Improving the quality of youth culture by improving political awareness, critical thinking, and international solidarity among young people is the goal of the project ‘European Youth Engagement Network 2.0 (EYE.net 2.0)’, where the audience will have the chance to see eight interactive youth theatre performances from eight countries on theatre festival organised at several locations from 5 to 8 April. This project is an introduction to the ‘Schools of the Future’, a programme segment of the European Capital of Culture focused on children and young people.
During April, the ‘Schools of the Future’ will review the importance of culture and art in the education of children. By turning schools into art scenes and cultural institutions into centres of education, the ‘EYE.net’ project engages young people who, through working with excellent artists as mentors, create their own content, i.e., theatre performances. Their topics are current and acceptable to a wider audience and some of the frameworks for young people to create in include Euroscepticism, solidarity, fake news, ecology, anti-fascism, economy and others.
Participants from each country chose one topic to tackle, so next week, from 5 to 8 April, fans of the engaged theatre will have the pleasure to see the Czech play ‘Marshal Konev’s Last Battle’, the French play ‘Turn Before the Ruins’, a play from Germany ‘Why?’, a play by a group of young people from Greece ‘Unwritten Land’, ‘Do You Like Tomato Sauce?’ from Italy, ‘The Noise of the Silence’ from Lithuania, ‘Some Like it Fake’ from Slovenia, as well as ‘Testament’ from Serbia. After or during each of the performances there will be an interactive debate with the young audience.
All these plays will be performed at several locations in the city: Grammar School ‘Laza Kostić’ and ‘Isidora Sekulić’, Karlovac Grammar School, Cultural Centre of Novi Sad, Student Cultural Centre of Novi Sad, Youth Theatre, Elementary and High School ‘Milan Petrović’, as well as School of Design ‘Bogdan Šuput’.
Eight theatre festivals are planned as part of the project: in Novi Sad (Serbia), Prague (Czech Republic), Sansepolcro (Italy), Maribor and Ptuj (Slovenia), Athens (Greece), Toulouse and Clermont-Ferrand (France), Berlin (Germany) and Kaunas (Lithuania).
This project is supported through the programme ‘Europe for Citizens – Networks of Towns’ and is part of the programme of two European Capitals of Culture – Novi Sad and Kaunas. The goal of this youth network is to encourage young people to be informed about basic European values, as well as to build capacity for their active involvement in creating and shaping the future image of Europe. The project lasts 24 months, from January 2021 to December 2022, and includes 16 partner organisations from nine countries.
The project ‘European Network for Youth Engagement 2.0 (EYE.net 2.0)’ is one of the first within the Future of Europe programme, which aims to encourage and involve children and youth in creating a better future for Europe through culture and art, which will bring together many artists from 30 countries and engage the audience in more than 270 cultural events.