1Space connecting artists from Europe, Africa and Middle East

“1Space” is a 25-month cooperation project, committed to develop intercontinental exchange, cooperation, production and distribution between artists from Europe, Africa and Middle East. The project is designed by three partners from the Shared Spaces Network: Exodos (Ljubljana), KVS (Brussels) and Alkantara (Lisbon). 

The goal of the project is to enable cultural players to cooperate internationally and to internationalise their careers and activities in the EU and beyond. The project will provide equal possibilities to all artists despite their political, social, financial or geographic backgrounds (whether they come from the EU or not). The project tackles an equal opportunity theme, engages minorities and therefore reflects the EU value of equality. Moreover, this approach is helps to achieve the objective of intercultural exchange and mutual understanding as the key to develop the cultural sector’s capacity to operate transnationally. All of the above contributes to insight into diversity, crucial across Europe.

The objectives of the project will be achived through three labs in three different countries with 12 young performing arts artists and one digital artist participating under guidance of 12 experts and three mentors who work with the young artists. The project will thus strongly help to exchange skills, competences and knowhow, as well as international cooperation.

Three projects, developed at the labs, will be produced and presented in Brussels, Ljubljana and Lisbon, in the framework of already existing and well-established festivals. By promoting transnational circulation of those European productions and enable mobility of artists from Palestine, Congo, Slovenia, Lebanon, Belgium – among others –, the project will stimulate interest in a series of original works for the existing audience and new audience.

The project includes a three-layered approach to audience development. Firstly, the activities have strong ties to festivals that take place in partner cities. Therefore, the project complements well other cultural actions implemented at local level. Secondly, the three (co)productions with the artists from the EU, Africa and Palestine will be touring across Europe, Africa and Middle East – first in the three partners countries, later on in other Shared Space partners’ countries. This reflects local audience outreach in broader geographic range. Thirdly, the partner organisations are also encouraging adaptation to digital technologies through its digital platform for outreach on global level.

The project strengthens the partner organisations and their international networking, facilitate participants’ access to extended professional opportunities where the artists are working (particularly in Congo or Palestine, where international cultural cooperation is so difficult). Moreover, the project aims to progressively connect African artists and cultural NGOs to the European Shared Space network – this is realistic and consistent with the ‘mission’ of such an initiative. Altogether, the project is aiming at producing results which will go beyond the sole interests of the partners and direct participants and have potential long-term impacts.

1Space is an extension of the European Shared Spaces network, in the framework of the African focus of the 2015 Exodos festival organised by the project leader of the proposed application.

1Space project is supported by Creative Europe programme of European Commision.