Contributed by: Ms Charlotte Gregory (AU17, UK)
“What does your home look like?” Is one of the first questions you are confronted with on the Home:Scape forum. Home:Scape is a new project taking place across Budapest, London and the Czech Republic asking people to define what ‘Home’ means to them.
Lucia Simaskova (Czech Republic), Alexandra Gräff (Hungary) and Henriëtte Rietveld (The Netherlands/United Kingdom) met and became friends at the 17th AESF University (AU17) in Malaysia; they all share a passion for art and its potential to span physical borders. This was the starting point for their new collaboration Home:Scape, an international project that sees them working with the citizens of Europe to find out what ‘home’ actually means in an increasingly diverse and somewhat segregated continent. Through interviews, workshops and online forums they are working with individuals, exploring the real life stories that lie behind the continent or country to gain a better understanding of those that live within it.
These collective stories will not only become a virtual archive on the Home:Scape website (www.homescapeproject.org) but are more excitingly being developed into a physical theatre piece which will be performed by an international cast and directed by Irina Andreeva. Henriëtte said, “we’ve met so many lovely actors, dancers and other artists and we’re only halfway. Working together…to find an approach to using interviews in a physical manner has been very exciting.” The idea of ‘Home’ will become an act of movement, not only on stage but across Europe, with Home:Scape touring across London, Budapest, the Czech Republic and other European cities.
Lucia, Alexandra and Henriëtte are thrilled to be able to continue working together after AU17. Alexandra said “working across borders has been a delight and a challenge so far. Not only is English not everyone’s first language, communicating mostly over Skype and email can be difficult, but we make it work.”
Lucia believes that “..the Home:Scape project is a very interesting model for international collaboration, both on a business level as well as on an artistic level.” This seems to have been proved right by the support they have gained for the project from various international organisations, Teatr Novogo Fronta (Prague), Pro Progressione (Budapest) and Tara Arts (London). “All three companies share in responsibilities on all levels which paves the road for very fruitful cooperation.”
‘Home’ means many different things to different people, with so much current uncertainty and division in the world – fiscally, environmentally and politically it seems an interviewee from the Home:Scape project seems to sum it up, home is actually “…showing love towards each other, that makes home. That is the meaning of home, home.”
Home doesn’t have to be a building, a city or a country but it can be a certain era, a group of people, a moment in time and it seems for those involved in AU17 that could be a type of home to which they keep returning.
Home:Scape will premiere in London on 2 August 2012 and continue till 4 August. It will be showcased in Prague from 19-20 September 2012, further dates to be announced. For more details or to contribute your story please visit: www.homescapeproject.org
Home:Scape is supported by the European Cultural Foundation, Prague City, Czech Centre and Visegrad Foundation.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of author and can not in any circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).