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Conference Call – deadline extended until 30 August!

Shaking the Walls – ONLINE International Conference in Gdańsk (Poland) 25-27.09.2020

Call for papers is open till 30th August 2020.

Due of the effects of worldwide pandemic the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre has decided to change the long planned International Conference Shaking the Walls to an ONLINE meeting. The conference will take place on 25-27.09.2020. Moreover, recording/streaming presentation of the Icelandic performance by RaTaTam theatre group is also planned as a part of the conference programme. Accordingly, we are pleased to prolong an open call for papers until 30th August 2020.

The Conference is the event of 2-year artistic project by the same name: Shaking the Walls, that brings together organisations from five European countries operating in the scope of performing arts. The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre from Poland is the leader of the project, the partners are as follows: Cooltour – Kulturní centrum Cooltour Ostrava z.ú., from Czech Republic, RaTaTam – Reykjavik Art Group from Iceland, Parrabbola – community theatre collective from London, Great Britain and An Grianán Theatre from Letterkenny, Ireland.

Conference will take place ONLINE (access details coming soon)

The conference’s aim is to explore the theme of walls between people using various methodological approaches, including the following:
– sociology
– philosophy
– linguistic studies
– arts engaged in social interventions
– theatre, performing arts, literature (including Shakespeare) studies

The conference aims to address specifically the metaphor of the wall of indifference, which is perhaps the most blurred and undefined boundary separating humans in today’s world, both as individuals and social or ethnic groups. We would like to talk about ways of identifying “walls” (barriers, boundaries, problems) in different countries and subsequently, through inter-cultural creative dialog, art and education find ways of raising public awareness of the issues tackled, and reach solutions.

The range of considered issues varies from political problems, immigration, domestic violence, isolation in the society and many more, including the following:
– What types of walls have been diagnosed in different social and cultural contexts?
– How can art talk about these walls? What artistic tools may be used to tackle the issues concerned?
– What makes us choose a particular side of the wall?
– In what, socially accepted, ways can one particular point of view be supported?
– Are there any real solutions? Can “shaking the walls” be effective?
– Who should feel responsible to “shake the wall”? Academics? Artists? Politicians? Media?
– Who are the people who actually make a difference in the world-wide context?
– What are the dangers and ethical dilemmas that might be faced, when trying to shake most important walls?
– What barriers can be identified and modified by the particular works of art or theatre?
– How the divisions influence the language and social/political discourse?
– To what extent is it possible to heal the divisions through education?
– What educational tools proved to be more effective?

The Conference will last three days, each day will be devoted to specific subject:

First day (September 25th): Shaking the walls – project introduction and results.
Welcome lecture by Philip Parr (UK)
Presentation of Shaking the Walls project (multiple speakers – project partners)
“SUSS!” by RaTaTam, from Reykjavik, Iceland – performance presentation (recording/streaming)

Second day (September 26th): Barriers in wide social and cultural contexts.
Key note speaker: Mary Ann DeVlieg (Italy)
Presentation of papers

Third day (September 27th): Arts (theatre, performance, literature).
Key note speaker: Prof. Małgorzata Grzegorzewska (Poland)
Presentation of papers

There is NO conference FEE required!
To submit your proposal for presentation, please sign up HERE

Please note that we support cooperation between scholars and artists. Therefore – you can prepare your presentation in a tandem of trio with an artist or a scholar. The point is to use his/ her art to raise awareness about the walls between people, in practice. We would promote the proposals including practical rather than strictly academic approach.

Conference organisers:
Marta Nowicka
Anna Ratkiewicz
Anna Szynkaruk-Zgirska
Anna Nadrowska