All Across Europe

A call-out for true stories from ‘austerity Europe’…

All Across Europe update

Deadline extended!!!

On the 16th April 2013 I posted a request for true stories and responses to the days of ‘austerity’ from all across Europe.

I want to understand how these events are really affecting us, and our human interactions in small as well as big ways. This search for true stories is towards a piece of new theatre planned for next year (see original blog below).

I would firstly like to say THANK YOU to everyone who has shared this blog already and to the amazing volunteers who translated it into all the other languages on the site.

A HUGE THANK YOU to all the pioneers who have already written a statement. You are scattered across seven different countries and your accounts have covered the anger, anarchy, guilt, suffering, disillusion, resistance, love, hope and catharsis that this moment has witnessed. Your contribution to the project is its lifeblood and means that the work can now begin in earnest.

Originally I gave a deadline for responses – mainly because I needed to start the project. (I couldn’t do that until some people wrote back!)

I have been so moved by how people have responded to this that it seems wrong now to curtail the opportunity to participate. So for the moment THE CALL-OUT REMAINS OPEN! – please keep sharing the details and follow
the progress of the project on Twitter: @AllAcrossEurope (from next week, I will begin tweeting some quotes from the responses as well as further updates!).

Most importantly, please keep sending through your testimonies to all.across.europe@gmail.com!
Anyone who has experienced life under austerity in Europe since 2010 is invited to share a true story or an account of their experience. If you are reading this blog, the chances are that this is you!

ER 14/05/13

Made in collaboration with the Making Tracks project and Nottingham Playhouse UK, All Across Europe is a theatrical response to the cuts and austerity programmes in Europe in the years 2010 to 2014.

This production is planned as a site-specific work that will try to capture the sweep of our experience of this unique era of European depression, presenting its intimate, untold and little known stories, as well as attempting to chronicle and express its wider impact on our human interactions and relationships.

The piece will be developed in the UK over the summer and autumn of 2013 and is contingent on the generous participation of individuals, activists, optimists, protestors, journalists, artists, writers and collectives/communities from across Europe, who are invited and urged to share their true stories and accounts of this unique period (see below).

The piece is being initially created for the NEAT Festival (Nottingham European Arts & Theatre Festival) planned for summer 2014 (at the time of writing subject to final confirmation). It will be created and performed by a company of professional artists.

Call for first person accounts and testimonies

In a spirit that reflects these times and to create an open channel for uncensored responses contributors are first invited to send a personal testimony to the project’s email account <all.across.europe@gmail.com> in confidence, or even anonymously if you wish to use a pseudonymous email account.

Anyone can contribute a written statement or first person account. There are no requirements at all regarding the form or length of contributions.

In particular it would be fantastic to hear from:

  • Anyone who has participated in the protests against austerity/the cuts at whatever level, especially anyone who had never been involved in protest before 2010.
  • Anyone who has felt unable to take action, despite feeling concerned about the impact of austerity on individuals and communities i.e. bystanders who have found themselves on the borders and sidelines, wondering if they should act and how to do so?
  • Anyone with a story of hope.
  • Anyone who feels that they have in some small or large way been altered by these events.

Writing a statement

If you are kind enough to make the time to respond to this call-out it might be helpful to think about the following:

  • This is a search for authentic accounts, and contributors are therefore urged to be as specific and detailed as possible in describing their experiences and perspectives.
  • Please remember to give some context i.e. a background to your perspective / situation. This is especially important if you are writing from outside the UK where the contexts of cuts to culture and welfare may differ.
  • Just a suggestion, but it might help to focus your account on one central observation, story, personal turning point, concern, event or moment.
  • If at all possible please write in English in the first instance (the quality of the English doesn’t matter). If this is not possible write in any European language and translators will be found through the theatre networks that are supporting the project.

Production details and principles of the project

This is a not-for-profit piece of work.

The author of the work will be: “Anonymous”.

The intention is to shape the responses into a professional piece of theatre as outlined above. Following some early developmental work on the project (see below) investment will be sought to realise the full production.

As a new piece of work it is very unlikely that there will be any form of financial proceeds from this project – but if there are, these will be distributed to European cultural and charitable projects (these can be nominated by contributors).

Rights – this is an amendment to the original blog posted in April 2013

It has been suggested that authors who wish to take part license their work to the project using creative commons (link below). This is easy and free, and means that you retain control over how your work is used, but email me if you have any questions. (I will also email everyone who has already made a submission about this over the next week.)

The submissions are only going to be used in a theatre production though where permissions are granted, some extracts and quotes may be used to promote the event in other media.

Please also note that as part of licensing your work you will need to agree for your work to be presented “anonymously” within the context of this theatre project.

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/

Timescale

In early June there will be a workshop at Nottingham Playhouse with performers that begins to investigate the responses received. This workshop is not envisaged as a public event though some details will be shared publicly about what happens.

Following the workshop in June the form of the full production will hopefully be clearer and work will start on seeking investment for its realisation in 2014.

Confidentiality

Only one person will have access to the All Across Europe email account – the instigator of the project, director Esther Richardson. The names and identities of contributors will not be revealed to any other party. Of course you can write to the project’s email address from a “false” account if you wish.

Further Information

Please do write with further questions and they will be answered directly via email and also via a FAQ section, to be added soon.

About the Artist

Esther Richardson is a theatre and film director based in the Midlands, UK. Some of her recent productions are listed on her website: www.estherrichardson.co.uk. Amongst lots of other work she co-directed and co-curated a production in 2009 at Soho Theatre, London called Everything Must Go! which was one of the first responses to the global economic crisis and was highlighted in Michael Billington’s theatre round-up of 2009 in The Guardian as a cultural highlight of that year.

FAQ

Q. What about rights?

The original blog (above) has been amended today (4th May 2013) with the following statement:

It has been suggested that authors who wish to take part license their work to the project using creative commons (link below). This is easy and free, and means that you retain control over how your work is used, but email me if you have any questions. (I will also email everyone who has already made a submission about this over the next week.)

The submissions are only going to be used in a theatre production though where permissions are granted, some extracts and quotes may be used to promote the event in other media.

Please also note that as part of licensing your work you will need to agree for your work to be presented “anonymously” within the context of this theatre project.

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/

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