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Applications are invited for a research-residency on Unacknowledged Loss led by Barbara Raes of Beyond the Spoken (Belgium) during Dublin Theatre Festival 2020. There are seven places on the residency. Application is open to artists working with performance, based on the island of Ireland and is via this simple form, to be accompanied by a current CV, by 17 August.

Participation is online, during the first two weeks of October, for which artists will be paid a fee of €1,500, with preparatory work in September. On 10 October, at the end of the residency, each participant is invited to share what they have been working on, in a format and at a place that they decide, whether live or online or a mixture of both. There is a materials budget of €250 available for each participant.

Some words on the residency:

Since March 2020 we live in a different reality. Loss and the concepts of grief and mourning are seen through very different lenses. The topics addressed by Beyond the Spoken are even more present in our current lives and it is worth creating a space to reflect on them and to search for a different artistic practice. The zone where art and care meet is full of paradoxes, but is also very fertile for creating innovative and sustainable (artistic) forms or methods for the future.

Unacknowledged Loss will focus on the topic of contemporary farewell rituals and how the zone where art, care and rituals meet can be an interesting place to explore formats for the future. The discomfort of not being able to properly meet as a group due to the pandemic is the starting point of this journey. The first part of the residency offers inspiration about the funeral world, grief and mourning through lectures and conversations online. The second part involves collaboration and coaching by Barbara Raes to create a farewell ritual. In will culminate, as part of the Festival, where a selection of material of this residency will be shared online.

During the process, several materials such as photos, texts and films will be generated either for your eyes only or to be shared online with the public as part of the programme of Dublin Theatre Festival. Unacknowledged Loss is presented by Dublin Theatre Festival in partnership with Theatre Forum. Funded by the Arts Council.

Barbara Raes

Barbara Raes worked as a dance curator and artistic director for Vooruit arts centre (Ghent) and the BUDA arts centre (Kortrijk) between 2000 and 2014. In 2014 she took part in a transition-programme by FoAM (Brussels) as a way of reorienting herself professionally. FoAM is a transdisciplinary network that works at the interface of art, science, nature and everyday life. Within this context Barbara was trained as a ‘ritual celebrant’ in Totnes (UK). Ever since she sees her work as mediating between the arts, care work, rituals and moments of farewell.

Since 2015 she has been working as researcher at the KASK art academy, The Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Ghent) on the project Open end. This is a multidisciplinary research project to develop new mental and physical spaces for rituals of farewell. In addition Barbara Raes founded her own organisation Beyond the Spoken, a workspace for “unacknowledged loss”. In Beyond the Spoken she creates farewell rituals with artists and looks for answers to the contemporary demands of a society in transition. Raes links her research around farewell, care and ritual with the arts field in curating projects around these themes. These projects have taken place at venues such as Kaaitheater, Vooruit, BOZAR, Theater Aan Zee, PACT Zollverein and Hebbel am Ufer.

Beyond the Spoken

Beyond The Spoken believes that while our society is increasingly fearful, alienated,  agitated and sometimes even paralysed, there is also an increasing sense that something may be missing. There are many people looking for meaning, security, togetherness and new forms of collective consciousness. This becomes especially prominent during the moments of ‘small transitions’, such as personal or professional crises, traumatic experiences or major changes in one’s life (e.g. surgery, burnout, the end of maternity leave, resignation, etc.). Transition rituals can help individuals and groups live meaningfully through these changes and it is likely that they will remain an essential part of human life, no matter what shape our society might take. New times need new rituals.