by Fiona Ferguson, Creative Development Director of Imaginate
2020 began with plans for the third, and final, PUSH+ Lab exploring Different Bodies. All the partners announced the artists who would take part, keeping a mindful eye on the news. As the months progressed, it became very clear that we would not be able to gather together for the Lab, especially as we had planned it in such a unique location in Stamsund, Lofoten. We talked about digital possibilities but that was never really an option. PUSH+ is a project about people and place, about growing a community around a topic that we all passionately believe is important. Everything hinges on starting that process together, face to face.
Thanks to Creative Europe, who understood the need for some things to be in person, we now have an official extension so we can move Different Bodies to 2021/22. We appreciate this flexibility more than they know and, not for the first time this year, we have experienced the best of people amidst a crisis.
We have asked the 15 Different Bodies artists to stick with us and we remain hopeful they will all be able to join us with Lead Artist Tone Pernille Østern and PUSH+ Filmmaker Jassy Earl, for the new Lab dates in September 2021. You can read about them here.
All of the challenges, cancellations and changes we have taken on this year have made me think about all the people and places we've been lucky to meet since PUSH began in 2016. We spent two weeks in Edinburgh in January 2019 exploring the topic of Home. Now I am writing this in my living room where I have been working alone for over nine months, home. Every now and again this year our Home Lab WhatsApp group kicks back into action as someone reaches out to the group nearly two years after we first met, home.
What we need now more than ever is opportunity for connection, and reconnection, so I hope the community around PUSH+ will be able to continue growing and finding ways to bring people together. I can safely say we will appreciate being in the same place together even more than we did before.
Here’s to you all, sending love and solidary from all the PUSH+ partners.
Different Bodies Lab: September 2021 (Lofoten, Norway)
Different Bodies International Workshop: January 2022 (Chang Mai, Thailand)
Different Bodies Residency: February 2022 (Roskilde, Denmark)
Different Bodies Festival Presentation: May 2022 (Edinburgh, Scotland)
PUSH+ Sympoisum: September 2022 (Dublin, Ireland)