The World Transformed is an annual festival and year-round political education project. Our first festival took place in 2016, as an attempt to revitalise the left’s presence at the Labour Party conference, bridge the gap between the parliamentary and social movement left, and develop a space for radical, participatory and creative political education.
Since then the festival has grown to become the biggest leftwing multi-day event in Britain, and we have seen the emergence of dozens of local Transformed groups across the country, as well as TWT launching a number of other year round educational projects from short courses to organising schools, podcasts, trainings and pedagogical research.
Our vision of political education is guided by the following principles:
Our work has three key aspects:
TWT hosts an annual festival of politics, arts and music, to bring together our movement in all its diversity for a series of panels, workshops, games, parties and more.
In 2018, Derby Transformed organised the very first local TWT event, attracting hundreds of people together to discuss politics, meet others and organise for the future. Since then, we have seen 30 local groups establish themselves and organise events ranging from a single day to three day festivals in their own communities. We want to help more Transformed groups grow, connecting them to each other and providing support for their events.
If you are interested in organising your own Transformed event and want to find out more about how to do this get in touch with us at [email protected]
TWT runs a number of trainings for our organisers, volunteers, and network of Transformed groups.
As well as continuing to roll these trainings out to the TWT community, we will be hosting a number of skill shares too, from community organising to social media, and graphic design to fundraising skills.
TWTFM is our magazine style podcast that focuses on a key topic through a mixture of accessible theory, history, activist struggles, culture and music. We also host regular online educational and cultural events, from book launches to panel discussions, online consciousness raising and political theory.
Over the past year, TWT have hired a researcher in collaboration with the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn trust to map popular political education across Britain.
We will continue to develop our culture of research and experimentation around political education and critical pedagogy, including how arts and culture can contribute to transformative political education events. This research will be used to inform our outward facing political education work, and to develop a shared approach to political education within the TWT community.
Since our inception in 2016, TWT has taken on the approach of ‘socialism from below’, using our position next to the Labour Party conference to platform politicians alongside activists and grassroots groups to debate, discuss and share ideas. Despite that, we have been, and will always be, independent of the Labour Party, and do not receive funding from them for our work.
As an organisation predicated on utopian thinking and radical change, we understand the need to expand our political imagination beyond electoral politics, and centre bottom-up struggles in our political thinking and organising. However, equally crucial to TWT’s mission of supporting and nurturing utopian thinking , is planning exactly how we move towards a more just and egalitarian future. With that in mind, TWT’s position is that the Labour Party is an important site of struggle for socialists. With a first past the post voting system, and the Labour party’s links with many trade unions, it remains an important vehicle for social movements attempting to influence Westminter- particularly in England and Wales.
Part of TWT’s role is to help activists develop an understanding of where interventions in electoral politics are useful, i.e how we can use the party effectively in struggle, and what its limitations are. We also see our role as to facilitate discussions on why and how the Labour Party dominates our politics in this way, and how we can move beyond it.