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CULTURESCAPES has become an important date in the Swiss cultural calendar ever since the first edition with Georgia in 2003. The annual event, which goes beyond political boundaries, reflects the variety and distinctiveness of heterogeneous cultural landscapes and provides a panorama of their art and cultural scenes. After initially presenting Eastern European countries CULTURESCAPES puts focus on CHINA in 2010 and ISRAEL in 2011.
This festival has been an EFA member since 2010.
Each EFA member manages its own Calendar. In case there is no programme availabable for this year, please visit the festival's own website.
CULTURESCAPES relates to regions defined by a common history and culture. These regions are created by interactions between the natural, geographical conditions and the resulting cultural characteristics of a specific area. CULTURESCAPES depend on the existence of common traditions, rites and customs that have developed due to the current needs and aspirations of a region and which are reflected in common cultural values, norms and behaviour. Cultural memory is therefore an inevitable term when referring to CULTURESCAPES.
Ever since the first festival in Basel in 2003, CULTURESCAPES has become an important date in the Basel and Swiss cultural calendar. The annual event, which goes beyond political boundaries, reflects the variety and distinctiveness of heterogeneous cultural landscapes and provides a panorama of their art and cultural scenes. CULTURESCAPES also analyses the known and the unknown and encourages the discussion and exchange of ideas between different cultural groups.
After initially presenting Eastern European countries - 2003 Georgia, 2004 Ukraine, 2005 Armenia, 2006 Estonia, 2007 Romania - CULTURESCAPES took its first steps into Asia with Turkey in 2008. And after Azerbaijan in 2009, the festival organisers are now busy with preparations for the special edition CHINA 2010.
CULTURESCAPES features performances by various groups and individual artists from the respective countries. Their work reflects not only the regional culture, but also provides an insight into contemporary artistic practices irrespective of ethnic boundaries and national borders. The aim is to create greater openness and sensitivity to differences, thus paving the way for various forms of interaction and dialogue. CULTURESCAPES attempts to encourage direct contact with other cultures, in particular neighbouring Eastern European ones, via a rich and varied programme. Events featuring live music, theatre, literature, art and films ensure that CULTURESCAPES covers the whole spectrum of current performing arts and reaches beyond language barriers to provide audiences with the greatest possible insight into foreign cultures. Furthermore, symposia and lectures contribute to more intensive discussions characterised by rigorous dialogue. The combination of all this results in the productive process of artistic exchange between the familiar and the unfamiliar, the past and the present, the creative and the political.
The festival is supported by the CULTURESCAPES foundation (in the course of incorporation), Basel, under the management of Jurriaan Cooiman. Even though the festival does not have an established home, it can fall back on a network of venues throughout Switzerland and thus operate and exist nationwide thanks to the intensive and inspiring collaboration with partners in Swiss cultural circles. Partnerships have also recently been established outside Switzerland.
The ongoing promotion and support provided by Swiss partners from the fields of politics and culture enable the CULTURESCAPES team to make unknown cultures accessible to the widest possible audience.