ICAF (International Community Arts Festival) is the largest community arts festival in the world and it takes place every three years in Rotterdam (Netherlands). A 5-day festival, it covers all existing art disciplines (theatre, dance, music, film, visual and digital) and it welcomes artists and projects from all corners of the globe.
In the summer of 2016 ICAF organised its very first Summer School in Leidsche Rijn, Utrecht. For this event ICAF worked closely with the Sharing Arts Society (SAS) and three artists (two from Brazil and one from Durban, South Africa) shared their knowledge and methods with an international group of participants (experienced professionals, beginning artists, art students and high school students from Leidsche Rijn).
This week-long activity wants to achieve a productive and inspiring in-depth encounter between community artists. The artist-teachers we invite come to our ‘school’ with methods that have been tested in their own contexts and which have resulted there in powerful art with significant social impact. In our school, they get the opportunity to explore how their methods could be transferred to other places. During six days of working together in a carefully organized and inspiring environment and with a restricted number of participants, our summer school intends to share knowledge between artists, create the possibility of joint international projects, and to sow seeds for the next ICAF or other similar festivals.
The Summer School will be made up of 3 modules which will take place from Monday 23rd to Friday 27th July. Each module will have a maximum capacity of twenty participants.
MODULES AND GUEST-ARTISTS
Module 1: Sheila Preston
Dr. Sheila Preston is Head of Music, Writing & Performance at the University of East London and series editor of the Applied Theatre books from Bloomsbury/Methuen, in which authors critically reflect on different forms of applied performance. She also includes community arts under the umbrella term applied performance: applying art in co-creative processes together with neighbourhood residents.
This module is specifically designed for professionals who possess considerable experience as facilitators of community arts processes and who are keen to deepen their practice and the impact of their work with/in/for communities.
Module 2: Forklift Danceworks
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Allison Orr and Associate Choreographer Krissie Marty, Forklift Danceworks activates communities through a collaborative creative process. Since 2001, the company has presented over 25 distinct community-based dance projects with partners including sanitation workers, warehouse employees, and power linemen. Forklift artists seek to show the skilled movement and tell the often unheard stories of the people whose work sustains urban life.
In this module, choreographers Allison Orr and Krissie Marty will share their distinctive approach to collaborative, community-based performance-making. Participants will have to be active members of a creative team, so they can expect hands-on work in addition to time for reflection, analysis, and discussion.
Module 3: Teatro Línea de Sombra
Teatro Línea de Sombra is an internationally renowned multidisciplinary art organization that has been around since 1993. The company consists of theatre makers, musicians, visual artists and researchers. Characteristic of their work is a profound social engagement and a very careful and participatory way of working during the development of performance projects about such sensitive issues as immigration, violence and memory.
During the ICAF Summer School, artistic director of Teatro Línea de Sombra, Jorge Vargas, together with his colleagues Alejandro Flores Valencia and Antonio Nieto, will investigate the possibility of creating a ‘Puro lugar’ in Barcelona; that is to say, they will carry out a creative deconstruction and analysis of the work of Linea de Sombra in Mexico and a hands-on artistic experience in how to create a ‘puro lugar’ from scratch in another place, with a different history and reality.