Local Journeys for Change (LJC) is the new IETM programme for IETM members aimed to empower them to bring positive change to their local professional context, local communities or policy-making field.
For this first edition of the programme focused on the theme of Inclusivity, Equality and Fairness, the LJC selection committee selected 24 projects led by IETM members from 22 countries worldwide. They will benefit from training, mentorship, peer-review exchange and financial support to implement their projects in their respective local communities.
The LJC selection committee was composed of IETM Advisors Pippa Bailey (Independent Producer and Director, Australia), Cristina Carlini (Marche Teatro / Inteatro, Italy) and Anikó Rácz (SÍN Arts and Culture Centre, Hungary), and coordinated by LJC Project Coordinator and former IETM Board Member Barbara Poček (IETM and Glej Theatre, Slovenia).
Each application was assessed based on how it responded to the theme of Inclusivity, Equality and Fairness, the urgency of need for change and the impact of this work on the local community. The committee considered clusters of projects with similar agendas so participants could learn from each other, and sought to include a wide range of people and places; with applicants ranging from individual artists to larger organisations, to reflect the rich global performing arts ecology.
Find below the descriptions of the 24 LJC selected projects.
"We Matter" - Inclusive Dance Workshops
MIHR Theatre, Armenia
For this project, MIHR Theatre will run a month of dance workshops and Open Studio days with a focus on inclusion. Within the framework of the workshops, sixty-four people with all abilities will get free inclusive education in the field of contemporary dance. The only criterion for the participants is the wish to participate; neither ability nor age matters. Four tutors with disabilities and without disabilities, will lead the project together, teaching the participants the basics of contemporary dance as well as development of creativity, self-expression, self-awareness and critical thinking. At the end of each week, Open Studio Days will be organised where participants will present acquired skills and knowledge. The project will give both participants and tutors an opportunity to develop professionally and foster their social and communication skills.
Rick Busscher, Netherlands
What happens if we go beyond the binary? Breaking Binary is a participatory project for creating a system beyond the binary. The idea leading the project is to create a working group of local non-binary artists and thinkers to create this new system. A system that will also help organisations to create a more inclusive and fairer workspace. The workshops will challenge the ‘’cultural archives’’ that are present in our behaviour: to create a new working culture where we talk about creating our own norms and don’t ask to be accepted or tolerated in the existing structures.
Teatru Salesjan, Malta
In the build up towards the reopening of Teatru Salesjan, we aim to ensure that employment is available to the diversely abled community. As a community theatre, we want to anticipate the needs of our audiences, and want to ensure that disabled people can have access to and progress in employment. We would like to invest resources, time and skills into paving a way of understanding accessibility through direct exchange with diversely abled young adults. In return, we use the time to offer training for front of house employment at the theatre. We want to involve the community in this research, to address specifically those people we seek to include through nurturing a channel of mutual exchange. This process hopes to instigate the idea that this community theatre is a space for them, a space where their presence and their contribution are valued. In essence, truly a space for all.
Developing culture's role in achieving climate justice
Creative Carbon Scotland, UK
Climate justice takes a people-centred approach to climate change, treating it as a social, political and cultural issue as much as a technical one. People on the front line of climate change are generally those who have contributed least to its causes. We also need to ensure that action on climate change ameliorates rather than reinforces existing injustices. This project explores how climate justice is relevant to the cultural sector, how arts and culture can help us to address climate justice in imaginative ways, and how we can embed climate justice principles across our own operations. This will take place through detailed research and the sharing of learning through new resources and events, as well as the development of closer connections between the cultural sector and people working on climate justice.
Disability art project
Jerry Adesewo (Global Connector), Nigeria
This project will provide capacity building opportunities for people with disabilities (PWD) in the local creative sector, aiming to improve their creative skills in scriptwriting, acting and production management. Through the medium of storytelling, playwriting and moviemaking, the participants will tell their own stories and thereby inspire positive change, not just within their community but in the society at large. As a production outfit and social enterprise, this project will increase local engagement with people with disabilities, seek to assist them to emerge from isolation and, ultimately, gain the confidence to lead changes in their own society. The project will also contribute to advocating for inclusiveness and diversity in the creative sector within the PWDs community.
