Wide Awakes

A Return to Culture | Frieze Week


On Wednesday, May 5th, with Frieze Week in full swing, NeueHouse played host to a free-flowing conversation between members of the Wide Awakes, the artist-led activist movement.

While the Wide Awakes assembled on stage were all key to the formation and evolution of the group, they emphasized that anyone can be a Wide Awake, that no one person or group of people is in charge, and that this shared responsibility and collective action is crucial to the group’s ethos and operations.

Over the course of the intimate hour-long talk, artist Hank Willis Thomas, curator and writer Larry Ossei-Mensah, producer Tanya Selvaratnam and entrepreneur Tracey Ryans touched on the group’s original inspiration, its underlying ethos and principles, stories from the early days, and the importance of joy in carrying the abolitionist torch forward.