#europeanbalconyproject

*every end is a beginning* by fariba mosleh

Les grandes vacances, summer holidays of schools had started, the city is calmed down, many people are left for holidays, all larger art and culture institutions slowed down their program, but still every day there popped up diverse events, concerts, performances, interventions, exhibitions, discoursive programs in a multitude of smaller culture producers in Bruxelles. BXL’s cultural life didn’t stop being super exciting … Still, after a year it has been time to come to an end with this project. An experiment of coming into a new city and trying to dive deep into the fields of my professional interest and passion - the local art and culture production.

thebrusselsARTproject has been part of the incredible experience of being FFffamily* in Residence, based on the personal wish of not only getting to know the life and living in another country but also of becoming more European. This is the last blog entry of that project I would love to seize the chance to share a short summary of who, why and what with you…

ÉUgality - FFffamily‘s journey of becoming more European

We are FFffamily and have decided to move from Vienna to Brussels, the informal capital of Europe, for one year. Our decision is based on claiming freedom that is only possible in a united Europe. Despite all the difficulties, such as country-specific bureaucracy, a European-wide shift to right and Brexit, FFffamily lives their ideal of ÉUgality. Fariba - a cultural manager -, Florian - a visual artist - and their 9 and 6 year old daughters Flora and Fauna aren‘t connected to the European Quarter or to an EU-institution but are living and working in Saint Gilles, Ixelles, Molenbeek, Anderlecht and Brussels Center. Flora and Fauna attend local french-speaking schools, learning local languages. This inter-generational experiment of moving to another city for one year is a privilege and should be accessible for all European citizens in the process of creating a European identity. We came to Brussels in order to become more European, challenging the question of personal security in favour of freedom. This experiment aims to spread and share those encounters and feelings. It‘s about overcoming the invisibility of the European Union in people‘s everyday matter of fact.

We are integrating culture actions into our daily lives. From September 2018 we have been building up a Studio-Apartment in our self-created exile opening up our house as a trans-national think-tank for discourse and artistic events, sharing these activities on the future of Europe with guests from all over. After settling, catching up with language gaps, creating a basis and proclaiming the European Republic within the European Balcony Project we let ÉUgality culminate around the European Parliamentary elections in a series of actions in our Studio-Apartment, at cultural hubs and in the public in Brussels. As the term ÉUgality already implicates, the whole experiment is about embracing the richness of culture and ways of living in Europe through putting a European perspective based on citizen sovereignty onto an artistic level underlining the importance of democratic values for our future generations. We create public as well as private spaces to host and meet persons. It is a process-oriented experiment involving diverse agents that is about raising awareness concerning fundamental values and putting a counter statement to current pan-European neo-nationalism and rightwing movements on the local level with transnational outreach.

Since the very beginning Fariba had been installing this blog. Writing about her diverse research and participation in the cultural life in Brussels she opened up a discourse and exchange platform via spreading it through social media. thebrusselsARTproject shall be published in a booklet in winter 2019/20.

- Vienna calling -

So many things have happened in this year. Beside their mother tongue German our daughters Flora & Fauna are meanwhile fluent in French and understand some Flemish, English and Italian as well - we adults won‘t ever reach the same level, but we try.

Various artistic activities have been happening. Florian Nitsch had an Artist residency at KNUST Festival Brussels with a collaboration, performance and exhibition reflecting upon ÉUgality, Fariba has been working with local artists and for a festival, we hosted an EUbarbecue at our Studio Apartment on the 26/05/2019, a lot of open house events with guests from all over the world, artists and non-artists, Flora played theatre at kunstenfestivaldesarts at Federico León‘s piece Yo escribo, vos dibujas and Fauna‘s drawing has been part of the group exhibition Hush-Hush at L‘ Atelier Bonamin.

Meanwhile politically no stone remained on the other in Austria. For a long time it felt really negative to leave Brussels and go back to Austria. But the crash of the extreme right government and the new elections at 29th of September give us at least hope, not only for Austria, but all of Europe. It now even feels obligatory to go and give back at least a few of the wonderful inspirations, perspectives and encounters the informal capital of Europe has offered us.

