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Sans duty - making tax visible: Seed fund project report

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Abstract

This report describes a small-scale ‘seed fund’ project undertaken with
funding from the Communities and Culture Network+. The initial aim of the project was to co-produce design fictions with a community to explore near future scenarios where tax is made visible to encourage the payment of tax, to close the tax gap, to engender wealthier and more resilient communities. As the research progressed the focus on developing community-based, practicable components of the tax system was replaced with exploring the potential of design fiction methods for enabling everyday utopian communities, the Brixton Pound local currency community, to enhance and maintain the attempts to organise society otherwise.
The research involved hosting an ideation workshop with community members to develop microfictions, the development of a narrative and artefacts, the
filming of a speculative documentary, and a final discussion session to explore how these scenarios enabled the community members to think differently about tax.
A key finding was that rather than using co-produced design fictions to
respond to the researchers’ ideas, in our case how a visible tax system might benefit communities, to enabling communities to have interesting conversations. Thus the significant questions are not how to make tax visible in communities but rather to encourage people in communities to consider different types of communities, the relationships and obligations between citizens and within that alternative configurations of tax collection and expenditure. In the discussions the crucial dimension will be to engender the desire for a better way of being or living and then the collective engagement to make the world otherwise (Levitas 2013).

Bibliographic note

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