A European network operated by:
KASERNE BASEL (CH)
TEATR LAZNIA NOWA, NOWA HUTA (Cracow) (PL)
“The City is a state of mind” (Robert Parks)
Seven theatres and festivals from five European countries have joined forces as a network to produce and perform site-specific theatre projects in urban spaces.
Theatre-makers and artists have long since left theatres to perform in the city – with it addressing the topic of urban space. This has also played a major role in changing the attitudes and behaviour of protagonists both on and off stage. Genre barriers have been broken down and directors, choreographers and architects have created works within the performing arts; instead of actors playing the roles, the performers on stage were often experts who gave an insight into their lives and biographies. This spatial and personal move was also a move to address a new type of audience that felt unwelcome or uncomfortable in traditional cultural venues. It displayed the potential of contemporary performing arts to form new alliances and communication channels between artists, audiences, academics and many others, thus allowing them to become participants in an artistic process of exchange and understanding in and about urban space.
This development was also the result of the increasing urbanisation of our societies, which occurs in different ways and to different extents in various regions and countries. Some cities grow in a planned or uncontrolled manner, while others, so-called shrinking cities, suffer from the demise of key industries that were once the backbone of the local area. In any case, it is in the cities where the central conflicts of our time are becoming the most apparent. Life within cities is determined by the impact of globalisation and migration, demographic change, the increasing privatisation of public space, xenophobia and racism, the widening gap between rich and poor, high youth unemployment and indeed cultural heritage and the consequences of society immersed in media.