The international project ‘They: Live’ - student lives revealed through context-based art practices

The international project ‘They: Live’ - student lives revealed through context-based art practices explores the student life from the end of World War 2 to present day in the context of everyday life in student campuses, students’ cultural habits and their free time, interpersonal and gender relations, as well as their social and political engagement. The aim of the project is to encourage student population to take part in understanding and co-creation of contemporary art, by means of using archive materials and taking part in participatory art activities during residential stays of artists in student campuses. The project results will be used as guidelines for managers of cultural institutions and art galleries, curators and artists, for the purpose of further improvement of innovative approaches to development of young audience.

The project takes place from September 2020 to February 2023 and it is realised within the framework of the European Union’s ‘Creative Europe’ Programme for Culture and Media. Besides the project leader - Students’ City Cultural Centre from Belgrade, the partners on the project are the International Centre for Archival Research ICARUS Croatia from Zagreb, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) from Cetinje, the Academy of Applied Arts from Rijeka (APURI) and the Faculty of Audiovisual Communication at the King Juan Carlos University (URJC) from Madrid.  The associate partners on the project are the Institute of Art in Context from the Berlin Art University and the Centre for Public History from Belgrade.

Several activities have been planned in the framework of the project, starting with internal trainings on conception and methodology of oral history practice and digital archiving.  Archiving will include the process of collecting and digitalisation of photographic material on student life and recording oral history interviews in every country participating in the project.  The editors of digital archives will be student campus residents, with one editor from each country.  Oral histories will be recorded and archived in form of conversation with former and present residents of student campuses.  Archiving of photographs and recording interviews on the collaborative digital platform Topotheque and on the official project web-site, which will be launched by the end of October 2020, has been planned in all four countries participating in the project

Art residence programme will take place in student campuses in Podgorica, Belgrade, Rijeka and Madrid. One artist from each partner country will take part in art residences, which will be followed by exhibitions and public debate programmes. ‘They: Live‘ project will in that manner provide young artists having no previous international experience, interested in various aspects of student life in their respective countries, with an opportunity to take part in art residencies in student campuses. Young curators involved in visual art, along with artists selected through an open call, will also take part in the project and attend the summer school on contextual and participatory art practices at the Institute of Art in Context in Berlin. During residential stays in student campuses, artists, together with curators, will develop art projects directly with students, as well as from photo and audio materials on student life from 1945 to present day, collected and stored on the collaborative digital platform Topotheque and the project’s official web-site. Following the end of residences at student campuses, exhibitions displaying art works created during residential stays will be held in gallery spaces in the proximity of student communities, accompanied by a catalogue with textual contributions of young curators.

A small ‘travelling‘ exhibition will be created from the archived digitalised photo-material, selected for the exhibition by a five-member group of students consisting of one student from each country participating in the project. The exhibition will focus on topics related to daily life in student campuses, cultural habits and social-political engagement of students. This exhibition will be held at the same time in student campuses in Belgrade, Madrid, Podgorica, Rijeka and Zagreb.

The book emerging from ‘They: Live‘ project will consist of three parts: scientific texts from various scientific disciplines on the topic of student life, collected through an open call, texts written by artists and curators on organisation of residencies and a guide on methodology of organisation of this type of residential stay in student campuses.

More information you can find on the project website, FB and Instagram pages.