Borderline Offensive

Borderline Offensive engages European (EU) and Middle Eastern (ME) artists in exploring questions of migration and community cohesion in contemporary Europe, through the medium of humour aesthetics and laughter as a mechanism for intercultural socialization and collective identity-building. Partners in 7 European cities: Gothenburg (SE), Belgrade (SR), Leeuwarden (NL), Gabrovo/Plovdiv (BG), Kosice (SK), Zagreb (HR) and Thessaloniki (GR) + 5 ME associate partners: Beirut (LB), Istanbul (TR), Ramallah (PS), Syria (SY), Jordan/Tandem Shaml (JO) + supporting partners Funny Cities Network (Leicester Comedy Festival/UK). The migrant and its “crisis” are our key political subjects, embodying the contrasts between Western values and those arriving from MENA and holding a mirror to Europe, forcing a discussion by European and neighboring communities on what Europe is, what it should be, and how we define ourselves and our actions:. A European community for transnational cooperation and knowledge exchange on humour aesthetics and intercultural dialogue is established (2017). Transnational artistic residencies with local, EU and ME artists employ humour and participatory processes between non-European migrants and European residents, in the co-creation of artworks (2018). The resulting artworks and creators embark in a transnational tour connected to ECOCs, international artistic events, comedy festivals and ECOCs – replicating participatory and intercultural dialogue practices in each country (2019). The artworks, performances, knowledge are deconstructed to approach new European challenges, and the model is shared via capacity-building, publication and conference. Redefining Europe, new and old European citizens engage in a process of development through community dynamics that do not see the excluded as a threat, but takes difference as a shared substance of the European community. Two people laughing at the same joke, both are reassure that they share a common humanity.