In recent years, Pepinieres European has emphasized, in the broad sense, a ‘relational dimension’ explained as the following: transitive artistic projects facilitating or provoking otherness in relationships between several fields, groups, and individuals in an inclusive and participatory perspective which seemed to us essential to contemporary artistic and cultural developments.

The Covid19 pandemic that hit the planet and also has an important and very concrete impact on artists and cultural professionals, pushes us to question, more deeply, our modes of creation, dissemination and collaboration.

‘The residency’ is no longer shared physically but virtually (which does not mean that it is not very real) from a space which is paradoxically intimate but also open to others and to the world, a space which is what is commonly called “home”. The implementation of this new form of public representation via networks that have become, for once, more social or, on a more limited scale, in a neighbourhood, proves that a number of artists have generously shown, immediately, that they refused to quarantine their creativity.

The European Pepinieres for Creation project, was established in 2018, with a new direction of taking on, the rich heritage of European Pepinieres for young artists. It has fostered international, but also inter-media exchanges, by fully integrating the digital realm. This will now be, for us, also the space for new calls which will be launched soon under the umbrella of our “Creaconnections” program.

For our first call for projects: “NoLA – No Lockdown Art”, several authors from different countries were asked to establish with us a poetic correspondence online. The results of it will be revealed at the end of confinement. In the same framework, the artist Ludovic Emery was commiotioned for a new sound project Travel without moving!, or how to travel without moving… a sound montage of field recordings made during his trips, walks and site explorations… and Pepinieres is also associated with the call “Listening windows / Listening windows” initiated by Gilles Malatray (desartsonnants); very recently posted, it has already received dozens of contributions which are intended, ultimately, to be revisited by adventurous sound artists and composers.

We will then launch a program called “Tomorrow Today” inviting creators but also thinkers to send us the fruit of their gaze on what is already going on after this confined parenthesis and which, we hope, will push us to confront the great challenges of our non-controlled anthropocene, with a higher degree of responsibility and commitment.

Finally, we are building an online catalogue with a series of videos or digital works supported by Pepinieres. As a starter, we broadcast a video-poem by multimedia artist Tamara Laï finalized during confinement and soon a new edition of the Exquisite Corpse Video Project initiated by artist/curator Kika Nicolela with the participants of dozens of international video/multimedia artists.

All of this requires, in addition to constant monitoring and a great investment from the Pepinieres team (and, more broadly, from the Transcultures Europe organisation) to combine resources and contributions.

This strange and sad period invites us to refocus and rediscover – for some – the pleasure of a certain slowness with our loved ones. But what seems to us to be a real existential planetary crisis, also calls for our vigilance over potentially threatened areas of freedom as well as the primacy of all kinds of solidarity over withdrawals and fears. It can also, if we have the wisdom and the courage to integrate, without complacency, the lessons. It can be the dawn of a new era, which would take both the measure of urgency and of duration, of a present fully alive and aware, drawing on the lessons of the past. This is also likely to anticipate possibly constructive changes in the future.

Our primary mission in these mutating and demanding times, is to support creators in their essential indiscipline to conceive, produce, diffuse, experiment works and collective projects which are likely to open the horizon beyond the apocalyptic flames.

Today, more than ever, they cannot do without a “re-writing of self” inseparable from a humanism of care connected both to the multiplicity of ourselves and of others and to the amor mundi.

Philippe Franck,