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TREGUA will be a traveling circus of Europe, devised as an attempt to consolidate and/or juxtapose contemporary definitions of democracy and national & European identity through art-making, performance and collective action.

Tregua, which means truce in Spanish, will be both a spectacle of Europe and a place of inquiry, action and self-learning. Through deconstructing the narratives of European national identities, Tregua will take a shot in challenging binaries (polarisation), empowerment and repairing communities. Can we facilitate a framework of co-existence within dissensus? Can it be performed?

TREGUA will be self-organised, functioning on collaboration and exchange. Each participant will be asked to propose a talent and an event. Tregua will tour from one participant’s event to the next, putting on spectacles showcasing all the talents from the group. Once TREGUA is formed, the project will involve three stages. Firstly, the group will discuss and decide its core definitions and manifesto as well as its own structure and timeline. Secondly, the group will work on all the logistical aspects for the realisation of the circus, from finances to promotion, etc. Lastly, the group will carry out the circus. We estimate that the first and second stage will take place online during 2019 and the actual circus will tour in 2020. The exact dates are to be agreed by TREGUA. The circus can be in a tent, a field, in a church, in a supermarket, in a bowling alley, in a bank. Its appearance and touring means will be decided by TREGUA.


Goals

  • To explore alternative structures within the arts

  • To confuse the frameworks in which we work, collaborate and show.

  • Research by attempting, making, going. We don’t wait.

  • To put ourselves through the process and theorise by doing.

  • To challenge our practice and redefine democracy.

  • The execution of a peripatetic learning space.

  • To propose a fluent definition of Europe.

  • To perform Europe

Draft Manifesto

  1. Tregua’s participants will agree on a definition for talent

  2. Talent could be anything you consider yourself to be good at, or anything you are willing to show to an audience

  3. Tregua’s participants will agree on a definition for good from point 3.

  4. This manifesto can be challenged at any point

  5. A Tregua manifesto should allow contradiction

  6. Tregua is transnational, temporary, and embodied transitorily by its members

  7. Under any circumstance Tregua would allow any form of abuse

  8. Tregua’s participants will agree on a definition for abuse


PARTICIPANTS


Sally Plowman

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Bio:

Making art, trying to have fun. Always loitering and plotting and scheming, thinking about infatuation, adolescence, magic, soft things, chemistry between people, not understanding, clichés and the bit before a story. Based in London and Lincolnshire. https://sallyplowman.wordpress.com

Project description:

A collaborative event taking place in the town centre of Lincoln (UK). With a merging of performers and audience, public and private, I will present a clown show. A creature reducing us all to creatures, the clown reflects the world through a distorted lens. The event becomes a conversation, a subverted hierarchy, a carnivalesque incongruous confusion of reality. Drawn into the absurd world, things collapse.

Hanna Bargheer

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Bio 

Theoretically Swedish, Hanna Bargheer is a Berlin-based arts and political science student. She dabbles in theatre and visual art but prefers to incorporate mixed media in all her projects. Alongside her passion for coffee she feels strongly about accessibility to the arts and hopes to push for more public artistic practice.

Project description: 

For the TREGUA Project I want to collect stories, impressions and memories of Europe to create a platform to be heard as a performer and seen as a viewer. Call it a collaborative theatre piece, a collection of monologues, or maybe just another way to sort our identities and share them with others. Using theatre workshops and discussions, the performance will be built collaboratively and innovatively with the desires and imaginations of the participants.  


Daphne Politi

 

Bio:

I am an arts organiser based between Athens and London with an interest in collective leadership and labour issues in the arts. Since 2017 I have been a member of many collaborative projects exploring non-hierarchical structures and self-organisation. I am currently a member of the collectives MilesKm and PACTO, while also work closely with the groups People’s Private Equity and Invigilator Research Network (website under construction). 

