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Europe Grand Central
About Europe Grand Central
Europe Grand Central is a ground-breaking cooperation effort that combines grass-roots projects run by independent culture organizations across Europe and beyond through a unique digital and conceptual platform to connect audience-created narratives about the human act of crossing borders.
Partners of the project, all solid culture operators and networks, work on vastly varied topics such as rising xenophobia towards refugees in Sweden, personal consequences of mounting economic crisis in Greece, disconnected suburbs and city-dwellers in Bologna and Bremen, political tension towards the eastern borderlands of Poland, and skewed notions of the Arab world in Europe.
The methods for audience inclusion to challenge sentiments of "us" and "them" vary across interactive theatre and photography, craft, design, workshops, street art, and artistic residencies.
Europe Grand Central is the space for learning across contexts and to develop methods to meet our audiences where they are. Central to the project is the Bordr digital tool for connection of border stories that will be used in and across all projects. The partners will also co-design our action-sharing database hosted by Trans Europe Halles, which serve as our communication, dissemination, and legacy partner.
Over two years we will have four project meetings, and in 2017 we will coordinate “Europe Grand Central”, an all-European simultaneous show of local-global presentations and the main event of the project. We will carefully analyse and spread our lessons with help of our associated research and dissemination partners; world leading universities and public institutions.
At the heart of everything we do, we share a desire to understand and connect human experiences, mobilize these stories into action that change lives. We work to produce an inclusive statement of diversity with potential to start a global movement of connected human values.
The 9 artists from the Arab countries taking part in Europe Grand Central
Crossing borders from Morocco to Italy
“Because where you are living is, in my opinion, the starting point of any journey.”
Amira-Géhanne is an Algerian born playwright currently based in Morocco. Her plays tackle the themes of migration and belonging in relation to cities. She will collaborate with the Laminarie/DOM La Cupola del Pilastro in Bologna on “Other(‘s) words”, a theatre and visual art project in resonance with Laminarie’s Ecuba project. Other(‘s) words is an audio-visual journey of the artist in Pilastro along with its residents, based on storytelling and creative writing ; a project that reflects on borders in terms of discovering and perceiving the Other through their own eyes.
Charbel Samuel Aoun
Crossing Borders from Lebanon to Sweden
“Borders are first and foremost psychological and cultural.”
Charbel Samuel Aoun is a Lebanese visual artist with a background in architecture. His work combining different materials and elements reveals his passion for nature and questions social and ecological realities. Charbel will collaborate with Not Quite artist collective on a visual and sound installation inspired by his encounters with the migrant communities in the small city of Amål in Sweden. His project aiming at exploring the shifting roles of women as cultural mediators between communities approaches the notion of borders as a spatial and environmental paradigm, yet mainly as a perceptive human relational matter.
Crossing boarders from Jordan to Malta
“Borders make no sense. We are but one at the end, regardless of religion or geography, human beings' needs are the same in whatever language.”
Deema Shahin is a Jordanian filmmaker and photographer, born in Kuwait from Palestinian parents. Her work on borders questions the concept of emotional belonging as opposed to geographical belonging by looking at the definition of ‘home’. What would it be in a homeless world – where one doesn’t belong anymore to one place but rather to many? Deema’s project ‘Home is where Mom is’ will investigate this concept by linking it to motherhood. Interested in cities rather than national territories and in continuation with a similar work developed in Amman, Barcelona and Fayoum, she will engage this time with the mothers of Gozo in Malta to film their realities and bring out their intimate dreams.
Crossing borders from Lebanon to Poland
“ Borders do not concern only countries, but also the borders that communities build to protect themselves from the “other”, regardless of whether that “other” is from a different country or not.”
Dina Kobrosly is a Lebanese theatre practitioner specialized in puppetry with extensive experience in drama therapy, peace building and Non-violent theatre with youth and refugee communities. Her approach linking social and artistic issues uses interactive theatre and puppetry as edutainment tools in order to enhance integration, self-acceptance and acceptance of the other. Dina will collaborate with the European Foundation for Urban Culture in Lublin in Poland on a process-oriented work with youth from different neighbourhood communities that will lead to a participatory stimulating inclusive performance to surpass segregation and build up new bonds.
Crossing borders from Morocco to Sweden
“Borders are artifacts created by humans. They are what marks a space organization producing a structure that determines who is the insider and who is the outsider.”
Hind Oudrhiri is a Moroccan architect as well as stage and urban designer. Her scenography work questions utopic cities and how social mutation transforms urban spaces. Reflecting on borders from an organic perspective, Hind will draw a metaphorical analogy with the texture and function of the “skin” as a vital membrane, and interface for experiencing external sensorial connection to the world. She will collaborate with Not Quite collective on an outdoor video-installation. It will take the form of a weaved multi-patterned arts crafted shelter composed by recorded imprinted souvenirs on the places local inhabitants of Amål and newly arrived migrants are or have been living in or came across during their life journeys.
Crossing borders from Palestine to Greece
Majdal Nateel is a Palestinian visual artist from Gaza. Concerned by the everyday sufferance of her people and the refugees’ living conditions, her installation work is often an expressive attempt to humanize and uncover their personal stories. Majdal will partake in Vyrsodepseio in Athens in Greece to develop a project on lived cases depicting the individual experiences of migrants and refugees.
Crossing borders from Egypt to Malta
Paul Geday is an Egyptian filmmaker, photographer and curator whose practice often evolves around individual and collective memories through the usage of diverse filmic or photographic archival materials and oral histories.
He is interested in exploring Maltese emigration to Egypt in the 19th and 20th century as a background to the current opposite flux and part of the long multiple exchanges between the shores of the mediterranean. The outcome of this project will be a chapter in his ongoing research "Take me back to Cairo!" which explores plurality and diversity through vernacular photography in 1950's Cairo. He will be working in the Valletta archives in Malta.
Crossing borders from Tunisia to Poland
“ Whether urban milieus are separated by metal, linguistic or social barriers, they still face the same problems but foremost share the same rhythms of life.”
Radhouan Fiddini is a Tunisian multidisciplinary artist, in the thick of sound system culture and graphic art. His project deals with borders as a recurrent theme denouncing its obstructive impact on human condition development. Radhouan will collaborate with the European Foundation for Urban culture in Lublin to give workshops and share his artistic and sound system management experience with unemployed individuals. Together they will self-produce and present a music event as a way to promote arts autonomy, local culture development and transcend social exclusion.
Reuben Yemoh Odoi
Crossing borders from Morocco to Greece
“ It is in the spirit of our time to talk about human mobility and migration, as a way to talk about the Other. But are we not all on a journey? Are we not all migrants?”
Reuben Yemoh Odoi is a Ghanaian musician based in Morocco. His music includes and mixes traditions from popular songs to storytelling. Reuben will attend the Vyrsodepseio residency to work with a small group of Athenians to meet the migrants and undocumented people and listen to their journeys. His project a multidisciplinary and participatory street performance in the public space will make these heard; a way of deconstructing borders not only between spaces but also between people sharing the same place.
More information: www.europegrandcentral.net
Project leader: Not Quite, Fengersfors, Sweden.
Communication, dissemination, and long-term development: Trans Europe Halles, Lund, Sweden.
Local project organizer: Kulturzentrum Schlachthof, Bremen, Germany.
Local project organizer: Laminarie / DOM La Cupola del Pilastro, Bologna, Italy.
Local project organizer: Vyrsodepseio / ODC Ensemble, Athens, Greece.
Workshops across EUs eastern borders: European Foundation for Urban Culture, Lublin, Poland.
Mobility partner across EUs southern borders: Roberto Cimetta Fund, Paris, France.