Over 50% of the world’s population lives in cities. The city is the concrete manifestation of our global world. Almost every trend involving goods, capital, immigration, social, economical and political structures, real life situations and people’s plans for their lives, production and consummation, collective and fabricated dreams and utopias that exist in this world can be found in their visual, audible and tangible forms in the city. The city is for its inhabitants the aesthetic and social realm of experiences and actions regarding the globalized world and often it appears to us like a reduced map of the world.
As the centers of the cities in their more and more uniform look represent the global aspect of the city, the outer districts and quarters reflect the other side of the globalization process, as each city and each quarter is still very different, with its own history, location, mentalities,
language habits, local rituals, population structures, education, ecotopes, surroundings, and social and cultural heritage. The social, economical and political aspects in a city quarter can be tangibly experienced and are configurable for the people at eyelevel. The city quarters are the experimental zones of social changes.
Therefore, this project will establish its artistic research in a particular quarter in each city. The project will take its inhabitants, public space, and habits as a source of inspiration to create pockets of art in everyday life that would respond to specific local needs. In the first project period 15 individual artists and art collectives from all over Europe will explore in nine City LABS in Utrecht, Riga, Maribor, Munich, Derry, Lisbon, Helsinki, Tallinn and London
different city quarters and artistic approaches. In the second project period each of the participating festivals will invite one or two artists for a residency to work on a specific city art work. The results will then be presented as part of a larger city art program in each festival.
Global City – Local City is the fourth project of the festival network Theater/Festivals in Transition (FIT), a network of initially eight theatre festivals of eight European countries which has been initiated by the SPIELART Festival in Munich in 2005. In the beginning of FIT there was the strong need of all festival directors to analyze the festival work itself together, to establish an exchange with festival stakeholders and local politicians about the values of programming a festival (first FIT program 2005-2006).
The second program (FIT Mobile Lab of Theatre and Communication 2001-2009) was born because all festival directors agreed that in their experience the classical theatre critique can not find an adequate language for the contemporary art works presented by the festivals. So a group of young European theatre critics from ten countries was invited to writing courses and to actively participate as writers in residence at ten European theatre festivals.
The third FIT-program (Festival Lab – theory and practice for the next generation of festival programmers 2010-2011) has been initiated to exchange ideas about festival making with
young curators and to vaccinate the eight participating festivals with new ideas. A group of 20 young programmers of 15 European countries has been invited to workshops and
residencies at eight festivals.
In the period of seven years now by working intensively together by a lot of meetings, challenges and conceptual talks, shared opinions about art and best practices and also very personal aspects of working a trustful group not only of representatives of very different festivals but also of very different individuals has grown together. So the time has come to not only integrate different artistic programs in the FIT sections of each festival but to focus with Global City – Local City on the artists themselves as the main player of the program.