Lights On: Projecting our Contemporary Future

The MDFF World Tour Athens 2020-2021 carries the title (Title not theme as the Festival explores different themes and ideas) Lights On: Projecting Our Contemporary Future. Light intended not only in its literal and traditional sense but mostly as the universal and fundamental symbol of aesthetically and morally significant values and activities. At the crossroads of different pasts, presents, and futures, Light emerges as a language amongst the languages of the digital era: Light as the realisation of our ultimate reality. Light as an understanding of our contemporaneity. Light as a world of shapes shaping the world itself. Light as a beauty that calls for necessary darkness. Light as our origins and cultural heritage. Light as an “archive” of facts and personalities, trials and hopes, technological and creative revolutions, changes of style, and lifestyle. Light as a source of visual accounts of a stream of events and transformations that lead to our present. Light, as a compass, helping us navigate the mad rush towards the future. Light as a cultural backbone, a mediator between our digital reality and the emotional and practical tools we need in order to respond to it. Light as the symbol of the good intentions that we quietly release, and whose outcomes we encounter in the future. Light as a revival and a new beginning Light as the Future.

Just like changes in Light levels and duration mark the passing of seasons, the mutable nature of our contemporaneity reveals social, political, urban, and natural contexts, other than technological, scientific, and relational innovations.

MDFF World Tour Greece Athens 2020-2021, with  30 films in the program, and 20+ national and international guests, invites the public to reflect on how we, as humans, communicate with one another, with our cities, the world at large, and ultimately with ourselves. An inspection of the relationship between project and innovation, memory and future, similarities and diversities, that require us to enforce our human grasp on reality, slow down and pay attention to how today presents itself to us. An invitation to listen to the visionary ability and joined participation of all sciences and work towards a generational overlap, as well as an overlapping of perspectives on our reality, from which categories break down and definitions or distinctions become blurred. A gentle push to connect with time, space, and nature, inevitable elements of our shared future, and to tackle any points of distortion and disruption, the points we can work on, shape, evolve and improve.

Lights On: Projecting Our Contemporary Future builds upon the structure of the seventh edition of MDFF 2019 titled Mind The Gap a literal physical space, as well as a mental space, symbolic of the time of transition, of change, and research that we are living today. New materials, new technologies, new working methods, new techniques, new professions, and new aesthetic values. New economic models, new digital tools, new modes of communication, new processes, and networks of production. New urban conditions, new social environments, new terms, new forms, new ways of building sustainably, new relational and social skills, are the many outcomes of the digital revolution that we need to learn how to comprehend, handle, tolerate, and respond to. Our fast-changing era calls for fast-changing living strategies.

Betting on the potential of every human to be a prime mover of change the audience is encouraged to reflect upon a future characterised by a new purpose and meaning, calling for new forms of balance to face complexity a future where the decisions we make, actions we take and choices we may or may not have, are revisited with a critical mind. A future where we can ultimately live “better.”