The UrbanDig Project, an artistic/research/community program developed by the not-for-profit organization Ohi Pezoume Performing Arts Company, guest of the MDFF Greece—Athens 2020 (Nov 6—8), has been invited to participate in the New Forms of Presence. The invitation concerned with providing a visual and a written portrait that reflects, to a certain extent, the UrbanDig Project’s collective state of being narrated through its members.
The given frame was formed on the notions of:
The concept revolved around the resilience of the creative spirit during social distancing, the perseverance and core values of the UrbanDig’s collective identity through the personal experience of each of its members within their personal space. An invitation to describe moments, patterns, and thoughts when in isolation, embodying the collective’s traits and values.
Given that the central philosophy of the UrbanDig Project is that art can be the sparkle to start improbable encounters and cooperation among stakeholders of a particular area and beyond, how can creativity keep head above water during a time when the urban space is “unavailable” to narrate its own stories? How can the Personal, Collective, and Common Space be translated into a new spectacle expression where the personal and the collective reside within this “absence of presence”?
How can living at home inspire new dramaturgical compositions expressed via new mediums and forms? How one’s experience manifests through a series of personal semiotics from his/her daily new quarantine routine?
“ UrbanDig Project focuses on working with communities as well as forming project communities and collaborations that are usually cross-disciplinary and often multi-cultural. Many of us are trained in dialogue techniques, and most of our projects learn from and further explore and develop different pathways of collective work and creative collaboration. Communication is not only what we focus on during our artwork but also in the whole process of our research. UrbanDig is thus a lot about communication. In the last few weeks, constantly communicating through a computer, words become even more precious as a means of transcending barriers. Also, being speechless and trying to absorb and comprehend is how I often feel in this dystopic new situation we live in. Are there lessons about communication? Are there simple lessons to be learned about communication in our everyday life? For me, yes, and simple lessons are always good to exercise with…”__George Sachinis
Founder of Ohi Pezoume performing arts company, Coordinator of the UrbanDig Project, Director of the company’s performances in the city and in theatres (National, Municipal Theatre of N. Aegean, Proskinio and others), Civil engineer at Athens Water Company EYDAP
Video background image © Dourgouti Island Hotel, 2015, Athens