Exoduses group, “L’Eredità di Babele” (The Legacy of Babel, Teatro dell’Argine) (Photo © TLucio Summa)

Everybody wants a refugee on stage: new IETM publication

This new IETM publication revisits the topics of 'Creation and displacement' mapping, which was written throughout 2015 to showcase the multitude of artistic projects taking place in Europe and internationally with a focus on support, solidarity and engagement with refugees, asylum-seekers and those who are recently displaced.

In 2015, through open calls and direct contacts within and beyond our membership, we pulled together information about over 140 projects and initiatives, that fed into the mapping ‘Creation and displacement. Developing new narratives about migration’ and its hefty Annex. The original ‘Creation and Displacement’ mapping was written by Yasmin Fedda, Tory Davidson and Daniel Gorman, and published in March 2016.

Since then, there have been many changes – on a political, social and economic level. In this changed context, we commissioned Daniel Gorman, executive director of Shubbak: A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture and Rana Yazigi, freelance arts consultant, to update the report for 2019, with a specific focus on questions of longevity, evaluation and impact, with the aim on providing some useful starting points for organisations looking to engage with individuals in times of displacement.

This update goes back to some of the projects considered as good examples of initiatives engaging creatively with displacement. The authors aim to look critically at the way such initiatives developed and sustained themselves, and at the impacts on the participants and on the artists and creators, without shying away from challenges and failures. Above all, the publication aims to give a voice to the people who were involved directly in the organisation and management of the projects, who have dedicated years of their personal and professional life to use the power of the arts and culture to build bridges between newcomers and locals, often in a hostile political environment.