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Artistic director Kris Nelson celebrates the return of the LIFT festival

Guest Blog: Art Director Kris Nelson celebrates the return of the LIFT festival

We are so excited to bring LIFT 2022 to life. London, it’s been too long.

With “Unexpected Perspectives” as its theme, LIFT 2022 asks you to change the way you look at the world and experience performance: whether it’s from a bird’s eye perspective, around a campfire or by searching for ghosts in a shopping mall.

You will meet artists from Glasgow, Helsinki, Milan, Nairobi, Vilnius and all over London. They are playing with dimensions – from a slice of maximalist life with hundreds of artists (and several tons of sand), to very intimate and personal experiences. We’re spanning all of London: this year’s festival takes place in eight districts and involves collaboration with dozens of partners.

Watch dozens of performers sing from the sun loungers on a beach set up in Albany in the world-famous Lithuanian beach opera Sun and sea by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė and Lina Lapelytė. It is a large-scale project with great imagination involving hundreds of Londoners, dogs, children, ice cream and a profound message. Sun and seaposes the threat of climate change amidst a lazy beach idyll, a contrast that creates an unforgettable and touching experience. Do not miss.

Guest Blog: Art Director Kris Nelson celebrates the return of the LIFT festival
The feminine and the foreigner

See the world through the eyes of Kenyan multidisciplinary artists The Nest Collective. Highly versatile, their art output includes empathic and evocative films, provocative visual art exhibits and must-see parties. For LIFT 2022, the Nests take up residence in Lewisham at Shipwright. They will host the salon series Conversations in the kitchen. Then, in a sensational double count, they will present the world premiere of The feminine and the foreigner , their documentary portrait with activists across London in intimate conversations about the experiences of migrants, queers and blacks. Then they host Nairobi x Local, a day-to-night party in a Thames garden with DJs from LOCAL and South London’s AJAA Radio.

On a more intimate scale, the Italian-Armenian artist Giorgia Ohanesian Nardin immerses you in personal and political images and voices. For the British premiere of Գիշեր -gisher, they collaborate with eight London artists, including choreographic pioneer Jamila Johnson-Small. Appealing to their shared heritage of Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA), Nardin assembles a collage of reflections on geography, body, legacy and conflict in this show that begins within Sadler’s Wells and ends in a meeting around a fire.

Guest Blog: Art Director Kris Nelson celebrates the return of the LIFT festival
The making of Pinocchio

The Glasgow couple and artist duo Rosana Cade and Ivor MacAskill offer a different kind of intimacy: autobiographical meta-theater full of tenderness. Surrounded by puppets and cameras in the Grand Hall of the Battersea Arts Center, they recreate themselves Pinocchioduring Ivor’s gender transition. The result is The making of Pinocchio a performance that shows us how to define and redefine who we are for the people we love most.

In Brixton at the Black Cultural Archives, We should all be dreamingby Finnish artists Sonya Lindfors and Maryan Abdulkarim asks you to discover the radical potential of the dream. It is a celebration of the community which is a space for the collective imagination. At Shoreditch Town Hall, up-and-coming creatives from all over London: the UpLIFTers (LIFT’s Young Producers Program) occupy a unique space in the basement. They have a packed series including The choice of margin tactile workshops that explore marginalized identities, installation 遺 комнаты / Rooms left behindimmersing yourself in escaped rooms in Hong Kong and Russia e Rising stars of the galaxya showcase of talented young musicians playing rhythms from all over the world.

Guest Blog: Art Director Kris Nelson celebrates the return of the LIFT festival
Radio ghost

In three shopping malls across London, ZU-UK interactive theater masters refresh your everyday experience withRadio ghost . Join them on a ghost hunt where you discover the spirits found in daily trade and the hidden stories of how products come into our hands as you play.

We too will be digital, with online versions ofThe making of Pinocchio AndThe feminine and the foreignermade available to the public all over the world. These are accompanied byBurning suns, rising seasby Radical Ecology – films and workshops on deforestation, indigenous rights, migration and the unequal distribution of toxicity.

Each of these works asks you to change your point of view, and they do so with a sense of adventure, curiosity and empathy. From all of us at LIFT, we welcome you. Have fun discovering these new shots, new views and unexpected perspectives.

LIFT Festival runs from 23 June to 10 July

Photo credit: Tyler Kelly

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