Conceived and edited by Andy Field & Beckie Darlington in collaboration with children from Billingham South Primary School. With music by Tom Parkinson.

IN THE YEAR 2072 is a short documentary film in which a group of children play themselves 50 years in the future, describing all the many ways that their town, and life in general, has changed in the years since they were young. In fake moustaches and flat caps, they tell stories of jet packs and chocolate factories, they describe growing old and offer their advice to their younger selves.

This gently imagined future creates a make-believe space in which the children can begin to reflect on their experience of this fraught moment in history, to place it into the context of the lives they plan to lead and the changes they think will happen in the world. Their imagined remembrances become a lens through which they and the viewer too can reflect both on the things we are living through and their own hopes and fears for the future.

To create the film Andy and Beckie worked with a group of children at Billingham South Community Primary School in the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees. Over the course of a week we explored a range of topics together, beginning first by imagining solutions to what they saw as their Billingham’s biggest problems before going on to think about the challenges and disasters they and their town might and what face in the future and the children’s aspirations for their own adults lives, all the things they hoped to do and the people they hoped to become.

You can watch the completed film here:

Andy Field and Beckie Darlington

Andy and Beckie collaborate with children and young people on creative projects that initiate new and different kinds of conversations between children and adults. These conversations explore how we live together and the roles we are all able to play within the life of our communities.

Their work is based in performance but has taken a range of forms. Some things they’ve done recently include collaborating with the children of internal migrant workers in Beijing to imagine a different future for their city, creating a social action collective with primary school children in St Helens, and working remotely with children across the Australia and New Zealand to make an audio-walk that takes place in the rain, exploring their experience of connection, localness and distance during the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the last eight years they have worked with a broad range of partners, including the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa, D-CAF Festival Cairo, Cultura Inglesa Brasil, Homo Novus Festival Riga, Manchester International Festival, the Museum of London, PuSh Festival Vancouver and Tauranga Arts Festival in New Zealand.

Central to all their work is the aim of creating playful and innovative new ways for adults and children to talk, think and imagine together. Spaces of compassion where new kinds of futures can be imagined.

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