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European meeting : artistic mobility, a lever for a European citizenship ?

mercredi 24 novembre 2010 , par Anjela Stéphan (Traduction  Valérie Gooch)

Toutes les versions de cet article : [English] [français]

Artistic mobility, a lever for a European citizenship ? The FAR 2010 European meeting, Thursday 5th August, 10.10am, Morlaix Communauté.

One of the FAR 2010 specificities will be the presence of about ten professionals, members of the ZEPA network (European Zone for Artistic Projects). Their venue will be the opportunity for a time of exchange around the idea of European citizenship in connection with Street Arts.

This meeting will be led by Anne Gonon, journalist and author specialized in Street Arts, and Isabelle Andreen from Spectacle Vivant en Bretagne. Patrick Sandford, Director of the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton in England, will be the privileged interlocutor of the ZEPA network. Approximately 70 persons, most of them professionals or artists, will take part in it.

This meeting will open on a bilingual introduction presenting the FAR 2010 and the ZEPA network.

Then, the terms of the meeting will be put. From the beginning, Isabelle Andreen will specify that it will not only be a matter of evoking works and artists’ mobility, but also that of the citizens, which means to incite to international cooperation, to work on sharing, exchange, and mobility of professional references.

Anne Gonon will insist on this subject : the main part is not the works’ mobility, already on the march even it must be developped, but the artists and producers’ mobility in order to set up common projects, and to exchange. This idea will then be taken back by several persons who will speak throughout the debate, insisting on the difficulty for artists not to think only in term of companies’ circulation, but also to see the various European territories as places for artistic experiment. She will insist on the notion of citizenship, creating a common reference between all the members of the European Union, and inviting to surpass the national stakes for a more global vision. From this introduction, the debate will then punctuate of expressions of personal or collective experiences which illustrate the comments.

Patrick Sandford, a fully bilingual Englishman, even if he doubts on the quality of his French, will then talk about his personal experience of mobility and also as theatre Director. What will emerge from his exchange with the public is that he conceives multiculturalism as a possibility of open-mindedness which made him humble, which made him discover the multiple artistic approaches that exist through the continent. He will insist then on the various perceptions of culture and art according to countries, noting ironically that they are words difficult to use in England. His speech will be completed by the one of Mike Martins, from Hat Fair, in Winchester, in England, who will express the feeling to have discovered a certain consideration for Street Arts in France, which would not exist in England, where Street Arts would be according to him only perceived as a way « to clown around ». Sian Thomas, also from Hat Fair, will suggest nevertheless that thanks to exchanges, not only differences can be perceived, but also existing resemblances between the different Street Theatre actors through the European Union.

The meeting will then turn on the stormy theme of culture public financing, going towards a comparison between the French and English situation, and insisting on the European Union little consideration for culture. Adam Gent, member of Art Council, will then try to counter the critics which had been formulated by the English people, and to reorientate the debate in a more philosophic axis, on the contribution of Street Arts in the international exchanges.

However, a political idea underlies inevitably the participants’ speech, the theme of lack of European financing resurfacing regularly, sometimes widening at the idea of a will to build another Europe, different from that proposed at present. The artists and the professionals’ role, in this field, will therefore be advanced, demonstrating that various initiatives are possible in order to build exchanges in parallel with those existing at present, such as that organized by the company l’Age de la Tortue which consisted in making foreign artists live in some districts and to try their insertion in them, but also that their pressure is necessary to obtain more on behalf of the community level.

The precise subject of works mobility is going to direct the debate on the inter-understanding and the problem of the multiple languages present on the European territory. The positions will be then divergent, as regards the need or not for translation, the possibility of understanding situations and feelings beyond speeches, illustrated by company Luc Amoros’ experience and its show written in German, translated into Frenchm, and now into questioning for an English translation, or that of Métalovoice having worked with Scotland. Anne Gonon will even go further by introducing the possibility of thinking of the public mobility, which would then be incited by the shows’ programming in foreign language.

The meeting will finally end in an act considered as a common language between the various countries, that to have a drink !! Enjoy yourself !

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