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Foto: Joacim Gustafson (Residenstagarna från Common Lab 2023)
Foto: Joacim Gustafson (Residenstagarna från Common Lab 2023)
Common Stories OPEN CALL

Common LAB – One shared artistic journey

We are looking for eight artists (theatre directors, playwrights, choreographers or performance makers) to take part in Common LAB 2024. This itinerant eight-week laboratory will provide opportunities to experiment with collective and individual devices for knowledge sharing and the development of artistic research, with the goal of broadening European multicultural and intercultural narratives.

Lisbon, Portugal | Maputo, Mozambique | Bobigny, France | Brussels, Belgium

The application period has expired (10th of December 2023).

Ansökningsinformation på svenska

Common LAB a programme of Common Stories
Common LAB 2024 is part of Common Stories, a project that brings together performing arts organisations, artists and audiences to address the dynamic notions of identity and cultural diversity in a changing European society.

Identity constructions are based on and strengthened by stories and experiences. Stories tell us who we are and who we strive to become. They question and challenge the way we see ourselves and others. We believe that a diversity of stories and a multiplicity of perspectives will allow for a more accurate and fair understanding of the political, cultural and social challenges we face in creating common grounds in European societies, which are characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, and the struggle for social justice.

European societies are historically built upon inequalities that, we believe, need to be addressed. Cultural sectors, both concretely and symbolically, are riddled with colonial tensions and rationales, as well as logics of domination and power relations. In the performing arts sector, resources, decision-making and programming positions are still mostly in the hands of a white male middle-and-upper-classes majority, while artists and art professionals from different cultural, social, gender and ability backgrounds are largely underrepresented on and off stage, especially in decision-making and leadership positions.

In Common Stories, promoted artistic practices and contents will contribute to the development of a wider transformative framework to better welcome and listen to multiple voices and perspectives.

The Common LABs
We will hold three Common LABs, one in each year from 2023 to 2025. We will select eight artists for each lab.

Each Common LAB is comprised of four two-week modules in four different cities, including one location outside of Europe, for a total of eight weeks.

Throughout the Common LAB, we will pay particular attention to the following issues:

  • Artistic practices and stories that are underrepresented or absent from our institutions.
  • The relevance of diversity in language, aesthetics and representation.

Here is where and when Common LAB 2024 will take place:

  • Lisbon, Portugal June 17–30 (hosted by Alkantara)
  • Maputo, Mozambique September 2–15 (hosted by CulturArte)
  • Bobigny, France October 14–27 (hosted by MC93)
  • Brussels, Belgium October 28–November 10 (hosted by Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles)

The next call, for Common LAB 2025, will be launched in September 2024.

Common LAB will provide opportunities for selected artists to:

  1. Exchange, share and learn through a programme of group activities that includes:
  • Lectures and talks by guest speakers
  • Workshops and masterclasses in relation to a specific context or to the work of the selected artists
  • Individual or group professional training on topics such as copyright, project financing, contracts, access to international networks
  • City visits and meetings with the teams of the host organisation; with local communities, including artistic communities, activists, partners, mediators; with other artists in residence; with different working contexts
  • Artistic events taking place in host venue and/or host city.
  1. Research their own projects in individual and collective working sessions with guest mentors and guest speakers. In addition to group activities, the Lab will allow time for artists to research with full autonomy.
  2. Present their project
    During the last module of the Common LAB in Brussels, the artists will be encouraged to share their project through performances, discussions or screenings, with the partners’ artistic directors and other professional guests. The presentation session will be prepared with the support and feedback of the Common LAB guest mentors throughout the programme.

The Common LAB contents will be discussed with the selected artists and shaped according to their profiles and interests. Most activities will be in English. Translation from/to English may be offered for some activities, according to the needs of the participants.

What we offer:

  • A programme of activities
  • Stipend (80€/residency day)
  • Travel and accommodation

Who can apply?

