UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility

Somerset House
Produced by: 
Somerset House, Kings College & Sound and Music

Sound and Music is delighted to be a part of next years UTOPIA celebrations, in partnership with Kings College and Somerset House. 

UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility

Four seasons of events, exhibitions and new commissions celebrating the idea of Utopia to mark the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s influential text
Launches on 25 January 2016 
Somerset House, London
Utopia 2016 at Somerset House is a year of imagination and possibility, launching on 25th January 2016, that will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s inspirational text, Utopia – the largest ever celebration of this radical work anywhere in the world. 
The year will span the realms of art, literature, society, fashion, design, architecture, theatre, film and beyond, featuring a varied and vibrant programme of special events, exhibitions, new commissions and activities across the entire site. For the first time, Somerset House will collaborate with its neighbours King’s College London and the Courtauld Institute and Gallery, as well as other partners across the UK. 
Thomas More was the first to give a name and form to an idea that has captured the human imagination throughout history: that by imagining a better world is possible, we are empowered to create it. His playful vision, published in 1516, presents an ideal society living on a fictitious island, described in a traveller’s tale. More’s Utopia is deliberately ambiguous, with the Greek words on which the name is based meaning both ‘no place’ and ‘good place’, it is not a blueprint for the future; instead he places importance on the process of dreaming in the now. His work continues to inspire communities and provide a framework for true innovation in our time. 
To celebrate More’s vision, Utopia 2016, initiated by artistic advisors Ruth Potts and Gareth Evans, will explore current challenges facing contemporary culture and society, from community and sustainability to the pivotal role of the arts and culture in creating the space where dreams can take root. Housing the largest community of creative organisations in London, Somerset House is uniquely placed to create the space for people to come together and imagine utopia for the 21st Century and explore its relevance today.
Jonathan Reekie from Somerset House Trust, Deborah Bull from King’s College London and Deborah Swallow from The Courtauld Institute of Art said: “Over the course of 2016 Somerset House, King’s College London and The Courtauld Institute of Art will be transformed into a space of possibility, participation and imagination around the themes of utopia, where people from all walks of life will be invited to experiment with new ways we might live, make, work and play.  We will create physical and virtual spaces where positive visions are nurtured, supported and celebrated, and where anything is possible”. 

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