2018. On 10thh of November 2018 at 4 p.m., the European Republic will be proclaimed from (theatre) balconies and in public places as part of a Europe-wide art performance. A manifesto, inspired by the tone and style of various proclamations of republics in 1918, will be read out loud and subsequently discussed. More than 100 European cultural institutions are participating, among others the National Theater Gent (NTGent), the Royal Conservatoire Scotland, the Burgtheater Vienna and the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam. Several public figures support the project, such as Milo Rau, Elfriede Jelinek, Étienne Balibar and Dubravka Ugrešić.
The European Balcony Project was initiated by the European Democracy Lab e.V. and made possible thanks to citizen’s donations collected through a crowdfunding campaign. The project includes events, podium discussions and peaceful artistic interventions on European democracy taking place in several European cities from 10 – 11 November 2018. Through the project, a broad debate on the future of Europe shall be initiated ahead of elections to the European Parliament in May 2019.
The project not only aims to commemorate the republics founded in Europe 100 years ago, the end of World War I, the events of November 9, 1938 (November pogroms) and German reunification in November 1989, but also to turn all three historically linked dates into a new European “Lieu de Memoire” (Place of Remembrance) with a common future perspective for a social and democratic Europe.
With this, the initiators also want to set a counterpoint to the European and global resurgence of nationalism. History has shown us where nationalism can lead. The project opens up future perspectives for a social and democratic Europe at the same time. The goal of the project is to raise public awareness for the benefits of a pan-European democracy and statehood that safeguards the European common good. One market – one currency – one democracy: The project reminds of the urgency to complete the project of an “ever closer union”, envisaged by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992.
Controversial discussion, interpretation and additions to the ideas forwarded in the manifesto are considered integral to the project as the future of Europe in the 21st century has to be shaped by the many. Through the Europe-wide participation of theatres, artists and citizens, the slogan of the European Union “Unity in Diversity” will be realized by civil society. At the same time, the European Balcony Project hopes to contribute to an emancipatory movement uniting for a European democracy on the basis of political equality of all citizens.
Because Europe means integrating people, not states.
(Citation from the Manifesto for the proclamation of the European Republic)
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More information at: www.europeanbalconyproject.eu