Earlier this year, we shared details of a new project Re:Con x Contact: Bee the Change, which will commission artists to explore themes around climate change, and specifically what this looks like for the future of Manchester.
As well as Contact, the project is funded by Julie’s Bicycle as part of their Arts Council England Season for Change programme, and also C-Change.
We’re now delighted to announce that the Re:Con producers have selected Ergon Theatre as the commission winner.
The Re:Con team said:
We at Re:Con are thrilled to announce Ergon Theatre as the chosen artists for our ‘Bee The Change’ commission.
We believe their idea of an interactive performance on climate justice and equity will highlight the more overlooked discussions of climate breakdown and challenge audience members to think critically about its effects on everyday people. Ergon have engaged in these difficult questions in past projects and so we feel this commission will develop their work significantly and look into making their art more sustainable.
We asked Ergon Theatre for a few details about themselves and their upcoming project.
Tell us more about yourselves and your work:
Ergon Theatre creates performance based work about futures and the climate crisis.
Our work seeks to empower our audience and open up conversations surrounding important contemporary issues such as the climate crisis. We transport our audience and those big issues into a fictional world in order to make those issues seem a bit less overwhelming.
We love the creative ecology of Manchester. As well as the wonderful Contact, we are supported by the Lowry and M6 Theatre. We firmly believe that the arts can and should be used as a communicating tool between audiences.
We believe in using expert fact and scientific research to create and inspire our fictional worlds.
Why do you want to make this project?
We understand that life can be hard enough to deal with without the existential worries about the future of our planet. We think it’s important to open up a conversation about the climate crisis in such a way that never paints any individual out to be a bad person just because they aren’t living their life in the most climate conscious way. Everyone needs to do what they can, where they can to help protect our futures but this will be different to each individual, and that’s okay.
Our questions to our audience are; Whose responsibility is it to change? How easy is it to change? What is geographical privilege?
There is so much focus nowadays on what the individual can do to solve the climate crisis, but this never takes into account that every person’s capacity to help is different. Let’s talk about that.
So, what will the performance be about?
After decades of the world ‘not doing enough’ and a dramatic increase in natural disasters, extreme weather and mass population displacement, the British government has had to implement a dramatic system change. This system change is called Ergon. Everything’s cost is now determined by it’s impact on the planet, individual spending is limited, and the UK borders have been closed and manned by military personnel.
Set in the 2060s, ‘ERGON’ invites the audience to take the role of citizens called in by the authority to take part in a mandatory session to ensure that each citizen is capable of living with the new system change. During the performance, the audience will witness an interview with another citizen who is being charged with ecological genocide after breaking a climate law. They are invited to determine whether this citizen is guilty or not – all the while being interrupted by transmissions from the militarised border.
We’ll be sharing more of Ergon Theatre’s work and plans as their project continues.