Bruxelles & Bruxellois - thank you so much for everything & see you again***

Yours, FFffamily*

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

On Balconies and Utopia* by fariba mosleh

In times of pan-European neo-nationalism, Brexit and co, it is so important and energizing to meet people with inspiring ideas towards a consistent, united and positive future of Europe. So the case at the recent panel discussion On Balconies and Utopia at BOZAR organized by Forum Alpbach Brussels, the European Forum Alpbach and the Austrian Cultural Forum Brussels. After the proclaiming the European Republic the 11th of November 2018 among thousands of culture producers also in our StudioOne Apartment in Brussels, it was great to attend a follow up event discussing A new story for Europe in an refreshing interactive format moderated by Austrian ORF correspondent Tim Cupal. Guest on the panel where Ulrike Guérot (European Democracy Lab), Milo Rau (NT Ghent), Markus Ferber (Member of the European Parliament) and Annamária Tóth (European Forum Alpbach) and there was the chance to take the free seat after the fishbowl-principle for everyone from the audience who wished to discuss on stage.
Besides some refreshing statements and ideas the whole evening turned into a kind of powerful argument between Guérot and Ferber, the one portrayed as a utopian and the other as the realist. Hence, I astonished more and more the insistence of Guérot, an expert and intellectual, on her one single point she insists on and came up with again and again from different perspectives. Yes, in a European Union where it is possible to define a date from which on several countries abandon their old currency and have a shared one, there it is definitely possible to define a date from which on the member states take on a trans-European perspective and abandon nation-based law in favor of equal law for all citizens of Europe. It may sound like utopia but it’s actually possible. I completely go along with Guérot when she says that what weakens the European Union and the political parties who want to strengthen it are having no visions of a future of Europe. It seems that they even don’t dare to think of a Europe of the citizens. What a failur, especially on the eve of the European elections in May 2019!
If Europe want a unity in diversity we need to institutionalize solidarity and come up with a common law***
That’s the only fruitful solution for a united story of Europe!

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

#weproclaim ed*** by fariba mosleh

Welcome to the Republic of Europe!
During days where constant negative perspectives on the future of our nation states, the continent and the whole world are defining our media, we took the chance and shared a beautiful moment with diverse people proclaiming the European Republic within the European Balcony Project yesterday in Saint Gilles, Brussels.
This EUtopean idea of a shared Republic with equal rights and status of all people living on this continent as a positive and logic answer to all of these nationalistic tendencies in Europe picks me personally exactly up where I am currently standing mentally - so it was clear we gonna proclaim the European Republic in our Brussels’s Studio Apartment with all the other over 100 participating initiatives all over Europe. Several people of diverse backgrounds and generations joined the informal event and read out the manifesto in 7 languages - one after the other as well as simultaneously together, what was really touching. The discourse was opened up on the prospects of the future of Europe - a political event accompanied by positive vibes and a European pumpkin soup ;)
Thanx to the everyone to come and celebrating these ideas with exciting dialogues in a great atmosphere!

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

EUtopia* by fariba mosleh

Meanwhile we have been living in Brussels for two months already***
The perfect time to focus the initial idea of leaving Austria for a while and researching on this European thought as a contra statement and vision against the European-wide growth of populist politics and nationalism like in Austria. As already stated in the first blog entry I’ve had a ambiguous relation to the idea of Europe and the Union as I prefer a global thinking and citizenship. Still, in times like those I feel like a European more than ever before. This residency in Brussels shall add to my transnational view and reception, in the private as well as professional sense. And, I want to forward this idea and everything surrounding this discourse. Through the discourse on this transnational approaches I got to know other people and initiatives who believe in the chances of a united Europe.
Hence, I became a member of the EUROPEAN REPUBLIC which will be officially proclaimed through the European Balcony Project on November 10th 2018 at 4pm from balconies and in public spaces all over Europe. The project was initiated by the political scientist, Ulrike Guérot, the author, Robert Menasse, and the theatre maker, Milo Rau. Background of the idea of a united European Republic is the fact that there exists a common market as well as a common currency within the EU, so this project promotes the aim of sharing a common democracy - a United Europe of cultural diversity beyond nation states with equal rights and opportunities for all its citizens***
This might be a EUtopie — but it’s about spreading a positive and transnational dialogue on the possible future of Europe!

Es lebe die Republik Europa!

Long lives the Republic of Europe!

Vive la République Européene!

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studioOne will participate at the Balcony Project with an event at our studio in Brussels. We’ll proclaim the European Republic by reading the manifeste the 10th of November at 4pm - further details coming soon - safe the date*

For further information on the European Balcony Project download the press release here: PR

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.