In June 2020, while the World was in Covid-19 Lockdown, we published a series of curated posts to help educate, entertain, inspire and provoke. No one can deny that 2020 was not an unusual year, with normal working practises disrupted beyond belief and our plans for physical interaction put on hold.
As a result of the pandemic, our plans for CANNT 2020 were put into a spin. Our initial reaction had been to run 11 talks of 11 minutes on 11 topics of our interest, but with everyone else going online, it seemed foolish to simply fight for Live Stream attention.
In addition to the pandemic, we also witnessed the global reaction to the murder of George Floyd in May. The subsequent protests under the Black Lives Matter movement, helped galvanise support to highlight the real division in our society, the everyday racism people of colour experience and how privilege should be used to address it. It was a painful reminder of our collection need to champion diversity and strive for true inclusion, in an equitable and just manner.
As a result of these events, our pivot was to curate 11 themed sequences for the 11th Edition, representing a rich set of themes, through collaborations with five special guests.
Day 1: The Week Ahead Aka Things To Do
A preview of free events happening during the CANNT Festival period, from Creative Equals' Adland Commits to Apple's WWDC via the Drum's Can Do Festival and Lions Live.
Day 2: Black Lives Matter Literature
A selection of #BLM Literature, to help educate, empathise and enjoy. A mix pf personal experience, fact and fiction.
Day 3: Afrofuturism Classics
A classic selection of a twist, mixing science fiction, space travel, funk and fun. Free your mind... and your ass will follow.
Day 4: Curated by Kian and Tobi (The People)
Our good friends at the youth powered consultancy, The People, selected a great set of talent from their creative network, that you should all get to know.
Day 5: Curated by Ms Sophie (Let's do sTUFFs)
Having met through BIMA Beat, Sophie Amono was the perfect choice to curate a selection spanning fashion, mental health, Scotland, social media and entrepreneurship.
Day 6: Curated by Hanisha Kotecha (Reset Sessions)
A heavy weight selection of creative goodness, including installation artwork, poetry, photography, film, Bey and Black owned businesses. Her Deena Lawson photography selection was a smash hit.
Day 7: Curated by David Moore (Known Origin)
Long before the world went crazy for NFTs, we asked David to pick a personal selection from the UK-based KO Gallery. A powerful selection, that's worth an exploration.
Day 8: Black Arts Community
An eye-opening selection of black owned galleries from across the globe, with an inspiring set of artworks and styles, with a little help from Dazed. From Cameroon, Germany, Ghana, Nigeria and United Kingdom.
Day 9: Ambient Choices
A special Sunday Selection that as a Best of 10 and then then went way deeper. A compelling mix of old and new, from open and light to dark and moody.
Day 10: Curated by Kara Prosser (Isobar Good)
A social impact selection of projects and brands created to help make the world a better place. An inspiring from little important things to big and bold.
Day 11: New Talent
A reminder of the many graduate shows happening in June and how despite Covid-19, new talent is available and looking for employment.
Not surprisingly we had some extra goodies left to share which filtered out on Instagram after day 11, including extra RCA shows, NFT galleries and the P-Funk Mythology LPs
Our final event for was CANNT Walkabout, a collaboration with Grey London and SCA2.0, where we ran a mentoring session between wise old heads and new eager talent, to help provide guidance and support for their entry into the marketing industry.
What about eleven? Many of us (of a certain age) will know the Spinal Tap reference of 'turning it up to 11' to gain that extra amplification. This implies 11 is the top, whereas we want to go higher. Therefore, we switched from 'Turn it to 11' to 'Upwards from Eleven' as a more fitting title.
A big thank you to all our guest curators, attendees and the creators responsible for the ideas and work we showcased. Much respect.