An island: Lampedusa. Lampedusa the symbol, Lampedusa the mirage, Lampedusa the nightmare. Lampedusa mirrors dreams and frustrations, hopes and stereotypes of two lands, Tunisia and Italy, united and divided by the Mediterranean Sea, with the small island of Sicily in the very middle.
Two workshops with theatre professionals and teenagers in the two countries, to sound out the effectiveness of theatre as a tool for dialogue among ages, cultures, generations, skills.
Two exchange workshops on artistic, cultural and organizational methodologies, experiences and working tools among European and Arab artists and cultural workers.
Two communities mirroring one another through the Mediterranean and dialoguing through their artists at the time of crisis and springs.
An investigation performed with theatre tools inside different communities – Lampedusa citizens, teens of Tunisian suburbs and Bolognese schools, professional artists at different levels – to understand what “Lampedusa” means outside mass-media oversimplification and from two perspectives facing one another.
A documentary about this investigation and the whole journey, collecting images of the rehearsals and performances in the two Countries and words of the protagonists: teenagers, artists, educators on the two shores of the Mediterranean, and young people aged 11 to 30, who have gone personally through the experience of sea crossing, or dream to do it.
The journal of the whole path, first published online on ilgirovago.com in the section Diari dall’estero (Journals from Abroad), now available in Italian and English in the book Lampedusa Mirrors, freely downloadable from teatrodellargine.org.
Workshops in Tunis were held in Maison des Jeunes Khaznadar; performances were one in Maison des Jeunes Hrairia and one in Mass'Art Theatre. Interviews to people having experienced sea crossing to Lampedusa were held in three very poor suburban areas; all settings were in popular city areas, found by Eclosion d'Artistes and L'Art Vivant.
Workshops in Italy were held at ITC Studio and the final performance was at ITC Teatro, both Municipal venues in San Lazzaro di Savena (Bologna, Italy) whose artistic direction is by Teatro dell'Argine.
Both in Italy and in Tunisia, participants to the workshops and performances were kids and young from 10 to 25 years old, artists from 20 to 47 years old, educators from 20 to 47 years old. Both groups were very varied not only in age but also in background and culture of the participants.
People interviewed both in Tunisia and in Italy were the same taking part to the workshops, plus young men from 15 to 35 years old having experienced sea crossing from Tunisia to Italy, or wishing to. Also kids and citizens in Lampedusa were interviewed.
In both countries, general audience was involved through final performances, followed by a public debate.
How the audience/participants were reached or discovered
Both Teatro dell’Argine and Eclosion d’Artistes are very rooted in their local areas and already work involving children and young and with young artists and educators. Public calls, social media communication and websites were used to involve people.
How it was done
Workshops and performances made using peer to peer and bottom-up methods and techniques, starting from interviews to go deep into the general issue of migration, and developing physical theatre structure to express the strength and beauty of a choir made by many different voices.
A blog was written during the whole project period, first published online on ilgirovago.com, now freely downloadable here
A documentary was realized on the project, by Teatro dell’Argine, Eclosion d’Artistes and Moviementi, now freely downloadable here
Both in Italy and in Tunisia, participants to the workshops and performances were interviewed: kids and young from 10 to 25 years old, artists from 20 to 47 years old, educators from 20 to 47 years old. Both groups were very varied not only in age but also in background and culture of the participants. Interviews were also realized with young men from 15 to 35 years old having experienced sea crossing from Tunisia to Italy, or wishing to, and with kids and citizens in Lampedusa.
Four workshops, three performances, one documentary, one project journal were the main Lampedusa Mirrors results, plus one final event “Art Without Borders”, involving all Tandem Shaml projects 2014-15 from all over Europe and the Arab world, with Lampedusa Mirrors final performance, exhibitions, one market of sweets and poetry, Syrian short movies, one concert…
How it went
Main lessons learned
The project was very successful in many different meanings: learning made and given from both partners, follow-up of the project, new friends and new skills acquired, richness of diversity, effectiveness of theatre in giving voice to such issues and people, impact on the communities.
