Over the past few weeks we’ve been watching developments internationally regarding the spread of the Covid-19 virus, and proposed responses. We have kept a careful eye on the varying prognoses published regarding the likely extent of lockdown, restrictions on international travel, and the possible continuation of social distancing measures into the Northern summer. We have also closely followed conferences that have cancelled, moved to online delivery, or postponed to next year. Furthermore, we’ve noted that institutions are freezing research and conference budgets, whilst those of us who are independent are finding contracts put on hold or cancelled. All major conferences and those minor ones that we are aware of in our field have cancelled or postponed right through to July. Conferences in August are beginning to cancel.
Given the relatively tight margins on which we as a small conference operate, and the proportion of our attenders who are international, we have reluctantly come to the conclusion that even if the restrictions were lifted and the medical risk declared low, notwithstanding our concern for the health and vitality and safety of all our community, the economic risk would still be too high for us to attempt to hold the event this year.
However, we have managed to negotiate with our partners and can announce that AoMO Liverpool 2020 will become AoMO Liverpool 2021, to take place August 19-22, at the University of Liverpool, The Bluecoat Gallery and the Leverhulme Hotel, with a keynote from artist activist Ellie Harrison, a special performance from folk music stars O’Hooley and Tidow, and lots more. The theme Art and Activism, and all the themes, will remain the same, and all papers, workshops etc already accepted will be carried forward. We will also issue a supplementary call which will allow additional submissions to be made, and existing submissions to be updated. We will also consider new stream ideas. The email@example.com email address will remain active and monitored between now and when we meet in August 2021.
We will be in touch further with convenors regarding the next steps, and we have negotiated with our providers so that we can hold registrations over for those who have already paid. For those needing refunds, we will let you know how to do that.
So that we don’t lose touch, Paul Levy will be organising an informal online get-together, or series of get togethers, during what would have been the conference period this year. This isn’t going to be an online conference with presentations – more of an online coffee break with all the chats that are such an important part of our events! Please email Paul Levy directly about this (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Despite the awful and unprecedented circumstances that have forced us to take these steps, we hope that we can take the opportunity presented to polish our offerings, invite even more friends, and celebrate our 10th conference (and 2021 as the 20th Anniversary of the first Essex coffee break that led Steve L., Ian and Ceri to launch the conference series). Liverpool is a great city for a party when we are all safe and well.
Stay safe and well
Jenna, Steve L. and Steve T