On the 25th of July I had the pleasure of attending – unfortunately only a part of – the launch event organised by Think Act Vote (?!X) at The Arch Gallery for their new book titled The Future We Choose. This book project was initiated by Think Act Vote (?!X) in order to create a new conversation around democracy and how we create the future we choose. Revolving around ‘The Futures Interview’, The Future We Choose brings together over 200 forward thinking voices from the general public mixed in with those more well known, from fashion designers to historians, campaigners to presenters, all of whom share their vision of the world they want to live in with their ideas of how to create it.
Think Act Vote (?!X) is run by a powerhouse of volunteers, interns (such as Amy Haworth Johns pictured above) and a vibrant community of collaborators and supporters. The Future We Choose has been brought to life through the work of all those contributors, while the design of the book was devised also collaboratively by a team made up of Joana Casaca Lemos, Ella Britton, Matthieu Becker and Amisha Ghadiali.
In the book one can find hugely inspiring quotes by the numerous contributors who completed ‘The Futures Interview’, categorised into Thinks, Acts and Votes. Here is one by Amelia’s Magazine editor Amelia Gregory.
Since early 2010, when Think Act Vote (?!X) started compiling responses from ‘The Futures Interview’ participants, it invited 50 different artists to bring words from the interviews to life and selected 52 final illustrations. A large number of these images have been created by illustrators who regularly contribute to Amelia’s Magazine too! Some of them are Abby Wright, Abi Daker, Ailish Sullivan, Antonia Makes, Alison Day, Amber Cassidy, Bryone Crane, Claire Kearns, Celine Elliott, Erica Sharp, Faye West, Gemma Sheldrake, Gilly Rochester, Harriet Gray, Jo Cheung, June Chanpoomidole, Jenny Robins, Katie Harnett, Laura Frame, Yelena Bryksenkova, Luke Waller, Michelle Urvall Nyrén, Nanae Kawahara, Natalia Nazimek, Natalie Hughes, Sam Parr, Vicky Ink aka Vicky Fallon and Slowly The Eggs aka moi… A lot of the illustrations appear in the book, as seen above, but Think Act Vote (?!X) is also sharing them online, one every week of 2012, this way gradually creating an illustrated Futures Calendar! You can also see all the illustrations together in this online gallery.
The Future We Choose book launch at The Arch Gallery was split into an afternoon pop up radical think tank, featuring a selection of contributors including Lucie Barat, Ed Gillespie, Annegret Affolderback, Emily Wilkie, Melissa Sterry, Chris Arnold and Olivia Sprinkel each speaking for five minutes on an idea they shared in the book. When I arrived Peter Gregson, pictured above, was giving a talk on ‘Defending Your Tastes’.
Paul Hilder on ‘Making Things Right’.
Performance Poetry by Alan Wolfson.
Michael Norton on 365 Ways To Change The World. This hugely inspiring man also talked about another splendid book he has written titled Click 2 Change, in which you can find ways to change the world from the comfort of your seat.
Jessi Baker on ‘Data and Visualisation’.
Christina Rebel on ‘Empathy’.
Music from Spencer Maybe Pearce.
The talks were followed by a ‘A Futures Interviews Workshop’, during which we sat in groups to talk about Thinks, Acts and Votes.
From 6.30pm there was a party featuring a collective book reading, words from Sam Roddick and live music from cellist Peter Gregson, folk noir band Delirium Tremens and electro pop songstress Sharliza Jelita.
The book is now on sale through Think Act Vote’s etsy store, where you can purchase the limited edition that has been printed in the UK on recycled paper. You can request to have your copy signed and personalised too. The Hardback and e-book editions will be available in Autumn. If you would like to request an e-version review copy, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
All photography by Maria Papadimitriou
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