The inside of the south oil tank at Tate Modern
South Tank 2011

Worlds Together is a collaboration between Tate Modern, Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and British Museum. This international conference brings together artists and educators to explore the place of Shakespeare and the arts in young people’s learning today.

It marks the coming together of powerful debate from across the globe, live and rich provocation from pioneering international practitioners and thinkers, and the unprecedented collaboration of four major UK arts institutions to shape dialogue and a shared experience. All taking place in our new space The Tanks at Tate Modern.

Day one: The conference opens with a welcome featuring Sir Nicholas Serota and Ruth McKenzie, plus keynote speeches from Shirley Brice Heathand James Shapiro. Click the links to hear full, uninterrupted recordings from the stage.

Watch the highlights from Day one.

Day two: Worlds Together welcomes Estelle Morris and Brad Haseman to the stage. Click the links to hear their keynote speeches in full.

Watch the highlights from Day two.

Day three: The conference finishes on a high, with keynote speeches from Carla Rinaldi and Steve Seidel and a special reading from I Believe in Unicorns by its author, Michael Morpurgo. Click the links to access full recordings of each.

Introduction to the Worlds Together Conference by Nicholas Serota

Worlds Together brings together four leading arts organisations to look at crucial questions concerning young people’s cultural lives today.  The conference is a partnership between Tate and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). It connects The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration, an international, online educational partnership produced by Tate and sponsored by Unilever, with the World Shakespeare Festival, a celebration of Shakespeare as the world’s playwright, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company for the London 2012 Festival. The conference is in collaboration with the National Theatre (NT) and British Museum with further support from Arts Council England and the British Council.

In 2010 the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) was already planning the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival. As part of this they were organising an international education conference looking at the impact of Shakespeare on the lives and educational experiences of children and young people around the world. At the same time, Tate was also planning an international event for 2012, to share findings from the work of The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration and explore what forms of complex learning were at play and what this meant for the young people involved across countries and cultures. Although from different art forms, both organisations recognised that they were involved in separate but connected endeavours: to explore the importance and value of the arts – from Shakespeare to the digital realm - in young people’s lives. 

In creating Worlds Together, Tate and RSC aim to combine their two strands of enquiry and place them in the wider international arena for debate, inviting speakers and delegates to give their own perspectives and share expertise.

400 people are present at this conference from twenty-five different countries, (including Norway, Singapore, Armenia and Israel, Australia, Denmark, Hong Kong, US, Portugal, Japan, South Africa, Uganda, Qatar, Brazil and India).  We are also delighted to have sixty-one young people here who are participants in either turbinegeneration, the RSC International Youth Ensemble (made up of students from 8 different countries) or Tate Collective (Tate’s young people’s group, who plan and organize events for other young people aged 13 – 25) as well as students from Brazil.

This internationalism reflects the scope and influence of the World Shakespeare Festival which has involved 30,000 young people and 500 teachers from eight countries in education projects and the essential quality of turbinegeneration, which in July involved just under 40,000 young people and 100 galleries from forty-seven countries in online and in-gallery activity.   By bringing these different cultural Worlds Together the conference aims to extend knowledge; learn from others; and create new conversations to inform changing cultural and educational practice.  We want to inspire an improved future of learning with Shakespeare, turbinegeneration and indeed the global community of arts and cultural practices.

Fundamentally any experience of a work of art is a learning activity and at Tate we believe that learning with art can make a significant difference to people’s lives, effecting positive change, helping to transform ideas and attitudes, developing expertise, skills and capabilities and enriching quality of life.  And at a time when arts in schools are the subject of ongoing debate, there has never been a more important time to explore the questions that Worlds Together addresses.

Acknowledgements

Worlds Together is a partnership between Tate and the Royal Shakespeare Company. It brings together The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration, an international, online educational partnership produced by Tate and sponsored by Unilever and the World Shakespeare Festival, a celebration of Shakespeare as the world’s playwright, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company for the London 2012 Festival. The conference is in collaboration with the National Theatre and British Museum with further support from Arts Council England and the British Council.

Part of the series The Tanks: Art in Action

Worlds Together is a partnership between Tate and the Royal Shakespeare Company. It brings together The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration, an international, online educational partnership produced by Tate and sponsored by Unilever and the World Shakespeare Festival, a celebration of Shakespeare as the world’s playwright, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company for the London 2012 Festival. The conference is in collaboration with the National Theatre and British Museum with further support from Arts Council England and the British Council.