Motivation of Traction project

 

Inequality is the defining issue of our time. It constrains the lives and chances of millions of European citizens and makes it harder to address existential threats. Europe is a cultural space, or it is nothing. Unless its citizens share, and feel common ownership of, the culture that expresses what are lightly called “European Values” there is a real threat to the most successful peace-building project we have known.

 

Opera

is the unavoidable heart of this challenge. A cornerstone of European cultural heritage, opera has always spoken to both elites and people, expressed both authority and revolution. Its colour, passion, beauty and drama have inspired generations. But in recent decades, this art has too often lost sight of its popular roots and radical edge. European Opera may be the total art that includes every aspect of practice, the theatre of emotion that aspires to transcendent and universal artistic experience. Opera is in danger of becoming a symbol of European inequality but – crucially – it also has the capacity to rewrite that story, to include those left behind in wider prosperity, to renew itself and so find the energy, the resonance and the heart to be once again the root of living culture.

*Image property of Liceu Opera de Barcelona

Traction

Traction will provide a bridge between opera professionals and specific communities at risk of exclusion based on trials, understood as experimental attempts, to foster an effective community dialogue between diverse individuals and collectives on each one of the nodes. Moreover, TRACTION will also address cross-fertilisation activities between these trial-nodes and new ones that will join the network during its lifetime.

Main objectives

The aim of this project is to promote, through their empowerment, a transformation of communities at risk of exclusion. To achieve that goal, we will establish an effective collaborative and participatory production workflow for the co-creation and co-design of art representations, using a community-centric methodology to conduct a dialogue, and exploring novel audio-visual formats. A toolset will be designed and developed to foster democratisation of opera, using technology as a means to reach new audiences and to connect artists with audiences.

pictogram of a brain symbolizing new ideas

To use new ideas of co-creation and participatory art to involve citizens in the creative process of opera.

pictogram of a raised fist symbolizing empowerment

To empower people and communities in three trials: inner-city Barcelona, a youth prison in Leiria and rural communities in Ireland

pictogram of a person with virtual reality glasses

To embrace new technologies in order to establish an effective participatory production workflow and to explore novel audio-visual art representation formats.

pictogram symbolizing the relationship between opera and technology

To provoke an impact on the relationship between opera and digital technology.