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Scotland's Leading Festival of Arts and Ecology Announces Full International Programme

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The festival will include a series of films, virtual exhibitions, performances, workshops, sound walks and in conversation events.

Scotland's Leading Festival of Arts and Ecology Announces Full International Programme

UNFIX is back next month with a 17 day virtual lineup of international events combining art, ritual, dance, film, music, debate, and workshops from 11 - 27 June, with the full international programme just announced.

The innovative festival investigating ecological crisis and renewal through the lens of social, cultural, political, environmental and personal transformation will return for its sixth edition - this year in a digital format, providing an online and accessible platform for audiences and artists alike.

UNFIX Festival started in Glasgow in 2015 and now has sister events in New York City, Tokyo and Bologna. For the very first time, all four cities will synchronise their programmes online allowing for an international sharing of works all responding to what the human impact on the planet and entire natural world means for us right now.

Though the lockdowns and digital isolation of the past year have been challenging, UNFIX is leaning into the opportunity they present: the 2021 programme will bring together artists from the UK, United States, Italy, Japan, Germany, Mexico and beyond in ways that could never happen in one physical place. The festival will offer an online dreamspace between communities across the world as we face the 'new normal' and the restarting of the machine after COVID.

Through a series of films, virtual exhibitions, performances, workshops, sound walks and in conversation events, the programme will explore the human relationship to the natural world and how it has changed throughout the pandemic, living within the anthropocene, and letting go of his-tory, revival and rebirth. Artists will celebrate our physical environment, find joy after grief, and call audiences to action to stand up to the climate crisis.

The programme is split into two strands; On Demand content - released at 5pm daily and available to catch up through to the end of the festival and Live events - over 40 events to be enjoyed at a specific moment. Festival passes are available on a pay what you can basis and provide access to over 70 events.

The festival opens on Friday 11 June with two contrasting events streaming live from UNFIX NYC. Actress, performance artist, butoh dancer and writer Alana Rose presents Sunflower Fields - a dance performance and tribute of love and life in a chaotic world; and musician, composer and educator Jacob Elkin and videographer Robert Morton present their film Give Me Your Pain and Sorrow - a new work that represents the emotional toll the last year has taken honing in on government response and the impact on the individual.

The opening weekend will also feature transfeminist artist Niya B - engaging with their own internalised toxicity and the elements of water and air in a ritual of shedding skin and letting go in Ekdysis; and Luke Jordan blends live art, sonic art, sculpture, installation and moving image to create an apocalyptic hallucinatory world in Hermetic Super-Embryology.

Across the rest of the programme, just some of the Scottish and UK artists featuring includes:

Sound artist and musician Ruaridh Law presents A Sea of Cogs - a series of short films focussing on those who have lost work during the pandemic, the link between work and identity, and hopes for the future; interdisciplinary artist Clarinda Tse who works with tactility, the body and another-than human lifeforms and objects, invites viewers to explore the daily magic in Bubbling in Thick Time; and multidisciplinary psychic worker and artist Bea Xu presents Bloodsport < The Island - a live online action role playing game set at a world-building temple in a post-extractivist solarpunk future.

With a vast body of work inspired by the natural and cultural ecology of Scotland's wild places, Dougie Strang invites audiences to participate in a daily practice titled Still Find Joy and hosts a special book launch event, Dispatches from the Dark Mountain; and Carrie Fertig, recipient of the UNFIX festival residency at The Barn in Aberdeen presents Plummet - a thousand piece glass icicle installation and sound performance tolling end times to radically alter our impact, waste, and behaviour.

A snapshot of international names featuring includes:

Before Bed - an intimate experimental reading collective located in Sydney, Australia founded by interdisciplinary artist, Audrey Newton will host a shared, interconnected, and comfortable reading and listening experience; Italian independent artist and cultural & social activist Caterina Moroni presents Bloom and Doom a moving video documentary combining performances and installations led by young people as they look to communicate the emergency of climate breakdown; and Chicago's Degenerate Art Ensemble, known for large-scale dance and theatre projects present their work The Invitation - a meditation on the human relationship to the natural world, to animist practices, and our connection to Mother Earth.

Austrian artist, independent researcher and art educator Sonja Baeumel and biologist and author of the book 'The Self Delusion' Tom Oliver come together for Us in the Anthropocene - a discussion that looks at how we can think about ourselves no longer as consumer individuals, but as interdependent processes in touch with the rest of life. Sonja will also present the body as a giant petri-dish in solo project, Expanded Self - a commentary on the human body as a tiny particle in a living, pulsating, ever-expanding entanglement of multi-being.

The festival comes to a close on the 27 June with a series of contrasting and equally poignant performances; Edinburgh based artist and cultural geographer, Iryna Zamuruieva will convene a pig mourning ceremony for the 100 million pigs that have lost their lives because of the African Swine Fever (ASF) pandemic; and underground, indie supergroup, VIDIV - a collaboration of Glasgow based sound and performance artists (Desalvo, Aereogramme, Sons & Daughters) reflect on human mortality and social morbidity using electronic harsh noise.

Bringing the virtual curtain down with the final work of the festival is world-renowned Japanese Butoh dancer and choreographer Atsushi Takenouchi, questioning the boundaries between our bodies and our environment, performing Skin live from his home in Italy.

UNFIX Director, Paul Michael Henry, said: "How humans organise themselves, and the ways of life we strive for, begin in our imagination. Capitalism and our treatment of the planet as a resource started out as ideas, and it's now obvious that they are inadequate and point towards climate change and disaster. The arts and communal exploration through culture offer vital ways to dream otherwise, and to imagine a different future. UNFIX aims to provide a melting pot for work concerned with ecological crisis, climate change, hyper-capitalism and all the things that might help to address them: love, care, imagination, joy and dissent."

The Festival takes place from 11-27 June. Visit unfixfestival.com.

Supported by Creative Scotland, the Barn and the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA).


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