Deconfining Arts, Culture, and Policies in Europe and Africa

Two hundred and fifty (250) artists, 170 major works of art, 2,500 cultural organization representatives, 400 cultural stakeholders across two continents, and more than 30 countries will work over four years to develop an inclusive, sustainable, and participatory framework of cooperation between Europe and Africa.

The DECONFINING project aims to create improved and fairer cultural ties between Europe and Africa by developing a sustainable reference model of cooperation that will later be extended to other regions of the world. Building on the close collaboration between the two continents and the integration of their Capitals of Culture programmes, this project brings together cultural practitioners, policymakers, performing, media/visual artists, in-field universities, and audiences from both continents to explore and demonstrate new ways of intercontinental artistic and cultural (policy) cooperation, and to contribute to a better understanding of confinement patterns from different points of view from an intercontinental perspective. All this in order to break free from paternalistic and colonial views in favor of a strong participatory attitude and provide better access and information for intercontinental mobility and transnational co-creation.

The project is designed and led by 12 partners from 11 European and one (1) African country, and will feature:

  • four (4) forums,
  • four (4) micro-conferences,
  • a mobility platform,
  • an interactive policy toolkit,
  • a DECONFINING anthology ebook,
  • newly created artworks, including performances, installations,
  • twenty (20) podcast episodes presenting (tandem) artistic practices,
  • twelve (12) art tours,
  • a rich open digital archive.

The Partnership

The DECONFINING partnership is composed of cultural producers, research institutions, cultural governmental bodies/institutions, and a private non-governmental institution, bringing together and complementing expertise addressed throughout the project. Project partners and Intercontinental Cooperation Organisations from Europe and Africa will engage together for this common endeavor. 

The implementation of this project and the successful grant application would not have been possible without an outstanding team of key players, namely (in alphabetical order): Sylvia Amann, an international expert in culture and cultural policy and former ECoC panel member and EC urban innovation topical coordinator; Karolina Bieniek, Art Transparent Director with over 17 years of experience in the non-profit sector; Sara Božanić, an expert in audience development, communication, and dissemination; Thomas Engel, project manager;  Mustapha Moufid, the head of Africapitales; Dorcy Rugamba, an author, actor, stage director, ACoC board member, and founder of the Rwanda Arts Initiative; and many, many others. We thank all those involved for their considerable engagement and for having made their important contributions!

The project is funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

Project summary information

  • Title Deconfining arts, culture and policies in Europe and Africa
  • Project Acronym DECONFINING
  • Call CREA-CULT-2021-COOP
  • Project No 101055965
  • Total project value 1,816,840.00 EUR
  • Lead partner International Theatre Institute (Germany)

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