One of the nice things about Future Producers is that, occasionally, you get to pretend to be a fully-fledged member of Watershed staff. As I sidled surreptitiously into a staff live screening of No Boundaries, there was a mix of friendly waves and bemused glances. I probably read too much into them, the Watershed is a big place.
Bit of background: No Boundaries is an annual conference for the arts, where delegates and speakers from across the world come together to ask questions, spark provocations and chat over lunch. Provocation is the big word here, between 450 delegates and about 43 contributors, there’s a lot of exciting thinking and discussion, but nobody’s there to give you definitive answers. This is the arts, godammit! We’re not here to tell you what you should and shouldn’t believe!
The conference is hosted by Watershed (here) and HOME (Manchester) and is live broadcast to both venues, as well as for free, online. It’s terribly impressive. As the Bristol-dwelling child of a Mancunian mother, I appreciated flitting between the two. Like Skyping my grandad, and asking him what he thought about cultural financial policies. Anyway,
It’s fitting that each session was titled with a question, which each speaker didn’t really answer. In the sessions that I sat in on, everyone agreed that we probably can’t ‘Exercise Freedom of Expression’ at the moment but that it’s all relative and we should be doing a lot about it; We agreed that in some ways we are ‘Nurturing Tomorrows Talent’, but mostly we’re missing out, and we should be doing a lot about it; And nobody agreed on ‘How the Money Flows’ and we should be doing a lot about it.
You can watch all of these discussions and more online, but in case you’d like the cliff notes, keep reading. Continue reading