Crisis and Rebirth? – Inclusion in the performing arts in the EU

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19.05.2014 - 20.05.2014
09:00 – 09:00

Konstepidemins väg 6, Gothenburg, Sweden

On May 19-20 Teater Spira will host the final conference of the Caravan – Artists on the road project in Gothenburg, Sweden – just before the elections to the European Parliament. The title for the conference is Crisis and Rebirth? – Inclusion in the performing arts in the EU.

Right now we are facing a very difficult climate for the arts all around Europe. With little money left for arts, anything vaguely resembling for example union rights is rapidly thrown out the door and the essence seems to be that we should all be so lucky we still have a job. But how does this climate affect the art that we make? Can we afford to be critical towards the hand that feeds us the little scraps that are left? And what does this do to art in a broader social context? In community theater we work with people; their experiences, their thoughts, their lives. We want their voices to be heard. But what if those voices are critical towards the EU or towards the institutions or companies providing funding for the projects, where do we end
up then? The EU demands that our art projects must be administratively perfect. But the artistic level of the art itself, or the inclusion work and the democratic perspective in what we present has far lower priority. This gives us formally perfect projects, but could potentially lead to poor artistic or even undemocratic content.

How does this affect the art we create today? What is it that we choose to talk about, and what is it that we choose to not talk about in working in projects like this?

With this conference we want to raise these questions and discuss these very important issues in an open and permissive climate. We would like to hear your thoughts on this and we want you to participate with your ideas, your knowledge and experiences. We need your help in answering this one simple question: Where do we go from here?

Welcome to Gothenburg!

Jonas Fröberg
Playwright, Teater Spira

Victoria Alarik
Choreographer, Teater Spira & VAD – Victoria Alarik Dance company


Photo Gallery

Photo: Janez Klenovšek


Monday May 19 2014

Moderated by Catharina Thörn

12:00 Lunch at Blå Huset, Konstepidemin
Lunch is included in your conference registration

13:30 Crisis and Rebirth? – Inclusion in the performing arts in the EU
Welcome speech and introduction by Chris Torch, founder and Senior
Associate of Intercult.

13:40 Caravan – Artists on the road
Opening address by Alberto Pagliarino Artistic Director of the Caravan project.

13:55 Reflections on Caravan – Arts and Project Management
Jonas Fröberg from Teater Spira shares his experiences and thoughts about the Caravan project. Malin Enberg from Producentbyrån talks about the Caravan project from a project managers’ point of view.

14:05 Art break
Victoria Alarik, from Teater Spira & VAD – Victoria Alarik Dance company will give us a short movement break.

14:10 Riots, growing urban inequalities and the need for a new political imagination
Lecture by Catharina Thörn, focusing on inclusion and participation in city development processes in Gothenburg and Hamburg. About growing urban inequalities, threats to democracy and what role the artists play in these processes.

14:50 Arts, well-being and participation
Professor Alessandra Rossi Ghiglione fom the University of Turin will give a lecture on Arts, well-being and participation. Social and Community Theatre, an active methodology for community health.

15:30 Where do we go from here? – part 1
Panel discussion with Catharina Thörn, Patricia Aguilera Arroyo, holistic teacher, artistic creative and actress from Sevilla and Alessandra Rossi Ghiglione.

16:40 Art break
Benedict Ocker from the organization Pakt in Freiburg, Germany will present a personal reflection on the Caravan project.

16:45 Where do we go from here? – part 2
Open discussion featuring Catharina Thörn, Patricia Aguilera Arroyo, Alessandra Rossi Ghiglione and the audience.

17:35 What was said?
Catharina Thörn summarizes the first day of the conference.

17:45 Dinner at Blå Huset, Konstepidemin
Dinner is included in your conference registration

19:30 Friare än Vinden by Victoria Alarik
Five people with backgrounds in Iran and China in a performance with original music, dance, theatre and documentary texts about oppression, dictatorship and freedom. The performance is followed by a workshop with Victoria Alarik and the participating artists.

