Democratic Exchange Forum

for visual and performing art-professionals at Moriskan in Malmö, Sweden
25th-29th November 2015

” Don’t you start to harden
in this hard time
The all too hard will break
The all too sharp will stab
and break off fast…
…Don’t you start to fear
in this frightening time
That’s what they’re aiming for”

sang the German singer and poet Wolf Biermann. The song gave strength to many who wanted comfort, change and above all peace during a hard time in European history; the cold war. It is one example of performing arts as source of inspiration for social activity.

Biermann himself was then totally prohibited to perform or publish anything in East Germany where he lived. Later he was denied re-entry into the country and bereaved of his citizenship.

Today ”hard times” is almost understating the situation for performing artists in the Middle East and North Africa. Given that shadows of war, internal conflict and fanatic radicalism is in focus, some say that visual and performing arts are a luxury, but on the contrary they are essential means for communication, active citizenship, social change and, not least, comfort. The obstacles are many; censorship by governments, threats from extremist groups and lack of funding.

In spite of these hardships there is a growing, vital artistic scene where artists, filmmakers and musicians are very creative, which is important for the issue of freedom of expression and active citizenship in the region. Or, as the Syrian playwright Sadallah Wannous stated: “The arts are not only an expression of civil society, but also a necessary condition for its establishment and growth”.

RE:ORIENT - Democratic Exchange Forum, DXF, is a project that aims at strengthening visual and performing arts professionals and their possibility to develop their artistic creativity and enhance their knowledge about producing events and performances.

RE:ORIENT - Democratic Exchange Forum, DXF, is creating a platform where professionals from the MENA region can meet experienced colleagues from Scandinavia and exchange knowledge, inspiration and ideas for practical and creative cooperation.

RE:ORIENT - Democratic Exchange Forum, DXF, also aims at building an international network of visual and performing arts professionals that continuously can assist and support each other over national boundaries.

RE:ORIENT - Democratic Exchange Forum, DXF, is arranging a five day workshop in which professionals can get input and advice on their work but also work out cooperation in cultural projects addressing pressing issues like the refugee situation, radicalisation and areas where the participants have ideas and interest. During the five days, 25th to 29th of November, there will also be lectures and practical work in dealing with censorship and management of cultural projects.

RE:ORIENT - Democratic Exchange Forum, DXF, is an initiative from Re:Orient, a Swedish organisation with more than 20 years of experience in arranging performing arts events and producing musical exchange between Sweden, Middle East, Turkey and North Africa. Partners is Freemuse, the world's leading organisation advocating freedom of expression for musicians and the Swedish Institute, a public agency for international dialogue.

RE:ORIENT and partners is hereby inviting visual and/or performing art-professionals (artists, producers of performances or festivals, managers of cultural events or institutions) to participate in RE:ORIENT - Democratic Exchange Forum – a five day workshop at Moriskan in Malmö, Sweden from 25th to 29th of November 2015.

RE:ORIENT and partners will pay the costs for travel, visa and lodging for selected international participants. Due to the economical and practical limitations there will be a selective process and all applicants will know if they are selected before the end of august.

To apply
To apply, recommend a participant or get more information please mail or use application form here.

To be considered for selection you are between 25 - 40 years old and have documented experience of working with the arts in a socially engaged matter.  The application must contain a description of experience in the field of visual and performing art (resume/CV), a few words of what you would like to develope in the future and names, mail and/or phone number to people who can give references.

The time for application ends on the 31st of July.


The project is being carried out with financial support from the Swedish Institute