2nd Event: London, 16-17 March 2019
The 2nd transnational meeting and event of the Open European Societies project, organised by the European Reminiscence Network and the University of Greenwich, took place on the 16th and the 17th of March and gave the attendants the opportunity to reflect on and discuss Migration. The inspiring workshop of Dr. Rita Júlia Sebestyén based on storytelling and theatre methods encouraged the representatives of the partner organisations from the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, North Macedonia and the United Kingdom to share their experiences and perform their stories and ideas in teams.
On March 16th at 16:00, the Forum Theatre performance “Me? I just put British!” by ‘From the margins to centre stage’ women’s group directed by E. Kaptani, gave an insight into Black women’s experiences of belonging and home making. After contributing to the British society for many years, like their families before them, their postcolonial links and rights to citizenship have been offensively disregarded. They are categorized as migrants and pushed to the margins of this society. The afternoon event was closed by the presentation of the director Luca Silvestrini from protein dance about a highly regarded dance piece, “Border Tales” showing video excerpts and giving an explanation of the team’s approach, involving dancers who themselves have migrated.
In the evening, Joseph Toonga and his team JusT (Just Us) Dance Theatre Company presented a dance performance on the theme of migration. This presentation of solo and group work gave a very contemporary interpretation of the experience of young migrants and their involvement in creative exploration of lived experience through hip-hop and other evolving dance forms. The public event of the Open European Societies project was officially closed by Q&A where David Paul Lashley Hockham and the audience asked questions to the performers regarding their work connected to their personal experiences of migration.
On Sunday March 17th, the Open European Societies partners met to discuss the progress of their work, starting first of all with a short introduction of two new partners that have recently joined the project: La Transplanisphère from Paris and Aarhus Universitet. The meeting moderated by Myrto-Helena Pertsinidi from Jugend- & Kulturprojekt e.V. included the presentation of the research that the partners did regarding the History of Migration in the partners’ countries, a round-table discussion regarding the campaign and the video interview that all partners are going to conduct and the dissemination of the results of the project. At the same time the film makers had a workshop and discussion on the technical aspects of the video interview coordinated by the filmmaker of Jugend- & Kulturprojekt e.V., Olga Yocheva.
Later on, the attendants visited the new University of Greenwich building where the archives of the European Reminiscence Network are stored. Mrs Pam Schweitzer talked to us about the archives that she has collected from the research she has done, including the theatre workshops and performances she has coordinated and directed respectively.
It has been a truly inspiring weekend full of valuable input and a diversity of approaches on the topics of migration and inclusion.