Artists who:

  • address the dynamic notions of multiculturality or interculturality in a changing European society, both at a professional and personal level
  • have a professional practice in the performing arts – Dance, Theatre, Performance
  • are interested in researching a project
  • live and work in Europe
  • have a good command of English
  • are available to fully participate in the four scheduled modules.

Only the artist/author leading the project may apply. Group applications cannot be accommodated as Common LAB will only support the costs of one person per project.

We strongly encourage applications from artists of all ethnicities, cultures, nationalities, as well as abilities and disabilities, sexes, gender identities and expressions, ages, and socioeconomic statuses.

How will projects be selected?

Applications will be evaluated by Panaíbra Gabriel Canda (CulturArte), Carla Nobre Sousa and David Cabecinha (Alkantara), Pierre Thys and Valérie Martino (Théâtre National Wallonie Bruxelles), Hortense Archambault and Virginie Dupray (MC93). Evaluators will consider the project the applicant would like to research, as well as their background and previous works.

As part of the process, applications will be discussed with two members of the Common Stories Advisory Committee. They will examine applications and deliver recommendations on the diversity of the group and the relevance of the selected artistic projects.

Up to 20 shortlisted artists will be invited to participate in a 20-minute interview between 15–19 January 2024. Final results will be announced by email by 26 January 2024.

All artists will be informed about the result of their application, whether they are selected or not. We will not be able to provide individual feedback. All applications will be carefully reviewed, but please keep in mind that our decisions are final.

How to apply?

Complete the application form available here by 10 December 2023, 11pm UTC. We encourage you to submit your application in English, but we will also consider applications in Portuguese, French, German, Polish and Swedish.

The following information is requested in the application form:

  1. Name
  2. Country of residence
  3. Age
  4. Gender (Male/Female/other, please specify)
  5. What are the pronouns we should use to refer to you? (He/She/They/Other, please specify)
  6. Field(s) of work (Theatre/Dance/Performance/Other, please specify)
  7. Briefly present the project you would like to research and pitch in Common LAB. (Max 3000 characters)
  8. Briefly describe your artistic journey and previous works. (Max 6000 characters)
  9. Please share some information about your background in relation to the values of Common stories. (Max 3000 characters)
  10. What are your motivations for applying? What do you expect from the programme? (Max 2500 characters)
  11. Do you confirm you are available to participate in all four modules of Common LAB, as scheduled?
  12. Please upload pdf documents for:
  • CV
  • Artistic presentation of the work you would like to research, in the context of Common LAB
  • Documentation about previous works, including links to videos, website and social media
  1. Please use this section if you want to add something about your personal or professional situation that we would need to take into account in order for you to participate.

Self-identification section (optional)

In this section you may choose to self-identify as a member of any systematically marginalised group in the cultural field in Europe (including, but not limited to, groups on the basis of gender — including identity/expression —, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and ability), and you can also choose to describe that identity.

This section is intended to help us accurately estimate the diversity of our applicant pool as part of our commitment to increase the diversity of artists and projects present in our cultural institutions.

14. Do you self-identify as a member of any systematically marginalised group? (optional) (Yes/No)

15. Self-identification statement — If yes, and if you would like to elaborate, please describe that identity. (Max 1000 characters)

If at any point you have any questions about this call, please contact Nouria Tirou at n.tirou@mc93.com (for inquiries in French or English).

Common stories is developed by Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis, MC93, Bobigny (FR), Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles, Brussels (BEL), Alkantara, Culturgest, Lisbon (PT), africologneFESTIVAL, Cologne (GER), Riksteatern, Stockholm (SWE), in association with TR Warszawa, Warsaw (PL), Orient Productions – D-CAF Festival, Cairo (EG), CulturArte, Maputo (MOZ), Les Récréâtrales, Ouagadougou (BF), and cofunded by the Creative Europe Program.

The application period has expired (10th of December 2023).




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