The world has never been more connected – nor more divided. The old world order is being challenged by a new populism, with fear and mistrust on both sides. And yet such uncertainty and upheaval can inspire original thinking, as genuine engagement with opposing arguments breaks down barriers, reveals our shared humanity and gives rise to bold new ideas.

FutureEverything, alongside VICE and The Guardian, have been invited to curate two special sessions for Manchester International Festival’s Interdependence 2017: We Need To Talk – Heroes & Power – on Saturday 1st July.

Heroes 

Following a discussion with Turner Prize nominated artist Phil Collins, early member of the Baader-Meinhof Group Astrid Proll, artist Yael Bartana and more, FutureEverything present a session addressing the gender information gap on one of the world’s most prominent websites.

FutureEverything want you to help us play a small but vital role in building the presence of women on Wikipedia – less than 10% of Wikipedia contributors identify as female, leading to a significant gender gap in the website’s content on women. Through a call-out on social media, we’ll choose one woman from Manchester to add to Wikipedia, and we’ll need help finding stories, pictures, news articles and journals to build an online profile from which countless others can benefit in years to come.

We’ll also hold a panel while this flurry of information is sent out with a series of inspiring women with a story to tell. Joeli Brearley is founder of Pregnant Then Screwed which aims to end maternity discrimination, currently pushing through an Early Day Motion to increase time limit to raise a tribunal claim if pregnant or postpartum. Ashleigh Talbot is a broadcaster, activist and musician, and volunteer at All About Trans, who works to improve the way trans matters are talked about in the media and beyond. Martha Chasteny-Smith is one of the members of Girl Gang Manchester, a collective of female artists, creatives, thinkers and do-ers who run an award winning event series, creating a community of people of all genders promoting creativity, collaboration, confidence and positivity, to help inspire and support women to succeed in life work and society.

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Power

Following a discussion with Academy Award winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, and Turner Prize nominated artist Lubaina Himid, FutureEverything team up with Bad Language the multi-award-winning, Manchester-based live literature team, to ask ‘What Can We Demand of the Digital Age?’ This special literature event will explore the relationship between power and digital culture at a time when we need to reinvent the role of narrative to suit our rapidly evolving, technologically mediated society. With contributions from Andrew O’Hagan, the acclaimed author and journalist, Professor of Economics at LSE Jason Hickel, and Deanna Rodger, a leading spoken-word artist and the curator of Come Rhyme With Me.

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We Need to Talk About Heroes & We Need to Talk About Power is part of Interdependence: We Need to Talk, six themed sessions of provocative conversation and new ideas staged every Saturday during MIF17.

Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival. In association with FutureEverything.