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Les Escaules, Alt Empordà, Catalonia, Spain

3 Apr

Les Escaules is a small village close to the French border on the verge of the Pyrenees and not far away from the Costa Brava.

It is in Catalonia, which is because of historical and cultural features one of the  historical autonomic communities in Spain. It has a different history and different cultur.
And here you find original Catalonian places and people.

Les Escaules was founded in the Middle Age in the 8th century. There are still remains of a castle and an abbey and many evidences of historical life. Now there only live 60 persons.
It has a relatively important industry of cement which was already used in the Roman Period.

But mostly this area is used for farming and more and more for summer residencies. Here you find extreme pure and beautiful nature, topped by the waterfall La Caula.

When I found out that Duchamp was here I became a Duchampianist and started writing about it. One photo shows Duchamp near by the water fall. That was the initiation for the first performance event La  Muga Caula.

Since 17th century Les Escaules and the Village Boadella, which is 3 km far away up the river La Muga, belong together. Time seems to stand still. Boadilla never grew and the people living there also don`t want that. They want to keep the calmness and the direct contact to nature.

My father in law has a huge house in Les Escaules. I come here since 1982.
I feel very home here. This place is good for my personal artistic inspiration and development.

Here I am close to the border in different ways. There is the country border to France and my own artistic border walk as an artist.
A symbol for all of that is the river La Muga, what means translated: border.
But this is a Basque word and not Catalan, what means perhaps that the Basque were here.

In 2005 I organized the first edition of the performance event La Muga Caula, what has the meaning of hot border.

Speaking about borders and working closed to them this is another important one for me where I find identity: the hot border of performance art.

 

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Insideout project in Finland

1 Mar

I want to invite participants of Insideout project to Inari. Inari is a community in Lapland northern part of Finland close to Norway in the north and north-west and Russia in the east.

I was born 1941 when Finland was in the war. Some parents gave their children names of places close to the border. My parents had the dream to visit Lapland, especially Petsamo which is nowadays on the Russian side of the border.

I was named Inari to remind about this Nordic village and mythological lake which is said to be as deep as it is long. This relationship to the name had become a longstanding curiosity and need to research this area more deeply.

Inari or Aanar is a Sami name of the place where people meet.
The people of Sami live since thousands of years in the Northern parts of Scandinavia. The land of the Sami nowadays consists of parts of Russia, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

When Hilla first contacted me things started to lead me towards Inarilake.
I just recently had been there passing through.
As it goes I met somebody who has a house by the lake. Another one told me about an anthropologist in Oulu University.

Contacts and possibilities appear like traces, I just have to follow.
A new Sami Cultural Center Sajos will be opened in April.

I will visit Inari this year and make contacts with people there and find homes for our group.
I am full of respect for the people and my deep wish is that we find a sensitive way of getting in touch.

 

In Finnish
Aikomuksenani on viedä Insideout projektin osallistujat Lappiin Inariin. Inari on kunta ja alue pohjoisessa joka on lähellä Norjaa ja Venäjää.

Synnyin 1941 kun Suomi oli sodassa. Jotkut vanhemmat antoivat lapsilleen lähellä rajaseutuja olevien paikkojen nimiä, kuten Viena ja Inari. Minun vanhemmillani oli unelma matkustaa Lappiin, erityisesti Petsamoon joka on nyt Venäjän puolella.

Sain nimekseni Inari, joka muistuttaa Pohjoisesta kunnasta ja myyttisestä järvestä, jonka sanotaan olevan yhtä syvä kuin pitkäkin. Tämä suhde nimeeni on herättänyt uteliaisuuteni ja kiinnostukseni jo kauan ja halun tutkia asiaa syvemmin.

Inari, Saameksi Aanar, on paikka missä ihmiset tapaavat. Saamelaiset ovat asuneet tuhansia vuosia Skandinavian pohjoisosissa. Saamelaisalue käsittää nykyään osia Ruotsista, Norjasta, Suomesta ja Venäjästä.

