Behind the branding for the 2022 Unboxed occasion

Previously dubbed the Festival of Brexit, or less controversially, the new Festival of Britain, details of the UK’s celebration of creativity that will take place throughout the spring and summer of 2022 have finally been announced. And it’s all a lot less inflammatory – and more relevant, timely and exciting for the future of creativity – than previous reports may have suggested.

The history of the 2022 event is this: at the 2018 Conservative party conference, then-prime minister Theresa May announced plans for Festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to take place in 2022. It was intended to strengthen what May described as “our precious union” and also to mark the anniversary of key moments in UK history including the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the BBC.

The £120 million project was divisive from the off, though the appointment of Martin Green, organiser of the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2012 London Olympics plus the Hull City of Culture 2017, as chief creative officer promised an event that would at the very least be creatively innovative and exciting.

Further details on the project have been scant, until today when the programme – and a new name, Unboxed: Creativity in the UK – was announced in detail. Running from March 1 to October 2, the event will take place across the UK and online, where ten teams will present projects that celebrate how creativity intersects across science, technology, engineering, the arts, and maths.

The projects vary enormously in scale and style but are united by a mission to “bring people together and celebrate our strengths, our values, our identities, and boost pride throughout communities,” programme director Sam Hunt tells CR.

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