Tomorrow, like today, I’ll keep trying to think about what I’d want us to put in a manifesto if we were going to write one. I feel hesitant about the idea and I’ve been trying to puzzle out why. The principle of a manifesto I like: a public declaration of things that we believe in enough to share them and make them happen. But when I think about other manifestos I’m not so sure about it. Manifestos often feel finite, like there’s not a lot of room for changing your mind or admitting you got it wrong. Manifestos often feel militant. Manifestos often feel like they’re written more out of fear than hope. Manifestos don’t leave a lot of room for conversation. Manifestos often feel full of forced agendas. Manifestos often feel full of empty promises. 

Or maybe I’m just reading the wrong manifestos. 

I wonder if we could write a different kind of manifesto. 

A manifesto that is full of contradictions.
A manifesto that takes the form of a conversation.
A manifesto that has holes in and spaces that are still to be filled.
A manifesto that begins with only one statement and is added to every time we feel strongly about something.
A manifesto that is our new website.
A manifesto that is full of apologies.
A manifesto that is full of impossibilities.
A manifesto that is only images, no words.
A manifesto that is full of borrowed statements that we are trying on for size.
A manifesto constructed out of the manifestos of people that have come before us.
A manifesto that refuses to use any arts council language.
A manifesto that’s written entirely in metaphors.
A manifesto in a made-up language.
A manifesto in a language that is not our own – written through the process of trying to communicate via translation what we really want to say.
A manifesto that is simultaneously bold, radical, provocative, alternative, boring, imaginative, ridiculous, antagonistic, ambitious, despairing, inspiring.
A manifesto that is built from hope. 

I wonder if it matters if we call it a manifesto.
I wonder what we could call it instead.
I wonder who it’s for.
I wonder how we’re held accountable for it.
I wonder if we should be held accountable for it.
I wonder how we make it meaningful. 

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