Arts and cultural activities, Migration

“Breathing in Reverse shortlist


Who is behind this?

Linda Bouws

stichting Metropool Internationale Kunstprojecten / Metropool International Art Projects Foundation


Who is joining forces?

Bureau Menno Heling – (BMH)


refugee shelters and cultural initiatives


refugee shelters and cultural initiatives


Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

This ‘social inclusion’ project zooms in on refugees in their new environment.Two artists will spark a dialogue by sharing narratives between refugees and locals on the spot (children and adults), with new perspectives through:
1. artistic actions in European cities (performances and multimedia artwork)
2. dissemination of activities through online portal European Storylines so that contextualization, visualization and dialogue can be developed, and the voice of refugees be heard.

Where will your idea take place?

Essen, Germany; Brussels, Belgium; Sittard, the Netherlands

Why does Europe need your idea?

In a time with uncertainty and fear for the future of Europe and its citizens it is extra urgent to make the underlying European values visible. It is striking that people who are seeking refuge for various reasons, often don’t get the chance to tell their stories and play an active part of the discourse in Europe. Refugees (children and adults) will present themselves, share their narratives with locals and meet other cultures and help to create a Europe to be a continent for all citizens.

What is your impact?

To strengthen active citizenship and to create more focus on democracy, citizenship, migration, European values and globalization. Providing insight into the past to inspire the present and to offer perspective for the future. Europe as a continent with well-informed, creative and engaged citizens who realize that there is more than an immediate present. European Storylines makes the voice of the migrant a part of the dynamic Soul of Europe. We aim for 150.000 unique visitors online.

How do you get there?

The first step are artistic interventions in co-creation with locals and refugees in Sittard, Brussel, Essen; to film these activities incl. interviews and exchange experiences. Second step is to adapt and upload the results into the storycload migration on Europe Storylines (now under construction), to analyse themes, personalities, storylines and open the interactive tool. These steps will be accompanied by information on 2 portals: the citymakers portal and ifthenisnow portal (60.000 visitors a month). Next step is to convince our networks (like New Europe City Makers, New Europe Network, Cities in Transition) to join Breathing in Reverse in all 28 member states and to integrate it in their regular activities.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

Refugees, involved citizens (local), politicians, media and NGO’s of the participation cities.
Through European Storylines we will reach various groups of people interested in topics related to the chosen priority themes.This will be completed by the use of social media engaging users of the portal and members of the social media networks.Through our access to European networks like New Europeans, a Soul for Europe, ALDA, ECP, EFA, AMSU and Felix Meritis we do actively include these networks

What makes your idea stand apart?

A physical meeting of artists, refugees and local community in the art projects, combined with the sharing of these on European Storylines gives an extra voice to the refugees and migrants and puts their stories in a topical context, beyond the issues of the day. The connection with networks can make the difference too. It enables individuals to meet in public domain and on the internet, to interact, to bear responsibility for their civility, to offer ideas and dreams.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 50000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Live artists actions in 3 cities in Europe 15.000 €, Production, travel and accommodation cost in 3 cities 10.000 €, Equipment, recording art activities and making interviews 5.000 €, Personal costs 10.000 €, Implementation website European Storylines 7.500 €, PR, marketing en dissemination of results 2.500 €.

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

European Storylines will grow on a European scale as part of an ever growing storycload on migration, understanding and European values. Together with you we can present items of the past translated to a present context. We will focus on active European citizenship, democracy, migration and the way Europe is dealing with it. We invite you to add and share stories, dreams, ideas, art, and information pertaining to this extra urgent topic of migration to make the voice of refugees strong in Europe


Linda Bouws

Idea created on Feb. 18, 2016
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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