Two-hundred and fifty (250) artists, 170 major works of art, 2,500 cultural organization representatives, 400 cultural stakeholders across two continents, and more than 30 countries will work over four years to develop an inclusive, sustainable, and participatory framework of cooperation between Europe and Africa.

ITD is one of 12 partners working on a project entitled ‘Deconfining Arts, Culture, and Policies in Europe and Africa’, which is aimed at creating new and equal cultural ties between Europe and Africa by developing a sustainable reference model of cooperation that will later be extended to other regions of the world too. Building on the close collaboration between the two continents and the integration of their Capitals of Culture programmes, this project will bring together cultural practitioners, policymakers, performing and media/visual artists, in-field universities, and audiences from both continents to explore and demonstrate new ways of intercontinental artistic and cultural (policy) cooperation; and to contribute to a better understanding of confinement patterns from different points of view in an intercontinental perspective. All this in order to break free from paternalistic and colonial views in favor of a strong participatory attitude and provide better access and information for intercontinental mobility and transnational co-creation.

The project is designed and led by 12 partners from 11 European and one (1) African country, and will feature four (4) forums, four (4) micro-conferences, a mobility platform, an interactive policy toolkit, a DECONFINING anthology ebook, and newly created artworks, including performances, installations, 20 podcast episodes presenting (tandem) artistic practices, 12 art tours, and a rich open digital archive.

The ITD team, led by our CEO Sara Božanić, including transmedia specialist Mateja Filipović-Sandalj, media design director Oleg Šuran, and senior IT developer Robert Ferencek, will take care of the project’s visibility, managing the transnational communication and dissemination of project activities and results on both continents. Sara Božanić is also part of the project steering committee, which is responsible for the strategic segment of the project and for making recommendations for EU policy in the field of transnational cooperation, as well as  leveraging the impact of the project’s results.

The project is led by the International Theatre Institute (Germany) and involves the following project partners and Intercontinental Cooperation Organisations from Europe and Africa (in alphabetical order of the countries in which such are located): Africapitales (African Capital of Culture, panafrican), Bad Ischl – Salzkammergut 2024 (Austria), On the move.org (Belgium), Les Récréâtrales (Burkina Faso), the Opera Village Africa (Burkina Faso), the Ivan Zajc Croatian National Theater in Rijeka (Croatia), the Prague Art and Theatre Institute (Czech Republic), Pro Prograssione (Hungary), the National Kaunas Drama Theatre (Lithuania), the Festival sur le Niger (Mali), Bodo 2024 (Norway), Art Transparent (Poland), the Rwanda Arts Initiative (Rwanda), the National Theater of Dakar (Senegal), the Raw Material Company (Senegal), the Institute for Transmedia Design (Slovenia), the Goethe Institut Madrid (Spain, Germany), the Nafasi Art Space (Tanzania), the Culture Funding Watch (Tunisia), the Nyege Nyege Festival (Uganda), and the Museum of Women’s History (Zambia).

The implementation of this project and the successful grant application would not have been possible without an outstanding team of key players, namely (in alphabetical order): Sylvia Amann, an international expert in culture and cultural policy), and former ECoC panel member and EC urban innovation topical coordinator; Karolina Bieniek, an ATC Director with over 17 years of experience in the non-profit sector in countries of the Global South (Guinea, Namibia, etc.); Sara Božanić, an expert in audience development, communication, and dissemination; Thomas Engel, a project manager; Mustapha Moufid, the head of Africapitales; Dorcy Rugamba, an author, actor, stage director, ACoC board member, and founder of the Rwanda Arts Initiative; and many, many others. We thank all those involved for their considerable engagement and for having made their important contributions!

This project is funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.