East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP) supports the
development of contemporary performing arts (dance and theatre)
in 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Art, Activism and Climate Change: an international workshop, May 7-10, 2015 (Cēsis, Latvia)


Workshop led by Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, May 7-10, 2015, Rucka Artist Residency in Cēsis, Latvia.

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (Labofii), a collective of artists – activists Isabelle Fremeaux and John Jordan, merges art and life, creativity and resistance, proposition and opposition. Known for touring the UK recruiting a rebel clown army, running courses in postcapitalist culture, throwing snowballs at bankers, turning hundreds of abandoned bikes into machines of disobedience and launching a rebel raft regatta to shut down a coal fired power station, they treat insurrection as art and art as a means of preparing for the coming insurrection.

“As a society we are caught between a sense of impending apocalypse and the fear of acknowledging it. In this ‘caught’ place our responses are blocked and confused. On one level we maintain a more or less up-beat capacity to carry on as usual… and all the while, underneath, there is this inchoate knowledge that our world could go at any moment. Unless we find ways of acknowledging and integrating that level of anguished awareness, we repress it; and with that repression we are drained of the energy we need for action.” Joanna Macy

Faced with the immensity and complexity of the catastrophic entwining of ecological, economic and social crises that threaten our entire way of life, in fact threatens life itself, we often feel paralysed. “We could do more”, our intuition nags at us, and yet something holds us back from actions commensurate with the scale of the problem.

Based on the powerful synergies that art merged with activism can create, this workshop will explore how improvisation, story telling and getting back to our bodies can offer new avenues to conceive of effective forms of disobedience.

Participants will be encouraged to share and reflect upon personal and historical stories of courage, creativity and disobedience, learn to trust each other and engage in horizontal processes of organising, as well as explore tools for effective and creative strategies that are required in order to organise appropriate responses to the injustices of the climate catastrophe. Working with local artists and activists and using a diversity of participatory and playful methods of popular education, it will aim to start a momentum towards collective organising and affinity group building for effective disobedience in response to the UN’s 2015 Paris Climate summit.

The workshop will be facilitated by Isabelle Fremeaux, co-founder of theLabofii. It is open for international participants and will be held in English. The Workshop is designed for everybody interested but will give priority to the professionals active in the fields of art, culture and climate.

In parallel to the workshop is the show We Have Never Been Here Before, written and performed by John Jordan, co-founder of the Labofii, on May 5 and 6, 19.00, at Gertrudes ielas teatris, Riga. The autobiographical lecture performance turns the theatre into an assembly of hope in the dark and asks how we can remain empowered when our worlds are being ripped apart and life itself is threatened with extinction. Participants are encouraged to attend the performance, as its content is key for full engagement with the workshop. Free tickets will be available for all selected participants.

The number of workshop participants is limited, bookings need to be made by April 10, 2015 (with a short letter in English to [email protected] explaining why you would like to attend, this is to get a sense of who you are so that we can tailor the workshop to the participants).
Confirmations will be sent by April 17, 2015.

The workshop will start on Thursday, May 7 at 11.00, and will finish in the afternoon of Sunday, May 10. Participants are asked to be able to stay in Cēsis for the whole period of the workshop. Workshop costs and accommodation in Rucka manor are covered by the organizers; participants are asked to organize and pay for their trip to Cēsis and for meals which will be provided on the spot (approx. 10-12 eur for three meals a day).

This event is organised by the New Theatre Institute of Latvia in the framework of the European project IMAGINE 2020: Art and Climate Changesupported by the EU Programme Culture and Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia



New Theatre Institute of Latvia
The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination