he first public Play Perform Learn Grow (PPLG) conference took place in Thessaloniki, Greece in April 2018 in response to the refugee crisis. It brought together 130 people from 30 countries, mostly, but not exclusively from Europe, who are using play and performance to engage social issues, heal trauma, stimulate imagination and possibility, generate community, and build bridges.
oday people from diverse cultures, histories, backgrounds, religions and ideologies are living together in Europe. How do we respond—creatively, collaboratively, playfully, performatorily—to this diversity and to the many other concerns arising in this historical moment? How do we go beyond analysis, critique, and advocacy to collectively (re)creating our daily lives, our relationships, and our pedagogical, educational and political assumptions and practices?
PLG ignited among its participants and their communities a collective movement, nourishing homegrown initiatives and creating new spaces of belonging across borders and cultures. Responding to this movement and the current historical moment in Europe and the world, we are announcing: Play Perform Learn Grow 2019 Bridging Communities, Practices and the World.
lay Perform Learn Grow 2019 is co-organized by East Side Institute, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Lesvos Solidarity and Epineio Institute. PPLG will bring together educators and researchers, therapists, social scientists, artists, psychologists and movement practitioners, social and youth workers, performance activists and community organizers – refugees, migrants and locals, and all others who are seeking new, and often performatory, ways to address the pain, alienation, and violence of our times. PPLG will also focus on the exploration of methodologies that support educational, therapeutic, academic, artistic and community initiatives to discover dialectics in between polarities, capture complexities, articulate and perform new kinds of relationships.
PPLG 2019 Call for Proposals
Play Perform Learn Grow invites proposals—presentations, panel discussions, participatory workshops, performances, and other forms of creative conversation and engagement—that address, among others, the following questions:
- How can communities build and be built across borders (physical, cultural and social)?
- How do diverse communities co-create new spaces of belonging and new culture?
- How can the creative use of language discover and articulate dialectics between polarities?
- How can different academic, educational, therapeutic and artistic practices cross borders, learn from and enrich each other?
- What creative opportunities for personal, community and social development can be found in disruption and chaos?
- In what ways can performance, play and the arts engage and possibly transform the politic of otherness and antagonism?
- How can imaginative and embodied practices help us converse with polarised aspects of the world and ourselves? What are the possibilities and limitations of the creative methods we use?
- How is the activity of bridging captured and nourished in arts, poetry and myths?
- How can play and performance create alternatives to authority and the knowing paradigm?
Play Perform Learn Grow is a mobile international conference that responds to local contexts and creates opportunities for new leaders and communities to emerge. It happens biannually across Europe bringing together artists and scholars, grassroots and academic partners, organizations and communities to play, converse, perform, reflect, research and build new collaborations and possibilities. Play Perform Learn Grow has been inspired by and builds with the history of Performing the World, a biannual gathering, since 2001, of performance activists and scholars in New York City, co-sponsored by the East Side Institute and the All Stars Project.