Promised Lands – Metropolis

Start: 2017

End: 2018


ZAHRADA – CENTRUM NEZAVISLEJ KULTURY NO (Hungary)        Non-governmental organisation/association/social enterprise

DIVADLO CONTINUO (Czech Republic)        Non-governmental organisation/association/social enterprise


Action: Creative Europe        Cooperation projects



Promised Lands-Metropolis is a project aimed at developing the theatrical skills of young artists, providing them with new tools and with the possibility of presenting themselves on the job market at the transnational level. At the same time, it was an attempt to underline the changes in contemporary society through the theatrical language starting from a deep immersion into reality, with the awareness that the construction of a European identity can be achieved through the education of artists. In particular, there was felt the need to deal with the issues of migration and integration, as the backbone of the social and political debate over recent years.

A Laboratory of Ideas was conceived to gather all the participants. During this phase the young artists were able to listen to experts in migration, urban sociology, architecture, as well as social workers in the field, and second-generation migrants, enriching their awareness of the phenomenon of migration and the different approaches adopted by the various EU member states. During this laboratory phase, the young artists got to know each other and created international working teams for the later phases of the project.

Two cycles of workshops were developed for Migrants and Asylum Seekers. The workshops were held by young artists tutored by professional educators, in collaboration with a CAS (Centro di Accoglienza Straordinario – temporary migrant centre). The action had a positive impact on the migrants involved (e.g.: learning Italian language and culture, elaborating their personal history; some were later hired to write short plays) and allowed the young artists to learn more about the core topic of the project.

Performative interviews were carried out in the local outdoor market of Lorenteggio, a Milanese neighbourhood with a large immigrant population. This action led to extraordinary results in terms of participation in the final event, and audience development activities (i.e. reaching out to people who usually do not attend traditional theatre).

Four international artistic residences were established in each partner country. The teams were able to meet and get to know both the host structures and their working method. International mobility allowed them to learn about working methods in a foreign country, and to deepen the relationship within the team, both artistically and personally. During the residence, each team developed the concepts for the short plays to be staged.
During the production phase in Italy, the working teams worked together with the tutors to stage short plays on the theme of migration, comparing different skills and counting on the tutoring of numerous professionals. In this phase, the Italian teams were joined by other teams from Spain and Germany, as well as by actors and costume designers and set designers. The 16 short plays offered an unprecedented vision of the theme, seen through the eyes of the artists in training. The experience of sharing the workload has consolidated relationships between the participants and the partners, opening up the possibility of further collaborations.

Some of the short plays were then adapted in the partner countries in a sort of International Tour. The theme was dealt with in countries that have a conflictual approach to the migration problem, bringing new stimuli to the audiences and artists. During these actions, in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, migrant artists were hosted during several Festivals, to significantly enhance audience growth and development.

In addition to these actions, a website was created to describe the whole experience, and many videos had been produced to recount all the various actions of the project and to spread the work done to stimulate further projects.