BAC has launched a new International Exchange Programme in partnership with the TheaterFestival Vlaanderen in Ghent (BE), and the Netherlands Theater Festival in Amsterdam (NL). This partnership is built on a belief that developing opportunities for international exchange of artistic strategies and perspectives, is enriching, inspiring and deeply necessary.
As part of this programme, a group of six performance makers will travel and meet at the festivals that the partners are leading. They will see and reflect on the shows at the festivals, share their own artistic practices and working conditions, discuss current international themes and trends in performance and ultimately share their ideas and observations. This programme focuses on an exchange of ideas and aims to shift from product-oriented thinking to a more process-oriented way of working. In doing so, we encourage networks between makers, as much as possible on their own terms.
This residency project in 2022 is a pilot. We choose to start on a small scale with a small group of makers (six is an ideal number for intensive dialogue) and three partner organizations, in order to be able to monitor how the project is working out in practice and where there is room for growth. It is the wish to involve more partner festivals in coming editions, both within and outside Europe. This pilot serves as a springboard for this, beginning with direct neighbors Flanders, Netherlands and the UK, where we are still coming to terms with the challenges of cooperation after Brexit and the need for artists to break through the threat of isolation.
Their first meet up will be held at Horizon, new performance arts showcase at the Edinburgh Festivals in August 2022. The showcase is led by a consortium of England’s leading contemporary festivals and organizations: Battersea Arts Centre, FABRIC, Fierce, GIFT, MAYK and Transform, and aims to build deep and sustainable relationships between visionary artists based in England and international presenters.
At the end of the programme, a moderated public discussion with the artists will take place at TheaterFestival Vlaanderen. This event will be recorded, shared and disseminated as a podcast.
TheaterFestival Vlaanderen (www.theaterfestival.be)
Nederlands Theater Festival (www.tf.nl)
Battersea Arts Center (https://bac.org.uk)
Each partner invited two performance makers from their local context who are working interdisciplinary and pushing the boundaries of what performance could be. The participating artists are:
Mark Maughan is an award-winning theatre maker, director, translator and dramaturg. Mark is a queer, lower socioeconomic person from the North East of England. He makes critically acclaimed contemporary work that has toured internationally, often platforming those with a marginalised experience of the world. It is bold, uncompromising and quietly radical, responding to those directly involved in its process and form.
Hester Stefan Chillingworth is an experimental performance maker and director, making playfully subversive and interventionist work which sits at the crossroads of live art, theatre, visual art, text and film.
They are currently making The Extinction Trilogy, a triptych of shows for obliterated bodies and slow watching. The things they make often play with language, duration, misunderstanding and gender.
Nederlands Theater Festival artists:
Mathieu Wijdeven graduated in 2014 as a theatrical performer at the Maastricht Theater Academy. His work follows his fascination for the symbiotic relationship that people enter into with objects. Through abstract sculptures, he invites the audience to reflect on personal and existential themes.
Maria Magdalena Kozłowska studied philosophy in Warsaw. She began her artistic career in Poland, where she worked for 12 years. She graduated in 2020 from DAS Theatre at the Amsterdam Academy of Theatre and Dance. In previous works, Kozłowska focused on the interaction between changing economic relations, identity, and (family) traditions. As an artist, she is interested in figures of liminal identity: tricksters, jesters, saints, divas and social critique taking the form of irony, teasing, but also elevated and operatic.
TheaterFestival Vlaanderen artists:
Musia Mwankumi is a master student in drama at KASK Ghent. She did her internship at the Shell Case of Rebekka De Wit and Anoek Nuyens, for which she was nominated for the Colombina VSCD Theater Prize. Now Musia plays in The Waves of Khadija El Kharraz Alami. In their work, Musia as a black, queer person tries to propose a new and broader focus.
Prisca Agnes Nishimwe is a singer, performer and writer. Prisca’s work moves through word and sound, with an enormous fascination for the impact of the performative, the intangibility of sound and what or who makes someone an artist. Where emotion, intuition and instinct are central, Prisca shifts, driven by philosophical questions between beauty and tragedy in a vanguard universe.
Generous support is provided by the Diplomatic Representation of Flanders to the United Kingdom and the Dutch Performing Arts Fund.