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   Olivia Moura
© Olivia Moura
open here: consTRUCKtions - conNEXTions
community, art, and diversity in a common Europe

open here: consTRUCKtions - conNEXTions is a European cultural project funded under the EU-programme "Culture 2000". It takes place in Munich and various other European partner cities from January to October 2007. The Department of Arts and Culture, City of Munich, is the initiator and coordinator; Judith Egger from Munich is the project's artistic director. Co-organizers and partners are Soho in Ottakring (Vienna), Divadelní Ústav (Prague), Metal Culture (Liverpool), Cola Production (Marseilles) and Cosmos of Culture (Athens).

The central theme of this European project is migration, as it is one of the major challenges in successfully shaping the future of Europe. Europe is facing the task of actively and constructively defining the way it deals with diversity and the social and cultural changes that come with them.

Migration is commonly treated as a social phenomenon whereas the approach of open here: consTRUCKtions - conNEXTions is artistically and performance-based. The programme, which is interdisciplinarily organized and aimed at encouraging public discourse, links up very dissimilar art forms and cultural institutions: experimental meets established, big cooperates with small, art for enjoyment merges with art for education, people from different backgrounds come together from all over the world. The project combines the principle of movement with that of temporary lingering, it feeds on the tension between process-oriented participation and artistic intervention; it creates spaces for networks beyond the usual boundaries laid down by categories, and it thus exemplifies new opportunities for European cooperation.

Preparations for this novel project have already begun. From January to March ArtLab 1 is taking place in the Villa Waldberta, the City of Munich's international house of artists. There, the "artistic equipment" and the programme will be worked out in transnational collaboration by six artists from Munich and the other European cities involved. This programme will then be presented in a mobile laboratory in the form of a truck from May to July.

The opening event - a big party - takes place on 16 May 2007, when the truck leaves Munich on a trip that takes in all the European cities involved in the project. After Munich the first stop is Vienna, followed by Prague, Liverpool and Marseilles before returning to Munich on 6 July. Afterwards, ArtLab 2 will take place at the Villa Waldberta from July to September, where the experience and results gathered during the mobile lab's journey will be analysed and processed. Finally, from 8 September to 18 October, numerous events will take place in various cultural facilities in Munich such as the Villa Waldberta, the Monacensia, the Ander Art festival and the Club Ampere.

Simultaneously to the programme in Munich, events will run in Athens - which has been involved in the project through ArtLab 1 and 2 - giving account of the journey.