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2023 in review – The beginning of Moving Identities

We are already halfway through the first Moving Identities residency year, and the last couple of months have been packed with residencies all across Europe. Artists of many disciplines have crossed borders to explore the themes of identity and how artists and venues work in different European countries. Artist hosts have welcomed them at each international residency, and work-sharings have created exchanges between the artists and the local artistic communities.

We have learnt a lot already. It has become clearer to us, how inaccessible many aspects of the performing arts sector – and wider society – are. We have adapted our spaces, tried our best, learnt from the artists, and listened. We have experimented with sustainable travel across Europe’s difficult infrastructure, succeeded in some places, and failed in others. We have reflected on what is possible for us to do, and what is not. We have celebrated our successes and reflected on our wishes for the future.

As 2023 comes to a close, we now look back on what we have learned so far, and look to the future residencies and exchanges with excitement.

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Photo: CARAVANA DE CENTÀURIDES | Photo Credit: Kasper Hjorth

WHAT HAPPENED

Kick off
Moving Identities kicked off in March 2023 with a meeting between the project partners in Hasselt, Belgium, hosted by Kunstplaats Vonk. At this meeting, the partners discussed and workshopped the framework for the project and prepared the launch of the open call for artists.

Who are the partners?
Moving Identities is a consortium of 12 partners from the 6 partner countries: Denmark, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Estonia, and Spain. There are 7 venue partners, who host the artist residencies, and 5 advisory partners, who mentor the artists and help shape the content of the project.

On our website movingidentities.eu you can read a bit more about the venues in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Norway, and Spain.
The advisory partners are: CKI, ITI Germany, Sustainable Culture Now, Himherandit Productions, and The Danish Cultural Institute.

Selection of artists
In June, the venue partners met at Davvi in Hammerfest, Norway, to discuss the shortlisted artists. We received 161 applications from 6 countries, and could only choose one group per country. The selection took two days with discussions on identity, diversity and inclusion, and how to ensure this in the final selection. The groups selected for the first residency year all work with the notion of identity, with groups representing identities and themes such as queer and transgender voices, disability and accessibility, dual nationalities, internationalism, and more. We can still do more to reach a wider selection of artists and identities, and we are looking forward to our next open call in 2024.

Residencies
In October, the groups started their work with a local residency. For two weeks, they worked at their local venue partner to develop their projects for the year, with the support of their venue partner. At the end of their first residency, members of the local artistic community were invited to a work-sharing where they could learn more about the group and their work, and their plans for their year in residence with Moving Identities.

In November, they then embarked on their first international residencies. The venue partners provided each group with an artist host who introduced them to the local artistic community and their own network. This way, the groups had a direct connection with artists and groups in their host country who work with similar themes as themselves. For this residency, the groups also held a work-sharing for the local artistic community, discussing their different methods of working and giving insights into their artistic vision.
From the residencies we have learnt how important it is to engage with the local artistic community when you work abroad. And so we want to shout out to our fantastic artist hosts, who have been so generous in taking the groups under their wings and introducing them to their networks and cities.

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Photo: STICKY PRODUCTIONS | Photo Credit: Nyvoll Film og Foto

WHAT’S TO COME…

2024 sees the latter half of the residency year for the 2023/24 groups. They will embark on their final residencies in April, before reflecting on the year with their local venues and the other artists in the programme.

In spring 2024 we will launch the next open call – we will announce the date for this in the new year.

And then we begin a new residency year of Moving Identities!

For now, thank you for following this project.

Happy holidays!