PUBLIC GATHERINGS, OPERAS & OPENLABS

Our task is to make trouble, to stir up potent response to devastating events, as well as to settle troubled waters and rebuild quiet places. — Donna J. Haraway

Upcoming

  • Fall semester 2024 - Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno (CZ)

  • October 5-6, 2024 - Cajazeiras, Salvador, Bahia (BR)

  • October 18-26, 2024 - Pearl Rhythm Festival, Kisoro (UG)

  • December 7-14, 2024 - Yambi City Festival, Kinshasa (RDC)

Past

  • 2024 - Gustav Mahler Private University for Music, Klagenfurt (AT)

  • 2024 - Harkat Studios, Mumbai (IN)

  • 2023 - Museum Tinguely & Basel Academy of Music FHNW - Music and Scene in Transformation (MuST), Basel (CH)

  • 2023 - Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK, Department MA Transdisciplinary Studies, Zurich (CH)

  • 2023 - Carnegie Hall, New York (USA)

  • 2022 - Museum Rietberg, Zurich (CH)

  • 2022 - India Music Experience, Bangalore (IN)

  • 2022 - Centre Culturel Les Changeurs, Agbodrafo (TO)

  • 2022 - Canda region and the Cities of Inhambane and Xai Xai (MOZ)

  • 2021 - Gessnerallee & Sonic Matter Festival, Zurich (CH)

  • 2021 - Llanchama Cocha Soundscape Collection, Llanchama Cocha (ECU)

  • 2020 - THEATRUM: Re-Formation, Moscow (RU)

  • 2019 - Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology & National School of Drama, Bangalore (IN)

  • 2018 - Arthaus.Berlin International Training and Research Center, Berlin (DE)

A COMMUNITY-BASED OPERA AND OPEN LAB ON RADICAL LISTENING

Each new season of The Witness runs from the March equinox to the September equinox. It includes regular meetings between the groups and communities involved, as well as field research, documented and shared weekly on our multimedia platform

Each year, at the end of the six months of fieldwork, research groups are encouraged to organize an event at the project site, to thank everyone and share the fruits of their documentation work, thus enhancing the community, its knowledge and know-how, and giving everyone the opportunity to reflect on certain aspects of their reality, while broadening their perspective by also sharing projects developed elsewhere in the world.

This ceremony of gratitude and acknowledgment can take different forms in different contexts and communities. It may take the form of : 
- an opera featuring research fragments generated during field research, inspired by composer Pauline Oliveros' The Witness text score
- an openlab or workshop co-facilitated by artists and community members
- a talk or transversal conversation organized between one community and another
- a collective action imagined by the community members themselves
  
Openlabs and talks are also regularly developed in partnership with universities, leading to the development of programs for young artists and researchers, facilitated by one or more members of The Witness team and network.
  
Furthermore, The Witness Operas and Openlabs' frequent participation in events and festivals offers community members, artists and researchers involved in projects around the world the opportunity to deepen their collaboration, meet diverse audiences and further amplify indigenous voices.

Relying on the open text score The Witness, A Solo Duet with an Imaginary Partner, a Duo, or an Ensemble, three open strategies for listening, attuning, and responding to ourselves and to one another, as an organizing principle, each iteration of The Witness Openlab (offered since 2018) can take a different form.

Strategy I - Attention to Oneself
The first phase of the workshop explores personal and collective practices, local knowledge and know-how that contribute to the partial restoration of vital links with the worlds of the different beings co-dwelling on Earth, including and surpassing human societies.

Strategy II - Attention to Others
In the second phase, participants are introduced to conscious movement, open architecture and deep listening practices developed by communities around the world to stay attuned to the living world rather than dominate it.

Strategy III - Attention all over
The third step proposes giving equal attention to one's own practice and that of another community, expanding the field of listening as far as possible to weave strategies together.

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Facilitators
The Witness Openlab is a workshop facilitated jointly by a head researcher of a The Witness project, a member of the community who participated in the field project, and, when appropriate, Julie Beauvais, director of The Witness.