The one man-show “Welcome? Is the stranger welcome in France?” by Céline Mainguy surprises with deep research, presenting itself more like a documentary. The comedian went on the ground for a direct contact with newly arrived immigrants, as well as with people from the French administration or detention centre guards.
With her neutral approach, she jumps easily into each role. At the end, the spectator leaves the play full of questions of what is right or wrong.
Four hundred to 500 people walk the colourful and joyful ‘Parade Métèque’, the 5th of May in Montpellier.
“The word ‘Métèque’ means the foreigner. Over the years, it got a bad connotation in France,” says Fanny Enjalbert, co-president of the association ADEMASS who organises the parade. “We want to bring positive connections to this word through this event.”
In Aarhus, Denmark, you might happen to stumble across a wild area, spreading out along abandoned railways – a no-men’s land in the middle of the city, now full of colourful containers.
The first reaction I heard was: this is a place of are modern hippies. But when you get closer, you realize it is not as wild as supposed. The buildings are neat, beautifully built and painted. There are constantly people walking around with construction material, busily improving the area. By the time I arrived, a ‘Yucht’ Mongolian round tent-house, had appeared, the playground was finished, new containers arrived and new spaces were under construction.
Since I moved from Jerusalem to Aarhus 6 months ago, I have been amazed about the quantity of spaces and organisations that invite you to make connections between very different people. Co-habitation, co-working spaces or co-creation places try to break isolated bubbles – like locals versus foreigners, businesses versus culture, politics versus citizens. One of the organisations here that most impressed me is called ‘The Performing Arts Platform’ (PAP).
When you open its doors, you find an almost motherly attitude towards local artists or any new actor, dancer, performer in the city. If you need a helping hand to integrate to Danish society, you are at the right place. Speak with Charlotte for 10 minutes and she already has five people in mind to whom she could refer you to.
Big success for the 2nd meeting launched by the organisation Kulbroen. The so called Lab Sessions are there to discuss about the future of ‘Sydhavnen’ (the south harbour) in Aarhus. An invitation for citizens to get active and share their opinions.
Seventy people attended the Lab Session “Architecture & Aesthetics at Sydhavnen” on Monday, 5th of March in ‘Bylageret’, Aarhus. This is 30 people more than for the first, which shows the growing interest of citizens to participate in shaping the city. Present were, among others, the architectural group ‘TRANSFORM’. They are the recent winners of the architectural development contest launched by the Municipality, for the ancient, industrial coal bridge, after which the project is named.
New chapter, new city – Aarhus, Denmark. A young pulsing city, not too big but with lots of culture to offer. This first place I am presenting here is very recent, opened June 2017 and run by a young group of whom most are still students. An organisation full of energy and the wish to achieve things: Scenekunsthuset(The House of Performing Arts).
I meet Emma, one of the founders, in an old, abandoned looking building. Former used for military purposes, which explains the aggression marks on the doors, some rooms that still look like a bomb had hit it and a weird graffiti on the wall… Still a lot of work to do since they got the rooms from the city hall to create an open space for upcoming performing artists.
This was my last article for Israel and the Palestinian Territories. I hope you liked it.
There are still so many things I haven’t spoken about, for ex. “The Hansen House” in Jerusalem, Art and Culture in Tel Aviv, or the underground Arabic culture scene in Haifa… but for Jerusalem’s both sides, I think I covered the most.
Most of all, I wish that seeing what other people create and the energy they give to projects, will inspire others to dare do the same with their ideas and dreams.
Thank you for all the beautiful encounters I experienced here. Thanks for the time shared with me, a stranger and maybe now a friend…