About the project
DECONFINING is a four-year EU-funded project bringing together cultural practitioners, artists, policy makers, and audiences from two continents – Europe and Africa. Dedicated to contributing to a better understanding of (social, political and economic) confinement patterns from different viewpoints, the project aims to explore and develop new ways of intercontinental artistic and cultural (policy) cooperation and provide better access and information for intercontinental mobility and co-creation.
Building on the close collaboration and exchange between European and African Capitals of Culture, from Lusaka in Zambia to Bodø in northern Norway, DECONFINING seeks what we share; what connects, defines, and divides us; and enables an exchange beyond the paternalistic colonialist scheme of confinement in favor of a strong participatory approach.
Over 250 artists, 2,500 cultural organization representatives and 400 cultural stakeholders across two continents, and more than 30 countries are working together to develop an inclusive, sustainable, and participatory framework of cooperation between Europe and Africa (to be later extended to other regions of the world).
Official project website: „DECONFINING“
- ART TRANSPARENT (Wrocław, Poland)
Founded in 2005, ART TRANSPARENT Contemporary Art Foundation is dedicated to pursuing its objectives in the field of contemporary art and social issues through local and national projects, as well as its own initiatives to strengthen the artistic and intellectual environment on current social and artistic issues. Its activities focus primarily on ongoing engagement in the raising of awareness of public space, its purpose, and its uses. In addition, it aims to contribute to the extensive promotion of contemporary art and to instill in the audience an attitude of openness and greater thoughtfulness. At the same time, it aims to encourage artists’ willingness to confront the viewer, as well as the need for dialogue and engagement in cultural and educational activities. It particularly emphasizes the role of contemporary art in the process of social development and is therefore involved in social, educational, and anti-discriminatory initiatives, as well as those seeking to confront the problem of memory and trauma of a difficult past. Furthermore, the Foundation is involved in publishing and educational activities, particularly those related to issues of social exclusion, otherness, and anti-discrimination.
More about the partner: ART TRANSPARENT
- ARTS AND THEATRE INSTITUTE (Prague, Czech Republic)
The Arts and Theatre Institute (ATI) is a state-funded organization established in 1959 by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. Its mission is to provide Czech and international audiences with comprehensive services in the field of theatre and, to some extent, other areas of the arts. The Institute operates as an open information, scholarship, advisory, educational, and publishing center, and also manages and participates in international projects, is engaged in research and documentation work, and collecting activities and exhibition organizations. ATI promotes a strategic approach to culture and supports and connects cultural professionals and artists across different disciplines on both the national and international scene.
More about the partner: ARTS AND THEATRE INSTITUTE
- BAD ISCHL-SALZKAMMERGUT 2024 (Bad Ischl, Austria)
In 2019, the city of Bad Ischl and 22 other municipalities won the title of ‘European Capital of Culture 2024’ in Austria. This was the first time that this title has been awarded and implemented in a rural region of the Austrian Alps. With its four strands of ‘Power and Tradition’, ‘Culture in Motion’, ‘Sharing Salzkammergut – the Art of Traveling’, and ‘Globalocal – Building the New’, the programme connects the region with the world and addresses questions of mutual relevance to both.
More about the partner: BAD ISCHL-SALZKAMMERGUT 2024
- BODØ 2024 (Bodø, Norway)
Bodø in the North of Norway is the first European Capital of Culture above the Arctic Circle. In 2024, Bodø and the region of Nordland will reconnect with Europe and the world beyond. The regional capital of Bodø is home to 50,000 people living an urban Arctic life on the outskirts of Europe, but at the very centre of the resourceful and contrasting North. ARCTICulation is the title of Bodø’s bid: ‘It’s time to articulate the pulse of the Arctic’. The word ARCTICulation contains many aspects important to Bodø. Arctic and Articulation, of course; but also Communication, Art, Cultivation, Community, and even ‘Artig’, a North Norwegian word for fun. Bodø’s programme will celebrate and reflect the qualities of the Arctic; its unique relationship with land, sea, and nature; its unknown and exciting history; and invention, resilience, and imagination. By delivering a challenging and innovative cultural programme, Bodø wants to share some of the Arctic’s values with its audiences. Bodø is ready to transition from Arctic to ARCTICulation. From cold to cool, keeping the doors to their region – and hearts – wide open.
