• What do we use as a common basis in our conversations with others? How and from where do we draw on our shared knowledge and which experiences do we share? This determines, in effect, how we live together.
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Terreno Común I Common Ground provides a joint workspace to artists from Latin America and Europe. There they can shift or confront contrasting perspectives and develop new ideas. Drawing on our interwoven understanding of culture, the project focuses on finding common ground.

Artistic research in a transcultural space

If the special thing about art is its ability to help us uncover what we do not know and what we do not understand, then opportunities for interaction are essential – particularly in cross-cultural space. Art provides a testing ground where different perceptions, discourses and social structures can converge and new knowledge emerge. For this reason, Siemens Stiftung has worked with Naves Matadero – International Living Arts Centre in Madrid and other partners on an initiative that creates a professional “maker space” for artistic research and development. It includes artist-in-residence programs, urban interventions and exchanges with local artists. As the year passes, these encounters will evolve into a series of collaborative projects that are developed together by artists from Latin America and Europe.

Project ideas and new works

Sign “Do we dare to do what we say?” at the Palacio Real in Madrid.
Residents of Madrid asked themselves “Do we dare to do what we say?” at the Palacio Real.
A rebellious city district changes continents

The Cuban author and theatermaker Laura Liz Gil Echenique and the Spanish collective Los Bárbaros in Matadero Madrid have collaborated on a theater production as part of Terreno Común | Common Ground. The piece was created following artists' residencies and working visits to Madrid, Spain, and La Habana, Cuba, which saw the artists take turns in gaining new insights into the respective continents. The research relates to the story of the Madrid district Cerro Belmonte in 1990. The residents of Cerro Belmonte, unsatisfied with their political situation at the time, declared their district's independence from Spain and successfully sought asylum in Cuba. It was their way of fighting against unjust expropriation.
Learning about this history led the artists to ask the question: When everything appears impossible, what possibilities can we envision? Atlantis is one of these possibilities, a contradiction that allows us to build another world or rebuild the existing one.

This led to the play "Atlántida," which will debut on 30 November 2018 in Naves de Matadero in Madrid.

Additional performances: 1 and 2 December 2018, 8 p.m.

Place: Nave 10. Sala Max Aub, Naves Matadero, Centro Internacional de Artes Vivas, Paseo de la Chopera, 14, 28045 Madrid

The Cuban author and theatermaker Laura Liz Gil Echenique and the Spanish collective Los Bárbaros in Matadero Madrid have collaborated on a theater production as part of Terreno Común | Common Ground. The piece was created following artists' residencies and working visits to Madrid, Spain, and La Habana, Cuba, which saw the artists take turns in gaining new insights into the respective continents. The research relates to the story of the Madrid district Cerro Belmonte in 1990. The residents of Cerro Belmonte, unsatisfied with their political situation at the time, declared their district's independence from Spain and successfully sought asylum in Cuba. It was their way of fighting against unjust expropriation.
Learning about this history led the artists to ask the question: When everything appears impossible, what possibilities can we envision? Atlantis is one of these possibilities, a contradiction that allows us to build another world or rebuild the existing one.

This led to the play "Atlántida," which will debut on 30 November 2018 in Naves de Matadero in Madrid.

Additional performances: 1 and 2 December 2018, 8 p.m.

Place: Nave 10. Sala Max Aub, Naves Matadero, Centro Internacional de Artes Vivas, Paseo de la Chopera, 14, 28045 Madrid

Fictional island group between cultures
The musician Julián Mayorga and the Colombian artist Andrés Gualdrón are asking themselves how we can overcome descriptions of “others.”

To what extent are we talking about ourselves when we describe others? Julián Mayorga, a musician who lives in Spain, and the Colombian artist Andrés Gualdrón, are currently working on this question at the Centro Etopia de Zaragoza, before they return to Colombia. The narrative axis of their joint project “Islas Atlánticas” (“Atlantic Islands”) is the creation of a new archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. In this parallel world between the continents, the artists explore questions about migration, settlement and cultural integration. The project is planning a book, a CD production and a concert, whose first performances are scheduled for February 15 and 16, 2019, at the Matadero in Madrid.

The musician Julián Mayorga and the Colombian artist Andrés Gualdrón are asking themselves how we can overcome descriptions of “others.”

To what extent are we talking about ourselves when we describe others? Julián Mayorga, a musician who lives in Spain, and the Colombian artist Andrés Gualdrón, are currently working on this question at the Centro Etopia de Zaragoza, before they return to Colombia. The narrative axis of their joint project “Islas Atlánticas” (“Atlantic Islands”) is the creation of a new archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. In this parallel world between the continents, the artists explore questions about migration, settlement and cultural integration. The project is planning a book, a CD production and a concert, whose first performances are scheduled for February 15 and 16, 2019, at the Matadero in Madrid.

