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Artists at Risk Artistic Residencies

Since 2022, the CCCB has been participating in the Artists at Risk - A European Network of Safe Havens (AR-ENSH) artistic residency project, led by the Artists at Risk association and co-funded by the European Union's Creative Europe program. At the CCCB, the project is linked to the annual celebration of the Orwell Day, an event that aims to vindicate the validity of George Orwell's legacy as a journalist and critical thinker, and to update his message through contemporary voices that also fight against dogmatism, authoritarianism and in favor of freedom of expression.

Artists at Risk is an association based in Helsinki, which, since 2013, supports persecuted, threatened or imprisoned artists around the world. During these years it has become an international reference institution for artists and cultural professionals at risk. Among the prominent figures the association has helped are Pussy Riot founders Maria Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova, the Somalian pop star Lil Balil, the Vietnamese dissident Mai Khoi or the Egyptian poet Galal El-Behairy.

The first activity that took place at the CCCB in the framework of this European project and the celebration of Orwell Day 2022 was the event Voices for Freedom, with the participation of Andrei Kureichik, Belarusian journalist and playwright exiled in Helsinki. Kureichik presented his play Voices of New Belarus, a documentary theater piece that illustrates the harshness of the political situation in his country as a result of the repressive drift of the Lukashenko regime.

Also, within the framework of the Artists at Risk project and in collaboration with the No Callarem platform, the CCCB has gone ahead with two artistic residencies in Barcelona, which have also been supported by the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona (Institute of Culture of Barcelona) and the Departament d'Igualtat i Feminismes de la Generalitat de Catalunya (Department of Equality and Feminism of the Generalitat de Catalunya). The aim of these residencies is to provide a safe space for artists, not only to protect their lives, but also to give them the opportunity to continue with their artistic activity and to act as a loudspeaker outside their territory.

The first residency hosted actor Aleksey Yudnikov and playwright Sasha Denisova, both Ukrainians exiled due to the war. In the framework of their residency in Barcelona, Aleksey and Sasha created the theatrical piece about the war in Ukraine My Mother and the Total Invasion, which they premiered at the CCCB on March 4, 2023.

The second residency hosts Iranian filmmaker Mahmoud Ghaffari and his partner, screenwriter Mahnaz Jarchi. Ghaffari, whose international career is well known, has been known for his social and protest cinema against government censorship in his country. She is currently in exile, where she is working on a new film about Iranian girls and the impositions they receive from the government and their families. In the framework of this residence in Barcelona, the filmmaker is working on the post-production of this new film, and on April 24, 2024 he presented his previous film, The Apple Day (2022), at the CCCB.

On June 20 and 21, 2024, the CCCB will host the final meeting of the Artists at Risk - A European Network of Safe Havens (AR-ENSH) project, with the participation of all the collaborating entities of the European network. Present will be the Artists at Risk association, leaders of the project, and the other entities that are also part of it: the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe (ZKM), from Germany, and the Artveda association, from Tunisia. The meeting will take place within the framework of the celebration of Orwell Day 2024.

This activity is part of Orwell Day