How Popular Live Music Can Commemorate European Heritage
CON-FRONT is an international and multidisciplinary project on the cultural commemoration of the Great War (1914-1918).
By commemorating war heroes through popular live music, this project steps away from cannonical cultural commemorations.
CON-FRONT aims to create awareness on the common European legacy of the Great War. Through this objective, the project tests a new form of commemoration, accumulating the expertise of popular music venues and heritage organisations.
CON-FRONT stems from a diverse partnership of two music venues (Le Grand Mix in Tourcoing, France and Muziekclub 4AD in Diksmuide, Belgium), one cultural center and venue (MKC in Skopje, North Macedonia) and one heritage partner (Walk of Peace Foundation in Kobarid, Slovenia).
The CON-FRONT partners are backed by a wide range of cultural, educational and heritage partners on their territories. These supporting partners play diverse and important roles: from sharing knowledge on the historical topics, through artistic and technical support as well as providing assistance on the development of the project’s educational activities.
The Great War was the first military conflict in human history on a global scale. Its outcome defined the landscape, economy, identity and demographics of continental Europe.
Moreover, the First World War uprooted millions of European civilians, creating the first massive European refugee crisis ever. War migration has repeated itself over and over during the last 100 years.
A better comprehension of the past is essential to understand the present challenges Europe is facing.
CON-FRONT's most visible outcome is a cross-border multidisciplinary creation of a group of international pop and rock musicians and visual artists, produced through five residencies.
The creation was performed in the fall of 2019 in the four countries involved and beyond. Parallel to this, a documentary focuses on the pan-European historical context of the First World War besides capturing the CON-FRONT creation process and its outcome.
After the selction of an artistic team, each partner hosted a residency to prepare for the show.
First stop: Diksmuide, Belgium, in the heart of the World War One front “Flanders Field”.
This residency focused on the historical events along this stretch of frontline. Special attention was given to civilian experiences as well as the altered and bruised landscapes and “places of memory”.
Then, the group headed to the MinK club in Tolmin, Slovenia, on the Isonzo front and in Skopje, North Macedonia.
The artists dived into more recent stories of displacement through war in the Balkans and the current refugee flows.
The last two residencies took place in Tourcoing, France and Diksmuide, Belgium. These working sessions helped finalise the creation and focused on the technical aspects of the show.
The artists went on tour to present the show: within their partners infrastructures as well as in schools and in refugees centres.
Performing the show in different contexts and in front of different audiences enhances dialogue and exchange on the themes tackled by the show: war, migration, memory and heritage.
The next step will be the creation of a documentary on this project. A long-term and sustainable way of keeping the project and its values alive. Several international broadcasting possibilities will help in the diffusion of the documentary.
The CON-FRONT team will also write a joint methodology presenting their experience and the results of the project.
ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF COMMEMORATION
AWARENESS OF COMMON THEMES IN EUROPE
COLLECTIVE MEMORY AND IDENTITY MATERIALISED
ARTISTIC EXPERIENCE AS TRANSFORMATIVE AND MIND-BLOWING EXPLORATION OF SHARED HISTORY
NO GLORIFICATION OF WAR
POPULAR LIVE MUSIC
The project is supported in the Creative Europe programme within the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.
CON-FRONT is a project by Le Grand Mix, Muziekclub 4AD, MKC and Walk of Peace Foundation
Artistic Director: Mathijs Bertel
Director of documentary: Chiara Caterina
Musicians: Joana Risteska, Martina Barakoska, NUMéROBé, Samo Vovk, Koen Quintyn
Visual Artists: Louise Philia Druelle alias Loup Blaster, Neli Maraž, Aïlien Reyns