More about the partner: BODØ 2024
- CULTURE FUNDING WATCH (Enfidha, Tunisia)
Culture Funding Watch (CFW) is the leading cultural and creative industries funding intelligence platform for creative actors in the Global South. It aims to support arts and cultural practitioners and professionals in accessing resources and works towards sustainable, transparent, and smart financing for the creative and cultural industries. By facilitating access to information, data, and resources, as well as building capacity, supporting creative access resources, and convening research and advocating on financing for the cultural and creative industries, CFW plays a mediating role promoting and connecting artists, policy makers, cultural managers, and entrepreneurs with the resources needed to grow at the regional, national, and international level. CFW puts the professionalization of resource mobilization (RM) for CCIs, access to information and advocacy at the heart of its local and regional strategy.
More about the partner: CULTURE FUNDING WATCH
- GOETHE’S INSTITUT MADRID (Madrid, Spain)
The Goethe-Institut Madrid has been working in the Spanish capital and many regions since 1957. It offers professional language courses and support to the education system. It supports the translation of German-speaking authors into Spanish. Intercultural cooperation is at the heart of the Goethe-Institut Madrid’s activities, based on collaboration with local partners as well as communities on the cultural and geographical peripheries of the city. Through intercultural dialogue, cooperation and co-creation based on inclusion and participation, Goethe-Institut Madrid aims to have a social impact by following the values of freedom, equality, and access to culture.
More about the partner: GOETHE’S INSTITUT MADRID
- THE INSTITUTE FOR TRANSMEDIA DESIGN (Murska Sobota, Slovenia)
The Institute for Transmedia Design (ITD) is an impact organization focused on story and technology driven innovation. It is committed to producing responsible and meaningful work that challenges the status quo; strives for greater equality, diversity, and inclusion; and rethinks the dynamics between producers and audiences. At the heart of its work is the importance of telling compelling stories and ensuring that all co-creators are actively involved in the process. Since its foundation in 2013, the Institute has been actively involved in the co-creation and implementation of many ambitious, bold, and uniquely inspiring international projects, and its work has been selected for major industry events, including Vienna Design Week, the Biennale of Design in Ljubljana, the Cartoon Forum, the IDFA Forum, the Berlinale. In 2019, the Institute was awarded the prestigious SozialMarie Prize for its participatory teaching method Twisted Tales, honoring projects providing innovative answers to urgent societal challenges. In 2022, it received a special recognition from the Croatian Design Association for two of its projects dealing with new perspectives on our future.
More about the partner: THE INSTITUTE FOR TRANSMEDIA DESIGN
- INTERNATIONAL THEATRE INSTITUTE (ITI) – GERMAN CENTRE (Berlin, Germany)
The Federal Republic of Germany Centre of the International Theatre Institute e.V. is a section of the International Theatre Institute, made up of personal and corporate members, and as a non-profit association receives public funding for its projects in Germany. The office is located in Berlin.
As an interest group and information centre for the performing arts, the ITI Germany is committed to free development and the preservation of the diversity of forms of expression, promoting international cooperation between artists and advocates for their rights in national and international initiatives, associations, and committees. In its work, ITI Germany initiates and accompanies the dialogue between scholarly research and practice in the performing arts. ITI’s information portals, publications, and the media library provide public access to this knowledge.
More about the partner: INTERNATIONAL THEATRE INSTITUTE (ITI) – GERMAN CENTRE
- THE IVAN ZAJC CROATIAN NATIONAL THEATRE (Rijeka, Croatia)
The Ivan Zajc Croatian National Theatre (CNT) was founded in 1956 as a community theatre, becoming a national theatre in 1991. It comprises ballet, opera (symphony orchestra, choir, and soloists), Croatian drama, and Italian minority drama, as well as a youth ensemble, employing 320 people. CNT cooperates with European theatres, arts organizations and artists, performs at international theatre festivals, and records operas for international publishers. It is also a platform for artists from all over the world, including choreographers, directors, singers, dancers, actors, etc. In 2019, CNT ensembles performed more than 230 different shows and 22 premieres, welcoming more than 90,000 visitors. For the last four years, CNT has organized the Summer Classics Festival in the amphitheater in Pula, Croatia. CNT was the main partner of Rijeka, European Capital of Culture 2020, in the ‘Port of Diversity’ programme line.
More about the partner: THE IVAN ZAJC CROATIAN NATIONAL THEATRE
- NATIONAL KAUNAS DRAMA THEATRE (Kaunas, Lithuania)
National Kaunas Drama Theatre is the oldest professional theatre in Lithuania, founded in 1920. The theatre’s ensemble consists of 50 actors and many guest performers, and the repertoire includes about 40 performances of various genres ranging from classical works to contemporary dramaturgy for different age groups – from children to older audiences.
