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A New Project: Your Connection is Not Private

  • By Sophie Freeman
  • 15th February 2017
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We're pleased and excited to announce that we're working with Camden People's Theatre and Coney on a new, immersive theatre show to explore the implications of The Snooper’s Charter.

We’ve teamed up with Camden People’s Theatre and Coney for a major new commission exploring the implications of The Investigatory Powers Act, more commonly known as The Snooper’s Charter. The Bill, which passed into law in November 2016, allows UK intelligence agencies to carry out targeted interception of communications, bulk collection of communications data, and bulk interception of communications.

YOUR CONNECTION IS NOT PRIVATE (working title) explores how it feels to have your privacy invaded. Following the passing of the Snooper’s Charter, this immersive performance invites audiences to play a game of surveillance, in an attempt to expose how governments and corporations are accessing our private data and what we can do to protect ourselves.

The show is being developed in conversation with leading free expression organisations including Open Rights Group, Big Brother Watch, Liberty, English PEN and ARTICLE 19, as well as with a group of teenagers who offer the team perspectives and guidance on their own experiences of interacting with social and digital media, and what they think about potentially being surveyed online. Audiences will leave with a set of online tools and tactics against encroaching surveillance by both corporations and state.

We commissioned the project to explore how theatre can bring a fresh take on issues of free speech and how our iconic Farringdon home can be used in inventive new ways. We’re working with Camden People’s Theatre as co-producers, drawing on the theatre’s expertise in developing inventive new theatre addressing the issues that matter to people right now.

The commission was secured by interactive theatre makers Coney following a competitive pitch process. It will initially be presented to an invited audience at the Free Word Centre on 9 March, with plans for the work to be further developed for a wider audience later in 2017.

“We are really excited to be making theatre about such an important free expression issue with CPT and Coney: Art can bring the personal impact of contemporary policies like the Snooper’s Charter to life in quite new ways. We expect the effect to be unsettling. Policies can often seem very abstract but they directly affect all our lives in ways that we are too often unaware of.” Roma Backhouse, Director, Free Word


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