Meeting the Odyssey project

An adventure beyond art, myths, and everyday life in Europe

Meeting the Odyssey is 4 year itinerant social and artistic sailing theatre project which will combine elements of the Odyssey with contemporary themes relevant to the people living in Europe.

The ship and the sailing will be the Odyssey itself. Each summer from 2014 to 2017, artists and organizers from different European countries will travel on a ship together, performing main productions and workshops resulting in “instant performances”.  But the project is more than the sum of these products, it is also the journey itself: an Odyssey experience through meeting people, long term collaboration, and discovering new languages, experiences, landscapes and cultural attitudes.

What is Europe today? Who are the people living in Europe compared to who they were? What is their personal Odyssey?

This project asks: what is the common Europe behind the commitment of the European Union? Is there a common ground based on culture and daily life? How can we be reminded of our common roots? The project aims to decrease prejudices and to create a shared narrative that comes out of the stories of the people in Europe today, through the frame of the legend of Odysseus.

Throughout history and all over the world, the legend of Odysseus continues to fascinate people of all ages. The Odyssey is a journey home, a life story in itself. It’s about Odysseus who sailed home to Ithaka from the Troyan war during 10 years, and about his wife and son, Penelope and Telemachus, waiting for him.

There are many theories around the Odyssey and its origin. According to the Italian engineer and amateur historian Felice Vinci, Odysseus did not sail in the Mediterranean, but in the Baltic Sea (The Baltic Origins of Homer’s Epic Tales, 1995)! If Vinci was right or not, we cannot tell, but we can play with the idea of a Nordic Odysseus, or a Central European Odysseus – or perhaps a European Odysseus, sailing the seas and forming the history and the myths that we have in common.

What will happen in the project?

4 theatre productions created by the partners of the project. The performances will be touring with the ketch Hoppet during the summers of 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Around 14 workshops for inhabitants reaching a minimum of 400 people will be arranged along the tours.

Around 14 “Instant performances” that will be constructed out of the stories collected in the workshops.

4 big tours from 2014 up to 2016 reaching more than 20 ports.

Production of a research focused on intercultural dialogue, artistic mobility and European identity.

Create unity and solidarity among the partners and the people involved in the project.

Project ambition

We think it is of crucial importance to build a common European citizenship giving dignity and role to different narrations coming from the different sides of Europe.European cultural space is Built on local communities, we believe in the central role of local communities as change agents to promote a notion of Europe as a cultural space.

« The aim of this project is to artistically transform and share the idea of Europe, which is rooted in migrations and mixture of people from North and South, from East and West. By taking the Vinci theory as a mere point of departure, the project aims to create a new Odyssey of our times »

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