ALEXANDROS MICHAIL

2017

From : Berlin
To: Nicosia

REFUGIO

Theatre, Interdisciplinary, Visual Arts

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https://www.facebook.com/BufferFringe/videos/2046527012245634/

How did this grant contribute to the realization of your project in regard to artistic exchange, local cultural development and/or the promotion of cultural diversity?

The fund offered by Roberto Cimetta Funds allowed me and my artistic partner Yiannis Pappas to travel to and from Cyprus, Nicosia in order to take part in ‘Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival’ with our performance ‘Refugio’. Nicosia is the last capital in Europe divided in two (the Cypriot-Greek South and Cypriot-Turkish North) by a neutral buffer zone controlled by United Nations. Buffer Fringe, organized by the ‘Home For Cooperation’ strives to bridge the historical differences between the two communities by encouraging common cultural references. Our performance ‘Refugio’ was a vivid comment on the interaction of conflicting identities. As it took place in public squares on both sides of the city (north and south), it made an impact as an innovative way of intervening in public life of Nicosia and (we realized through discussions that) it was perceived by people from the local community, international artists and European Festival organisers alike as an allegory on current political and social divisions.

How does exchange, networking and international contacts contribute to the development of your artistic and cultural project?

Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival gave us an opportunity to perform in public Refugio, a performance exploring the construction of modern identities in an era of polarization and within an extremely polarized community. This helped us clarify what are the emerging meanings offered by the artwork and have a clearer notion of how, in what frame and where else in the world it could be performed. Our performance was witnessed by local and international artists, cultural managers, European Festival Organisers and Institution representatives and during the festival we had opportunities to meet with them and discuss our work. We are now discussing with some of them other international opportunities to perform Refugio in different cultural settings and areas with current or historical conflict.

Can you elaborate on the learning and knowledge you have gained and shared throughout this experience?

First of all, it was quite an experience to see how Home for Cooperation, dedicated in establishing common cultural references between the two clearly divided communities works in order to build a social dialogue. It was also great to take part in this efforts. The historical conflict was a very revealing backdrop for our performance. It was very interesting how people could immediately associate what they were looking at with their own experience of living within a divided community. This gave us insights on how to develop this performance further and apply it into different contexts. We had a chance to experience the work of other artists from across the world, who, in their practice intervene with public life. We also exchanged views on art and society and got to talk about the challenges of our profession according to our country of practice and international experience. We got to meet people from European institutions and potential future funders or producers of our work. Last but not least, Buffer Fringe and Roberto Cimetta Foundation gave an opportunity to us two. To really work together, deepen our artistic collaboration and develop a step further through this common experience. Share ways of thinking and being in the art world, make artistic decisions together, strengthen a valuable companionship.

Please indicate a link to your current work (website/facebook page)

https://issuu.com/alexandrosmichail/docs/alexandros_michail_portfolio_start__78f94096f3cc88




Roberto Cimetta Fund

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