At present, there are five different stages in the theatre. Each season, it hosts around 350 events and more than 60 000 visitors. The theatre audience enjoys six (6) to seven (7) openings per season, as well as an international educational festival for young people called ‘Dive Into the Theatre’, and several international projects too. The theatre’s strategic focus is on international networking, co-producing shows with foreign partners and presenting them on international stages. In cooperation with universities, some of the theatre’s performances are subtitled in English, German, and Ukrainian and some are even adapted for the visually and hearing impaired.
More about the partner: NATIONAL KAUNAS DRAMA THEATRE
- ON THE MOVE (Bruxelles, Belgium)
On the Move is an international information network dedicated to artistic and cultural mobility, gathering 67 members from 26 countries. Since 2002, On the Move has been providing regular, up-to-date, free information on mobility opportunities and conditions and funding, as well as advocating for the value of cross-border cultural mobility. Co-funded by the European Union and the French Ministry of Culture, On the Move runs an ambitious multiannual programme that includes a Yearly Cultural Mobility Forum, numerous working group meetings, webinars in collaboration with members and partners, as well as related research documents, guides, and policy reports.
More about the partner: ON THE MOVE
- PRO PROGRESSIONE (Budapest, Hungary)
Pro Progressione is a Budapest-based artistic hub that connects people, professions, and ambitions by designing international collaborations in the field of culture. From this combination, creative ideas emerge – artists, cultural activists, scientists, and experts from various fields come together and give cutting-edge answers for the questions of our time. Built upon four main pillars – PP Social, PP Cult, PP Arts and PP Sound – Pro Progressione has been implementing EU-funded international projects (Creative Europe, Erasmus+, Interreg) for more than 10 years with outstanding achievements in creative and multidisciplinary creation. Its overall objective is to create an international network of artists, institutions, and audiences by helping communities find their path towards the arts.
Pro Progressione is highly engaged and active in a wide range of cultural associations and programmes: Culture Action Europe, IETM, MitOst, Voices of Culture, the Association of Independent Performing Arts in Hungary, and the PM² Alliance. In 2021, it was selected as an official partner of the European Commission’s New European Bauhaus Initiative, committed to help bring the European Green Deal closer to the people, as well as help re-imagine sustainable living in Europe and beyond.
More about the partner: PRO PROGRESSIONE
National Kaunas Drama Theatre partners in Africa:
LES RÉCRÉÂTRALES (Uagadugu, Burkina Faso)
Initiated in 2002, the Récréâtrales process is a pan-African space for theatrical writing, creation, research and dissemination.
It is divided into three stages (research-training, creation-production and dissemination), and takes place every two years, from February to November, in Burkina Faso, in the city of Ouagadougou. It brings together more than 150 artists, authors, directors, scenographers and actors, around artistic residencies organized in Gounghin, within the family courtyards of Bougsemtenga, a popular district of historical importance. Rue 9.32, host of the Récréâtrales, hosts for the occasion an urban scenography 610 meters long.
Its objectives are to multiply, consolidate, professionalize and diversify the creative approaches of the contemporary African theater scene while promoting the economic and social development of the neighborhood where the project is located.
The festival promotes open dialogue within the community and enables citizen engagement, recognition and empowerment. Les Récréâtrales generate short and long term benefits for both the neighborhood and the city. They allow the increase of the tourist frequentation rate, the increase of the profits of the local entrepreneurs and the development of technical skills such as welding, sewing and carpentry among the young people of the district. The Récréâtrales also give families living in Bougsemtenga all the responsibilities related to reception, ticketing and security during the Festival Platform.
In addition, the Récréâtrales offer opportunities to artists, artistic residencies allowing professionalization in all theater disciplines. The festival is an important networking opportunity for artists, programmers, as well as administrators, and is a highly anticipated showcase for new African talent.
More about the partner: LES RÉCRÉÂTRALES
RAW Material Company
RAW MATERIAL COMPANY (Dakar, Senegal)
RAW Material Company is a centre for art, knowledge and society. It focuses on curatorial practice, art education, residencies, knowledge production and archiving of art theory and criticism. It works to foster appreciation and growth of artistic and intellectual creativity in Africa. The programme is transdisciplinary and is equally informed by literature, film, architecture, politics, fashion, cuisine and diaspora.
RAW Material Company’s premises are located in Sicap Baobabs and Zone B. RAW Material Company Zone B is a former 1950s residential home of Modernist inspiration in a historic neighbourhood of Dakar. The renovation of this space was a departure point from which they developed research and projects on the role of architecture and urban planning in shaping contemporary societal discourse in African cities.
