Europe is undergoing unprecedented population movements. These movements, resulting from several conflicts in the Middle East, African and Asian countries, but also from the colonial history of the European continent, call for us to reflect on our own history while at the same time incite us to rethink our hospitality.
All the refugees arriving in Europe today have professions of course. Some are artists, often forced to flee their homeland because they expressed a freedom to think and act that placed them in conflict with the authorities of their country.
We believe that supporting the integration of these refugee artists into a professional network is consistent with Onda’s core missions.
Actions in support of artists in exile
During the meetings organised by Onda throughout France, exiled artists have regularly been invited to present their work to attending programmers. Onda also organises Ice-breakers for artists in exile, setting aside a time for exchanges during which artistic teams present their practices and their creations. In small groups, programmers can move from one room to another, meet the teams present and discover each team’s artistic world.
These networking activities have supported dissemination, research and production for the participating artists. In addition, Onda financially supports certain venues that have been involved in hosting these artists (support for dissemination but also for residencies and production).
The Agency of Artists in Exile
After discussions with artists in exile, the need to create a dedicated administrative and cultural reception centre became apparent.
The Agency of Artists in Exile is a space conceived as a place of gathering, information and networking for artists arriving in France. Headed by Judith Depaule and Ariel Cypel, respectively former artistic director and former director of the Confluences festival, it was hosted at Onda in 2016 before moving into premises made available by the charity organisation Emmaus solidarité.
Action to help refugees living in the Ile-de-France
Going to the theatre, discovering productions, being part of a community of spectators, and in this way discovering the language and culture of a country, are also considerable means of integration into our society.
Onda liaises with the support group for exiles TIMMY (Team Mineurs du Collectif Parisien de Soutien aux Exilé-e-s), which assists unaccompanied minors, accompanies them in their administrative, legal and medical procedures, offers French-language and cultural classes, sports activities, and is trying to raise awareness among the general public.
Onda and TIMMY have coordinated to propose outings to these minors, enabling them to discover shows and workshops initiating them into amateur artistic practice (circus, magic, etc.), in partnership with Clowns without borders.