‘Clash of Futures’ explores some of the common factors linking today’s crisis in Europe with the crisis that ocurred there in the early twentieth century. Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 and the refugee crisis of 2015, Europeans have become increasingly anxious about the future. Today, as in an earlier age, there appears to be a growing rift between modernisation and tradition. People are afraid of globalisation and want to protect their national identity and traditions. Just as in the 1920s and 1930s, political and religious extremism are on the rise, and hold out the promise of simplistic solutions to the problems of the future.
The TV Series – “Clash of Futures – 18” explores the dramatic era of the 1920s and ’30s. The eight-part series follows the fates of extraordinary men, women and children from France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Austria, Sweden, Poland and the Soviet Union using their own diary entries, letters and memoirs. These are people drawn into the war by their convictions, who with their loves and decisions bring the history of Europe with all its contradictions to life.
“Clash of Futures – 18” is a European series production with international partners and sponsors. A co-production of LOOKSfilm (Gunnar Dedio), IRIS Group (Nicolas Steil), Les Films d’Ici (Serge Lalou) with Fortis Imaginatio in cooperation with ARTE and SWR plus NDR, WDR, RBB, ORF, CT, SVT, Toute l’histoire, BBC Alba/MG Alba, YLE, NRK, DR, supported by MDM, MFG, Creative Europe, CNC and Film Fund Luxembourg.
The team around showrunner Jan Peter (“14 – Diaries of the Great War”) is strengthened by the addition of Frédéric Goupil, co-director of the hugely successful French series “The Returned”. Together with Jan Peter, he will develop and write the scripts, and realise them as co-director. Camilla Ahlgren (known for, among other things, her work on the Swedish/Danish/German series “The Bridge”) and Jean-Louis Schlesser are also joining the team as a co-writers.
This international team of authors is currently in the middle of production, filming in Luxembourg started in April 2017 to be concluded by end of June 2017. The series will be broadcast across Europe at the start of 2018, to coincide with the centenary of the end of World War I.
The Online Series – An 84 episode, unprecedented, interactive online video series, will be written and hosted by Indy Neidell, the host and writer of the very successful online format “The Great War” – following WWI week by week 100 years later from 2014 to 2018. A German speaking and a French language host will take their respective audiences on the Clash of Futures historical journey.
The show takes our viewers on a deep dive into the period from November 1918 to September 1939. Each episode covers three months of history, how the main characters of our TV series, and many others were confronted with technical, social and political development at a rate never until then experienced. We follow the world swinging between hope and desperation, love and hatred, to final failure as the dogs of war slip again.
Viewers will be offered more information, more emotions and the possibility to engage and interact with the content in ways that only online can offer. Starting already in June 2017 to conclude in April 2019, the series will give audiences a chance to follow history and our characters, up close and personal in interaction with Indy and his co-hosts. Audiences will be given the possibility to follow both the project and the story on all of the usual social media platforms though daily posts, images and messages.
In 28 special episodes the series will also expand to cover the characters of the TV series, all of the events connected to the projects, the makers of the creative pieces and much more. Each Special episode focuses on a topic that is essential to the period and characters, but not tied to a specific timeline. Through the special episodes the viewers get an immediate bridge to expanding their interest to the rest of the project.
The series will be coproduced with LOOKSfilm, many of the coproducers of the 18 CoF television series and Spartacus Olsson’s company OnLion Entertainment, a leading development and creative studio for pedagogical, historical and lifestyle online content.
The Exhibitions – The theme of the project is outlined on a very broad canvas. A large art exhibition at the Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Dresden and a series of additional exhibitions, in Germany and abroad will expand the project. Together with the TV series and online activities, this creates an extremely comprehensive educational programme that will be aimed at people of all generations, from all sectors of society.
The museum project will be spread over a timespan of four years. It will kick off with the exhibition in Dresden, which will then move on to the Alto Adige/ South Tirol, in Italy. It will constitute a broad, comparative study of Europe in the period between 1900 and 1945, when the dizzying rate of social and technological advance and two successive world wars led to radical and unprecedented change. Certain parts of society disappeared, new nations emerged, and rival political systems and ideologies became locked in unremitting struggle.
The eight-part television series will be shown in parallel to the exhibition in Dresden. These two mainstays of the overall programme will complement and reinforce each other. This overarching start to the project will be followed by exhibitions in Brussels, Potsdam, Krakow, Prague, Bolzano, Thessaloniki and Péronne, which will then explore some of the consequences of this European crisis, or ‘’Dance on the Volcano’’, from the inside. Thus, a broad European view will emerge from this comparison between different national perspectives. Exhibitions in Krakow and Prague will open up further new contemporary and future perspectives. Contemporary artists will be shown, getting to grips with some relevant contemporary themes and trying to imagine how the future might be.
Future Lab – Communication and Educational programme Future Lab wll be at the heart of the pan-European mediation strategy for “Clash of Futures”. It represents the nerve system, linking individual participants across all national and generational boundaries. Future Lab will offer a platform for documentation, presentation and debate. All participants and, especially, all visitors to individual events – will be able to go there for information about the project, as a whole and share a public platform, where they will feel encouraged to take a direct part in this pan-European initiative.
The “Future Lab“ workshop is intended for groups of schoolchildren and will be held at each venue on the tour. Schoolchildren, under supervision, will first engage with the exhibition, in whatever form it might currently take. They will then make a tour of the museum, in the company of a camera team and film editor, to record interviews with passers-by, who have just visited the exhibition. Finally, this material will be edited down to a 5-minute film, for presentation in the exhibition itself, on social media channels and on the project website. This film, and others like it, will then accompany the exhibition from one venue to the next, throughout the tour. Ideally, a film compilation will be screened in Brussels, at the end of the exhibition tour, in 2021.
Among other things, Future Lab will serve as a shared communications platform for all the events associated with the entire, pan- European project, „Clash of Futures“. Information about each forthcoming event will be included on the website on social media. At the end of each event, the proceedings, or a résumé, of each symposium, workshop and panel discussion will be published there, and users will be solicited for their views on some of the themes touched upon there. Films and audios produced in the various workshops will also be displayed there for the general public.
Other museums interested in the project are welcome to join.
Artists‘ Action, “Collecting the Future“, to be carried out at all venues in the project, 2018-2021 There will be an artists‘ action at each of the venues where „Clash of Futures“ is shown. Two artists, Carla Brunetti and Julia Lohmann, will hold disussions with participants at each venue and gather up their future prognostications in a purpose-built wheelbarrow. They will then present the results of this exercise at each venue along the way. They will also present the final results of their artists‘ action at the closing exhibition in Brussels.
Concerts at all venues on the tour, 2018-2021 At each venue, the exhibition will be accompanied by a series of concerts. The concerts will be arranged in two formats:
1.) Music from the 1920s and 1930s will be performed at all the venues where the exhibitions are shown.
2.) The composer of the film music for the Art film series, “18 – Clash of Futures” will compose short pieces, which convey something of the varied musical atmosphere of the series.
Exhibition at the headquarters of the European Commission – At the end of the project, “Clash of Futures”, in Brussels, March 2021 a selection of outcomes from all the events and educational activities, and from all the venues on the tour, will be brought together in a closing exhibition at the headquarters of the European Commission, in Brussels.