Time taken : >15mins
The global COVID-19 pandemic is changing our world in countless ways: some already visible, others as yet unknown. It has shattered much of what we knew and understood about our lives. But could this tragedy also be an opportunity – a moment for us to reimagine, reshape and rebuild society to be fairer, brighter, better?
Postcards from Now presents five distinct perspectives from leading international artists of every stripe – choreographers, musicians, visual artists, theatre-makers, animators and more. Commissioned and created at the height of the global lockdown, these five films explore everything from community to communication, patriarchy to power. And in very different ways, they consider the question that we’ve all been asking ourselves and others: what happens next?
Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Théâtre du Châtelet and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Series produced by Manchester International Festival.
Forced apart in childhood by the expectations of their cultures and the disapproval of their fathers, two men with a passion for dance reconnect through the tragedy of the pandemic. Choreographed by Akram Khan and directed by Naaman Azhari, this powerful short film uses rotoscope animation, created by hand-drawing over live action footage.
When travel restrictions forced Lucinda Childs to postpone a project with the Ballet national de Marseille, the American choreographer began meeting the Ballet’s Artistic Directors—LA(HORDE)—via Zoom. Intimate, playful and relatable, this short film chronicles their ongoing digital collaboration, and explores how the distances enforced by the pandemic raise unexpected possibilities for creative interaction.
The pandemic has excluded elderly people from social and political life, exposing their carers to more stressful and precarious working conditions than ever before. Everybody speaks in the names of those who are older as they are in the care of others – but who is really taking care of whom? In Lola Arias’s film, the daily routine of one elderly person and their carer becomes an unexpected act of love and resistance.
This film is currently unavailable.
What happens when two technologies from different eras occupy the same space, and what potential does their interaction have for future generations? Connecting old aeroplanes with modern drones via workshops held within decommissioned aircraft in his native Ghana, Ibrahim Mahama explores how new technologies and imaginations can allow us to rethink life on all levels – beyond the human experience.
Benin is rooted in a patriarchal culture, with households headed by men yet run by women. But in moments of crisis, whether in private homes or wider communities, it’s women who come to the fore – as musician and activist Angélique Kidjo demonstrates in this potent portrait of her home country and the women who inhabit it.
Series commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Théâtre du Châtelet and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Breathless Puppets is also commissioned by Sadler’s Wells. Series produced by Manchester International Festival. Far Away from Russia is produced by Manchester International Festival in association with Staatstheater Hannover. Hero image credits: Catalina Bartolomé, Lucie Jansch, Olivier Metzger, Julien Benhamou, Marie Jacquemin, Patrick Fouque, Almudena Caso Burbano
Hero image credits: Catalina Bartolomé, Lucie Jansch, Olivier Metzger, Julien Benhamou, Marie Jacquemin, Patrick Fouque, Almudena Caso Burbano
Manchester International Festival (MIF) is an artist-led festival of original, new work and special events reflecting the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture. MIF21 takes place from 1 – 18 July 2021.
Staged every two years in Manchester, MIF has commissioned, produced and presented world premieres by artists including Marina Abramović, Damon Albarn, Laurie Anderson, Björk, Boris Charmatz, Jeremy Deller, Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah, Elbow, Philip Glass and Phelim McDermott, David Lynch, Wayne McGregor, Steve McQueen, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Yoko Ono, Thomas Ostermeier, Maxine Peake, Punchdrunk, Skepta, The xx, Robert Wilson and Zaha Hadid Architects.
These and other world-renowned artists from different art forms and backgrounds create dynamic, innovative and forward-thinking new work, staged in venues across Greater Manchester – from theatres, galleries and concert halls to railway depots, churches and car parks. MIF works closely with venues, festivals and other cultural organisations globally, whose financial and creative input helps to make many of these projects possible and ensures that work made at MIF goes on to be seen around the world.
MIF supports a year-round Creative Engagement programme, bringing opportunities for people from all backgrounds, ages and from all corners of the city to get involved during the Festival and year-round, as volunteers, as participants in shows, through skills development and a host of creative activities, such as Festival in My House.
MIF will also run The Factory, the new landmark cultural space currently being built in the heart of Manchester and designed by the internationally-renowned architect Ellen van Loon of Rem Koolhaas’ OMA. The Factory will commission, present and produce one of Europe’s most ambitious and adventurous year-round creative programmes, featuring bold new work from the world’s greatest artists and offering a space to create, invent and play.
Attracting up to 850,000 visitors annually, The Factory will add up to £1.1 billion to the economy over a decade and create up to 1,500 direct and indirect jobs. Its pioneering programme of skills, training and engagement will benefit local people and the next generation of creative talent from across the city, whilst apprenticeships and trainee schemes are already underway during the construction phase.
MIF’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive is John McGrath.
Postcards from Now by Manchester International Festival (MIF) presents five distinct perspectives from leading international artists. Commissioned and created at the height of the global lockdown, these five films explore everything from community to communication, patriarchy to power. And in very different ways, they consider the question that we’ve all been asking ourselves and others: what happens next?