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Engaged Art – An Excursion
Start date: May 5, 2015, End date: Jan 4, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Engaged Art -- An Excursion is an international exchange networking youths from diverse backgrounds who are interested in or already active in visual arts and political engagement with artistic organisations that use visual art to the end of political emancipation and the improvement of the living conditions of marginalized groups in Europe. These organisations have been initiated by artists, and advocate a liberating understanding of art within a social and political context by using its transformative potential. The goal is to create an educational opportunity, enabling young people for whom it would otherwise not be possible to engage in socially relevant topics using creative and artistic means through a sequence of transnational activities. The three EAAE excursions that form the program's whole will involve some of today's most relevant centers, platforms and personalities of artistic discourse. It is important to us that this initiative articulates our participants areas of interest, teaches them valuable and immediately applicable skill sets, and suggests engaged forms of active participation on a sociopolitical level. The project is a cultural exchange among young people from three different European countries, which seeks to build artistic, communication, and mobility skills in a series of hands-on workshops. Taking Berlin, Venice and Copenhagen as our locations, participants (ages 18-30) residing in Germany, Italy and Copenhagen, but coming from highly international backgrounds, will take part in 3 excursions, one in each location. The participants will get to know several foreign cities and inspiring professionals and organizations who work there through daily excursions, team-building exercises, collective workshops and dialogue. Over the course of a seven-day program in each city, the participants will work together to critically examine the theoretical links, tensions, overlaps and consummate potential of the combination of visual art and political engagement aimed towards emancipatory, democratic and solidary goals. Documentation of the workshops and activities will be collected and pooled for the final excursion, in which each participant presents the outcome of their new experiences in a range of media of their choice, spanning art objects and text. This process will provide invaluable insight, in-depth knowledge, new contacts and new skills to inspire and provide hands-on experience to each of the participants for their further creative goals. This program fosters cross-cultural exchange, with a priority on youths who would not normally be in the position to travel, and equips them with concrete and applicable skills sets linking the aesthetic world with the political world. We would like to carry out this project because it fosters artistic, social dialogue and creative skills in a hands-on, youth driven learning mobility experience. Through cross-cultural youth exchange initiatives that focus on economically challenged young people (marginalized communities, unemployed youth, dropouts and newly graduated youth, etc.) we will look at the art industry through an alternative and engaged lens. Our program objectives are to provide inter-cultural experiences to young people who otherwise could not afford to do so, and equip them with networking and hands-on team-building skills. The project will address several sub-topics, as they go hand in hand: - International cooperation, cultural differences and inclusion of disadvantaged - Engagement, applied idealism, solidarity with marginalized groups - Artistic discourse, education difficulty, theory and critique - Creativity and culture Objectives of the project: - To foster mutual understanding of the interrelation of artistic and political themes; - To investigate artistic potential that actively improves real situations; - To discover appropriate models of action in new areas; - To show potential career choices; - To meet artistic professionals and experts; - To develop tools for fostering democratic and emancipatory attitudes to underserved groups; - To address the issues of post-colonial Europe through the lens of visual arts.

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