Urban Heat

The Brick Box is part of the Urban Heat programme which started in autumn 2015 in Munich. Urban Heat is a project developed by the Festivals in Transition (FIT) network of 13 international festival partners. Supported by Creative Europe and led by the London International Festival of Theatre, it enables artists to engage with the invisible communities and lesser known stories of our cities.

The four year project supports emerging and mid-career artists (working in performance, theatre, dance, interdisciplinary practice, live art and installation based practice) to develop new forms of participatory arts practice and create work that addresses urgent political and social issues facing our cities, by working with audiences and those communities who are affected.

Through a series of academies and Urban Labs in European cities, the project has brought together selected artists, academics, faith leaders, political scientists and technologists, in an attempt to explore the following questions:

  • How can artists learn from activism, politically and socially engaged artistic strategies and other models of organisation and engagement?
  • How can artists reflect and discuss their own role in actual political and social processes?
  • How can artists effectively utilise technology and social media to reach audiences and build communities?
  • What are the new and developing forms of participatory art and community engagement?

In 2016, Rosie attended labs in Cairo, Lisbon, London and Maribor (eastern Slovenia). She learned about the challenges facing these urban communities and the inspiring social initiatives which have begun in response. What a pleasure and privilege to meet artists and activists from across the world who have such diverse practices and shared values! In 2017 we developed an artistic commission – Hope Springs Eternal – which responded to some of the things we learned and experienced. The final presentation of Hope Springs Eternal will take place in Helsinki in June 2018 and the closing academy of Urban Heat will take place at SPRING performing arts festival in Utrecht in 2018.