Kun Hilla Steinert otti minuun yhteyttä Insideout projektin tiimoilta, asiat alkoivat viedä minua Inarinjärven suuntaan. Olen juuri äskettäin käynyt alueella. Tapasin henkilön jolla on talo järven rannalla. Eräs toinen kertoi antropologista, joka työskentelee Oulun yliopistossa, joka voi olla resurssi henkilönä meille. Myös uusi Saamelaisten kulttuurikeskus Sajos avataan Inarissa huhtikuussa 2012.

Nämä kontaktit vaikuttavat kuin jäljiltä, joita minun tulee nyt seurata.
Aion vierailla Inarissa tänä vuonna ja tutustua paikallisiin ihmisiin löytääkseni majapaikkoja ryhmämme jäsenille.
Suhtaudun kunnioittavasti ihmisiin ja toivon että Insideout työryhmä pystyy lähestymään hienotunteisesti pohjolan ihmisiä Inarinjärvellä.

Eastern Poland: Siemiatycze – Grabarka – Mielnik – Koden – Dolhobrody – Wlodawa – Wola Uhruska -Lublin.

1 Mar

My choice is the eastern region of Poland.
I want to lead you to the frontier zone of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine with a length about 200 – 300 km. It is also possible that we visit Belarus for several days.

The routing is: Siemiatycze – Grabarka – Mielnik – Koden – Dolhobrody – Wlodawa – Wola Uhruska -Lublin.

The older generation living in that region speaks Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian. They belong to the Orthodox church.
Catholic and Orthodox church architecture exist side by side.
The Garbarka hill (hill of crosses) is the biggest ritual place of the Orthodox in Poland.

In that Eastern area we find many decorative motives and details in architecture and costumes, local dishes and cakes, which are typical for the Ukraine, Belarusian and Russian culture. Also here we still can hear music and songs from Belarus and Ukraine.

Because of its position of being frontier zone Polish culture is strongly influenced. Also here meet my personal history with the course of time.

Political changes and open borders to the EU bring pop culture and commercialism  also to the far away regions.
This is the last phase before the complete destruction of traditional culture.

Antoni Karwowski

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Preuntsfelden, Germany

2 Feb

How did INSIDEOUT start?
Hilla Steinert

To know where something started is very interesting, because the beginning is part of the whole thing. In deed, I think it is very important, also or may be especially, because we always move away from one initial point.

Last summer I was in Preuntsfelden. That is a small village in Southgermany, ca 28 houses. I was born in that village. My father was the teacher and we lived in the school house. My parents lived in the basement and in the small rooms under the roof. The school rooms where in the first floor.

1960 it was still common that children in the country side get taught together in one class. It also was normal to give birth at home. The village Preuntsfelden had in spite of its smallness a church and a school. The school is closed for a long time. The few left children in the village have to drive now to next bigger place to go to school. But the house itself still exists.

I in fact only lived there for two years. Then my father changed to another place. But the friendship to our ancient neighbors exists over generations and connects me with this particular place till today. Sometimes I have a longing for it. It is a piece of home deeply rooted in myself. It is something difficult to describe: a sort of unconsciousness knowledge that has nothing to do with my biography.

The house is empty and except the basement hardly changed. There they built a mortuary. Where the dead persons get laid out nowadays stood the bed where I was born in. The former school rooms are used by the community on and off. There is still the old cooker where my mother prepared meals. The stairs are caved, the plaster crumbles and the layers of paint  chip off.

Locked-in time which disappears with a slight sigh by opening the door.

In this house meet my very personal history with the history of a whole period of time.
Life seems tangible in layers.

This summer I was taking pictures of the house and the village, research through the eye of the camera. I told Antoni about it and sent him some pictures That was when the first idea to a performance, in which our childhoods as well as the places of our childhhoods meet, came up. Before that Antoni and his performance partner performed on the 24h Performanceproject in Szczecin in May 2011 the meeting between his grandmother and his partner`s grandmother.  In another performance the audience had the possibility to meet his grandfather.

There is that empty house, the whole village and area where you can just read the layers of time. What a great and unusual possibility to be able to go back to the place where you are born and it hardly changed!!

Very fast we thought that we should expand this very interesting field of exploration by including other nations.

And that we, as artists, with our own way of approaching open important and precious terrain, which offers excellent entries for scientific work in different disciplines.
And now we work on realizing it.
Preuntfselden will be the place in Germany where I will take you with me.