About the topic

Woman holding her children during a protest at a makeshift camp in Greece Photo - AFP
Asylum-seekers and their children have spent years living in an institutional setting that was designed to be a short-term solution.

—NASC on Direct Provision (Ireland)

Immigration is one of the major crisis issues within the EU community at present. Inspired by the partners’ collective knowledge and history of migration, we wanted to explore how different countries and cultures address this communal issue, in particular through theatre and dance for young people.

With this topic, we sought to engage with artists to explore the following questions:

  • Over half of the world's displaced people are children, what is the role of the artist in telling/representing their stories?
  • What do children in Europe understand of the current immigration crisis? How can we explore and interrogate this in an age-appropriate and artistically interesting way?
  • Do children who have been displaced and live in Europe see themselves represented in culture?
    What are the risks in trying to explore such an emotive issue through theatre and dance for an audience of children?

We wanted to explore how the arts can represent diverse communities and engage with children within the refugee and asylum-seekers communities.

We wanted to look at how artists and cultural programmes can create a sense of place and a feeling of ownership of the cities they are living in. In particular, we wanted to investigate how artists and cultural activities can help develop our children’s awareness of civic care and active citizenship.