Opening: Saturday 10 July, 5 – 8pm with an opening performance by Switchers
Acorn (2021) is a new moving image work taking its inspiration from the world and characters in Octavia Butler’s prescient science fiction novel Parable of The Talents, which describes the utopian community of Acorn under siege in a dystopian future dominated by far-right religious populism. Rather than adapting Butler’s story this film utilises the ‘world’ of Parable of the Talents, its conditions and characters to develop new narratives and meanings.
Drawing on tools from Stanislavski’s acting method; his notion of ‘Perezhivanie’ or lived emotional experience; and the methodology of ‘playworlds’, adopted from Vygotskian pedagogy, in which imaginary spaces for improvisation and exchange are created, Acorn is a unique work of ‘event-cinema’, maintaining the liveness of a theatre production through participants’ emotional focus in real time. The resulting collectively produced work explores scenes set in a near future rural Wales, as a group of people living together in a small rural community struggles to survive within a world of economic and ecological breakdown and authoritarianism. It attempts to imagine new forms of collective life and the challenges of creating a utopian community within a dystopian world.
Acorn was devised and performed by Switchers, a theatre/film group and collaborative framework composed of a network of young people from London and Mid Powys, Wales. Its members are Jamie Baker, Merlyn Hawthorne, Ellis Holt, Ruth Oshunkoya, Prince Owusu, Mary Yekini and Caitlin Williams. It was directed by Emanuel Almborg the group’s facilitator and filmed in Mid Powys, Wales and at Chats Palace, Hackney, London.
The script was co-written with Melissa Dunne, Set design and costume: Ksenia Pedan, DOP: Ben Marshall. Camera operators: Alex Shipman and Laura Seward, Sound recordist: Jack Cook, Technician: Jordan Wilkes, DOP in Wales: Tom Hall, Production: Pundersons Gardens, Colourist: John Alexander Lowe, Sound design: David Gülich, Music: Hans Appelqvist, Graphic Design: Mia Frostner, Actor training: Lavinia Hollands.
Produced with funding and support from: Kungl. Konsthögskolan, The Elephant Trust and P.G. Film.
Switchers originally developed out of a youth theatre exchange initiated in 2018 by artist Emanuel Almborg. Previous projects include The Nth Degree (2018) a film commissioned by Cell Project Space, and Switch (2018) a play performed at Mid Powys Youth Theatre, Llandrindod Wells, Wales.
The exhibition is presented in collaboration with Almanac Projects who will present the next iteration of the project in Autumn 2021.