21:00 Mingle at Kulturhuset Oceanen
In collaboration with Göteborgs Dans & Teater Festival, the conference invites you to mingle and socialize at Kulturhuset Oceanen in Gothenburg where the festival hosts their official bar.

Tuesday May 20 2014

Moderated by Chris Torch

09:30 Introduction
Chris Torch introduces the topics of the second day of the conference.

09:40 Art break
George Zlatarev from the organization Vazrajdane in Sofia, Bulgaria will present a personal reflection on the Caravan project.

09:55 Parallel workshops
Choose from two different workshops, addressing issues like truth, failure, body and culture in two distinctly different ways.

Waking the sleeping
In times of crisis such as we are in now in Europe, we tend to look in others for solutions when maybe we should look into ourselves? The origin of the crisis are not only financial or political, it’s also part of our global consciousness and thus part of our selves. Waking the sleeping is a workshop held by Patricia Aguilera Arroyo and Gabriel Hidalgo Cabezas, actor, youth educator and street artist as well as expert in social theatre and social educational interventions. Through this workshop Patricia and Gabriel aims to help us discover and unlock our creative potential as an alternative to the crisis, to make us see that we control our own destiny, that if we choose to, the art we do and who we are reaches beyond the grasp of politicians and governments.

Writing about our failures
Workshop by Jonas Fröberg from Teater Spira about sharing our failures and talking about these in an open and permissive environment. True rebirth comes from seeing and addressing the failures, from sharing and from listening. Adding a fabricated happy ending will only be counterproductive. One of the failures of the Caravan project was the fear of honestly sharing our experiences, good or bad. It’s not about presenting a good end result, it’s about the process along the way. It is what we choose to talk about and what we choose to not talk about.

10:45 Devising and participation
Birthe Niederhaus, artistic director of the theater company Die Bühne, talks about how participatory and democratic a theater process truly can be.

11:25 Art, politics and inclusion – Relationship between artistic vision and cultural policies
An introduction by Anna van der Vliet from ICIA raising questions about artistic visions, political guidelines and strategic development. ICIA – Institute for Contemporary Ideas and Art is an organisation that unifies the analysis of ideas, art politics and artistic production. ICIA was founded in response to the need for an institute that works strategically with development issues within the art and design field.

11:40 Where do we go from here? – part 3
The morning session will be rounded off with three talkshops focusing on European cultural policies.

Community work as a method
Experiences from the Caravan project and from working with communitytheater. Discussion hosted by Jonas Fröberg and Allan Klie, artistic director at Københavns Musikteater.

The opportunities and the obstacles of participating in a European culture project. About project design for European projects. Discussion hosted by Chris Torch and Annika Strömberg, EU coordinator of Region Västra Götaland.

Art and democracy
What role does art play in European cultural policies? Discussion hosted by Anna van der Vliet and Benedict Ocker.

13:00 Lunch at Blå Huset, Konstepidemin
Lunch is included in your conference registration

14:30 The post democratic society
Talk by Jens Stilhoff Sörensen, researcher in global studies at the University of Gothenburg, researcher at The Swedish Institute of International Affairs and representative for Academic Rights. Democracy and the liberal democratic state is in a state of crisis. This is most clearly visible in a diminishing trust in politicians and institutions across the EU.
The crisis of democracy is also visible in the wave of mass protests following the financial crisis and following the EU forcing citizens to pay for the speculations of banks and financial institutions. But the financial crisis is not only or even primarily an economic crisis. It is a political crisis; a crisis in the philosophy of governing.

14:45 Where do we go from here? – part 4
Panel discussion summarizing the Caravan project and the closing conference featuring Alberto Pagliarino, Jonas Fröberg, Patricia Aguilera Arroyo, Benedict Ocker, Alessandra Rossi Ghiglione and Jens Sörensen.

16:15 What was said?
Chris Torch summarizes the second day of the conference.

20:00 Mingle
In collaboration with Konstepidemin, the conference invites you to mingle and socialize at Konstepidemin.


Program Gothenburg May 19-20.pdf


Dag Rosenqvist

Teater Spira and Producentbyrån