Emprendo Danza, Spain
The Scenic Resources Fund (in Spanish and from now on FRÉ) goal is to motivate public and private administrations linked to the scenic arts to develop good practices and efficient processes for sharing and managing material resources. This project intends to bring a solution to two problems. On one hand, small theatres struggle to find material resources while on the other hand larger theatres struggle with finding storage spaces. By enabling small theatres to reuse the materials of the larger theatres, FRÉ helps both parties and ensures a more sustainable use of resources. With the support of IETM, Emprendo Danza wants to investigate legislative possibilities to enable this platform.
Freedom lives Here
ACT Association for Independent Theatre, Bulgaria
This project will help to map, connect and promote independent performing art venues and artists. By locating and indicating these locations and players both physically and digitally, ACT Association for Independent Theatre will not only be filling the existing gap between audiences and performing arts venues, but also create a technical database for artists in its country to facilitate collaborations and improve the quality of work and sharing of existing resources.
Intsomi for our future
Nwabisa Plaatjie (Global Connector), South Africa
Derived from the personal and professional experience of Nwabisa as a theatre maker, woman and mother, this project wants to contribute to the fairness, inclusion, and equality dialogue, by telling the stories of her local community.
Intsomi is the oral storytelling form of amaXhosa, often translated as fiction, folktale or fantasy. Intsomi for our future is a collaborative and experimental playwriting project that prioritises storytelling for addressing local and global problems. The writing process will be collaborative and experimental and will explore ten different African storytelling poetics.
Amath Sarr (Global Connector), Senegal
Focusing on the status of the artist, this project is above all a tool for dialogue, information and exchange, meant to empower stakeholders, consolidate achievements and prospect better tomorrows in the arts and culture sector .
The project's urgency is based on the adoption of a new legislation on the status of the artist in 2020 in Senegal. This legislation was a great leap which now needs an empowered community in order to create informed dialogue around the implications and implementations of this law.
Meetup on the beach
Ģertrūdes ielas teātris, Latvia
The first “Meetup” of the Latvian contemporary performing arts community will take place on the coast of the Baltic sea, in the city of Ventspils, on 3-5 June 2022. Initiated by Ģertrūdes ielas teātris and Dirty Deal Teatro, two leading independent production houses in Riga, it will be a place for encounters, dialogues, and articulation of the needs and perspectives of the precariat of the performing arts. The meetup is aimed at raising awareness, comradery, and links between community members as the first step towards a more active and self-confident performing arts sector. Many crucial topics will be discussed; from the social status of freelance performing artists, the working conditions and fairness, freedom of artistic diversity, social inclusion and the role of the artist in nowadays society.
Notes from the Underground
Volcano Theatre Company, UK
This project is about giving young people the power to create theatre that answers their needs and talks about things that matter to them. The Volcano Theatre Company will amplify the diverse voices of young people in their community by recruiting and supporting a panel of young people from refugee and ethnic minority groups, the LGBTQ+ community and young people with disabilities. This panel will have a role in steering Volcano Theatre Company´s youth theatre. The project will engage young people through open events including theatre tours and workshops, offering opportunities to participate in different areas, from performance and direction to design and construction, with accessible 'tasters' and opportunities to discuss, plan and lead new events. The panel will collaboratively develop its own manifesto, which Volcano will disseminate, endorse, and incorporate into its youth work.
