MORE THAN THIS is a cooperation project among 6 festivals and cultural organisations from 5 EU countries (France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Estonia) with the collaboration of 5 associated partners from Palestine, Belgium, Spain and France, that involves L’Officina – Festival Dansem (project leader), Festival Parallèle – Plateforme pour la jeune création internationale of Marseille, Máteriais Diversos of Lisbon, Kanuti Gildi SAAL Biennaalof Tallinn, Short Theatre of Rome, Gestus of Madrid and Aleppo of Bruxelles, Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival, Camargo Foundation of Cassis, Universitad Carlos III and NAVES MATADERO of Madrid.
Each partner has selected an artist (Radouan Mriziga – Morocco, Maud Blandel – Switzerland, Strasse – Italy, Karl Saks – Estonia, Teresa Silva – Portugal, Quim Bigas – Spain, Farah Saleh – Palestine) to be part of the project, giving to his/her the possibility to improve his/her artistic practice meeting other international cultural realities and sharing part of their path together.
MORE THAN THIS won the the Creative Europe Call as cooperation project 2018 – 2020
MORE THAN THIS aims to highlight and share with a wide audience the complexity and heterogeneity of the partners geographies, shaping a common and vibrant space.
MORE THAN THIS aims to question the notion of displacement as a shift in our way of perceiving identities and practices.
MORE THAN THIS aims to rethink the ways of hospitality, questioning our capacity to welcome others as well as to go towards them.
MORE THAN THIS rethinks the performing arts system’s geography and methodologies. New ways of producing, programming, sharing and receiving.
MORE THAN THIS redefines the meaning of producing an artistic work nowadays. How the same piece can be shown in very different contexts and territories. How a program constitutes a temporary map, to be completed as we meet different territories and communities.
MORE THAN THIS is:
5 associated partners
7 new artistic projects
14 artistic residencies
4 moments of reflection
3 festivals emerging in new territories
MORE THAN THIS is a project that focuses on the contemporary performance as a fundamental tool to rethink the value of complexity, as a tool to challenge the crystallisation of single narratives and fixed identities, and a perfect specific space to work on displacement and hospitality. The network sees the potential of the Mediterranean space as a crucial area to redefine the challenges of identity for the future of the EU. All the partners share a strong and deep interest in the notion of circulation at the margins of Europe. Over the last twenty years, the field of contemporary dance and theatre experienced an important improvement in international touring and coproduction, that offered artists crucial opportunities to go beyond national borders, to work with other networks and to share their language and practices with new communities and spectators. Even though international circulation is undoubtedly a value, in recent years some artists felt they fell into the trap of being unconsciously perceived as ambassadors of their own countries.
During a master class given in Brussels at Kunstenfestivaldesarts in May 2016, the Iranian artist Amir Reza Koohestani said: “I would like you, as an audience, to set your expectation of me as an artist, not as the artist from Iran“. With these words, Koohestani discloses side effects of international networks: while being perceived as ambassadors, are artists really pushed to adhere to a given imaginary, to treat specific political questions (be it the civil war in Lebanon, the censorship in Iran, or religion in Italy)?
MORE THAN THIS in its two years of working will promote the creation and the circulation of performing arts projects across Europe and promote the knowledge of a new generation of artists through an ongoing program of mobility and exchange, but also capacitate performing arts-related organisations in the development of new specific competences, rethinking the performing arts system’s geography and methodologies.
Artistic residencies, workshops, displacements of festivals, shared residencies, moments of reflection, publications: these are the activities through which MORE THAN THIS works on three different scales: the scale of the artists, the festivals one and the macro-scale of the territories.
- The scale of the artists: the network aims at supporting artists who are broadening the image that an audience associates with their cultural backgrounds, showing the complexity beyond stereotyped identities or freeing them from representing such identity through their art.
- The scale of the festivals: MORE THAN THIS has a strong potential to experiment new ways of working in the cultural field, that will persist when it will end. Besides the coordination and the common work between partners through the activities, the Displacement of festivals is also the construction of encounters, is the process of a collaboration of two teams, where a hosting production-house matches the vision of the guest, accepting to be affected and affect different dynamics of working.
- The scale of the territories: it aims at acknowledging the cultural complexity that nourishes most European urban contexts today (as the territories of the network) beyond a single identity, using the presence of “foreign” festivals in the city and the others activities and methodologies of MORE THAN THIS as crucial tools to make a new audience emerge and make visible what is often invisible in the cultural life of the city.