For years KVS has invested in North-South collaborations that recognise the reality of irreversible globalisation. The whole world is in Brussels, and every day lines are thrown out to Kinshasa, Ramallah, Rio or Beijing. The contemporary performing arts are no longer merely a Western matter, and that deserves much more profound cultural reflection. The doors have to open, conversations must be more inclusive, and the KVS wants to be a shared space in which Faustin Linyekula, Dinozord, Moya Michael, Lemi Ponifasio, Serge Kakudji and Palestinian artists can show their work without a second thought.
The open and informal Shared Spaces network includes partners in Europe, Africa, the Middle-East, Latin America and Asia. It has so far had meetings in Kinshasa (June 2013) and Ramallah (April 2014).
In the summer of 2013, the network Shared Spaces was established in Kinshasa. Among the initiators are, alongside the KVS and Theaterformen, other festivals, international artists and curators. One of the first projects was the co-production of several performances. Three of them were first shown at the Festival Connexion Kin and then presented at the Theaterformen Festival. The focus also included discussions, lectures and artistic exchanges.
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Four plays, coproduced by both Festival Connexion Kin and Festival Theaterformen, were at the centre of the first Shared Spaces platform in Kinshasa 2013. Brett Bailey, Faustin Linyekula, Dieudonné Niangouna and Boyzie Cekwana are four artists from the African continent who live the participation in global exchange already today. Their experiences, their doubts and especially their artistic positions were the guidelines for the establishment of Shared Spaces.
Shared Spaces is an informal network of artists and individuals active in institutions in the field of contemporary performing arts worldwide. Initiated by Jan Goossens (KVS) and Anja Dirks (Festival Theaterformen) and with the financial support of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, a first network partner meeting was held over two days in the frame of Festival Connexion Kin 2013 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The goal was to give space to the voices, opinions, projects and needs of artists from RDC as well as from other African countries, and, with these in mind, to define goals and ambitions as well as the structure and way of functioning of the Shared Spaces network.
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Shared Spaces sees itself as an intercontinental association of individuals with the aim of involving artists from regions that are usually not at the focus
of attention of international exchange. This paper argues the potential of a network like Shared Spaces and discusses the challenges which it creates for cultural politics.
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