 Project:

A performance, based on ‘English Accent Training’ courses, in order to challenge ‘what it means to have an accent’ in the current global setting of the dominance of the English language. Accents reveal what country one comes from, their region and social class. In the context of Brexit Britain having a non-British accent became a signifier of otherness, emphasizing the friction between people’s national and European identities. 

My planned performance will develop through a series of workshops based on the process of accent acquisition, thinking of rhythm, melody and stress of spoken language. Further to this, I would also like to explore local accents, of the places TREGUA travels to, and their meanings, through reading and translating local stories and songs related to national/European identity.

Finally, I would like to suggest that TREGUA visits, as the starting point of the circus, Crete, where the myth of Europa takes place. According to the Greek myth, Zeus, in the form of a bull, abducted Europa, a princess of Phoenicia, and took her to the island of Crete. In later times Europa’s (Europe) name was used to designate the west side of the Aegean Sea, spreading later to the whole continent. Taking the circus at the metaphorical origins of Europe within the country that is considered to have given birth to democracy, I would like to explore how these notions have formed our contemporary shared histories.

Will Slater

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Bio:

Will Slater is a performance artist and tour guide, originally from London and based in Madrid. From 2015 to 2018, Will was an ambassador for Intercambiador ACART, a residency program that facilitated projects from international artists to integrate them into Madrid's art scene. Along with this, he created works that gave impressions on the Community of Madrid, the structure of its suburban neighbourhoods, and their effects on him as a long distance walker.


Project:

Improvised Terraces is a performance piece and series of actions, taking place to create temporary social spaces for the public. The artist and other participants will explore quiet neighbourhoods, set up furniture outdoors and plan activities around them to see what community may organically come of it. This is an action inspired by a particular talent that the artist has observed in his neighbours to start their own outdoor social clubs, simply by placing some fold-out chairs on the city square. It evokes a power to take public ownership of any space to enjoy, without a reliance on the terraces of bars and cafes. cargocollective.com/willslater


Paula Kolar

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Bio:


Paula Kolar (b. 1996, Vienna, Austria), recently finished her MFA at the Ruskin School of Art and is based in the UK. She is slightly obsessed with verbs and those moments when one thing becomes another, which may explain why her work tends to revolve around topics such as migration, translation and performance writing and why she has an aversion to using only one medium to express herself. Instead her work spreads out across writing, performance, sound, analog photography and film and drawing.

Recent writing included a performance script, digesting and dissecting fieldwork experience on the island of Lesvos, Greece in April 2019. This unstable text, is both very personal and informed heavily by the inflammatory public discourse on contemporary migration.

Project Description:

For Tregua I am aiming to collect more stories around the topic of migration. My proposed location is Mostar, BiH, a country on the outskirts of the European Union, but heavily affected by its migration policy and the decisions made in Brussels. Besides having quite a personal relationship with the city, as the place where I first started making art and practicing theatre, I also think that Mostar, being a city with a heavy and complex recent history of conflict, emigration and efforts in peace-building, will be an incredibly interesting place for Tregua to perform Europe.

Cynthia Carllinni

 

Bio:

I am currently in first year of a two year MA in Contemporary Art Practice, Critical Practice pathway at the Royal College of Art. I have studied a BA in Fine Arts in Cape Town, South Africa, where I lived 6 years as an active artist. Also studied costume and set design at the Universidad de Palermo. Back in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2013 until 2018, I assisted to Diana Aisenberg’s art clinic and participated from several group shows, public performances on the train and 2 solo shows.

I have an absurd perspective on life and therefore, this is very present in my practice, for several years I built big mechanisms that produce water sounds, kinetic sculptures and interactive installations, costumes for performances and later on video and digital sound.

I am currently working with weather phenomenon and food. The most recent work is a series of Cabinet displays with ready-made food sculptures and a weather forecast video with a fictional story about an overconsumption of potatoes (in progress).

