The children lugging suitcases are wearing angel wings. One of them quotes the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen: “Men are born with imprescriptible rights: These rights are liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression.” Another says, “I didn’t know that.” Through role-playing on stage and off with children from underprivileged neighbourhoods, the Image Aiguë theatre project trains children from underprivileged neighbourhoods to help themselves and others to be free and to realize: I am beautiful and I have a rightful place in this world.
The Lyon-Riga tandem have engaged a theatre in each city as their project partners. Their Freiraum questions are highly compatible: How are populists attempting to restrict liberties, howsoever they may be defined? And: How do we bring about a society that sees diversity not as a threat, but as an enrichment? Both are to be answered in a collaborative effort between the two theatres, Image Aiguë and Gertrudes iela teatris, in the form of a so-called "Escape Room": an interactive game, developed differently for each city, revolving around the central concept of “participation”. The participants will be given a space in which to get to know one another, to exchange and participate, as well as complete freedom to behave as they see fit. So the Escape Room is to become an open forum in which to debate current political issues and test limits. Starting in September 2018, Latvia’s Baltkom radio has begun broadcasting regular reports on the development of the project in “diary” form. Discussion events are to be held in both cities to round off the project. The Escape Room will be premiered in Lyon in February 2019 and in Riga in March 2019.
Christiane Véricel, founder of Image Aigue
theatre company, works with actors from different cultures, backgrounds and ages. Children, teenagers and adults find theatrical forms of expression that do not involve words but rather body language and individual expression. Véricel works in socially deprived neighborhoods throughout the world, developing stories of difference, identity and belonging.
BelgradeBarcelona & Madrid Is happiness possible regardless of or despite existing social conditions?
OsloMilan Who are you and how can we shape the present together?
ParisLjubljana If we had the Freiraum – the time and the space – to do exactly what we want to do together, what would we do?
RigaLyon How can we build a society that perceives diversity not as a threat, but as an enrichment?
HelsinkiSofia How many rules are necessary at the very least to live together?
SofiaHelsinki How can our society get back in touch with itself and overcome its internal rifts?
TiranaBudapest Is freedom a burden or an opportunity?
Milan OsloIs identity coexistence or conflict?
LyonRiga How can we pass on freedom?
Barcelona & MadridBelgrade Do the Roma embody the spirit of a Europe without borders?
Bucharest VilniusIf identity is like a fruit salad, how can we add tolerance as an ingredient to tie all the flavours together?
AmsterdamNaples How do we construct our individual and collective identity around the concept of freedom? We can we use freedom as a tool that includes without excluding and challenges our habitual ways of thinking?