Letter from Oliver Harris on CUT-UPS@60

2020 is the tenth anniversary of the EBSN and we wanted to celebrate the occasion with our most ambitious plans: the special Cut-Ups@60 double conference in Paris and London this September, featuring terrific line-ups of creative and critical participants.

At the end of March, I said we’d review in June our plans in light of the virus pandemic, and there’s no point delaying the inevitable decision to cancel. The health and safety of everyone involved must come first. We aim to reschedule for September 2021, however, and will update you as plans develop.

Unfortunately, cancelling our conferences is not just a massive disappointment for everyone involved, but an emergency for the EBSN itself. Quite simply, without conference income, the EBSN cannot cover its annual running costs and will need to be wound up unless we find revenue from other sources.

Our hope is that you, our members, can help sustain the EBSN through the current crisis and indeed enable us to develop in new ways into the future.

We want to reach out beyond our annual conferences and to move forward by creating opportunities for authors, poets, artists, academics, activists or anyone working in the Beat area to share their work with others online. In particular, we’re looking to organise one-off short events online, which would be accesible for a small fee, and if you have any ideas or would like to participate, please contact Polina (mackay.p@unic.ac,cy).

I realise the financial future for many people has become precarious, but if you have found the EBSN has lived up to its ambitions to be a community of scholars and artists, open to all, crossing national borders and disciplinary divisions, then I’d like to invite you to help keep it alive by pledging financial support, however modest.

There are several ways you can help keep the EBSN going:

  1. Order our Anniversary T-Shirt (https://ebsn.eu/2020-special-conference/special-anniversary-t-shirt/), which generates a small profit to the EBSN because we can order in bulk and still sell at cost. We need a hundred orders to make this viable, and have extended the deadline until August 1st with a view to mailing out all orders by September. Please order ASAP and show your support for the EBSN by wearing our shirt with pride!
  2. Make a donation online (https://ebsn.eu/about-ebsn/members/); even just €10 or €20 would make a great difference.
  3. If you’ve registered and paid for the Paris and/or London conference, we will refund your fees in full; but you could consider letting us hold onto the payment for the rescheduled conference in 2021 or, better still, donate the money to the EBSN. Please email me (oliverharris@mac.com) whatever you prefer to do.
  4. Sponsor the EBSN! As a registered charity, it may be possible for you to make a tax-deductible donation. For more information see here (https://ebsn.eu/about-ebsn/ebsn-sponsorship/)

Finally, to end on a terribly sad note, I wanted to pass on the news that Jürgen Ploog died on May 21. Jürgen, who was to have been our keynote in Paris, was one of the few writers to truly take cut-up methods further. He was also a man of great charm and dignity who graced several EBSN conferences. On our website, we honour his life and work, as we have other greats who have recently passed away, Genesis P’Orridge and Michael McClure (https://ebsn.eu/scholarship/voices/).

With thanks for any support you can offer, and hoping you and your loved ones stay well,

All best wishes,

Oliver and the EBSN Board

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