Visões Úteis is affectionately, geographically and politically engaged with Campanhã, the eastern, most peripheral and impoverished area of Porto, and wishes to play a determinant role as bridge-maker in its local community. This project aims to implement strategies for fair, equal and inclusive transition, towards effective access to artistic education opportunities. Most local students cannot afford theatre classes to prepare for enrollment in further specialized training. Students, families and teachers seldom consider a career in the arts as a possibility. Visões Úteis will offer four workshops involving local artists, teachers and students, in the hope to inspire students to take a chance in this profession while empowering teachers to appreciate the value of artistic professionalisation.
Persami Paradance: Gender Equality Bootcamp For Young Artist
Agustin Pandhuniawati Heryani (Global Connector), Indonesia
Persami, Perkemahan Sabtu-Minggu (Saturday-Sunday Camp), is the Paradance Platform’s annual intensive training for young artists. This year it will accommodate diverse young artists for a bootcamp on the theme of gender equality. The process will be based on a collective reflection related to relevant events in the local performing art community. The aim is to understand how to work together towards equality in the sector. The program will raise awareness within its local arts community and contribute to building a safer workspace, positively impacting the careers and artistic development of this community. Moreover, the project hopes to organically influence the artistic creations of young artists to sensibilise their audience on the topics of gender equality.
Radio LEIB - Community Radio Workshop
Radio LEIB is a community radio station co- managed with citizens from the inner and cultural peripheries of Naples, Italy. In the frame of Altofest, a contemporary live performance festival, a permanent community has been growing since 2011 which gathers residents that recognize themselves as “People of Altofest”, thanks to the notion of “poethic citizenship”.
For the last 5 years, Altofest has been equipped with a digital radio designed to follow all the Altofest events running in the houses of residents.
Now, it’s time to take a step forward and involve citizens in the Radio Leib editorial staff so that the “People of Altofest” can be ready to run their own radio program for the next festival edition.
Roma Heroes - Workshop on European Roma Theater
Independent Theater Hungary, Hungary
With the initiative Digital Collection of European Roma Theater and Drama, the Independent Theater Hungary wishes to bring the attention of cultural experts and theatre professionals to the values of European Roma theatres and the importance of their inclusion in mainstream European culture. They aim to highlight the importance of non-stereotypical presentation of Roma communities and ways of implementing such artistic representations. In this frame, the workshop Roma Heroes - Workshop on European Roma Theater will invite 16 cultural experts, journalists and mainstream theatre artists to discuss the themes connecting the Digital Collection and the history, present and future of the Roma theatres in Europe.
Trans-Atlantic Walks in the Queer Woods
Paul Bargetto, Poland
This project will invite artists and activists from the United States and Poland to meet for a series of urban performative walking tours presented online on the digital platform Eldorado Teatr for invited audiences and special screenings during Pride month in June 2022 in Warsaw. By encouraging intergenerational dialogue, the project aims to link elder queer activists and artists in the USA with their younger counterparts in Poland, to offer meaningful insights, lessons, and moral support, while sharing methods and experiences of both artistic practice and successful activism. The production of the videos of these walks will serve as an important resource to the LGBTQ community while also highlighting the history and contemporary struggle for LGBTQ rights in Poland to an international audience.
Small Arts in Urban Spaces
This project will be a one-day discursive and artistic event for the advocacy of the urban performing genres, such as new burlesque, cabaret and queer contemporary performance in Slovenia. Its goal is to pull those genres out from the margins to make use of their socially relevant potential and find them an adequate space in the city of Ljubljana. The main focus of this event is thereby the contextualization of these practices and their protagonists in Slovenia, scanning the mechanisms for their affirmation and professionalisation and analysing the potentiality of social questions they expose.
StrangeSpaces is an itinerary festival for Transcultural performing art realities where the role of artists in the local community is reflected as a vehicle for change. Individual artistic expression becomes a way to spread a wider message, underlining the need for a more inclusive and fairer society, within communities whose native language is not the national one. StangeSpaces will result in a touring festival emphasising the role of cross-cultural encounters and underlining the possible alternatives for sustainable and democratic international performing art. Local artists will perform in their native language celebrating the encounter with the “other” and with different identities within their communities and countries.
