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Over the past few years Europe has become increasingly polarized, witnessing the spread of extreme right-wing and nationalist parties in an increasing number of countries.  Anti-democratic currents are being stirred up, giving rise to a political climate that encourages violence, open racism and fear.

We wish to investigate the effects, if any, this new situation is having on the performing arts for children and youth. Has performing arts for young people embraced these issues? Are they mirrored in our repertoires? Do our performances raise questions or encourage resistance? What do we see outside of Sweden?

Encouraging collaboration between companies and institutions in Sweden and in other European countries we hope to exchange knowledge, competence and experience, strengthen the artistic work and encourage performing arts for young people to counteract racism. Through public lectures, discussions, workshops, performances and festivals we wish to promote an exchange of ideas and inspiration around issues of racism and the role of the performing arts.

We are looking for new ways for theatre, dance, and circus for young audiences to connect with an important political and social issue. We wish to develop cooperation between Swedish production units and those of other European countries to lift the question of racism and to discuss directly and openly the political and artistic repercussions of the current situation with producers and artists involved with work for young people.

On the whole, the project will work for artistic development in the field of performing arts for children and youth, inspire a new socially engaged artistry, and increase competence and knowledge among practitioners in Sweden and Europe in regards to an important issue: racism and how the structures of racism can be identified and described in social discourse.

The project targets two groups:

  • – Adult professionals: performing arts practitioners who participate in seminars, workshops and performances.
  • – The general public: children, youth and adults as audiences in performances and public seminars and lectures.

The project is unique in its attempt to compare and to encourage collaboration between Swedish European performing arts institutions concerning an issue of growing importance in many countries. Through the activities proposed here, seminars, workshops, meetings and festivals, we can make an inventory of methodology and practice and gain insight into the level of engagement in Sweden and other countries, and then present the result for colleagues and the general public.

Project runs from October 2015 to October 2016.

If you want to participate

– please, let us know!

Contact and information: Niclas Malmcrona –

This project has received support from the Cultural Foundation of the Swedish Postcode Lottery.

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