In this series of conversations Kris Nelson, CEO and Artistic Director of LIFT, chatted to colleagues and intrepid arts makers from around the world about the state of the arts where they are, and their hopes, inspirations and predictions for the future.
Originally held as a series of live conversations on Instagram, Plans For The Future is now available as a podcast to listen to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.
Episode 1: Plans For The Future with Dr. Njoki Ngumi
Dr. Njoki Ngumi is a Nairobi-based artist, writer and feminist thinker. She’s a founding member of multidisciplinary arts collective The Nest.
During the course of their far-reaching conversation, Kris and Njoki discussed:
- The Invisible Inventories Project.
- Concept Touring, the first commission in LIFT’s Artist Advancement Programme.
- Elsa Majimbo x Valentino, a bedtime story for adults and children.
- They mention Mars Massai, another member of The Nest collective.
- And Camila Gutiérrez Aguilera, former producer at LIFT.
- Cinematographer Timi Akindele-Ajani.
- And internet comedian Elsa Majimbo, who Njoki urges everyone to follow.
Episode 2: Plans For The Future with Mariano Pensotti
Internationally renowned theatre and cinema artist Mariano Pensotti joined Kris live from Buenos Aires to discuss his plans for the future.
Kris and Mariano talked about a variety of LIFT, Grupo Marea (Mariano’s production company) and other projects and people, including:
- Several of Mariano’s recent productions, including Sometimes I Think I Can See You, Diamante, El Publico and Los Años.
- FIBA – the Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires.
- Kunstenfestivaldesarts, in Brussels.
- Mariano mentioned being inspired by composer Robert Ashley, and author Georges Perec, particularly his novel Life: A User’s Manual.
- They also referenced Concept Touring, LIFT’s first commission in our Artist Advancement Programme.
Episode 3: Plans For The Future with Juliet Knapp
Juliet Knapp is a presenter, curator and a co-artistic director of Kyoto Experiment. She joined Kris from Kyoto, Japan.
While chatting, Kris and Juliet talked about:
- Kyoto Experiment – the international festival of performing arts that Juliet co-directs, and their programme strands, including Super Knowledge for the Future.
- They also discussed a previous Kyoto Experiment event that brought together a fantasy cartographer and a nomadic gardener.
- They spoke about Kunstenfestivaldesarts.
- And LIFT’s Concept Touring programme.
Episode 4: Plans For The Future with Giorgia Ohanesian Nardin
Giorgia Ohanesian Nardin is an artist, independent researcher and queer agitator of Armenian descent, currently living in Milan, Italy. They recently took part in Concept Touring, the first commission in LIFT’s Artist Advancement Programme, and their performance, Գիշեր| gisher, is part of the LIFT 2022 programme.
During the course of their chat, Kris and Georgia chatted about:
- Georgia’s work gisher, a piece they were adapting as part of the Concept Touring commission.
- Kopano Maroga, a mentor taking part in the Concept Touring commission.
- And published conversation that Giorgia had with Jamila Johnson-Small about Tarot and many other things.
Episode 5: Plans For The Future with Meiyin Wang
Meiyin Wang is the Producing Director of The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center, slated to open in 2023 on the World Trade Center campus. She is joining Kris from an early morning in New York, USA.
In their lively discussion Kris and Meiyin talked about:
- Meiyin’s role at the new Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center in the World Trade Centre complex, New York City.
- The Public’s Under the Radar Festival, in New York City.
- We See White American Theatre movement, who published principles for building anti-racist theatre systems.
- Guidelines for ethics & equity in presenting dance created by Creating New Futures.
Episode 6: Plans For The Future LIFT Anniversary Special
In this special episode of Plans For The Future, LIFT’s founders, Lucy Neal and Rose Fenton, and LIFT’s current leaders, Kris Nelson and Stella Kanu, talk about the past, present and future of the festival. They discuss why it was – and continues to be – essential to bring international work to London, to take risks, push boundaries, and connect global art and artists with Londoners in meaningful and impactful ways.
In their wide ranging conversation the team mentioned:
- Phakama an initiative started by LIFT and Sibikwa Community Theatre from Johannesburg in 1996 as a cultural exchange programme between young people in London and South Africa.
- Enrique Vargas and his immersive sensory theatre.
- Festival TransAmériques in Montreal.
- Session by Steppaz Performing Arts Academy, Empire Sounds and Dan Cannon. A performance first shown in LIFT 2018 and has since toured the country.
- Fly By Night a performance by Duke Riley shown in LIFT 2018.
- COP26 the UN climate change conference held in Glasgow in 2021.