Following a hiatus due to Covid-19 in 2020, FlipSide returned in 2021 for a salon-style one day edition in the stimulating environs of Yew Tree Barn and Printroom Studio, a creative barn complex set among 15 acres of water meadows in the parish of Sweffling, Saxmundham, Suffolk.
Hosted by FlipSide curator Gareth Evans, acclaimed guests including Zakia Sewell, Andrew Kotting, Corinne Fowler, Patrick Wright, Chloe Dewe Mathews, Ken Worpole, Jini Reddy, Nina Migya-Powles, Ben Rivers and Micheal Pawlyn explored how the the pandemic and the ongoing ecological crisis, alongside significant political change in recent years, have raised profound questions about the 'nature' - in every sense - of the country we inhabit, and how we need / wish to think about our place within it. Albion has for centuries conjured a mythical, albeit changing, aspect of British identity, and our presentations offer a special focus on inclusion, history and co-existence, in assessing what kind of 'Albion' we might wish to see established in the coming years.
The Purpose of Place (and the Place of Purpose) - was a feast of conversations, performances, practical proposals, screenings, music and more, amongst the stunning setting of Henham Park Barns on the Suffolk coast.
Whether it was pioneering literary advocate Robert Macfarlane and Radiohead's artist in residence Stanley Donwood incarnating Ness, their poetic parable of land itself resisting, Joanna Pocock searching for meaning in the wilds of Montana or Suffolk's own maestro musician Laura Cannell singing the east lands with Polly Wright, there was an international imagining allied to local grounding in the line up. Curated by FlipSide and Gareth Evans, this day-long event engaged, alerted, provoked and inspired in equal measure. Composer Jocelyn Pook and ecological artist Dan Harvey revealed how and why 'Culture Declares Emergency'. We also recalled and prepared for the great floods with Ed Platt and Ken Worpole, while thinking about the human relations that sustain us in times of conflict. East Anglia's 'poet laureate' George Szirtes and filmmaker Anthony Wilks introduced their film 'Magda's Boy'. Julia Blackburn and Jayne Ivimey read and discussed 'Bird on Bird', their collaboration in print and paint, while Tom Bailey's thought-provoking performance Vigil reminded us how they and so many other species are not free of threat.
FlipSide Festival took a pause in 2018, however we were delighted to host the launch of award-winning author and FlipSide patron, Michael Ondaatje's new novel, Warlight. It was a magical evening at The Cut in Halesworth, with Michael in conversation with poet and novelist Blake Morrison and readings by celebrated actor Ralph Fiennes.
FlipSide Festival brought together the very best Brazilian and Mexican writers, artists and musicians in collaboration with their British and Canadian counterparts in a weekend of encounter and exploration at Snape Maltings, including: Margaret Atwood, Hugh Brody, Vinicius de Carvalho, Felipe Correa, Mick Dibb, Sheila Dillon, Alvaro Enrigue, Maureen Freely, Leonardo Froes, Misha Glenny, Jay Griffiths, Philip Hoare, Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Toby Jones, Jackie Kay, Valeria Luiselli, Helen MacDonald, John McAslan, Gideon Mendel, Anne Michaels, Mauro Munhoz, Ruth Padel, Anna Pavord, Michael Pawlyn, Iain Sinclair, Ali Smith, Monica Vasconcelos and Bee Wilson.