Creative Collaboration Goes Back To The Future to Explore Impact of 1968: A History-Defining Year

Creative Collaboration Goes Back To The Future to Explore Impact of 1968: A History-Defining Year

Published: 26/01/2018

Past, present and future collide in a new creative collaboration between four of Scotland’s leading education and arts institutions. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, The Glasgow School of Art, the University of Glasgow and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra have joined forces to stage an ambitious large-scale performance event and exhibition at Tramway, Glasgow in March 2018.

Last Futures will showcase the country’s most exciting emerging talent as they celebrate and question the socio-political movements which made 1968 a year that changed history. When global uncertainty, from the war in Vietnam to the civil rights movement sparked protests, pickets, riots and revolutions, ordinary people demanded change. Through music, performance, visual arts and design, Last Futures will reflect on the relevance of those movements in contemporary society and propose radical visions of futures to come.

The immersive, multi-arts experience opens on March 17 (exhibition only) with the opening night for the performance and exhibition on March 18. Last Futures runs until March 25 and will bring together hundreds of artists, academics, curators, performers, writers, musicians and designers. Four composition students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland ranked in the world top three for performing arts education will write new works for Last Futures. The pieces will be performed by Royal Conservatoire musicians and members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

The performance element of Last Futures will explore how to action radical visions of the future by weaving music, design, drama and text in a contemporary revision on the experimental creative methodologies that emerged in the late 1960s. The exhibition will present critiques of the proposed futures of 50 years ago and imagine alternative versions of the future to come. A programme of curated live events, including talks, screenings, music and performances, will take place within the exhibition space.

This is the third collaboration between the institutions. In 2016, New Dreams celebrated the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with music, drama, dance and visual art inspired by themes in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In 2013, MONAD, which was supported by Scottish Ballet, commemorated the centenary of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. It was composed, danced and lit by students from the Royal Conservatoire with costumes and sets by The Glasgow School of Art. The score was brought to life by members of the Royal Conservatoire and BBC SSO.

The student voice is at the forefront of Last Futures which is being led by Co-Directors Josh Armstrong, a lecturer and graduate of the Contemporary Performance Practice programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; Becky Sik, a lecturer in Sculpture and Environmental Art at The Glasgow School of Art, and Sukaina Kubba, a lecturer in the School of Fine Art at The Glasgow School of Art, who curated the exhibitions for New Dreams and MONAD.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Scotland’s national conservatoire is the only place of our kind in Europe offering the full range of the performing and production arts together and the encouragement to work with fellow students across all of our art forms. When creative and artistic minds come together, magic happens, so we’re excited about the opportunity Last Futures presents to harness the collective force of these dynamic artists, academics and performers to create an ambitious, exciting and thought-provoking experience for audiences in Glasgow and Scotland.Collaboration is at our core so we are thrilled to once again partner with The Glasgow School of Art, the University of Glasgow and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, three vibrant and world-renowned institutions.”

Professor Tom Inns, Director of The Glasgow School of Art, said: “The Glasgow School of Art is delighted to be a partner in this new collaboration working in partnership with Glasgow’s leading academic institutions and performers. Glasgow is celebrated internationally as a centre of innovation. Our students from across the disciplines of Architecture, Design, Innovation, Fine Art and Simulation & Visualisation will bring their creativity to the celebration ensuring that the importance and impact of the socio-political movements of 1968 are communicated to the 21st century audience.”

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, said: “Glasgow is a powerhouse where ideas and creativity flourish and grow. It is no surprise, then, that a unique creative collaboration like Last Futures has come out of a strong partnership between Glasgow’s leading arts and academic institutions and performers. The University of Glasgow is delighted to see the talents of our wonderful staff and students within the arts being showcased. The collaboration explores a myriad of alternative visions of futures to come in a way which I have no doubt will capture the public’s imagination. I am sure everyone involved is looking forward to sharing this exciting body of work.”

Dominic Parker, Director of BBC SSO, said: “Together with the other organisations involved in this project we want to provoke and support the next generation of creative talent. There is a fantastic spirit of openness and collaboration between us, and we hope to give the students a space to explore their own creative responses. We are really looking forward to working alongside the students and seeing where their ideas lead.”

*Tickets on sale in February from


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