Urban Heat

Urban Heat is a project developed by the Festivals in Transition (FIT) network of 13 international festival partners, supported by Creative Europe, which enables artists to engage with the invisible communities within cities. The four year project supports emerging and mid-career artists to develop and create daring and extraordinary work that connects with the world outside the arts by addressing urgent political and social issues, and by working with audiences and communities affected by those issues.

The canvas for Urban Heat is cities. They are the physical framework of our society, the generator of civil values, the engine of our economy and the heart of much of our culture; and 50% of their population are people aged under 30. But in the era of late capitalism they also feel increasingly unsustainable: economic migration has created an almost invisible underclass; poverty is pushing people to the edges; and issues ranging from mobility to the rise of faith-based communities are seeing cultures and communities becoming more segregated and less permeable.

Through a series of academies and Urban Labs, which bring together selected artists, academics, faith leaders, political scientists and technologists, Urban Heat enables artists to develop their understanding of issues facing cities and to develop new forms of participatory arts practice and projects in response. The project will explore the following questions:
• How can artists learn from activism, politically and socially engaged artistic strategies and other models of organisation and engagement?
• How can artists reflect and discuss their own role in actual political and social processes?
• How can artists effectively utilise technology and social media to reach audiences and build communities?
• What are the new and developing forms of participatory art and community engagement?

Urban Heat participants are 22 artists working in performance, theatre, dance and interdisciplinary who are open to re-imagine and experiment with the role of arts in the development of contemporary cities (or) who are open to re-imagine how art could evoke change and support sustainability in the cities.

Urban Heat Artists and Collectives

Sonya Lindfors and Maryan Abdulkarim / Finland
Kristina Norman / Estonia
Marko Bulc / Slovenia
Flora Detraz / France
Ahilan Ratnamohan / Belgium
Sanja Mitrovic / Belgium
The Inner Ear / Iceland
Jorge Lopes Ramos / Brazil
Kathryn Hamilton / UK
Krista Burāne / Latvia
The Brick Box / UK
Ader, Aaloe, Kasearu / Estonia
Francesca Marconi / Italy
Edit Kaldor / Netherlands
Isaac Chong / Germany
Liz Rech / Germany
Rima Najdi / Lebanon/Germany
Thomas Bellinck / Belgium
Wael Kadour / Jordan
Anoek Nuyens / Netherlands
Maria Gil/Teatro do Silêncio / Portugal

Opening Academy

The Opening Academy will provide the opportunity for all Urban Heat partners and artists to meet and engage in developing the project together within the existing structure. Next to short introductions in the contents and organizational framework of Urban Heat and a series of five public lectures, which relate to the thematic focuses of the Urban Labs, all participants will take part in the artistic and discursive program of the SPIELART festival, especially its focus ART IN RESISTANCE which will look at the dynamic relation between artistic, political, activist and civic strategies, and at the same time, react to current developments related to migratory and refugee movements around the world.

Wednesday, 28th October
14:00-17:00 Internal meeting URBAN HEAT (festival directors only)
19:30 First meeting for everyone
20:00-21:00 SPIELART performance RIDING ON A CLOUD by Rabih Mroué

Thursday, 29th October
09:30-10:00 Organisational topics, payment per diems, travel etc.
10:00-13:00 Urban Heat welcome session
 Tilmann Broszat (SPIELART): Welcome and history of the network/SPIELART
 Mark Ball (LIFT): Presentation of the general project URBAN HEAT
 Sandra Noeth: Presentation of the Munich academy program
 Andy Fields: Presentation and documentation of Urban Heat
 Rainer Hofmann, Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink and Sigrid Merx:
Presentation Evaluation of Urban Heat
Introductions and Working Groups
 Brief Introduction of everyone
Urban Heat: Working Sessions part one
 Introduction focussing on the question of agency (Sandra Noeth)
 Collection of topics, observations, interests
Facilitated by: Alexander Roberts, Satu Herrala, Gundega Laivina, Ragnheiður Skúladóttir, Sodja Lotker, Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink
and Sigrid Merx
14:00-17:00 Urban Heat – Public lectures and discussions
 Tomislav Medak: Urban disturbance, political emergence
Introduced by Alma Selimovic
 John Mc Grath: Crossing the Digital Border: Theatre in New Spaces
Introduced by Mark Ball
20:00-21:15 SPIELART performance UNI*FORM by Simone Aughterlony & Jorge León

