A cooperation project gathering 4 art organisations from France, Germany, Italy and Portugal
In the era of Brexit, euro-scepticism, increasing migration, Covid19, Europe is suffering from a crisis in trust. In 2019, 46% of Europeans said they tend not to trust the European Union; in the same year, the most important issue facing the EU today was identified, by Europeans, as immigration (Eurobarometer, 2019). There is a pressing need to rebuild trust across Europe and help Europeans to reaffirm the meaning of European cooperation.
The basis of that meaning can be found in Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union: “the Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.”
It is increasingly difficult to prioritise these founding values. They must be reestablished at a grassroots level — this is precisely why youth exchanges are so important. When young people come together to share their culture, language, and traditions with their European neighbours, a bond of empathy is created which can overcome limited perspectives. Things we do not know scare us. Knowing a person and their history inspires empathy. Youth exchanges create a common solidarity and cultural fluidity among future generations, as well as encouraging them to create their own projects. Yet where to find this common basis of trust? The idea of Europe is much older than the EU. Whether it’s in Shakespeare’s retelling of the Danish prince Hamlet or the Italian Romeo and Juliet or Goethe’s tale of the emigrating Iphignie, or even our shared myths and legends crossing borders and histories; the story of Europe is one of continuous cultural exchange. We will use the unique possibilities of theatre to tell our shared stories. By telling stories of individuals, theatre can generate empathy for problems that reach beyond the fate of individuals.
While coordinating the youth exchange programs “Trust”, “Trust 2”, “Roots of Trust” and “Endecameron”, La Transplanisphère, along with its partners ExQuorum, KJT (Kinder&Jugend Theatre) Dortmund and Teatro Rigodon, have seen first-hand the benefits gained when young people learn from one another and discover new cultures, while actively formulating their European identity. Such exchanges provided a space to question intra and extra-European migration and to build bonds of trust between Europeans from diverse backgrounds. Trust Tour will evolve the previous exchanges into a strategic partnership project, the ultimate goal being to share our collective database of experience. The end result: refined methodologies and example theatrical performances made using each one, to inspire others to develop their own projects and teach them how to succeed in that endeavour. More than just assessing the activities of previous years, the project will re-explore and re-define the methods in question, keeping in mind the current political and social context.
The program of activities:
-4 6-day workshops, in the country of each partner organisation: before each session, the host partner defines their specific methodology. During the mobility session, the partners share this methodology and create a tutorial video. They also create a play using the methodology as an example and promotional tool.
-4 Performances: At the end of each mobility session, the play is presented to an audience, and is also filmed to create a video production.
-12 local events: after each mobility session, each partner will organise a local event in their own city post-mobility, to share the methodology and adapt it to their country.