Nelly Ben Hayoun and friends introduce Tour de Moon – a cosmic celebration


We have lift-off. As of 21 October, Tour de Moon will launch its open call to young visionaries around the world to come together, bring their ideas to life, and help define alternative, pluralistic futures for the Earth and beyond. Up to 875 bursaries, from £100 to £25,000 are available for 18-25 year-olds to realise their creative ideas – inspired by our very own satellite, the moon.

The scope is broad, the brief radical and the possibilities endless. It might be a piece of music woven with the sounds of the galaxy, a film exploring our relationship with the moon, a concept for a float or a digital installation, a script for a play, an online experience or a DJ performance. With Tour de Moon, Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios’ principal goal is to amplify a plurality of young creative voices, ignite imaginations, and shine a spotlight on the plurality of possibilities for positive alternative futures for humanity.

“Tour de Moon travels with the night, seeking new beginnings, to empower others to create, to initiate, to innovate with new thinking and pluralistic practices so that history does not repeat itself on and beyond Earth. In this cosmic night-time adventure, the Moon is both character and landscape, in permanent transformation and flux, to ignite radical imagination. We are an after-party of immersive experiences, new technologies and science innovation which supports decolonial practices, and showcases and celebrates the creativity of night-time workers and young people.” – Dr Nelly Ben Hayoun

Touring across the UK
With a special focus on nightlife and night-time culture, the multifaceted initiative will make appearances at various locations around the UK next summer, notably including live four-day experiences in Leicester (13–16 May), Newcastle (27–30 May) and Southampton (11–14 June), with a ‘Moon Convoy’ of satellite events also visiting Dover, Coventry, Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Wolverhampton and Bristol, concluding the tour in Hackney, London.

It will feature collaborations with local bars, cinemas, and other venues with interactive, immersive experiences, talks and performances that challenge our current world and explore new ways of living on future worlds – such as the moon.

Tour de Moon’s programme will be supported by the independent and non-traditional publishing outlet Moon Press, which will release print and digital editions with each full moon; and the music label Moon Recordings, which will bring together voices from two generations, 18–25 and 75+, to collaborate.
Eight programming strands + cross-collaboration
Tour de Moon will award bursaries across eight programming strands: Moon Sports, Moon Press, Moon Music, Moon Cinema, Moon Bar (forum for discussion), Moon Hotline (online content), Moon Convoy (parade) and Moon Experiences (live events).

Thanks to partnerships from the likes of NASA’s SSERVI (Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute), the African Astronomical Society, the SETI (Search for the Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, as well as institutions and organisations across the sciences and humanities, bursary applicants also have the opportunity to collaborate with leading scientists and thinkers. By distributing this budget among a combination of individual creatives, youth groups, and nightlife workers, Tour de Moon aims to distribute essential funding and provide a high-profile creative platform to a sector and demographic that has been hit especially hard by the impacts of Covid and funding cuts over the last few years.

Applications now open
As of 21 October, bursaries are open for applications on the Tour de Moon website at until the closing date on 6 January 2022.

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