Engage!

It is in the nature of contemporary arts to be curious, sharp-eyed and thus engaged with struggle.   

We spotlight the arts projects that question everything what is taken for granted. In focus are practices that deal with politics, war, environment, migration, gender, economic crises and other pressing issues of today's reality.  

In addition, we draw attention to cases of blatant injustice and stimulate reflection on artists' freedom of expression.

The inclusion of migrants and refugees: the role of cultural organisations
Elena DI FEDERICO
Where to start? What do we need to know? What to do and how? These are frequently asked questions among cultural professionals interested in contributing to the inclusion of migrants and refugees in our societies. It is necessary to have access to the knowledge and tools that will allow us to reflect on the situation we are currently facing and to develop programmes and actions that can address the concerns and needs of the society, including those of the newcomers. With this publication, Portugues organisation Acesso Cultura aims to help meeting some of these needs.
It Starts With A Conversation - a guide for artists and producers
Asa RICHARDSDOTTIR
ICE HOT Nordic Dance Platform Partners are proud to announce the on-line publication of a guide written jointly by creative producers Ása Richardsdóttir and Lene Bang Henningsen.
Lampedusa Mirrors. Image from Teatro dell'Argine website
Elena DI FEDERICO
An island: Lampedusa. Lampedusa the symbol, Lampedusa the mirage, Lampedusa the nightmare. Lampedusa mirrors dreams and frustrations, hopes and stereotypes of two lands, Tunisia and Italy, united and divided by the Mediterranean Sea, with the small island of Sicily in the very middle... Un’isola: Lampedusa. Lampedusa il simbolo, Lampedusa il miraggio, Lampedusa l’incubo. Lampedusa come specchio dei sogni e delle frustrazioni, delle speranze e degli stereotipi di due terre, la Tunisia e l’Italia, unite e divise dal Mediterraneo, con la piccola isola della Sicilia al loro centro...
Image from Lampedusa Mirrors, from Matarasso's blog "A restless art"
Elena DI FEDERICO
Like all citizens and their organisations, artists are part of civil society. They have a distinctive role within it when their work gives voice and visibility to people who are marginalised or not easily heard. In all societies some groups and interests dominate, thanks to their position, strength or control of resources. For everyone else, culture may be the only legitimate (or safe) form of expression.
Elena DI FEDERICO
Thanks to the support of the Arts Council, in 2016 #WakingTheFeminists commissioned groundbreaking research into the gender balance in ten of the top publicly funded theatre organisations over a ten-year period from 2006-2015, as a way to create a baseline from which these changes can be measured. This report is the piece of the puzzle that was missing, the research that never existed. And you will find that it is stark.
Rita TOMAS
The object of this study is a qualitative evaluation of the way people perceive and value the programming of Maria Matos and its political positioning.
Counter-Commencement Debtor’s Ceremony at the Whitney Museum.
Elenq
Capitalist crisis does not begin within art, but art can reflect and amplify its effects, to positive and negative ends. Gregory Sholette, author of the new book Delirium and Resistance: Activist Art and the Crisis of Capitalism, examines the disjunct between declarations of art’s virtue and high moralism, with the political economy of the cultural sector, whilst outlining his term ‘Bare Art’: a denuding of art’s entanglement with capitalism.
Students protesting the dismissal of their professors with presidential decrees in Ankara University.  Photo: haber.sol.org.tr
Elena DI FEDERICO
The level of suppression against art in Turkey can only be grasped by going deep into details and history. Sacking of 4,464 public servants including 330 academics sounds alarming, but knowing it also meant the practical closing down of the most important theatre institution of the country is shocking. The arson of a theatre and a cultural centre is scary, but knowing its symbolic significance reminding of the mass murder of intellectuals and artists in 1993 is infuriating.
Daniel Gorman
Art can ask difficult questions and help people engage with complex topics. With conflict and political divisions spreading across the globe, it’s vital arts producers find new ways to bring people together.
Paul FINEGAN
On Saturday 5 of BFT's staff in Belarus were arrested as part of a major clampdown on peaceful human rights protests in Minsk. Our actors and playwrights had been taking part peacefully in the Freedom Day protests calling for the resignation of dictator Alexander Lukashenko

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