The People's Glossary

The People’s Glossary (TPG) is a participatory action-research project developed to equip communities

to make interventions in galleries; to question interpretation, authorship, and expertise; to develop

alternative ‘ways to know about art’. The outcome of The People’s Glossary serves an online resource that has been crowd-sourced to be used as a collaborative, living toolkit, glossary, and artwork, influenced by Raymond Williams’ Keywords; A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (1976a). This thesis explores the processes of The People’s Glossary and suggests how collections could implement ‘useful’ art practices such as TPG in institutions to center those who have been overlooked in the history of contemporary art.


Co-designed by Thom Isom, The People's Glossary will be available online in May 2019. Aligned by participatory methodologies, Thom has also facilitated user sessions with Community Collective and staff at Tate Liverpool.