This week I attended the official opening of the Lift Living Archive at Goldsmiths college. The archive moved from Lifts offices over the summer to be housed at Goldsmiths college, who have been encouraging various groups to explore it. The archive covers the work of Lift (London International Theatre Festival) from 1981 to 2001. My own involvement in the archive has been as a researcher for about 6 months as part of my MA placement. That meant delving into boxes, reading reviews and eventually creating an on-line trail on the Lift living archive website called Foreign theatre in a foreign land. (Pic above is Al Kasaba's "Alive from Palestine,")
Lifts work in bringing top international theatre companies who perform in non traditional settings and with a whole range of creative approaches appealed to me because I could see how the vision of Lift could be applied to the church. Just as Lift celebrate different expressions of theatre both in and outside of the building so the church needs to learn how to flex the same muscle. Read Jonny Bakers take on preaching "Throwing a grenade into the fruit bowl" for a bit of inspiration on this.
The evening itself was done in a very creative way. There was a room full of tables with people from Lift past and present as well as representatives from the various user groups. I sat with The Magic Me contingency. Magic me is an inter-generational arts organisation which had facilitated a creative writing project called penfriends among pensioners. In the middle of the table was a box from the archive and having put on white glove's we were encourage to explore and talk about the archive. There was a mic on each table to record our conversations. It really felt like a feast of Lifts history. To round things off we were then provided with a real feast and wine to boot. A thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring evening.