Life in Transition - a feature film

July 9, 2017


We are crowdfunding to make a beautiful, open source feature film about everyday people's stories of transition.

Through witnessing the joys and challenges of others around the world working to transition themselves and their communities, we want people like you to reflect on what’s really important to them and dare to vision and enact their own transitions.

Life in Transition will feature those who took part in the letter writing project Post Present Future during the first International Transition Network conference held at the Battersea Arts Centre, London in September 2012. The Transition movement is about communities stepping up to address the big challenges they face by starting local. There, people were asked to write a personal letter to themselves, sharing their hopes, challenges, visions and concerns with their future self. They knew it would be five years before their letters were returned...

Now, five years later, many of them are still active within the Transition movement as community leaders, artists, changemakers, new economists, craftspeople, inner transitioners, and educators. We set out to get in touch with all of them to be able to meet them and hand-deliver their letter back. We feel that film as a medium is the perfect way to share the intimacy of reading a personal letter; these unique moments are often full of emotion, tender and deeply inspiring.

Low carbon – High collaboration

We have designed the project to be ‘low carbon - high collaboration’ embodying the values of the Transition movement, so instead of the film being made by one team flying to each location, we will work with local filmmakers in different countries, building a diverse network of skills and supporters, whilst minimising the use of natural resources. This is a great challenge for everyone involved! We are very excited to work hard to get on the same page with videographers and interviewers from all these different cultures.

Community screenings

We look forward to sending you a DVD of the film as soon as it is a wrap. By funding now you're not only ensuring your own screening, but also making this project accessible to others. We will make this film open source and publicly available online. We hope to encourage people around the world to screen Life in Transition in community halls, schools, pop-up outdoor cinemas, inter/national transition conferences, businesses, city councils, etc. The wider the reach the better. We are creating a ‘participatory pack’ for groups to use after watching the film to catalyse conversations and actions.

How the money will be spent

The money will be spent on expenses and payment for the filmmakers, interviews, translations, editing, music composition and distribution. We have kept our budget to a minimum – and we also believe in fair pay. We plan to thank our collaborators for their time, dedication and skill by means of payment. With your support, this September 2017 these letters will be hand delivered to the writers in Estonia, Brazil, Denmark, Portugal, Australia, Spain, Italy, UK, Sweden and USA.

The background story / Origins of this film

Ruth Cross began her letter project Post Present Future in 2009 and since then more than 5,500 people around the world have written a letter to their future self. She asks people to write to themselves because it offers them space to reflect, a moment’s pause in our hectic lives. People have said sealing their words away to be returned five years later feels like a time capsule diary entry. She began this project because of a growing fascination with the process of transition; inner transitions, community transitions and global transitions. We are challenged to find sufficient time to reflect on what we are collectively creating within our societies. This leads us to taking part in things that without us realising support incoherent distributions of power and wealth, contributing to imbalance and inequality. On a personal and collective level, this project is a small step towards imagining a more just and sustainable future.

Meet the team

Ruth: “To realise this project I am working with an experienced core team - Film Director Ayla van Kessel and Assistant Producer Hannah Sneyd - in collaboration with Transition Network, and filmmakers around the world.

With a background in the arts, I have been working creatively with changemakers for 10 years. Recently I co-founded Eroles Project, an international annual learning for action residency based in Eroles, Spain. In 2015 we hosted a hub space for creative actions during the Paris Climate talks; in 2016 we focused on migration and borders and as a result are developing a Regeneration Project with refugees and migrants in the region of Granada. This year we will be focusing on Deepening Citizenship and Emerging Politics. You can see more of my creative work on

I met filmmaker Ayla van Kessel at Schumacher College in 2013 while she was studying an MA in Economics for Transition. We have been friends and colleagues ever since. Invited by TAZ (an arts festival in Belgium) we worked together last summer to make a 20 minute film documenting delivering letters by hand to people around the city of Oostende, where five years earlier they had met me and written a letter to their future. You can find the film Post Present Future on Ayla's website: - the people with letters you see in the short video are Oostenders who participated in this film one year ago!  

