Thank you for inviting me to St Malo for the launch of the BOAT project. The BOAT is a wonderful outcome for our ICR collaboration part-funded by the European INTERREG fund.
ICR set out to focus on
- supporting creative practitioners (creative art students, freelance artists, creative professionals from the partner region and adjacent areas) to develop the quality of their practice and their professional development.
- nurturing the creative network of creative animators and intermediaries that engage with creative practice with the arts school and its students at the centre.
- creating a rich cross-border creative ecology of these stakeholders through its range of collaborative actions.
Out of this ecology and by ensuring that each action had a social and community aspect to it, ICR helped to stimulate cultural and economic growth, enhanced collaboration and cohesion in the cross border region. In doing so it employed innovative models of creative knowledge exchange, cultural development and interventions as well as broad audience and socially focused audience engagement.
In the project we achieved the following outputs:
- 24 Commissions
- 18 Exhibitions
- 3 Festivals
- 11 Residencies
- 25 Internships
- 44 Exchange visits
So, I think all these objectives we have been achieved through our collaboration and more. Some of the achievements we never thought possible, and the BOAT is one of those achievements that will give the ICR project a fantastic legacy and help us keep the partnership and friendships alive, even if its configuration changes. Is it not great to have seen our respective students work on the BOAT?
The BOAT could move at the centre of a new collaboration we are trying to establish, cross-pollinating our ideas and practices around art, culture, education, technology, the region an its natural habitat, its well-being. In this new partnership, called MORE THEATRE, which stands for The Making of Our Region on the Edge: Tourism, Heritage, Ecology, Art, Technology, Regeneration and Enterprise, we are seeking to build on what we have achieved yet extend our reach into the performing arts and the technology sector.
MORE THEATRE is a deliberate play on words, recognising that we need the space for the different ‘actors’ to come together and play out the arguments and solutions of a positive difference and inclusive spaces. A space where audiences and communities can become engaged in a meaningful sustainable way, whilst MORE THEATRE seeks to demonstrate how different disciplines, experiences and knowledge bases can work together locally and specific to local circumstances yet with an overall common aim.
At the beginning of our ICR affair, I quoted Albert Camus , the French author, journalist and philosopher :“Culture”, he said, "Culture: the cry of men before their fate"
And here we are in Saint-Malo, the setting of Marie de France “Laustic” or “Nightingale”, a poem of a love affair. And just like in that poem where the lover’s knight made a pressures vessel for the dead nightingale a symbol of the preservation of love and friendship, the BOAT represents what our collaboration stood for and will continue in its spirit.
Uwe Derksen, Saint-Malo, 26 April 2015