Beyond the Now

A cooperative social practice platform which aims to open up new creative, cultural and political affinities for a post-pandemic world.

Counterpoints Arts is one of 7 partners in Beyond the Now – a cooperative social arts practice platform, initiated in response to Covid-19. Working in locations across the globe, we are a mix of small to medium arts organisations, including Counterpoints Arts, (UK) co-culture (Berlin), Ettijahat-Independent Culture (Beirut and Brussels), CREATE (Ireland); together with individual researchers working at the Open University and Plymouth College of Art (UK) and the Mozilla Festival (Amsterdam).

Our collective goal is to open up new creative, cultural and political affinities for a post-pandemic world.

Beyond the Now aims to learn from organic responses of solidarity that have sprung up from communities of place and interest in the context of COVID-19: to build a dialogue between everyday sensibilities and perspectives, disciplines and ways of working; creatively juxtapose and redistribute contributions to this platform with the aim of forging unlikely allies and alliances; and re-imagine the social and socially-engaged art in the light of the global pandemic.

Beyond the Now invites voices from diverse sectors and communities to explore, share ideas and creatively reflect on what narratives, mechanisms and tools might we use to navigate the uncertainties of the present? Where and what is the social, in a post-pandemic world? How is social justice to be realised beyond the now?

Contributions to Beyond the Now are published in themed and curated Seasons – Interdependence in Season 1 and Mutual Aid in Season 2  (both of which respond to the ways in which artists, activists and communities of place and interest have responded locally but also globally to the pandemic).

Featuring Ashish Ghadialli’s reflections on the edges of identity and the promise of a planetary humanism, despite or even through the pandemic; and Dr. Kit Braybrooke’s invitation to the kind of thinking that brings the notion of ‘we’, and the idea of ‘nourished’ digital public spaces in the post-Covid 19 world.

Beyond the Now was recently selected to participate in an international programme, ‘A Fair New Idea: Working Sustainably Internationally’. Initiated by the Flanders Arts Institute, this yearlong residency brings together 11 arts partners to explore and exchange new ways of thinking about and implementing international collaboration in the wake of the pandemic. Details of the selected proposals and those of all applicants can be found here.