A caravan of artists, media activists, scientists and technicians from all over the world is presently gathering in Andalucia in the South of Spain. The Euro-African project will cross the Straits of Gibraltar in December, and move south along the west-coast of Africa [map], reclaiming the Straits as a bridge, not a boundary. The Caravan describes itself as "a sound system, a circus, a mobile cinema and a stage for theatre and performance". It is constantly open for everyone who wants to participate.
news about the tour | german version
The caravan is a melting pot of artists[german], media activists, scientists and technicians from all over the world. They aim to bring people together, their music, their arts and curiosity and thus different forms of communication to develop a common programme. This is for gathering experiences and focuses to pick long-standing forms of perception and to further develop them. This resembles an erratic, unaccustomed and multicultural Circus of Madness [german], which roams to celebrate jointly and uncommercially.
|The south of spain, the region of andalusia, is the gathering point of people from europe and all the rest of the world. The tribes are gathering in fall 2003 to jointly form the first euro-african caravan. Andalusia was the historic center and symbol of peaceful and productive interaction of all cultures under the umbrella of mutual respect and tolerance [german] before the spanish-catholic reconquista [german]in the 15. century. Muslims, christians and jews used to live here to their mutual benefit. The Strait of Gibraltar [german] was a bridge in that time, not a boundary as it is today. The people gathering in south of spain are missing this bridge in face of the regime of the fortress europe. The people of the caravan want to express their opposition towards the "schengen policy" of the european union. They want to positively start rebuilding the bridge over the Strait of Gibraltar.|
A group of European and North-African activists has met in Almeria [spanish] in October to start their journey via Seville (Spain), Ceuta and maybe the SETI Camp (Morocco), Larache (Morocco), Sahara, Mauritania to St. Louis (Senegal) where it is expected to arrive in March 2004.
Every region the caravan passes will be the place of festivals, put together jointly by the caravan people and the local people involved. Though every festival will take place in the spirit of the caravan, also all festivals will be different in the type of main focus issues and their very form, depending on the regional and local preparation and understanding of the caravan.
In the article:
The tour concept is to bring communities closer together and get communities support the development of one another through information exchange, communication and support in practical ways. Thus the tour will involve Artists, Media workers, Researchers and community workers. In the course of the Caravan we will lay the foundations for long-term working together for the development of our various communities. Very prominent in the tour will be series of joined workshops to further enrich our present experiences. There will also be technical equipment available to support community-based projects, particularly in Africa, as the START of our process to ACTIVELY BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE.
Within the framework of the cultural festival U-Site Fusion at the end of june a plane hangar was rearranged to an interplanetary spacecraft of fools. This spacecraft of fools then launched and landed on different events in Berlin and the surrounding area to put up its circus tents. After the Institute of Nomadology Congress, September 19th to 21st 2003 [german] the departure to Spain is planned.
In October the caravan gathers in the South of Spain, ferries over to Morocco in mid-November, and travels from South-Morocco to St. Louis in Senegal from mid-Febuary to the end of March.
No Border groups and individuals, artists, scientists, musicians and technicians of all origins will collaborate to launch the multilingual 'Boundaries to Bridges' and generate activities and actions such as:
- The Caravan will serve as a platform for talks, workshops, info-exchanges, parties, circus and theatre performances and will also have a mobile cinema showing documentaries and films covering themes of immigration and frontiers [german]. It is open for all to participate [german]. Currently involved are self-organized migrant groups from Morrocco and Senegal living in Spain and Morroco, alongside a host of other disparate individuals and groups.
- The Circus of Madness: The circus sees itself predominantly as a medium of cultural communication, which not only offers entertainment but displays topics in unconventional ways and easily overcoming language barriers. The circus tent will be the round roof and a central meeting point of the caravan. Elements are drama, acrobatics, music, mime-play, performance etc.
- Mobile cinema: Aim of the mobile cinema is the permanent filming and presenting of cultures which the caravan will travel through. Impressions, interviews, documentations and light movies are produced in every place and are presented on further stops again. This way each location of the caravan becomes a production unit of the mobile cinema. Interested people can learn how to work with video and cut-techniques.
- Free Parties: The tradition of mobile soundsystems is to organise parties in the respective places. This should offer a forum to local artists and musicians together with the circus and the cinema.
Development cooperationWithin the bounds of the caravan the cooperation with groups and initiatives in the Maghreb area are aspired. The main focus lies on the transfer of hardware and knowledge in the fields of alternative forms of energy, mobility, self sufficiency and media/information technology. In detail that means to organise donations from Europe in form of vehicles running with vegetable oil generators, computers, film-cut techniques, solar technology, radio-stations and the like and put it at the disposal of Maghreb groups participating in the caravan.
Therefore the cooperation with SONED e.V., a charitable development cooperation group based in Berlin plays a very important role. Other partner-organisations with already existing relations to Maghreb states an to Western-Africa are summoned to participate. Every form of material or financial donation (with receipt) is appreciated. firstname.lastname@example.org
Institute of Nomadology [german]A number of scientific congresses of the Institute of Nomadology will reflexively accompany the caravan. This is an amalgamation of free scientists, who are concerned with nomadology, migration and future science.
