This year has seen the creative industries thrown into flux. The global coronavirus pandemic has disrupted livelihoods and upended the way we work, and more recently, the issue of inequality in the arts has been thrust under the microscope. It is against this backdrop that final year university students are graduating from their courses, at a time of great uncertainty but potentially radical change, too.
In order to examine the future of the creative industries and exchange ideas on contemporary issues – which have featured prominently in student work this year – UAL is hosting a virtual programme of over 50 events from July 28 to August 7.
The events span a range of themes, from decolonising the arts and the role of the media amid societal and technological change, to the future of the creative landscape in the context of both Covid-19 and the ongoing climate crisis.
Off the back of the Creative Industries Federation’s recent report A Plan to Reimagine, board member and UAL vice chancellor Sir Nigel Carrington is hosting a discussion on the relationship between creativity, education and the economy, and how this will determine what the next decade of the creative industries will look like.
LCC will play host to a number of events, including a talk chaired by documentary filmmaker Pratap Rughani on decolonising the arts through the lens of photography, media, history and curation. Taking part in the conversation are author and journalist Gary Younge, formerly the Guardian’s editor-at-large and now a professor of sociology at the University of Manchester, writer and curator Carol Tulloch, and Mark Sealy, executive director at non-profit photography centre Autograph ABP.
Elsewhere, LCC lecturers will come together to decipher the current state of play in the media landscape, looking in particular at the rapidly changing technologies and systems in light of recent events. A number of LCC students graduating from the Graphic Branding and Identity BA course will also be discussing their work as part of an event with industry professionals.
Other highlights include a talk run by Central Saint Martins exploring creativity under constraints, as well as the responsibility of the arts in responding to the global issues that have risen to the fore in 2020. There will also be a discussion among designers and VR artists hosted by London College of Fashion looking at the future of fashion shows, which have had to rapidly adjust to technological solutions in light of lockdown.
The pause on physical events has of course impacted graduate degree shows too, which have been called off amid the pandemic. As a solution, UAL has been working with IBM on developing a platform to house its virtual degree show for this year’s graduates. The showcase will comprise final year collections from students across the university’s six colleges: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon College of Arts.
UAL’s graduate showcase events series runs from July 28 – August 7. Browse the full programme and book tickets here: bit.ly/2BvApfg; UAL’s graduate show also launches on July 28 and can be found at graduateshowcase.arts.ac.uk