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Pan-European Migrant Performance (Workshop, Lisbon, 19-20 September)


Policy Visions for Inclusive Change

Workshop Overview

This two-day workshop aims to bring together cultural and creative professionals, researchers, and activists from both migrant and non-migrant heritage engaged with migrant and minority theatre & performance to discuss new ways of cooperation, artmaking and representation. A core part of this event is to scope new policy visions on inclusivity and diversity. During the workshop we hope to explore the following questions:

1. What are the strategies and challenges faced by migrant and minority artists today?

2. How can artists and networks foster systemic change?

3. How can we develop new frameworks driven by artistic vision created by migrant and minority artists?

The workshop will pay close attention to the structural practices, activism and collective actions that emerge from migrant creative production across Europe. Participants will be encouraged to draw on and share their approaches on how we can re-wire culture, its hierarchies and terminologies to include migrant and minority perspectives.

This event offers an interactive space for learning, sharing, and developing challenge-focused ideas collaboratively. The workshop will feature ideas exchange and collaborative writing sessions with the ultimate aim of exploring ways to enhance more comprehensive diversity and inclusion directives. It also provides opportunity for networking and developing collaborations with participants from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds.

The sessions will take place between 10am and 3pm (with lunch scheduled for 12-1pm) on both days, including time for networking and ‘project surgery’ where participants can discuss their current projects and receive feedback. Participants are expected to familiarise themselves with the workshop reading, to be provided in digital format after registration closes.

Practical information

Event dates: 19-20 September 2023

Venue: CAL Centro de Artes de Lisboa, R. Santa Engrácia, 12 A, 1170-333 Lisbon.

Maximum number of participants: 20

Deadline for registrations: 10th of September, 2023

Registration fee: 25 euros

Registrations must be formalized by filling in the registration form and sent to Participants will be chosen in order of enrolment. Please make sure you fill in all the data on the form, including the verification numbers of your ID card (numbers and letters after the regular ID Card).

More information here.

Download registration form here.

Cultural Policy Context

The global Covid-19 pandemic re-activated – despite the string of national lockdowns – culture workers and diverse communities of artists to re-evaluate and reimagine the institutional practices and structures of the arts and cultural sector. Manifestos and campaigns, such as the European Theatre Forum’s Dresden Declaration (2020), the Culture Deal for Europe campaign (a collaboration between the European Cultural Foundation, Culture Action Europe, and Europa Nostra), or key IETM reports on Covid-19 learning points and ways forward (2020), were at the forefront of policy endeavours urging a reassessment of existing cultural policies and funding strategies, repositioning culture at the centre of post-pandemic recovery plans in Europe. The issue of diversity and inclusion feature prominently in the above and other policy visions from flagship organisations, acknowledging the lack of data and insufficient focus on inclusivity, diversity and accessibility especially within the theatre sector and in EU-level funding and policy agendas. However, it seems that there is (still) a limited understanding of representation and agency with regards migrant and minority artists, communities, and cultures. The reasons of which are, arguably, both cultural and structural. To tackle long standing issues of underrepresentation and in particular, the systemic barriers to access and opportunities for migrant artists, a number of networks put forward policy visions almost parallel to mainstream organisation statements, extending and challenging existing frameworks. Migrant-led organisations across Europe and the UK are advocating structural change in programming, commissioning, representation and casting, while also developing support networks for artists and building alliances with the wider cultural sector, with the overarching view to move away from integrationist policies and towards new cultural frameworks with a focus on plurality and intersectionality.

Workshop Lead

Dr Szabolcs Musca is a theatre and performance scholar, cultural curator and project lead of strategic arts and cultural initiatives and partnerships working across academia and the creative sector. He is senior research associate at the University of Bristol (UK) and Lisbon, and until recently he was a Humboldt Fellow at the UNESCO Cultural Policy Institute for the Arts in Development at the University of Hildesheim (Germany). He is Board Director of Migrant Dramaturgies Network.


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