EU Creative Europe Project: “Re-Build Refuge Europe”

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Artists at Risk (AR), led by Perpetuum Mobile,  was a key partner in Re-Build Refuge Europe, a project that brought together partners from the UK, Sweden, Spain, Finland, Germany and Greece, which was initiated by European Alternatives. It aimed to counteract the dominant discourses of “crisis” and “threat” by using art, culture and innovative practices allowing European citizens and refugees to learn from each other as equals. Activities of the project included storytelling, training and workshops for participants and the digital arts. Interim and final results of the project were exhibited and performed during the Athens Biennale 2017 and TRANSEUROPA Festival 2017 in Madrid, and at Matadero-Madrid in particular.

“The recent influx of refugees in Europe,  mostly from the Middle East and Northern African countries, is widely interpreted in media and political discourse as a crisis and a threat. In several national elections the extreme right and openly xenophobic parties have gained substantive support. Re-build Refuge Europe’s objective is to counteract this discourse and beliefs. It builds on creative cultural proposals and offers spaces for processes of co-creation to be developed, in which refugees and migrants are considered as a constitutive part of the remaking of European communities.

Actions to support the recent newcomers are mushrooming all over Europe, often focusing by necessity on aid, social and economic support. We believe that it is the cultural role and duty of Europe to welcome refugees properly and to allow for cultural hybridisation to happen. We believe that only by fully realising the potential of cultural hybridisation and by being a welcoming and supportive area will Europe build a secure society for its future, inside and outside its borders.

The project Re-build Refuge Europe provides the space to link up cultural actors and societal actors mobilised in different corners of Europe to exchange and build new practices. This project produces innovative practices that allow European citizens and refugees to work together on equal footing and learn from each other. It also uses a creative mix of mediums to raise European citizens’ knowledge of issues at stake for refugees and in making Europe a place of Refuge where all people can feel safe.”

The Creative Europe programme of the European Union funds activities that recognise and celebrate the contribution refugees and migrants make to cultural diversity in Europe. Culture can be a means for refugees and migrants to meet, communicate with and become part of existing communities.

Related Artists at Risk (AR) residents, events and projects:


Pinar Ögrenci, AR-Resident at Safe Haven Helsinki and Athens
MOBILE TALK by Pinar Ögrenci at HAM
Turkish Delight: A New Project by Pınar Öğrenci

Nkosilathi Emmanuel Moyo: AR’s first AR-Safe Haven Berlin Resident
Documentation: Launching of “Dismantling the system of Mugabeism” by Nosilathi E. Moyo

AR- Helsinki:
Shieko Reto – Long-term AR-Resident at Safe Haven Helsinki
PLURIversity: “Gender: Human” by Shieko Reto at the Nordic Culture Point

AR-Pavilion in Athens
Documentation: AR Pavilion – Athens: Launch
Documentation: AR Pavilion – Athens: Installation views

Documentation: AR PAVILION – MADRID: Installation Shots


Partner Institutions for Re-build Refuge Europe

AthenSYN, Katja Ehrhardt

Through the curation, organisation, and support of festivals, exhibitions, dance and theater performances of Greek contemporary art, AthenSYN wants to facilitate a wider understanding and knowledge of Greek contemporary art abroad and intensify the network with international partners. Their focus is specially on new developments in theater, dance, performance art, visual art, video art, digital art and mixed forms.

European Alternatives Limited, Ségolène Pruvot

European Alternatives organizes a wealth of activities, campaigns, and projects, including public events, researches, activities promoting active citizenship, youth projects, campaigns and publications. They are active throughout Europe and in the rest of the world, and carries on its activities, locally, regionally, and transnationally at various levels.Their projects are long-term initiatives, workshops, trainings and case studies developed around Europe.

Perpetuum Mobile (PM), Ivor Stodolsky and Marita Muukkonen

A curatorial vehicle which brings together art, practice and enquiry. PM has worked extensively in the Nordic, European and international field. Perpetuum Mobile develops longer-term thematic projects which come to include conferences, workshops, residencies, small and large exhibitions, festivals, public and street art, publications, films and new formats. PM’s longer-term thematic platforms include the Re-Aligned Project, the Perpetual Pavilion, the Perestroika Project, The Arts Assembly, Artists at Risk, Sino-Fi and Mobile Talks.

Statens Museer för Världskultur (SMV), Karl Magnusson

Världskulturmuseet (World Culture Museum) is a place of dialogue with the outside world seems to make people feel at home across borders and commit to a shared future.

Zemos, Pedro Jimenez

Zemos tries to create critical thinking, to deconstruct the mass-media messages, to weave networks, relationships and communities. They try to work in the intersections and margins, and work (g)locally, behind the borders. Zemos tries to take care of our networks and to reuse and remix all of our contents. They try to organize a Festival every year and look forward to create a New Media Laboratory called 98LAB to learn about this things.