Project Leader: ICSE & CO, Italy
Biennale of Western Balkans, Greece
Kunstrepublik e.v., Germany
Tačka komunikacije – DOTKOM, Serbia
Platform for Civic Engagement through Artistic and Cultural Practices Sociopatch, North Macedonia
Udruženje nezavisnih stvaralaca i aktivista Geto, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Maximum grant awarded: 312,467.00 €
The cultural cooperation project Some Call Us Balkans (SCUB) is a transdisciplinary inquiry. Since 2017 it has explored and mobilized moments of collective imagination, research and multivocal representations of the Western Balkans (WB) beyond borders and nationalisms. Under the umbrella of socially engaged art practice, SCUB implements innovative artistic research practices and an open-ended, dramaturgical and participatory approach to deconstruct prejudices and misleading stereotypes about the region. The goal is to build a common ground for intercultural understanding, cooperation and social cohesion in the WB. Cross- border cooperation and mobility can be ensured when creative and cultural organizations have the support of institutions and necessary resources to run their cultural projects. At the start SCUB provides all partner-organizations with the opportunity to enhance their managerial and leadership capacity.
Initially, all partners will be asked to compile research on common myths and legends of the WB including topics such as: ecology, migration, urban-rural dichotomy, issues of identity and belongingness and intercultural co-existence. After this first phase of research, SCUB organizes a one-month peer-learning capacity building program in Berlin. This program combines immersion into local cultural realities in the city, empowerment and innovation workshops with collaborative work sessions. It is tailored to empower each organization as cultural leaders of positive societal change at a local and international level, as well as to create a solid common ground to work together in both the short and long run. After the month in Berlin, SCUB project partners will launch an open-call to identify one emerging artist or cultural operator for each country involved in the consortium. The group of eight selected emerging artists will take part in an artists residency in Banja Luka (BiH). During this time the artists will be accompanied by curators, internal and external experts to conceptualize and co-create the culminating Ground Tour Journey. This journey is imagined as a travelling theatre piece and a participatory, research-based, multivocal narrative intervention in the cities where the partners are based. The artists will co-create the Open-Script of the Ground Tour Journey and the participatory format of The Mobile Forum accompanying it.
The Mobile Forum is imagined as a platform for questioning, discussing and imagining different narratives of the region, defying the constraints of national borders and ethnic separation. Conceived as a performative public art installation, it functions as a catalyst – a permeable open exhibition space for cultural democracy and a platform for civic participation to foster intercultural dialogue. The multivocal and multilingual narrations of the Balkans collected during The Ground Tour Journey are documented using interactive audio systems, video, individual artistic responses and critical reflections that will be disseminated through paper and digital publishings. In this way, SCUB will promote intercultural dialogue and cross-border cooperation.