In the wake of the covid pandemic, the «To-gather» call supported time for critical reflection, for sharing ideas towards more equal forms of exchange between cultures and across contexts, and for experimenting with new formats for collaborating.
Some of the To-gather projects selected from South Asia
Awaken the Sleeping Giants
Who or what is a Giant? What is a state of sleep? What kind of co-existence is possible among species? How can we alter the way we see things?
A motley group comprising artists from Switzerland and India explored what inter species co-existence meant for the arts in our ever-changing world during the pandemic through online discussions and digital research meetings.
In two subsequent phases, the team gathered together in person in both Lugano, Switzerland, and then in Kamshet, Maharashtra and another workshop in Bengaluru in India. Traversing physical terrains to digital territories, they explored hybridity and co-existence between different species and cultures.
Rotational Rider: Where do the ants go?
Where do the Ants Go? is an immersive video game installation that was created as part of the “Rotational Rider” project under the “To-gather” international collaboration. In this interactive sculpture of an ant hill created by Afrah Shafiq with Jeremy Waterfield, the behaviours and outcomes of the colony are determined by those present within it.
Audiences can enter a large-scale sculpture of an anthill to interact with a digital colony of programmed ants that live within it. Using real time inputs the “players” within the anthill make choices that affect the behaviour of the individual ants and the collective outcome of the colony.
Environmental Art Exchange
Environmental Art Exchange (EAE) is an ongoing project that brings together an interdisciplinary global community of people, partners, and projects, who are actively deepening their relationship with land and environment. By creating opportunities of exchange, learning, and creation, between the network and the general public, EAE serves as an ecosystem for ecological discovery, engagement, and action.
With the Fields
“with the fields” collective cultivates a myriad of activities and encounters, reflecting on sustaining practices across contexts. They have shared stories and observations from the field; reflected on environmental and community realities in relation to a specific kind of neo-agro-colonialism facing their regions; shared rituals, books and recipes; discussed histories and politics of food; practiced decolonising pedagogies; and joined performance rehearsals. The collective gathers online twice a month and supports various projects they are engaged with on the ground. The focus on ongoing works in their contexts is core to the collective.
More information on “To-gather”
Kicking off in 2021, the «To-gather» International Collaboration call provided support to 2–3-year collaborations between arts practitioners, cultural organisations and institutions in Switzerland and their counterparts in Pro Helvetia’s liaison offices.