Futureproof Programme announced - Visual Arts South West


Friday 20 September 2019, 10.30am – 5pm. Registration from 10am. 

Free, book your ticket here.

The term ‘future-proof’ refers to the ability of something to continue to be of value into the future, the guarantee of not becoming obsolete.

Visual Arts South West in partnership with Arnolfini invites artists, curators, arts organisations and audiences to gather for a day of discussions and learning. Join inspiring speakers to work collectively and consider our future amongst increasing precarity, limited access to the arts, the turn away from the European community converging with the rise of fascism, the rapid development of digital technologies, and the climate emergency.

Future Proof will seek to identify and address key challenges of our region while establishing collective survival strategies for the future in perpetually changing conditions. Our speakers will address: post-truth politics and the accelerated aggregation of wealth that obstruct effective responses to ecological decline; the importance of hearing young voices as an essential driving force of social change; pedagogical and activist traditions in collective working; and the resilience, solidarity and care required to sustain diverse artistic and curatorial practices.

This day of learning and coming together is an opportunity to focus on some critical issues that artists, curators and arts organisations in the South West are facing, but cannot tackle on their own. Together we can develop new strategies of support and self-organisation that reflect our needs for the future.

Within the context of Greta Thunberg’s call for an international strike to campaign against climate change on 20 September 2019, we will be working together and investing in regenerative action.

Join us to contribute, be part of and enjoy a day packed full of listening, learning and laughter. Come and claim your stake in this region.


Leeza Awojobi (Artist)
Katie Baron (Journalist, Author and Futurist)
Emily Bull (Creative Producer, Creative Youth Network)
Alistair Cameron, Lizi Hoar and Oliver Sutherland (The Brunswick Club)
Libita Clayton (Artist)
Eliza Gluckman (Senior Curator and Deputy Director, Government Art Collection; Co-Founder, A Woman’s Place)
Joanna Kavenna (Author)
Tania Kovats (Artist)
Robert Leckie (Director, Spike Island)
Helen Palmer (Director, Palmer Squared)
Anna Rathbone (Artist)
Abigail Reynolds (Artist) 
Alice Sharp (Director, Invisible Dust)
Simon Sheikh (Reader in Art and Programme Director of the MFA Curating, Goldsmiths, University of London)
Kieran Swann (Senior Programmer, Arnolfini)
Brook Tate (Artist)
Keijaun Thomas (Artist)
Suzy Willson (Director, Clod Ensemble and Performing Medicine)


Visual Arts South West will offer a number of travel bursaries to independent arts professionals attending from Cornwall, West Devon and Hampshire.

To apply for a bursary, please email a short statement (max. 100 words) explaining why you would benefit from attending Future Proof to Nella Aarne at nella@vasw.org.uk.