Art Beyond Participation – BE PART is a 4-year project initiated by a network of 10 EU and non-EU organisations – Santarcangelo dei Teatri (Santarcangelo, Italy), Artsadmin (London, UK), Scottish Sculpture Workshop (Lumsden, UK), Vooruit (Gent, Belgium), URB festival (Helsinki, Finland), Homo Novus (Riga, Latvia), Festival de Marseille (Marseille, France), City of Women (Ljubljana, Slovenia), L’Art Rue (Tunis, Tunisia), Cork Midsummer Festival (Cork, UK) – that critically explores the politics and practices of participation in the arts field. From collaborative art-making and sharing to decentralised governance models involving local citizens, artists and policy makers. BE PART sets out to collectively foster new approaches and structures for the co-creation and mobility of art through collaborations of co-creating publics, artists, researchers and organisations. Together we test theoretical frameworks, develop practical methodologies of coming together and institute collaborative working models within the BE PART network and beyond.
Rooted in a series of longer-term fieldworks hosted by partners, artists and citizens co-create work that builds on local understandings, experiences and knowledges in their respective contexts. Each presenting partner will host other partners’ fieldwork projects through a public programme presented by the artists and co-creators. These public programs will be an open window on the artistic outcomes of local fieldworks for international audiences as much as a chance for artists and co-creators to travel, connect and exchange among themselves giving life to new communities and sharing project resources more broadly.
BE PART explores four relevant and interconnected themes across all locations, which are: power, politics, publics and place. ollective questions on these themes that come out of the fieldworks and public programme will be expanded upon through a series of co-devised ‘Assemblies’. During these we will open up the thinking, ideas, tensions and processes explored through BE PART each year (Year 1 in Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Lumsden, Year 2 in City of Women, Ljubljana, Year 3 in Vooruit, Ghent, Year 4 in Homo Novus Festival, Riga).
The entire process, its collective organising, reflections and actions, are developed in alliance with a nucleus of 4 artists – Roland Gunst, Marwa Arsanios, Lotte van den Berg and Fanny Robles – that join the process offering their jointed perspectives and voices to disclose and detect new learnings. They will support the shift in how each organisation, and in turn policy, is created in this area. The overall project will be evaluated regularly through a process of applied research by Dr. Sophie Hope.
A final symposium in September 2023 (Riga, Latvia) will offer a final, public reflective space to collect learnings and sense making of the entire 4 year process.