SWITCH ON ! Local focus group for INCLUSIVITY – EQUALITY – FAIRNESS in the performing arts
Isabel Andreen, France
This project will gather art workers from the performing arts who are active in the region of Brittany, France. It aims to create collective exchanges contributing to the shift of paradigm that the current state of our society and planet requires. By exploring the semantics related to Fairness, Inclusivity and Equality, the project will experiment possible working processes linking these values with artistic visions in action. Acting on the individual and collective level, SWITCH ON! has the ambition to empower its participants and create conditions for transition to be heard and articulated in dialogue with the actors of the performing arts ecosystem.
Thessaloniki Creative City - How do we come together again?
Anazitites Theatrou, Greece
With this project FIX in Art wants to host a series of 3 monthly networking events in their creative hub in Thessaloniki, Greece, to re-connect the citizens and the local performing arts scene after the pandemic and to foster peer-to-peer learning. Under the topic '' Thessaloniki Creative City - How do we come together again?”; they want to envision the re-start of Thessaloniki. The events will gather new and established networks of the region, such as ''Thessaloniki Alliance for culture'', ''Culture 4 change'', ''START-create cultural change'', as well as civic organisations, local creative hubs and the civic society of Thessaloniki. At the events the stakeholders will have the opportunity to re-introduce themselves and be part of an interactive workshop to co-design the future of Thessaloniki after the pandemic.
This project's goal is to make a collection of anonymous interviews, confessions and/or stories of women from various professional, social and economic backgrounds, on gender inequality at workspaces in Serbia. The collection will be turned into a multimedia exhibition. Using sound, images and light, Kulturanova wants to create a simulation of the participating individuals' inner world so that the audience can have a unique insight into their lives without necessarily having lived through these experiences. The aim of the project is to invoke compassion, understanding and raise awareness amongst the community but at the same time to create a safe space for sharing, healing and empowering for the women sharing their stories.
Time for change - not one generation more
ARTPOLIS - Art and Community Center, Kosovo
The #MeToo movement is currently having its momentum in the Balkan region, with many women raising their voices and speaking out publicly as victims of sexual harassment and abuse. Based on the recommendations of the SHIFT project´s research MeToo in the Arts: From call-outs to structural change - led by IETM, Artpolis will innovate its current practices and share them with their communities by improving the capacity of their staff, members, collaborators, artists and activists by sharing good practices, resources, stories of change, advocacy campaigns. Artpolis will initiate a collective action to raise their voice against oppression/patriarchy, gender inequality, abuse and harassment in Kosovo under the banner Time for change - not one generation more.
Who decides? Developing an audience-based curating structure in Hungary
Flying Bodies, Hungary
With this project Flying Bodies wants to create a curating structure to inspire fairer, transparent, democratic and community-based curatorial practices for any organisations who are interested in improving their processes in Hungary. The urgencies behind this project are: the diffused personal and/or political attachments of decision makers to certain artistic visions, the disappointment in current curating practise of government related institutions which are sadly leaning towards a narrow field of acceptable artistic visions, and the outdated decision-making progresses in the art field in Hungary in relation to with programming, fundings, awards, scholarships.
Flying Bodies, as contemporary dancers, makers and art managers, have personally met with these problems too many times and wish to foster a concrete change.
Women From Real World
Hangama Obaidullah (Global Connector), Australia
Using her experience and skills acquired in Australia, Hangama will build an empowerment programme for women from different cultural backgrounds, using visual arts practices. Despite their versatile talents and skills, many women from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse - CALD communities, are not aware of their rights. This affects their ability to improve their lives socially, academically and independently. This project wants to open doors for migrants and refugee women, to open their eyes to the fact that they are an important part of society. This project will give voice to women from CALD communities: it will inspire them through other women's achievements to recognise their value and bring positive change to their lives.