About the Project - Phase II (2019-2020)

The aim of the FREIRAUM (Free Space) project is to assess the state of freedom in Europe’s cities. What are the issues that come up when residents, sociologists and creative artists think about the concept of “freedom” in very local terms? What problems are observable in a city? By swapping questions across Europe, 42 Goethe-Instituts and their partners in the arts and civil society are developing creative answers – at a distance and with the aid of perspective – for one another. Here’s an outline of this unique project.

FREIRAUM Phase II: 2019–2020

FREIRAUM is now entering its second round, which will be the final phase of Goethe-Institut participation, after which the partners are to take it from there.

The pan-European Freiraum project has been facilitating and nurturing dialogue between partners in the arts and civil society, including NGOs, theatres and cultural centres, since 2017 in 42 locations all over Europe. Working in tandems of two randomly paired cities, the Goethe-Institut and partner organizations have endeavoured to assess the state of freedom in present-day Europe. The results of their collaborative efforts were presented from the early summer of 2017 to the spring of 2019 in performances, experimental discussion-based events, exhibitions, concerts and films.

The focus of FREIRAUM Phase II is on networking: the Goethe-Institut aims to shore up and expand its multidisciplinary transnational platform of partners with a view to building on the active engagement and enthusiasm they displayed in the first phase of the project. Phase II is to keep the platform going strong after 2020, beyond Freiraum, and turn it into a self-sustaining association of actors in the arts and civil society who support one another and regularly exchange news and views, addressing current European issues and developing projects together using their own resources or third-party funds. Through targeted capacity-building efforts, the Goethe-Institut will encourage partners to continue collaborating internationally.

Various selected groups of partners will be invited to four workshops from October 2019 to June 2020, each of which will address one of the following key Freiraum issues in depth:
  • “Speakers’ Corner” on freedom of speech and art
  • “In Defence of Diversity” on social diversity
  • “Is Freedom a Luxury?” on basic economic conditions
  • “Post-Europe” on the rise of nationalist tendencies and Euroscepticism
  • “The Liveable City” on reshaping urban spaces
15 partners from the Freiraum platform are expected to take part in each workshop, where they will have an opportunity to learn more about one another and collaborate on topics of special interest to them. The partner organizations in the country hosting each workshop will be in charge of organizing and running the workshop there. In addition to these workshops, the partners will be invited to “micro-residencies” in which to collaborate in new configurations all over Europe. 

The Freiraum Festival will be a collaborative festival taking place simultaneously in the physical and digital worlds on 30th October to 1st November, all over Europe, under the auspices of the German presidency of the EU Council. This will be a way of defying the coronavirus pandemic and showing the strength and diversity of the Freiraum project. The thematic focus on the state of freedom today in Europe will be adjusted according to the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis: we will explore “the day after”.
More info and the programme on: www.freiraumfestival.eu