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Giorgia on My Mind: 'The Future of '68'

The Future of ‘68

Giorgia Orlandi meets festival curator Gareth Evans to talk about the new major season starting this April All Power To The Imagination! 1968 And It’s Legacies.

For those who were or weren’t there back in ‘68, cinema amateurs as well as civil rights rioters, this is the chance to understand the remarkable year and join the debate of one of the most crucial times in recent history. For both the global and non-global, now’s our moment to remember. With the countdown well underway for ‘All Power to the Imagination! 1968 and its Legacies’, I met one of the two curators who explains why the passion for 1968 is not over.

When I ask Gareth where he was in forty years ago, he tells me that he was too young to remember, and of course I realise why he is now one of the curators of one of the greatest season ever organised on the 1968. Usually the need to understand what happened at the time tends to come from those people who were not involved, or better still, those who were not there, those who can’t be recalled as the protagonists. So why the 1968 revival? 1968 and 2008 are two parallel years, both close in experience and series of events. ‘We know London’, Gareth explains, ‘as the Swinging City, and London remembers itself in the same way. We can’t say the same for Paris for example where there’s a different perception of that crucial year..as the contemporary debate increases on global issues, on what today is Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism, and yesterday was Vietnam and the cold war, London needs to join the discussion, especially if we think of ourselves as the global capital.’

I wondered though how they managed to put together such a great variety of events, and when I ask him how they decided to organise the programme, he tells me ‘we started with the French cinema, we looked at the filmmakers of the time, but then we ended up looking at a wider range of fields… to include history, art, feminism, political and cultural expression’ says Gareth, and that’s when , I add – “the legacies” showed up. There’s more to discover about 1968, beyond the usual suspects from the ‘creative resistance’. Gareth explains me that “the Season is a way to suggest that there is not one reality, but many and most importantly there can be many alternative ways to perceive it.” All Power to the Imagination! 1968 and its Legacies is mainly a self–organised event in keeping with the spirit of an era where everyone’s involvement was totally encouraged. As Gareth makes clear again “today in 2008, we need to look back at what happened in 1968 , celebrate the possibilities offered by this year , there’s nothing more important than memory since every future action comes from a past one”.

‘All Power to the Imagination! 1968 and Its Legacies’ marks the creative resistance of a remarkable year, while placing its lessons in the context of our own times. From April to June 2008 and across London, this major Season explores 1968 culture, politics and thought 40 years on, and its varying legacies and manifestations in cinema, visual art, literature, music and activism.

All Power to the Imagination! 1968 and Its Legacies. Curated by Gareth Evans and Verena Stackelberg takes place from 11th April at various London venues: Royal National Theatre, Barbican, BFI Southbank, British Library, Curzon Cinemas, Tate Modern, Southbank Centre, Horse Hospital, and the Institut français.

Season Highlights include:
•British Library exhibition of 68 leaflets and related books
•Tate Modern film screenings
•National Theatre Littleton Gallery exhibition of photographs from 1968 in conjunction with International Herald Tribune archive
•Slavoj Zizek in Conversation
•Time Out event featuring panel / screening
•BFI Southbank Film Season curated by Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley

A full calendar of events will be announced on Tuesday, 25th March. Check the website for updates: ...

Run Riot is a Media Partner of All Power to the Imagination! 1968 and Its Legacies