2097: We Made Ourselves Over was a science fiction project that took participants on a journey into an imagined future. Blast Theory worked with diverse communities from Hull in the UK and Aarhus in Denmark to develop visions of the world in 2097. Five sci-fi films were shot on location across the two cities, starring a local cast. An interactive app accompanied the films and audiences took part in live immersive experiences in Hull and Aarhus.
2097: We Made Ourselves Over explores the belief that everyone has the power to act and influence the future – uncovering the unnerving and exhilarating idea that anything is possible.
Inspired by the respective histories of communities in Aarhus and Hull, Blast Theory worked with dozens of residents, from Year 10 students and over-60’s groups, to those looking to create change in their cities with everything from shipping containers to crypto-currencies while drawing on the work of futurologists, technologists and climate scientists.
It’s 2097 and the days of upheaval are over. A new resilience has taken hold.
Three young girls must make a decision which will affect their entire city, as well as members of their own families. The future of the city relies on their ability to embrace the unknown, face the future and act. Come into a world where consciousness is transferred from the dead to the living. See molecular harvesters destroy cities and rebuild them.
In five short science fiction films – each accompanied by an interactive film for smartphones – 2097: We Made Ourselves Over takes you on a journey to the cusp of the next century.
Live in Hull
On 1 October 2017, the phone boxes of Hull rang together.
Queues formed outside the city’s unique cream phone boxes as hundreds of people gathered to wait for the call. The future was arriving and it came to every neighbourhood across the city. On the other end of the phone, Hessa – one of the three rulers of the future city – asked for your help. From the hundreds of people who answered and the thousands who called in over the course of the month, hundreds of recording were made, gathering ideas for the future of the city.
Each Saturday and Sunday in October, neighbourhoods across the city – from Hessle to Hedon – hosted pop-up film screenings for the project’s five sci-fi films.
And as the phone boxes rang, electric cars began a journey around the city, picking up hundreds of passengers from phone boxes over the five weekends of October. Each journey brought passengers face-to-face with a character from 2097, inviting them to reflect on the changes they want to take place in the decades to come.
Live in Aarhus
As dusk fell, a fleet of electric cars appeared in the city, pulling up at a dock side warehouse where participants waited. Small groups were ushered into the back seat of each car.
Inside the car, a young woman’s voice begins to speak as it pulls away. She counts the years ticking by, recounting each decade of the 21st century as it was and how it came to shape the city. Arriving in a deserted car park across the city, the group disembarked and were greeted efficiently at an illuminated entrance. An attendant explains the site they are about to enter, asking them to each put on a pair of headphones before being waved through the entrance into a tunnel.
At the end of the tunnel, a flood of light blinds audiences to the darkness beyond. As their eyes adjust, a field marked out with a grid of light comes into focus – they’re in the centre of a now derelict velodrome. Exploring the field, they unearth recordings from the three girls who have come to rule over the city.
A line of figures was visible in the windows of the top floor of the stadium grandstand. Entering the grandstand, participants follow the stairs up and come to the room looking out across the city, before being taken aside one at a time to be interviewed about their own hopes for the future.
2097: We Made Ourselves Over by Blast Theory as part of Aarhus European Capital of Culture 2017 and Hull UK City of Culture 2017 in association with KCOM.