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Roundhouse Launches FUTURES Spring Season With Fraser T Smith, Jess Thom, Scottee, Karen Palmer, and More

Learn more about the lineup here!

Roundhouse Launches FUTURES Spring Season With Fraser T Smith, Jess Thom, Scottee, Karen Palmer, and More

This season of work invites Roundhouse audiences to contemplate the present, reflect on the past and conceive new possibilities for a world in need of change. This sprawling and highly inclusive treasury of ideas, shared by world-leading artists, writers and thinkers, will challenge perceptions of what the future can hold.

Two micro-festivals will take place within the season over weekends in March and April. KALAK (10-12 March) is a weekend which delves into South-Asian Futurisms, with spoken word, music which takes its inspiration from Bollywood cinema and which sparks conversation around censorship, nationalism and caste, and a performance from a leading light of the UK jazz scene and curator of KALAK, Sarathy Korwar. AfroFUTURES (1-2 April) represents Afrofuturism through film and an audio visual performance from dubmorphology x GAIKA as well as workshops that share tools for shaping more inclusive futures.

Fraser T Smith is the multi-award winning and internationally acclaimed producer, songwriter and musician who has helmed some of the most pivotal recordings in recent British music history, including Kano's Made In The Manor and Stormzy's Gang Signs and Prayers. In 2020, under the moniker Future Utopia, Fraser released his critically acclaimed debut solo album, 12 Questions for which he enlisted an incredible roll call of some of Britain's most vital and brilliant artists including Stormzy, Dave, Kano, Ghetts, Bastille, Es Devlin, Simon Armitage and Idris Elba as well as former Black Panther and Angola 3 member, Albert Woodfox. Putting some of the most pressing questions of our time to these collaborators, 12 Questions spawned an epic musical commentary on the state of society that ultimately asks "is it too late to save the planet?". To coincide with the release of We Were We Still Are, the lead single from his forthcoming EP of the same name, featuring poet, MC and playwright Kae Tempest, Future Utopia comes to the Roundhouse to continue the conversation with a live audience and perform some of his music (24 March).

AI becomes an immersive dystopia in Consensus Gentium (28 - 30 March), a study of insidious surveillance in a speculative technocratic society from award-winning international artist and TED Speaker, Karen Palmer. In its UK premiere, immediately following its world premiere at SXSW festival, this groundbreaking atmospheric experience tests how complicit we are in our own futures.

Marginalised voices and technology collide in Elsewhere in India (7 - 8 April), a collaboration between Hyderabad-based electronic musician Murthovic, acclaimed visual artist and creative director Thiruda. This immersive XR (Extended Reality) experience, set in post-cyberpunk India, fuses video games with live electronic music in a pioneering blend of both artforms.

Completing the FUTURES season is Utopia 2.0 (from 14 April), an online audio project from Scottee & Friends, a collective of fat, queer, common, femme and neurodiverse artists and producers, including renowned Bristolian artist, writer and theatremaker Travis Alabanza. Utopia 2.0 begins with simultaneous residencies in Bristol, London and Manchester where strangers are recorded describing their vision of a utopia, contrasting with the deficiencies they see in the current world, with the project culminating in a soundscape of positive future ideals.

Derek Richards, Head of Broadcast and Digital, Roundhouse, said: "'Can art effect change?' is a constantly recurring question. Right now, I feel that a more pertinent question is 'Can simply resisting and commenting, be it through documentary art or actual protest, effect lasting change?'. Perhaps arts biggest contribution is its power to imagine and share imaginings, which is why I'm excited that we're presenting FUTURES at the Roundhouse. To hold space to propose and sometimes warn, feels like a powerful thing for the Roundhouse to be doing in this moment".

Roundhouse Producer, Reena Kalsi, said: "As we grow our seasons of work at Roundhouse, we want to be driven by what's happening in the world, to bring people together to engage, discuss and question. The theme of FUTURES emerged very organically with many artists already working in this area. It's exciting that the range of artists, technologists and creative collectives would be hard to find on a line up anywhere else. It's been a privilege to be led by these incredible creatives and their visions and impressions of different futures, to create a season that feels truly collaborative."



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