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?
Benin is rooted in a patriarchal culture, but in moments of crisis it’s the strength and resilience of its women that comes to the fore – as musician and activist Angelique Kidjo demonstrates in this potent portrait of her home country and the women who inhabit it.
Akram Khan & Naaman Azhari
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.
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Lucinda Childs Meets (LA)HORDE – Building Momentum Under Lockdown
When restrictions forced Lucinda Childs to postpone a project with the Ballet national de Marseille, the choreographer began meeting the Artistic Directors – LA(HORDE) – via Zoom. Intimate, playful and relatable, this film documents their collaboration, and explores how the distances enforced by the pandemic raise unexpected possibilities.
LOVE CAMPUS ABCD 2019–2021
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.
FAR AWAY FROM RUSSIA
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 and in the care of others – but who's 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.
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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.
Images: Catalina Bartolomé, Lucie Jansch, Olivier Metzger, Julien Benhamou, Marie Jacquemin, Patrick Fouque, Almudena Caso Burbano