Project description:

Making mashed potatoes is my talent. I will perform Europe by cooking mashed potatoes. I think potatoes are representative of many political issues relevant to the EU and to the world today. Potatoes are in Europe an indigenous plant from South America. They were brought in the 1530’s by the European colonization. At first, Spanish government used it for the military and the navy, local countries considered it evil and poisonous, since only the roots of the plant were eatable and that was unheard of in Europe. Later on, with population starving from warfare, potatoes were cultivated in large scale by Lois XVI with the aim of sustaining the military and the population; soon they became one of the most popular food sources in all Europe. In 1845 a disease destroyed the entire potato production of Ireland and about one million people died from starvation, another half a million emigrated. In the 20th century, potatoes became one of the most produced food sources in the world. I will perform Europe by cooking big amounts of mashed potatoes and inviting people to eat it cold with their own hands. The performance will take place in Galicia, Santiago de Compostela. The reason for this location is personal as well as political, lots of people emigrated to Argentina from this area, including my family, and this migrations and colonization history is embedded in our food and most particularly. Potatoes work on many levels and have been witnesses of important times in humanity, they played a big roll in constructing our food rituals and traditions, At the moment, the world can’t hold any longer with old paradigms and I think this is a good way to rethink about this reconstruction today.


Veronika Rišňovská

 

Bio:

I focus my studies on theatre directing at Bard College in Berlin. From the age 13 I was dancing and then slowly developed my way to physical theater, which then led me to medical clowning. During my gap year I spent a semester at the Inverted Circus School in Aberdeen where I was studying acrobatics and from there moved to the refugee camps, first in Serbia, then in Greece where I worked as a medical clown. After moving to Berlin I started to teach clowning in clowning workshops at Bard College in Berlin in which we focus mainly on empathy and personal autonomy o marginal children. During my clowning workshops I have been invited to give workshops at the Central European University in Budapest as well as the Smolny University in Saint Petersburg. As a director I have been directing several plays (mainly from German postdramatic authors) and created several public interventions for the College of Extraordinary Experiences. I have also founded an arts festival called Pankumenta for young starting artist in Berlin. Currently I am getting ready for my first artist residency in Pôtoň Theatre in Bátovce, Slovakia. Here are some links talking about my work: https://blog.berlin.bard.edu/7-staging-theater-unexpected-place-conversation-veronika-risnovska/ https://blog.berlin.bard.edu/an-interview-with-a-clown/ https://berlin.bard.edu/civic-engagement/community-engagement/pankumenta/ https://www.facebook.com/pankumenta/

Project description:

As a clowning teacher and theatre director I would consider the art of empathy my biggest talent. Empathy often gets confused for feeling what the other one feels, but it is not quite that. Empathy is an active listening in which one removes himself, what he feels, and any kind of personal judgment (also the one that often sounds like "oh I know how you feel. I felt the same when...") to be fully present for the other/s. Removing ourselves from a conversation is a very hard thing that needs to be practiced on every day basis, but once we learn it, it creates new possibilities for co-existence of individuals at a completely new level. This is what I try to teach my clowns and use in an everyday communication with my actors. Imagining taking this teaching into the European dimensions seems almost impossible, but where would be the fun if I did not try it? Especially in the times when Europe is facing the rise of nationalism, extremism and xenophobia, the talent of empathy seems the one we need the most. Thus, if selected I would love to connect my two hobbies, clowning and directing and create an immersive, interactive performance piece that will also serve as an empathy workshop for all the participants and spectators.

Nora Silva

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Bio:

I manufacture contexts and build sculptural installations as a fiction from where to address political issues. I use aesthetics as a prop for performances to happen within, often using gestures of irony, contradiction or frustration. The sculptures might shape the action and at times the action defines the sculpture. Defining political by its Greek etymology which refers to its collective sense: ‘the process of making uniform decisions applying to all members of a group’, my practice is intimately linked to the social. www.norasilva.com

Project description:

I would like to visit Gibraltar since it is the last territory in Europe that is under watch by the Special Committee on Decolonization, exclusively devoted to the issue of decolonization.