The only difficulties were linked to getting visa for Tunisian (and all other Arab) artists to come to Italy and in some organizational parts. Both were overcome by working hard!
Main lesson is the beauty of an exchange and training programme like Tandem
Workshop leaders in Tunis:
Workshop leaders in San Lazzaro di Savena:
Professional actors and educators in Tunis:
Sofiane Ben Gaddou
Héla Ben Chikha
Tlig Fatma Ezzahia
Amina Ben Meuaoud
Some of the boys and girls in Tunis:
Aycha El Guni
Mohamed Taher Neffeti
Rafed Ben Romdan
Professional actors and educators in San Lazzaro di Savena:
Mattia De Luca
Boys and girls in San Lazzaro di Savena:
Martina Assunta Cinalli
Alex Di Maria
Costantin Cosmin Sonea
Workshop leaders for final event in San Lazzaro di Savena:
Simone Da Re
Younes El Bouzari
Video shooting in Tunis: Ahmed Ghezala
Video documentary by Moviementi – Livio Dagrezio e Silvia Lorenzetti
Silver Mt Zion – Sisters! Brothers! Small Boats…!
Patrik Ewen, Melaine Favennec, Gérard Delahaye – A Lampedusa
Alejandro Vallarino – Amanece Atardece
Maison des Jeunes Khaznadar
Maison des Jeunes Hraria
ITC Teatro & Studio
Comune di San Lazzaro di Savena
Tunisian participants to final event
all people interviewed in Tunis, among whom:
and all Lampedusa citizens met and interviewed
Workshops, interviews and shows in Lampedusa
Ten days exploring Lampedusa and discovering that almost everything that’s on the news is not true: the beautiful island full of difficulties, with many inner contradiction, so far away from the Italian State. We made interviews to Lampedusa citizens, above all kids in Primary schools, with whom we realized a final show.
Workshops, interviews and shows in Tunis
One week of theatre workshop held by the Italian partners with 5 Tunisian young actors and 10 young educators, to explore and pass on to them tools to work with kids and teens of their areas.
In the week end, we realized together with them, around 30 interviews to young boys and men having experienced sea crossing to Lampedusa: exploring the reasons, the suffering, the desires and needs of the communities.
After this, one week of theatre workshop with around 40 kids and young, together with actors and educators, to apply what we have learned, and reflect through theatre on the collected interviews.
In the end, one little performance was built and made two performances in two small public spaces in suburban areas of Tunis.
Workshops, interviews and shows in San Lazzaro di Savena
One week of theatre workshop held by the Tunisian partners with 10 Italian actors and educators, to explore and pass on to them tools to work with kids and teens of their areas.
We realized together with them, around 15 interviews to young boys and girls of many different social backgrounds: coming from richer families or living in Bologna welcoming centers as minor asylum seekers.
After this, one week of theatre workshop with around 15 boys and girls, together with actors and educators, to apply what we have learned, and reflect through theatre on the collected interviews.
In the end, one little performance was built and made one performances at ITC Teatro di San Lazzaro.
Final event in San Lazzaro di SavenaIn March 2015, Teatro dell’Argine hosts the Final Event of international programme Tandem Shaml.From March 19th to 23rd, more than 50 partners from 12 cities of 7 different European and Arab countries met in San Lazzaro to conclude their projects with discussions, exhibitions and performances. ITC Studio was the hub of representatives of artistic and cultural organizations from Alexandria, Athens, Beirut, Berlin, Bonn, Cairo, Istanbul, Marseille, Perdaxius, Tblisi, Tunis and of course San Lazzaro.In this occasion, the project Lampedusa Mirrors also had its final stage: Tunisian and Italian artists, together with Italian teens, gave life to a short performance mixing results of Tunisian and Italian workshops in one show. The video documentary was also shown, together with other films and documentaries on March 21st 2015.