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International Academy for the Performing Arts

In October 2013, EXPERIMENTA SUR started in Bogotá, Colombia. Since then, it has been held six times as a temporary academy offering laboratories, seminars and performances focusing on the interaction of art and society.

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6th edition of the International Academy of Performing Arts from March 27 to April 1, 2017, in Bogotá

Workshop Olivier Grossetête
Workshop Olivier Grossetête

Emerging artists from 12 Latin American countries meet in Bogotá with renowned scientists and other artists from, among others, Argentina, Brazil, France, Thailand, Colombia and the Congo. Through joint work processes, research and initiatives, they deal with questions concerning the role of memory and forgetting within society.

Finding a language for the rapidly changing present is one of the academy’s main concerns. In the current edition, the academy is focusing more than ever on the foundation of history. As we can see from the effort put into establishing a peace process in Colombia, history is certainly not a finished process. It is rather a long, continuous road with countless junctions and intersections. With the politics of memory spectrum on the one hand and the commercialization of memory on the other, art can create a new overall sense of awareness. Against this backdrop, the "Mnemofilia & Lotofagia" laboratory is looking for an experimental approach in exchange with other fields of knowledge: Starting with the concrete testimony of a victim from the armed conflict in Colombia, which is recorded as a document, five Latin American experts draw their own conclusions from history, thereby considering the implications for today's world.

An anthropologist, a writer, a judge, a psychoanalyst and a human rights lawyer, alongside the artists, try to piece together different experiences and memory techniques to create dialog.

The French artist, Olivier Grossetête, has come up with something very special: Using thousands of cardboard boxes and hundreds of rolls of adhesive tape, in just a few days he builds a huge monument in the Plaza de los Mártires, right in the heart of Bogotá, with the help of artists and locals. The artistic initiative is also a social event, as the temporary building can only be created with the help of several hundred people. An individual could never achieve so much. For a short time, the piece changes the city's current image and its culture of memory.

Furthermore, in the same public space, you’ll find the "Fábrica de lo común" (The collective factory), which creates and organizes the intercultural collective ‘Kom.Post.’ with artists and researchers from around the globe. Anyone can participate in this dialog on "conflicting memories" and incorporate their own contribution on how to deal with the past. In addition to further interventions, lectures and laboratories, performances will also be put on: Amongst others, the Congolese choreographer, Faustin Linyekula, a major innovator in the world of African dance and theater, has focused on the hopelessness of his homeland, which has been ruined by war and corruption for many decades, in his play "more more more ... future". The Thai director, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, presents his film project, "Syndromes and a Century", and shows us how memory and cinema, as an artistic medium, can evoke and reshape history and emotions.

Seven young artists from last year's academy have joined together as a group of artists, named Grupo Traficantes. Together, they have designed a project which examines proximity and distance in Latin America. In the context of this year's program, artists from Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Cuba and Uruguay will perform the multi-part project "Correspondencias" for the first time.

A network of partners

The academy, initiated by the Siemens Stiftung, the Colombian Mapa Teatro and the Goethe Institute Bogotá, is supported this year by: Institut Français Colombie and TransArte, within the framework of the Año Colombia-Francia 2017, Secretaría de Cultura, Recreación y Deporte, Insituto Distral de las Artes - Idartes, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Universidad de Externado de Colombia, Universidad del Rosario, Escenalborde / Red Sur, Escuella Taller de Bogotá

Participating artists, groups and scientists

The participants in this year's academy are: Heidi & Rolf Abderhalden (CO), Roberto Burgos Cantor (CO), Clédat y Petitpierre (FR), Colectivo Kom.Post. (FR/CO), Jean-François Dusigne y Claire Dusigne (FR), Olivier Grossetête (FR), Grupo Traficantes (AR/PE/CU/CO/UY), Gloria Guzmán (CO), Faustin Linyekula/Studios Kabako (CD), Iván Orozco (CO), Suely Rolnik (BR), Ludmila da Silva Catela (AR/BR), Adriana María Urrea Restrepo (CO), Alejandro Valencia Villa (CO), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (TH)

Complete program can be found at: