My first experience in R&R residencies was in September 2017, it was the project I-CARE in Kaunas, Lithuania. I still remember waiting for the bus to the airport at 3:00 A.M in Florence, where I met for the first time other participants (that now I just call Friends) from Italy. I was surprised how all of them were coming from different fields, studies, backgrounds and stories. Also, many of us had mixed families from different nationalities. That made me realize how the concept of nationality is purely legislative. At the end of these 2 weeks of residencies by meeting other ‘Lithuanian’ and ‘Germans’ I understood that we all were coming from the same place, the planet Earth, and we have in common the will to use the Arts to influence and to make a positive change into the World.
These 2 weeks were fundamental for the development of my identity, I think it was a time when I learned much more probably than 3 years at my bachelor study. We had such a nice time together by having fun and laughing a lot but It was also tough work, by working with emotions, feeling and the body, it was something that I totally missed during the time at school, where the classical theoretical and top-down approach didn’t give the chance to be really myself. In the I-CARE project the focus was towards the thematic of discrimination and racism and by listening stories of other participants we
were stimulated to produce a collective performative piece of art. During the process, I will never forget that one day we were outside in Kaunas and someone was not very welcomed by the locals, and they said something like ‘Come back to your country, we don’t want you here!’. I believe that this episode
unfortunately happens daily and here it comes I think the role of Art, as a way to communicate, to make public something that usually the society would like to avoid seeing.
In conclusion, I learned that Art is not only entertainment, it is much more, is an educative and strongly political tool because it makes you feel and relive a personal story.
I-CARE – InterCulture Against Racism in Europe” was a 3-year project where young artists from Germany, Italy and Lithuania confront racism and discrimination and develop public artistic statements. The project started with an international exchange in Germany in 2015, followed by
exchanges in Italy 2016 and Lithuania 2017. Project Partners include Associazione Centro di Creazione e Cultura (Florence/Italy) and Kaunas Cultural Center of Various Nations (Lithuania).