The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre has been the only Polish organisation supported as the project Leader from Creative Europe Cooperation Projects scheme in 2018.
The two-year project Shaking the Walls includes cultural cooperation with partners from Great Britain, Ireland, Czech Republic and Iceland and will foster numerous local and international artistic events. The Final will take place in Gdańsk in summer 2020.
The aim of this project is to change the world we live in, our cultural environment; to broaden our connections within the cultural European community and to find links which help us make an effective change in society.
The starting point for the project partners is to explore and work in our ‘inner worlds’; our countries, our cities, our local environments. Then we plan to go and meet the ‘outer world’, to make artistic collaborations with our project partners, to interact with each other and with our audiences, offering artistic products that are new and unique.
The central goal of the project is to give an artistic shape to various kinds of real and metaphoric walls that divide people and communities: individuals, social and racial groups, nations and countries. Walls are being built to isolate the wealthy from those impoverished, to divide those living in peace from those living through war, those who have access to education and art from those that do not. These topics have been largely and successfully explored by various artistic projects, although the effect of those projects on politicians, rulers and generals/military officials seems to be minimal. Our project aims to exploit the metaphor of the wall of indifference, which perhaps is the most blurred and undefined of boundaries separating humans in today’s world, both as individuals and as social or ethnic groups.
The project’s objective is to research walls and barriers in different countries, therefore we encourage our potential partners to make a diagnosis in their own environment, in order to detect and reveal the most vital issues they would like to raise and discuss, both by artistic and by educational means.
“Shaking the Walls” will bring together coorganisers from five European countries, of various backgrounds and interests. Each partner, however is going to diagnose particular “walls” representing vital problems which the society in their countries is currently facing. The range of considered issues vary from political problems, immigration, domestic violence to isolation within the society and other identified throughout the project. The coorganisers, beside the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre, are as follows: Cooltour – Kulturní centrum Cooltour Ostrava z.ú., from Czech Republic, RaTaTam, Reykjavik Art Group from Iceland, Parrabbola, a theatre and art organization from London, Great Britain and An Grianán Theatre from Letterkenny, Ireland.
Shaking the Walls has commenced with the meeting of all project partners at the end of 2018 and will finish with the Grand Finale in 2020. The artistic activities will take place from March 2019 to September 2020. The end of the project is scheduled for October 2020.
Generally, the scope of artistic undertakings in the project will to range from happenings and informal performances, audiovisual art and street art to theatre performances designed for a professional stage. Community participation in all our events will be integral as we seek to develop audiences as artists and auditors. We would like to include Shakespeare performances which tackle the project’s subject areas and which are to be presented within the European Shakespeare Festivals Network as well as community plays and alternative theatre performances drawing upon Shakespeare and produced in international cooperation and presented in different countries. The full artistic programme is to be created during the project timetable, on the basis of an ongoing diagnosis of the ‘walls’ and an educational programme will accompany the artistic process throughout.
The project activities will enrich the European cultural offer by showcasing quality artistic events to an international audience. Through creating co-operation between different groups of Europeans, including diverse social groups, countries, age groups and professional circles the project aims to bring a mutual sense of understanding and to foster the continuing development of intercultural dialogue.