We have been invited to organise a program of events for the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2017 with the support of Arts Council Malta and Valletta 2018. We have developed a process of activities which will build upon one another, investigating the unique perspectives of the islands upon Europe.
Europe is a space of diversity: from languages to cultures, from legislations to ideologies, from virgin nature to advanced urbanisation, from traditional customs to contemporary avant-gardes. This past and present diversity is what unifies Europe, through which it develops its strengths.
The challenges that the European Union is facing are manifold. It is widely perceived that we are living in tumultuous and challenging times. Crises are unsettling the fundamental values, beliefs, norms and canons that both individuals and societies have long taken for granted. Grexits and Brexits are permeating the news, extremist slogans are capturing attention and causing divisive action, gaps are widening, boundaries are hardening, differences are enlarging. Mistrust grows, fears increase, dismissal rises. There seems to be no alternative to the gloom.
Presents of the Future aims to develop an awareness of agency by undertaking a series of futuring exercises. We see futuring as a process of creating alternative narratives for possible futures. Within such alternatives, participants are invited to develop an understanding of their preferred future.
In Presents of the Future we will investigate, with a wide cross section of the Maltese population, the issues that concern them within the Maltese Presidency focus themes of Mediterranean, Maritime and Migration; Social Europe, Security and the Single Market. We will follow a four step process, starting with research and community gatherings, followed by workshops to develop relevant near future scenarios, inviting members of the population to work with international futurists to develop specifically Maltese perspectives and visions. These will lead into a process of developing experiential artefacts, so called reverse time capsules, which will be disseminated and exhibited. Furthermore a final workshop about the futures of well being will be undertaken leading into the exhibition and event in May 2017, with the exhibition displayed till the end of June 2017