I met Hannah Sneyd through the Eroles Project's residency at the COP21 Paris climate talks. She is a researcher and changemaker from the UK with a fondness for growing vegetables and climbing trees. Her background is in science and documentary-making, with dashes of food-sovereignty and divestment activism. These days she is branching out further - soon to begin various trainings as a facilitator in group work for inner/outer transition.”


Ruth Cross talks to Dr Joanna Bucknall on TAIT

January 16, 2017

In late 2016 I was invited to talk about my practice with Dr Joanna Bucknall, a micro performance scholar and programme leader at Portsmouth University as part of TAIT - Talking About Immersive Theatre a series of pod casts with theatre makers.
It was a very joyful meeting as you can hear in the interview.
We covered many things from the trickiness of labels, to the sensation (or lack of!) of soil underfoot during micro performance Meridian, to the future of training in immersive performance.
And at the end of the interview Jo reads out the touching letter she wrote in 2011 at the One on One Festival at the Battersea Arts Centre with my project Post Present Future which I posted back to her last year!



Post Present Future @ TAZ2016 (Oostende, Belgium)

August 3, 2016
Ruth Cross and Ayla van Kessel are at Theater Aan Zee a city wide cultural festival in Oostende, Belgium. They are hand delivering letters to residents written five years before in summer during #TAZ2011. 
They are making a film of the reactions of people reading their letter from their past.
The first screening will be in De Grote Post as part of #TAZ on 5/08/2016 (11h & 18h) and 6/08/2016


The Post Room

August 21, 2014

The Post Room
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   Cross Collaborations present


The Post Room

A retrospective of five years of Cross Collaborations letter project
Post Present Future

Friday 12th September. 4-6pm & 7.30pm.
The Lower Hall, Battersea Arts Centre.

The Post Room is a beautiful, reflective and celebratory event installed and curated by Cross Collaborations including artworks, performances and readings of letters from special guests.  A performance lecture by Ruth Cross will share insights of alive, intimate and universal themes surfacing in the letters through presenting a snapshot of thousands of peoples realities of what it is to live at this time in history and the common threads of our dreams, hopes and concerns for an uncertain future.
In the afternoon from 4-6pm there will be creative invitations to join in with an evolving installation and a chance to write a letter to your future self.


It is an honour to invite you to celebrate with us, five year to the day from when we first collected letters at the Battersea Arts Centre.


For tickets please click here.
For more information about Post Present Future please click here.

The Post Room
Cross Collaborations
Battersea Arts Centre/The Post Room
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June 16, 2014

This is the very first batch of Post Present Future letters collected almost five at the Dartington Festival in June 2009... YES that's right... FIVE years ago. Meaning this bundle of friends are ready for posting.

Posting will take place at the Dartington Post box just a short walk through the beautiful gardens from where these letters were written in June 2009. If you are close by to Totnes and free from 3pm - 5pm Saturday 21st June, come along. We'll be Posting letters of Peace to world leaders at the Tagore Festival, and then posting this adventure eager stack of letters back to their owners.

Have you received your letter from 5 years ago in the post???

If so please share your comments here.

And please write back to me if you want your letter to be included in the POST PRESENT FUTURE publication.

My details can be found here


Encounters Arts

June 16, 2014

Ruth is working as an Associate Artist with Encounters Arts.
She is co-coordinating A Little Patch of Ground: Stonehouse (Plymouth)  with permaculture practitioner Tess Wilmot.

For live updates follow @Encounters_Arts

Meridian Spaced 2014

March 11, 2014

Meridian by Cross Collaborations as part of Spaced 2014

Bringing together the best young and emerging immersive theatremakers for a week-long Souk festival throughout Theatre Delicatessen’s pop-up hub at 35 Marylebone High Street.


17 – 22 March 2014 | 35 Marylebone High Street

Doors and Bar 6:30pm
Marketplace opens 7:00pm


Meridian Spaced 2014

March 11, 2014

Invisible Structura - video and book

January 6, 2014

You can buy the book about Invisible Structura, David Behar Perahia's one year residency inside Gloucester cathedral on amazon. Within this book I contribute an essay detailing the choreographic process of making Invisible Structura.

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