What does the future look like? The third and final digital festival from The Place

3 Mar 2021

Scapelands, directed by Katie Beard and Naomi Turner. Image credit: Brett Lockwood

For the third and final of its series of Spring weekenders, The Place is presenting a festival of online works asking the question What Does The Future Look Like?

In this global period of great uncertainty and precarity, the festival is looking to the future as a generative and liberating source of hope; imagining and dreaming what the future might look like as an act of uncompromising defiance.

The visions and voices of artists, who will be vital to the building of a better world, offer a powerful reimagining of what’s to come. How can we offer a genuinely progressive way forward in the face of so much global adversity? How do we allow ourselves to conceive a future that is radically different from where we are now? How can we safely connect to where we are now and learn from that?

The festival, running from 11 Mar – 14 Mar 2021, features audio works, short films, panel discussions and workshops, addressing current social justice issues, the climate crisis, the Black Lives Matter movement, reliance on technology, urbanism, capitalism, queer futurity and explorations of trans and non-binary futures – whilst offering creative inspiration for us as a global society to move forward.

All non-live digital content will be available to listen to and watch until 28 March.


A Rain Walk is an interactive audio experience by Andy Field & Beckie Darlington; two artists who work with young people to create unusual projects that invite us to re-think our relationship to the places we live and the people we live with. An intimate walk in the rain will be guided via headphones by the stories and descriptions of children from across the UK and Ireland. A box will be posted to ticket holders containing everything needed for the experience, which will be weather dependent. As soon as the weather turns, the rainfall will become a private theatre space in which to observe, imagine and play. Whether in a drizzle or a deluge, alone or with those in their bubble, audiences are invited to step outside, feel the rain on their face, and think about their place in a world that is changing so swiftly around us. All participants will need a smartphone (or MP3 player or iPod) and headphones to listen to the show as they walk. (11 – 28 MAR)

 Z 2° Alphα is an interactive workshop for all levels led by choreographer Sivan Rubinstein and Dr. Sarah Fine (King’s College London), which draws on philosophy and dance in the context of climate future. In a world of growing division and displacement prompted by conflict, climate crisis and injustice, can we find hope and common ground in conceptions of ‘home’ and in attachments to place? As a new generation leads the way in finding spaces of resistance and modes of solidarity, the workshop explores what happens when we put the human body and embodied experiences at the centre of the inquiry, moving separately from each other and together like a constellation. (LIVE on 12 MAR)

Dance as Prophecy is an Online Workshop led by dance artist Charlie Ashwell investigating through guided improvisations, tasks, and discussions the idea of dance as prophecy, explore dancing as a portal between present and future, forging new pathways and desires from our present perceptions. (LIVE on 13 MAR)

Long Play Liberation is an Interactive Live Online Transmission by Adam East London creating a clear and compelling vision of the future – a road map to where we want to go. Adam East London hosts a diverse panel of guests,  and a live audience, speaking from their own experiences, covering a broad range of themes, creating a hospitable environment for difference. Empowered by enactments of present and possible conditions of liberation for black people, this interactive online transmission is a place to be in synchrony with the complexity of mixed and conflicting emotions about the future WE WANT.

Transitioning through four key questions, their voices, bodies, and movement bear witness to the first flourishing inscriptions of this future. (LIVE on 13 MAR)

A mixed bill of short films has been curated to each speak to ideas of the future. (14 MAR – 28 MAR)

TRANSIT-20 is a short dance film that came to life in June 2020, conceived by four dance artists from London and South Africa, Luke De Kock, Sarah Golding, Teresa Phuti Mojela and Yukiko Masui, who have never met in person or danced together before. Scattered across the globe, they met online to find out if it is possible to create a dance piece virtually with the same integrity of a physical collaboration in the same space. With technology being able to unify dancers worldwide during this pandemic, they focused on the constant feeling of transitioning from different lockdown states and transitioning into different normalities.

Using spoken word poetry and movement Our Body (Soon Come) by Ana Paz explores the ongoing impact on our mental health and wellbeing as a result of prolonged isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting the continuous exploitation of lands and people as a result of capitalism and how that affects our environment and social equality.

Unapologetic is a short dance fashion film about transgender and non-binary performers exploring their own gender identities through costume and movement. Born out of a dialogue between two transgender visual artists, fashion designer Guia Bertorello and filmmaker Xavier Singer-Kingsmith, and their mutual frustration at the lack of positive transgender storytelling, Unapologetic is a socio-political film that centres around three transgender and non-binary performers, Katayoun Jalilipour, Naissa Essart-Nielsen, and Sakeema Peng Crook, who explore their own gender identities through self-crafted solos.

Scapelands, directed by Katie Beard and Naomi Turner with Choreography by Liv Lockwood is a short dance film exploring our primal connections with nature and the effect of urban living on the human mind. With countries in lockdown and people unable to escape from cities due to the current global pandemic, the psychological impact of our physical environments is being felt more significantly across the world than ever before. Scapelands captures this feeling of being boxed in and the inherent need to reconnect with something beyond our manmade walls.

Post Apocrine by Antonio Branco and Riccardo T. navigates queer power narratives within the artists’ own relationship and the virtual space. Layered with sexuality, kink, and voyeurism this intimate exploration of relationships draws you in through a series of “meditative” actions.

All films will be available to watch online Sun 14 – Sun 28 Mar.

A panel discussion of artists and academics will close the festival, looking to the future as a generative and liberating source of hope. Hosted by Lizzie Stewart, Lecturer in Modern Languages, Culture, and Society at King’s College London, spoken word artist Ana Paz and choreographer Sivan Rubenstein will share their thoughts and ideas on the future they’d like to create. This panel discussion will take place live online on Zoom and will be BSL interpreted. (LIVE on 14 MAR)

More information about the programme can be found here