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HEAD EAST – Experiential Literature

The Literature Myth Debunked. Literature is all about books, right? WRONG! Headline UEA project Future and Form shows you what literature in the 21st century looks like. Looking for a literature experience like no other? Read on.

UEA project Future and Form shows us exactly what literature in the 21st century looks like.
The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia: world-famous works of literature – and pretty good film franchises too!

But did you know that writing for an ‘audience’ rather than a ‘reader’ also counts as literature?
Marking its 50-year anniversary, UEA’s world-renowned MA in Creative Writing programme presents six brand-new works written for a 21st-century audience.

Using these two exclusive examples brought to you by Future and Form, you will see exactly what we mean.
From Nigeria to Norwich, via Tinder and a pandemic love-story, come on a journey with writers Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ and James McDermott to discover new ways of writing.

And its free!



Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀’s play Provenance asks uncomfortable questions about decolonising museum collections.
Provenance, by Adébáyọ̀ and Mutiny Studios, tells the compelling story of twins separated by death in 19th-century Nigeria. In Yoruba culture, twins share one soul. If one twin passes away, the family have an ‘Ibeji’ carved – a wooden figure to represent the departed twin. The object is looked after as if it were alive – caring for it and nurturing its soul. Ibejis can be found in museum collections all over the world – including the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich.

Follow the journey of this sacred Ibeji from its creation in Benin City, Nigeria in 1895 to its present-day home in a museum display-case and see where your own mind takes you.

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ is a prize-winning Nigerian author born in Lagos, 1988. Having earnt a BA and MA in Literature in English at Obafemi Awolowo University, she went on to study Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia (UK), gaining a second MA in Prose fiction.

In 2015, Adébáyọ̀ was listed by the Financial Times as one of the bright stars of Nigerian literature. Her debut novel Stay with Me (Canongate, 2017) was described as ‘stunning’ by the New York Times.

Prize credits include: Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (2017, Shortlisted), The Future Awards Africa (2017, Winner) Wellcome Book Prize (2018, Shortlisted) 9mobile Prize for Literature for Stay With Me (2019, Winner) Prix Les Afriques for Stay With Me (2020, Winner)

Watch Provenance here

Provenance will also be screened at the Sainsbury Centre (Norwich) in the free exhibition Through the Ancestral Lens:

6–21 November 2021
Tuesday–Friday 9am–6pm
Saturday–Sunday 10 am–5pm

For further information please click here

Mutiny is a cross-artform organisation created and developed by Sophie Mellor, Simon Poutler and Marcus Romer, that creates and develops highly innovative, playful and cutting-edge art projects and installations. Their work tells stories by combining performance, theatre and digital.




Set during a pandemic, this digital love story integrates a live theatre workshop with virtual reality technology, including social media.

Fusing traditional stagecraft and live theatre with immersive filmmaking and VR techniques, McDermott’s new hybrid play is a timely exploration of love, longing and the challenges of communicating how we really feel.

James McDermott is a writer based in East Anglia. He is a graduate of UEA’s BA in Scriptwriting & Performance (2012-2015) and MA in Scriptwriting (2015-2016) programmes.

He is an Associate Artist at Norwich Theatre Royal and Norwich Arts Centre, and prolific writer for performance. He is also one of the writers on EastEnders.

Watch Senseless here


Fear of Missing Out?

Have you curbed your trips out, despite restrictions being lifted? Are you worried about another lockdown? You can access these stunning performances for free and either at home or on a mobile device.

Do you like the sound of Provenance and Senseless but aren’t sure about engaging with creative technology online?

The answer is simple: go to Future and Form’s YouTube channel and access the works for free!

As well as the works themselves, there are over 30 short films including interviews with the authors, all available to watch from the comfort of your own home (or on the bus!)

There you have it: literature isn’t just about books! Literature isn’t just words on a page, but also ideas in the mind.
You may not have realised that you are consuming literature all the time, just by watching TV or streaming a film on your phone.

We showed two great examples of what contemporary literature can look like. But which did you find most surprising?

Visit to find out more…



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