People of Rotherham invited to create their own utopia at two-week pop-up

by | 21 September 2023 | Community Event, Rother

A curious outdoor installation that invites people to build their shared utopia within its multicoloured walls has land in Rotherham.

The People’s Palace of Possibility, an inventive and interactive pop-up that’s travelled from London to the Highlands, will be at Mowbray Gardens Library from Thursday 14th September – Sunday 1st October.

The project, by Sheffield-based theatre and interactive arts company The Bare Project, was designed to give people a way to express thoughts and feelings about their future, and invites guests to step inside its multi-coloured, nomadic dome and use it as a building site to model what the future is missing.

Artistic Director of the project, Dr Malaika Cunningham, explained: “The Palace has been touring the country since 2019 and it’s always growing. Right now, it has a radio station, a kitchen, a pantry, and an escape hatch. The Palace is added to and animated by people wherever it goes and we can’t wait to see what the people of Rotherham do with it. At Mowbray Gardens Library, it will host live music, ‘craftivism’, potlucks and stories of resistance.”

Sarah Christie, Programme Manager for Rotherham’s Children’s Capital of Culture initiative, which has co-commissioned the project alongside Flux Rotherham, said: “The Palace will host an incredible line-up of events throughout its three weeks in Rotherham, from street party celebrations to intimate supper clubs where all thoughts and opinions are invited to the table, to crafting sessions with a drag king and sustainable fashion workshops with an embroidery artist.

“Rotherham becoming Children’s Capital of Culture aims to empower young people of the borough to have a voice and shape their own future, and that’s exactly what this project is all about. It’s a vibrant space to do some dreaming and scheming.”

Open every Thursday to Sunday, 11.00am – 5.00pm, there is a full programme of events.

For more information, visit:


Events at The People’s Palace of Possibility


  • RECIPES FOR CHANGE with Lady Kitt, Saturday 23rd September

Join Lady Kitt a disabled artist, researcher and drag king for an afternoon of craftivism!

In this session you will explore the Palace Pantry and an archive of recipes for change, mixing ingredients together to create striking handmade banners & resources for collaborative world building and social change.


  • A day for sustainable fashion, Sunday 24th September

Come along to The People’s Palace of Possibility at Mowbray Gardens from 11am – 4pm on Sunday 24th September to dream about and create some sustainable fashion (and also enjoy a tasty lunch). Make a feature of your old, ripped jeans with local embroidery artist Debbie Williams in a ‘visible mending’ workshop, or see a sustainable fashion future in a tarot-inspired performance with Romanian artist Noemi Gunea (booking advised).


  • PALACE FEASTS, 22nd & 29th September

Check out The Bare Project’s unique performance and feast event at The People’s Palace of Possibility on 22nd and 29th September.

Once upon a time, on their way elsewhere, a group of people found a large cardboard box. Inside they found many cassette tapes, blueprints and bundles of mismatched cutlery. At the top of one of the blueprints, carefully written across the top, it said, ‘The People’s Palace of Possibility’.

The Bare Project have started to rebuild this Palace, and they would like to invite you to a feast within it. Join them for a delicious shared meal, in which they will uncover the stories contained within this found archive, add new conversations and toast to unbuilt futures.


  • SEEDS OF JUSTICE POTLUCK, Saturday 30th September

Join artists and activists Haleema Ali, Lora Krasteva & Malaika Cunningham for a shared meal and conversation about land and food justice.

Haleema will guide us in sharing our ‘seeds’ through storytelling – be it the stories of where we come from and the food of our ancestors, to the history of our lands, touching on colonialism and injustices. Lora will share stories and food from Bulgaria, marking the end of summer. Malaika will provide a variety of dishes created from the stores of FoodAware (a not-for-profit diverting food away from landfill to the community). Not to be missed!