RAW Material Company is built around :
- RAW Base, the library is a rich collection of books, films, newspapers and other resources specialized in contemporary art with a focus on practices, ideas and works coming from the African continent. At RAW Material Company we consider that the disciplines and fields of inquiry and creation that are related to our existence are expansive, and include not only art but architecture, fashion, literature, critical theory and political science, to name just a few. Taking as a point of departure the idea that preservation is the main goal of any library or archival space, we ask ourselves how useful the ideas preserved are if they are never unearthed, juxtaposed, inverted, replaced or disturbed. RAW Base provides a relatively unique opportunity in Dakar for members of the public to not only have access to its resources, but to see them frequently activated through book clubs, public programming, exhibitions and installations.
- RAW Académie an experimental residential program for the research and study of artistic and curatorial practice and thought. The Académie is tuition free and fellows are ideally recent graduates from art schools, curatorial programs and various fields of the humanities. The aim of the program tries to catch future artists, critics, writers and art historians at this tender moment and to give them a space to interact with new ideas, points of view and to propel them into action together. The Académie is therefore intended to be a moment of deep enquiry and reflection for all involved, from the selected fellows to the invited and lead faculty and of course, for RAW itself.
- RAW’s Residency program, which is one of the components of our programming that provides a solid understanding of how we do things, while also sharing new knowledge with team members and collaborators. Residencies are often springboards for deep and ongoing resident engagement, and thus provide a privileged space for research and forging connections across geographies, languages and practices. Currently, the RAW residency consists of several programs: open call residencies; local artist residencies; the RAW Académie; and guest practitioner residencies, which are all intertwined.
More about the Partner: RAW MATERIAL COMPANY
During the Project:
Creative Residency of Authors
The project participants, young writers Kibsa Anthony Ouedraogo, Laura Sheilla Inangoma, Greta Ambrazaitė-Norkūnė and Teodora Marija Grigaitė, have been maturing their texts on pandemic and post-pandemic experiences in their countries for three months through discussions, mind maps, lectures and workshops, and at the same time about the external and internal constraints of the contemporary world and the utopias of liberation, searching for common images, keywords and narratives, for the shared dreams of their generation that would stretch across the continents of Europe and Africa.
Laura Sheilla Inangoma is a Kirundi, Swahili, and French playwright from Burundi whose plays have been produced in theatres and festivals in various African countries. She presented her work at the Avignon Festival in 2022, and her work seeks to make connections between her ancestral cultural heritage and global contemporary processes and experiences.
Kibsa Anthony Ouedraogo is a Burkina Faso-based writer, screenwriter, actor, and mime artist from Ouagadougou who writes in Mori and French and is active in African and European theatre events and projects (including the well-known pan-African festival Récréatrales). His political works deal with contemporary life and society.
Teodora Marija Grigaitė is a Ph.D. student at the Lithuanian Institute for Cultural Research, a philosopher, translator, publisher, and educator. At ‘Phi Knygos’, she worked on texts ranging from ancient philosophy to Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. She also writes philosophical books for children. Her international publication on the role of laughter and humor in the feminist movement is forthcoming.
Greta Ambrazaitė-Norkūnė is a Lithuanian poet, musician, and translator from Spanish who has recently published her second book of poems. She publishes her work in the country’s most important cultural publications and actively participates in literary events. Her work combines anthropological and feminist themes.
Jaunųjų Europos ir Afrikos rašytojų parašyti tekstai:
Laura Sheilla Inangoma “Priderinti judesiai”:
Kibsa Anthony Ouedraogo:
Teodora Marija Grigaitė:
In March 2024, at the National Kaunas Drama Theatre (Lithuania) a play will come to life on a stage as a part of the international Creative Europe project “Deconfining: Deconfining Arts, Culture and Policies in Europe and Africa” which unites European and African theatre and visual culture artists.
The playwright of this piece is Aristide Tarnagda from Burkina Faso, who writes in French.
Aristide Tarnagda is a widely recognized African theatre artist, playwright, and director, the leader of the “Les Récréatrales” festival. He worked in Europe on several occasions: in 2013, he was invited to the Avignon festival with his play “Et si je les tuais tous, madame?”; in 2017, his literary work “Sank ou la patience des morts” was featured in Avignon; in 2019, at Vitry-sur-Seine theatre “Théâtre Jean Vilar”, one of his plays was premiered, and more. In a project in which NKDT and more than ten European and African theatres are participating, Aristide Tarnagda is writing a play, under which a mixed Lithuanian, NKDT, and “Les Recreatrales” (Burkina Faso) festival theatre artists group will stage a play together with Lithuanian producer Naubertas Jasinskas.
While waiting for the premiere, on November 14th, a remote creative workshop was held in French with ARISTIDE TARNAGDA.
During it, the playwright invited participants to get rid of the usual structure of dramaturgy and approach the drama from a personalized perspective.
We invite you to listen:
Project co-funded by: