The European project Europe Grand Central, gathering cultural operators all across Europe in projects that explore borders through inclusive storytelling, and Bordr methods, wrapped up an almost week long conference in Vienna, Austria in early May. The project conference, on the sidelines of project partner Trans Europa Halles bi-annual meeting at the WUK Art Centre “It´s About Politics”, gathered 16 representatives from partners in Sweden, Germany, Poland, Greece, Italy, France, and the US.
The 24 month EU co-funded Europe Grand Central project aims at building a mutual database of inclusion methods – the project has become extremely current in light of the ongoing refugee and EU debates. Currently projects are up and running at theatres, cultural centres, photo centres, and street art venues all across Europe. A residency program inviting border exploring artists from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe has just selected it´s participating artists, soon to be published.
After a first year of project coordination, and base-building, the project now enters a more outward looking phase, our co-designed project and story database (based on the metaphor of a mutual rail-network) will open up during the summer, and be open for outside projects and stories from the fall onwards, on February 18, 2017, there will be a formal launch, and statement of inclusion during a simultaneous mutual European event.
During the project conference, held twice a year, discussions were held on the legacy and continuation of the project, research connections, design issues, and a lot of coordination between ongoing projects.
The meeting ended with a workshop with the Europe Grand Central partners presenting and testing projects and concepts to some 30 participants, all cultural professionals, from the Trans Europe Halles network. We also tried mutual workshop tools and described core theoretical underpinnings of the project, going back to the behavioral economics, social psychology, and game theory links to the concept of “borders as connections”.
The next Europe Grand Central coordination meeting will be held in Verona, Italy, in late October.
Documentation of the mutual workshop is here: