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The ROOTS & ROUTES Experience 2019

July 29th – August 15th 2019

For a two-week period, 40 young artists from different countries further developed the working methods that were developed during the previous project in 2017. Coached by professional artists, an interdisciplinary stage performance was created.

Photo © Nora Schwarz

40 young people from 8 countries met up for two weeks of collective learning and working at Heek music academy in summer 2019. Taking the working methods developed at the award-winning project RRXP17 one step further, the group connected their ideas and jointly developed a strong interdisciplinary stage performance, guided and coached by professional artistic coaches including artistic director Sophie Laffont. The result was premiere at the theatre of Alte Feuerwache Köln on August 13th and 14th, 2019.

Currently we see antidemocratic tendencies on the rise in Europe and beyond. Discourses aiming to instil fear, to divide society and to create scapegoats are becoming serious dangers to democracy. While mass media and social media filter bubbles are focussing in an exaggerated way on migration/refugees and fall for the agenda-setting of populist parties, socio-economic inequality increases outside that narrow-focused spotlight. In such times, we see an increasing need to connect young people across national borders, socio-economic and cultural groups, and to develop common visions.

“The ROOTS & ROUTES Experience” (RRXP) is a series of international exchange projects that started in Germany in 2008; the most recent one, RRXP17, won the Young Europe Award at Jugendkulturpreis NRW 2018. There, the jury called RRXP “the perfect concept to strengthen awareness for and cohesion in Europe”.

Statements from Participants


RRXP19 is funded by the EU programme Erasmus+, by the youth ministry of the federal state of North Rhine-Westfalia (MKFFI NRW) and the City of Cologne. RRXP19 is a RRCGN project; international partners include SMouTh Larissa/Greece, Street Dance Center Salzburg/Austria, Subjective Values Foundation Budapest/Hungary, GAIN Liverpool/UK, KITKC Kaunas/Lithuania, ROOTS & ROUTES Netherlands and CCC Florence/Italy.