With hindsight, perhaps this decision was inevitable.

After many rebounds from dismay to hope and back again, we have decided with some sorrow in our hearts to take Borrowed Time fully online. We’ve held on to the idea that we could offer a hybrid event since we announced the new dates for this year (delayed from our original dates back in November 2020). But we now feel, even if it may be legally allowed, that we should not attempt to hold a face-to-face event this year. 

Despite Covid numbers apparently now dropping in the UK there are many other countries where third and fourth waves of the pandemic are still very real and continuing to take hold. There seems to be a broad consensus that the UK will host a fourth wave this autumn, just at the time Borrowed Time will be happening. The science may be arguable, but we feel our moral imperative not to harm others should not be.

For the purposes of transparency, here are the projections that have influenced us when making this difficult decision.

The online event

We are now working hard to make an online event as interactive as possible and we will be working directly with presenters to increase where possible the discursive elements in their presentations to allow more discussion, more conversation, more sharing and more exchange. We realise for some – particularly the rich workshops on offer – this may prove impossible. In those cases we will first talk to presenters about alternate ways to share their experience and ideas or find other things to slot into the programme.

We will make all of the plenaries and the parallel sessions available live on Zoom. You will be able to move around between sessions as you wish. In addition to the main sessions and workshops we will 

  • be screening a film programme from our website throughout the event and for an additional period following the event
  • provide bookable online meeting rooms and a ‘hangout’ space for more informal gatherings
  • have an online library (a mix of bibliography and shared articles) and 
  • an online bookshop where presenters can sell their books
  • provide a digital ‘whiteboard’ for messages, comments, thoughts, etc.

Everything except the workshops will be recorded and made available to delegates for a period of 12 months following the event, and then (with the author’s permission) made generally available free of charge.

Additions to Borrowed Time

We are still planning a publication, details of which will go out to all delegates in September.

We are shortly to announce a string of additional events throughout October as a build-up to the main gathering at the end of the month and into January. Most of these will also be recorded and added to the Borrowed Time channel on our Vimeo channel.

The first of these additional events is Michelle Atherton’s participatory event A Celebratory Gathering taking place on October 15.

Making your decision

All of this will be something of a technical feat but we are confident we can pull it off and make Borrowed Time feel like an event that could be happening live. We do hope you will decide to stay with us and stay involved. Below you will drop-in Zoom calls for any presenters and workshop leaders who would like to ask us questions about taking their offer online.

If you are already registered we will be refunding you part of your registration fee in line with the remote attendance prices already shown on the website. For those of you who have booked accommodation we will be refunding you in full.

We do hope that you can still find ways to engage with Borrowed Time, despite this setback. If you are already registered we very much hope you will remain so; if you are presenting we very much hope you will still feel able to offer your presentation. If you were planning on coming but had not yet registered we very much hope you will still join us.

If you have already registered need you to let us know your plans, using this simple form, by midnight on Sunday, September 5. If you are presenting but have not already registered please do so now.

What do I need to do now?

Before midnight on September 5 please go to https://borrowed-time.info/amend-my-registration/ where you can let us know your plans. We realise this is the middle of the summer holidays but it will take you less than a minute to fill in this very simple form.

If you are a presenter or workshop leader and have a question or concern we will open a drop-in Zoom room at the following times:

Thursday August 12 10.00-11.00 BST

Thursday August 12 17.00-18.00 BST

Monday August 16 13.00-14.00 BST

The Zoom credentials for these sessions are:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 815 0838 0765 ||| Passcode: 212392

If you feel entirely unable to offer your workshop online there may be alternative ways of sharing this experience / knowledge. We would be happy to discuss this with you.

If you’re unable to make one of these drop-in sessions, please email us at richard@art-earth.org.uk.

The BT Team (Mat Osmond, Cat Radford, Richard Povall)