirer of change-makers. Alongside developing the University of the Trees: Lab for New Knowledge and an Eco-Social Future and this Social Sculpture Academy, she continues her research and doctoral mentoring in Oxford as Emeritus Professor of Social Sculpture and Connective Practice.