Friday, 30th October
10:00-13:30 Urban Heat- Public lectures and discussions
 Tony Chakar: Any World That I’m Welcome to Is Better Than the One I Come from, introduced by Sandra Noeth
 Paula Caspao: ART-MAKING AFFECTS interdependencies, (in)adequate confrontations, (trans)local implications, introduced by Annika Üprus
 Adhem Hafez: AA: Artists Anonymous – Performed Lecture on urban change, despair and the Citizen-megalopolis violence, introduced by Heba Rifaat
14:30-15:30 Urban Heat – Working groups part two: share of results
16:00-19:30 Opening exhibition and visit program ART IN RESISTANCE
20:00- 22:15 SPIELART performance PROLETENPASSION 2015 ff.

Saturday, 31st October
11:00-18:00 Performance and lecture program of ART IN RESISTANCE
18:00-19:00 SPIELART performance ARCHIVE by Arkadi Zaides
20:00-21:00 SPIELART performance CALIBAN CANNIBAL by Motus
22:30 Café Muffatwerk, Zellstr. 4 Refugee DJ Party (optional)

Sunday, 1st November
10:00-13:00 Urban Heat session
 Malte Jelden: Presentation of Munich Welcome Theatre
Introduced by Tilmann Broszat
 Reflections, discussions on and about ART IN RESISTANCE
14:00-16:00 Urban Heat session
 Short presentation of the 5 Urban Labs by the responsible partners Organization and signing up for the Labs
 Evaluation, next steps, organizational questions

Full Open Academy Programme

Urban Labs

In 2016 the FIT partners will hold a series of Urban Labs in cities across Europe and the Middle East. These Labs will include talks, meetings, workshops and performances and will enable the participating artists to develop knowledge and skills in how to tackle the fundamental issues and challenges facing cultural professionals working in cities. Dates and topics will include:
- Urban Lab 1: Choreography, Performance and the Public. Hosted by Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (Cairo). April 2016
- Urban Lab 2: Participation, faith and communities. Hosted by Alkantara Festival (Lisbon). June 2016
- Urban Lab 4: Art, Big Data and Activism. Hosted by Central Fies (Dro, Italy). July 2016
- Urban Lab 3: ‘TechCityLab’ supporting artists to respond to the Digital Shift. Hosted by LIFT (London). September 2016
- Urban Lab 5: Socio-Economic Power Structures. Hosted by Bunker/Drugajanje Festival (Maribor, Slovenia). November 2016


Subsequent to these Urban Labs each FIT partner will commission at least one participating artist to create a new work based on the themes of the programme. These works will engage a specific audience or community within each of the festival’s own locations and will be developed through close collaboration between the artists and FIT partner. The new works will be commissioned for presentation in the partners’ 2017-18 festivals.

The Festivals in Transition Network

Festivals in Transition (FIT) is a network of 13 international festivals co-funded by Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. For the past ten years the network has explored the role of festivals in producing and curating theatre and performance practice. The network has successfully implemented four large-scale projects: FIT, FIT Mobile Lab, Festival Lab and Global City Local City. Urban Heat is the network’s fifth project.

FIT members: SPIELART festival (Munich), Krakowskie Reminiscencje Teatralne (Krakow), International Festival of Contemporary Theatre Homo Novus (Riga), LIFT (London), Baltic Circle International Theatre Festival (Helsinki), Saal Bienaal (Tallinn), Bunker – Festival Drugajanje (Maribor), Spring Performing Arts Festival (Utrecht), Lokal – International Theatre Festival Reykjavik (Reykjavik), Centrale Fies – Drodesera (Dro). Associated partners: Alkantara Festival (Lisbon), Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (Cairo), Reykjavik Dance Festival (Reykjavik)

Global City - Local City