Exoduses - Theatre workshops for intercultural and intergenerational dialogue
San Lazzaro di Sàvena (Bologna)
Type of Information
Teatro dell’Argine - Cooperativa Sociale (TdA)
Mrs.Micaela Casalboni (Login to send email)
Contact Person Function
Vice President and Co-Art Director
Exoduses is a theatre workshops project for and with youngsters from all over the world (including Italy). The project idea arose in 2014, following a series of theatre actions and projects implemented since 2005 by Teatro dell’Argine - TdA, both on local and international level, aiming at intercultural and intergenerational dialogue, and active citizenship. Its implementation started in 2015 and a second edition took place in 2016. Both years, a final show was organised and attended by hundreds of people.
Exoduses is a theatre which enriches itself with the contribution of not only artists, but all people. This creates a space for exchange and dialogue.
Issue/Challenge and Goal/Assumption
Given the growing number of unaccompanied migrant minors arriving in Bologna in the past years and TdA's long-standing work with teenagers, the association has decided to focus on theatre actions including boys and girls from across the globe.
Exoduses explores all possible interweaving dynamics between theatre and society. It does not only questions them but also, creates bridges between them. Theatre principles, methods and practices are used as tools to reach intercultural and intergenerational dialogue, active citizenship and engagement with the audience.
How does it work
A group of around 50 people have participated in the project each year: 15-25 years old boys and girls, including students, together with 30-60 years old men and women, including social workers and researchers at DAMS (Department of Art, Music and Show of Bologna University). Some of them have been practicing theatre for years and some others are absolute beginners; some were born in Italy and some others are newcomers. 20 different countries of origin are represented in the group: Ivory Coast, Chad, Bangladesh, Italy, Peru, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Bulgaria, Tunisia, Gambia, Pakistan, Albania, Afghanistan, Cameroon, Morocco, Iran, Romania, Nigeria and China.
To include all these cultures in the artistic expression, workshops are organised in Italian, English and French. In addition, space is given to a whole range of non-verbal and body expressions, as well non-European songs, dances and languages. The weekly 2 hours workshops start in January and end in July, with the final show.
During the 2015 edition, inhouse workshops were complemented by an intensive workshop led by Tunisian artists from the project Lampedusa Mirrors which is part of the programme Tandem which enables cultural exchange between Arab and European artists and which participants were involved during the final show themed around the singing game 'Ring a Ring-o'Roses'.
In 2016, a number of participants from the first edition mentored newbies and provided translation when needed. 5 associations and NGOs, as well migrant and refugee reception centres were involved. For this second edition of Exoduses, 3 shows were performances in San Lazzaro around the famous italian character Pinocchio.
During its first year, the organisation of workshops and the final show were only financed by internal resources. 8-10 TdA members (artists, administrators and technicians) actively participated in the project and 20 others were indirectly involved in the learning process. Given its success, organisers have managed to attract funders for the second year.
Altogether, more than 1000 people have attended final performances. Among attendees were participants' family members and friends, social workers and educators, artists, local authorities, representatives of the police and social services, school and University teachers, etc.
Internal evaluation is made by artists and organisers working in the same or other projects of Teatro dell’Argine’s, including administrators, technicians, theatre and education professionals, etc.
Informal external evaluation of both the process (workshop) and the show, from an artistic, educational and social perspective is made by San Lazzaro di Savena Municipality and workers of migrant reception centres such as Opera Padre Marella. Focus is on the audience (number of attendees) and ways to involve new participants, while overcoming linguistic barriers.
Who will benefit?
The yearly 50 project participants are primary beneficiaries of Exoduses but the 1000+ audience members who have attended the final performances also benefit from the work accomplished after 6 months of practice and can act as amplifiers to the rest of the community.
Source of funding and Resources used
The project started without financial support but is currently partially funded through the artistic residency programme of the Italian Ministry for Culture and the Region Emilia-Romagna.