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Shakespeare’s legacy to the stars! A space-bound homage celebrating 400 years of his first folio

Exploration of a space tribute celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's First Folio through a series of short films linking his words to contemporary global themes.

Shakespeare legacy to the stars a space bound homage celebrating 400 years of his first folio snt
First Published Nov 9, 2023, 5:49 PM IST

William Shakespeare's influence persists even after four centuries, demonstrating the enduring impact of his legacy. Commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's inaugural folio, a portrait of the renowned playwright and a speech excerpt from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" were sent to the edges of space as part of a concise film series. His First Folio, a collection compiled by his friends, was published on November 8, 1623, approximately seven years after his demise, as noted in a Reuters report. This historic publication comprised approximately 750 copies, encompassing 36 of the 37 plays penned by the celebrated writer.

British filmmaker Jack Jewers produced six short films addressing contemporary themes by using six of Shakespeare's speeches and poems. These films cover various modern topics, such as space exploration, the impact of the COVID pandemic, and the conflict in Ukraine.

The portrait of Shakespeare was transported into space using a weather balloon equipped with a camera and a GPS tracker, reaching Earth's upper atmosphere. Jewers shared his intention behind this unique tribute, stating, "I had this image in my head: a portrait of Shakespeare set against the backdrop of space, with the curvature of the Earth in the background. What more fitting way to celebrate the universality of our human experience, captured for 400 years by these wonderful words, than that?"

Jewers emphasized that the tumultuous events of recent years - such as widespread disease, immigration concerns, protests, European conflicts, and challenges to authority - echo circumstances in 1623 when the First Folio was first published. He highlighted the remarkable parallels, affirming that Shakespeare's words possess a timeless relevance, resonating even more strongly in contemporary society.

The films, showcasing this unique fusion of Shakespearean literature and modern-day issues, will be accessible online following their premiere in London. This innovative project demonstrates the enduring significance of Shakespeare's works and their profound connection to the diverse spectrum of today's global challenges.

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