Following main topics are worked on during the congresses:
- Northern-African migrants in Europe (transnational spaces, des-integration)
- European interests and politics with Maghreb (Euro-Mediterranian free-trade zone, Schengen)
- Development-policy and cultural exchange (answers to economic differences and the „battle of cultures“)
- Modern politics of Maghreb states (post-colonial situation, civil society, democratisation)
- Forms of alternative energy and mobility concepts
- Future-science, development of visions
- Mutual teaching and learning
After the caravan opening congress at September 19th - 21st in Berlin [german], similar events are planned to be organised in:
- Tangier [german] (December 1st - 10th 2003),
- in South Morocco (January 25th - Febuary 5th 2004), and
- in St. Louis, Senegal (March 21st - 29th 2004).
There the congresses will be integrated into the other events (circus, parties, workshops).
Cooperation partner is expected to be the Institute of Cultural Science of Humboldt University in Berlin. Further cooperation partners in Germany and on the spot are urgently needed. Together with local as well as international experts and persons affected, the aim of these congresses should be, to combine general questions on the topic with exact demands and problems, to promote contextual exchange and to prompt impulses for a new way of thinking.
"The caravan are all who want to participate"
- Memenet: A Berlin based initiative of event organizers, film makers and performance artists
- SONED e.v.: Southern Network for Environment and Development. A Berlin-based initiative for development aid and co-operation, that has for over 10 years supported projects in Kenia, Nigeria, Gambia and others with solar technology, vehicles, mechanical sawing machines etc. and distributed products from these projects in Berlin.
- Filmbrigade Nord: A mobile cinema, stuffed with 35mm-projectors which has planned a similar project 3 years ago and will now exercise it within the scope of the boundaries to bridges tour.
- Institute of Nomadology [german] is a co-operation of free scientists, that are working on the topics of nomadology, migration and futurology.
- indymedia: Indymedia is an international network of AUTONOMOUS NON-HIERARCHICAL MEDIA COLLECTIVES.
Collaborations with various media groups (Radio campagne Berlin, Indymedia, CCC ...), development politics groups (Berliner Entwicklungs-politischer Ratschlag e.v. ...), migration politics groups (No Border, Attac, ...) and environmental technology groups are to be established.
All projects which can identify with the aims and context of the Boundaries-to-Bridges Tour are invited and asked to participate, no matter in which form, in this permanently developing and unhierarchical, cooperative project!!
- Andalusia October, November 2003
- Almeria / October 10th - 12th / BtB_Festival
- Seville / October 24th - 26th / three cultures festival
- Ceuta/Septa / November 5th - 9th / Protestcamp C.E.T.I
- (Altern. : Martil, Morocco)
- Morocco November, December 2003
- Al Hocima / November 14th - 16th / Amarzirgh Festival
- Larache / November 28th- 30th / Pateras Festival
- Central-Morocco / Two weeks in mid-December / Forum Social Festival
- South-Morocco / Two weeks end of December, January / Nomad-Festival
- Mauritania January 2004
- Nouakchott / Two weeks in mid-January / Theatre et Dance Festival
- Senegal Febuary, March 2004
- St.Louis / Two weeks early Febuary / btb-Festival
- Dakar / Early March / Indymedia! Afrika Festival
If you are interested in participating or if you would like to provide information or contacts please contact us via:
c/o Mark Butler
fon: +49 - 30 - 29 36 57 40
Participation and FAQ
The long-term perspective is for African activists to Organise IMCs all over the continent and use them for their struggle for a better society as well as an example for an alternative way of organising society (consensus & non-hierarchy) to enhance participatory democracy. Which will in turn lead to a more just and equitable society.
Immediate perspective: we hope to sow the knowledge of IMC amongst the few activists that we will get contact with leaving in Africa. To be able to discuss, clarify and explain what indy is all about. Especially the difference between indymedia and what is popularly known in Africa as independent media. As, while these independent media in Africa kind of focuses mostly on criticising the government; indymedia goes the extra length to offer possibility for the participation of every member of the society; thus taking away the limited option of just having those out of government to work their way into government as has been the results with the work of some of these independent media activity. Indymedia goes down to propose an option that will improve the structure of society and not only to deal with goverment malpractices. With the workshops that we plan to Organise during the "Boundaries to Bridges tour" we hope to: Clarify these things and that when the tour ends in March-2004 we should have in the continent a handful of people that have got the GRASP of what indymedia is all about, how it functions and what is the contribution it can bring in raising political awareness in the continent and enhancing the development of the society. Then in the future this continent based activists will be at the forefront of spreading indymedia in the continent and other activists around the world can support them when the need arises.
Thus for the tour, there is the need for many IMC activists with experience on how the network functions to participate and help in running the workshops; as of now the number is very small. We need to organise who can run which workshop in which country and in which city during the tour (Morocco, Muritania and Senegal). It is obvious that it will be hard to get activists that will be on the tour for all the 6 months that the tour will be going (October 2003 to March 2004). But we could get activists that could just come in at one of the three African countries to handle workshops for a day or two. The biggest point will be in the begining of March 2004 when the tour will be in Senegal. Which is going to be the period of the Alternative Media Festival (with focus on indymedia). Here we hope to be able to have other indymedia activists and independent media activists from around the continent to be present.
Please if you wish to participate in running the workshops please send an email to
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
IMC Germany and IMC UK