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Moving Borders

”Moving Borders” is a collaboration between seven European theatre venues, festivals and public bodies operating in the sphere of the performing arts. Over a period of two years, seven individual editions of one artistic concept – “ARK” by the British ensemble of artists & producers Quarantine – will be produced in Athens, Dresden, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Porto, Strasbourg, Utrecht and Warsaw. In each city, Quarantine will collaborate with local artists, creatives and citizens to construct an ‘ark’ – which could materialise physically or metaphorically and will be adapted to each city’s individual local demographical, historical, cultural and social realities – providing a space for alternative activities and for new encounters between people.


When conceiving the “Moving Borders” project, we were planning to tackle diverse contexts of  the notion of “border(s)” in contemporary society, saying a special attention to its social, political and economic dimensions. Setting many rules of social relations and determining the way we move (also between each other), they remain uneasy to grasp. Meanwhile the Covid-19 pandemic actualised the borders in its most obvious, physical dimension: closed state borders forcefully displaced some and stop the others; the ones who had a privilege to stay at home, rediscovered the frames of their physical isolation, embodied in the walls of their houses, windows and balconies. This situation amplifies the already existing social and political divisions and adds new ones: divisions between the groups exposed at risk and the immune ones, the ones who are privileged to stay home and those who have no place to shelter. We don’t know yet how the live gathering will look like once the quarantine is over, but surely we will need to learn anew how to navigate through social structures and paths. Therefore we will need the Ark proposed by Quarantine more than ever before. Built together with Warsaw-based artists and the city inhabitants, the Ark will take us on journey through the unknown; it will offer an experience of (radical) solidarity and getting together.


“Moving Borders” is a long term project lead by Hellerau – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste (Dresden, Germany) with Ringlokschuppen (Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany), Le Maillon (Strasbourg, France), Teatro Municipal do Porto (Porto, Portugal), Onassis Cultural Centre (Athens, Greece), Performing Arts Institute (Warsaw, Poland) and Spring Performing Arts Festival Utrecht (Utrecht, The Netherlands) under the scope of the European´s Commission Creative Europe (2014-2020) Culture Sub-programme, to be implemented during approximately two years starting from September 2019. 


Quarantine was established in 1998 by directors Richard Gregory and Renny O’Shea with designer Simon Banham in Manchester (GB). Quarantine works across the world in the fields of theatre, performance and public events. Over the last 20 years they have created original pieces of work varying in scale and form: family parties, karaoke booths, cookery lessons, radio broadcasts, reading rooms and journeys in the dark for one person at a time – as well as performances on stage for audiences in seats. Quarantine collaborates with a shifting constellation of artists and people who are rarely seen on stage, including philosophers, soldiers, children, florists and chefs. Their work is made out of lengthy and intimate research and often aims to create the circumstances for conversation between strangers.

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