What is inclusion? "Everyone together, all with all", says Santiago, a youth with Down-syndrome. Can we create a space where we can be together, independent of age, gender, physical and mental abilities, nationalities etc.?
The project is our attempt to face this challenge. We organize tango workshops for people with disabilities and an international tango-inclusion festival where everyone is welcome to meet and dance. Even without words, we find a common language: Let's embrace each other!
Austria, Germany, France, Spain
The workshop series and its follow-up, the international tango-inclusion festival "Tango en Punta", enable people with and without disabilities to get to know each other and share a fun activity together. Through the tango embrace people of different abilities, cultures, ages and social backgrounds interact on a direct and personal level. This means to create solidarity and have true inclusion, of all with all. When there is no stigmatization, exclusion and marginalization of anyone.
This is a long-term initiative successfully implemented since 2011 in Uruguay. In 2013 we brought it to Austria and in 2016 we wish to expand the workshops to Germany, France and Spain. In a year from now, people from three more countries will be able to share this enriching experience and meet at the European festival. Thus we generate ever more inclusion through direct participation in a simple, fun and relaxed way.
One-week workshops in Austria (Salzburg), France (Caen), Germany (Welzheim) and Spain (Mallorca). Sessions of 1.5h, with maximum 30 people; no fee required from participants. Our local partners establish contact with the disability associations on-spot and arrange the venues. Separate lessons are organised to train local teachers, who will continue to give inclusion-classes the whole year. At least one local inclusion-milonga will be held in each country. Then, all participants to the workshops will travel in September to Austria for the international festival, which is the platform for the European encounter where we all meet to dance and celebrate together in a 4-day mega event. All activities are fully documented for further dissemination, internal evaluation and scientific research.
The local workshops are organised for people with disabilities, but all present are welcome to attend (family members, care-takers etc.). During the festival, an open class is held before the inclusion-milonga (the tango dance party) for anyone who wants to join: dancers and non-dancers, with and without disabilities, the general public and casual passers-by. Lastly, the "milonga" is the dance encounter where anyone can participate.
Tango is a special tool because it allows you to connect with someone else, in fact it works only when you do so. Yet it is a language that does not require words, nor visual contact. The essence of tango is the embrace, which helps you connect on a personal level and share a common space with the other. Thus tango represents intrinsic inclusive values, respect for diversity, a tool for personal growth, building communities, and developing a sense of belonging in society...and it is fun!
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
The budget for the full project (workshops + festival in Europe, workshops + festival in Latin America) is 199,400 EUR. Of this, 55000 is specifically for the "Embracing tango, embracing inclusion" workshop series in Europe: travel 7100, accommodation 3600, per diems 2700, office expenses 2000, equipment rental 5000, teachers' salaries 21600, scientific research work 4000, production and PR 4000, photo and video documentation 5000. This application is to cover these costs only.
We are always building our network further. For this we are searching for new contacts of disability associations, inclusion initiatives, artists, researchers and venues with similar interests. We would be grateful for any suggestions in this direction. And of course we keep an eye on possible public and private sources to fund this project.