Translation of texts in motion

The Chilean director and actress María Siebald is delving into the process of translation. In an initial research phase performed in June and July 2018, she is working with communities of the hearing impaired in Madrid on an interpretation of texts written by contemporary Spanish writers in sign language. She will build on this work in a second phase and join forces with the dancers of the National Dance Company (Compañía Nacional de Danza) for a translation and embodiment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Chilean director and actress María Siebald is delving into the process of translation. In an initial research phase performed in June and July 2018, she is working with communities of the hearing impaired in Madrid on an interpretation of texts written by contemporary Spanish writers in sign language. She will build on this work in a second phase and join forces with the dancers of the National Dance Company (Compañía Nacional de Danza) for a translation and embodiment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

What do continents share?

Geography, names or climate? In Chile, the Spanish artistic couple Rosa Casado and Mike Brookes are literally exploring common ground – the touch points between continents. With the help of Chilean researchers, they are viewing life on Earth as a bio-climatic landscape and not as a mosaic of nations – like the air that we share. The Spanish choreographer Maria Jerez will work with artists at the NAVE cultural center in Santiago de Chile to develop a room of shared knowledge in which objects of different natures coexist and will shift our perspective. The resulting productions will be seen on both continents.

Geography, names or climate? In Chile, the Spanish artistic couple Rosa Casado and Mike Brookes are literally exploring common ground – the touch points between continents. With the help of Chilean researchers, they are viewing life on Earth as a bio-climatic landscape and not as a mosaic of nations – like the air that we share. The Spanish choreographer Maria Jerez will work with artists at the NAVE cultural center in Santiago de Chile to develop a room of shared knowledge in which objects of different natures coexist and will shift our perspective. The resulting productions will be seen on both continents.

Urban space becomes action space

From 11-22 July 2018, the interdisciplinary Chilean collective Mil M2 worked with Spanish artist Javier Cruz in public spaces in Madrid. In eight of the city's neighborhoods, the urban intervention "Proyecto Pregunta" offered opportunities for interaction – the artists asked citizens about social life in the city and provided an open space for the questions to resonate. The project was conducted in collaboration with Veranos de la Villa and kicked off a debate over how people live together.

From 11-22 July 2018, the interdisciplinary Chilean collective Mil M2 worked with Spanish artist Javier Cruz in public spaces in Madrid. In eight of the city's neighborhoods, the urban intervention "Proyecto Pregunta" offered opportunities for interaction – the artists asked citizens about social life in the city and provided an open space for the questions to resonate. The project was conducted in collaboration with Veranos de la Villa and kicked off a debate over how people live together.

Migration from objects
For the “Correspondencia” project, the artists collective wrote letters to unknown recipients – stories of everyday observation, political commentary, and societal themes.

“Colectivo Traficantes” organized the first professional “maker space” from June 25 through July 24, 2017, in Madrid. The group of artists from Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Peru and Uruguay initially came together during the Experimenta Sur 2016 in Bogotá. As a multi-disciplinary collective, the group develops its artistic works using communication tools such as Skype, handwritten letters or mailed objects. Every day, countless objects move in some way around the globe – as traded goods, on computer screens or among the personal belongings of migrants. By tracking the movement of these objects, there is a lot to learn about the adaptability of societies. During a research project, the group investigated this complex interplay of personal and political realities and developed a program called “Correspondencia”, a series of activities in which the group gave new meaning to trade and communication. The results were displayed in an open project space with an exhibition, discussion and performance elements from July 18 to 21, 2017, in the Matadero Cultural Center. Afterward, the project was continued as a work-in-progress in Buenos Aires.

Colectivo Traficantes:

-        Mercedes Halfon (Argentina)

-        Laura Liz Gil Echenique (Cuba)

-        Adriana Bermúdez Fernández (Colombia)

-        Diego Alejandro Garzón (Colombia)

-        Jorge Tadeo Baldeón (Perú)

-        Leonor Courtoisie (Uruguay)

For the “Correspondencia” project, the artists collective wrote letters to unknown recipients – stories of everyday observation, political commentary, and societal themes.

“Colectivo Traficantes” organized the first professional “maker space” from June 25 through July 24, 2017, in Madrid. The group of artists from Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Peru and Uruguay initially came together during the Experimenta Sur 2016 in Bogotá. As a multi-disciplinary collective, the group develops its artistic works using communication tools such as Skype, handwritten letters or mailed objects. Every day, countless objects move in some way around the globe – as traded goods, on computer screens or among the personal belongings of migrants. By tracking the movement of these objects, there is a lot to learn about the adaptability of societies. During a research project, the group investigated this complex interplay of personal and political realities and developed a program called “Correspondencia”, a series of activities in which the group gave new meaning to trade and communication. The results were displayed in an open project space with an exhibition, discussion and performance elements from July 18 to 21, 2017, in the Matadero Cultural Center. Afterward, the project was continued as a work-in-progress in Buenos Aires.

Colectivo Traficantes:

-        Mercedes Halfon (Argentina)

-        Laura Liz Gil Echenique (Cuba)

-        Adriana Bermúdez Fernández (Colombia)

-        Diego Alejandro Garzón (Colombia)

-        Jorge Tadeo Baldeón (Perú)

-        Leonor Courtoisie (Uruguay)