A residency for artists developing and researching

Bækkelund international Residency Center for Artists is a retreat space for artists and artistic development placed in rural and inspiring surroundings on the Danish island Bornholm.

BIRCAS most prominent goal is to ensure the best possible working conditions for performing artists, who want to unfold new ideas and projects. Further, it is to ensure that visiting artists get the opportunity to exchange reflections and experiences with artists from other – national or international – contexts. The rehearsing space and the surroundings of BIRCA shall open for meetings across performative forms of expression – circus, theater, dance – as well as for interaction with the local nature and culture.

BIRCA shall be the ideal setting for development processes; it is a space for workshops and for periods of rehearsals for groups as well as individuals. It is also a perfect retreat space for the individual artist who wants to research and/or to write. BIRCA shall first and foremost support young (upcoming) performers and performance groups. In line with this, BIRCA shall offer workshops focusing on performing artists, artistic entrepreneurship and evaluation of artistic processes.

BIRCA shall also be a place in continuous renewal – it shall curiously and continually seek inspiration and new goals through interaction with the surrounding society and it shall continue its international outreach through cross national as well as cross cultural collaborations. As an internationally embedded organisation BIRCA shall furthermore partake in the development of new theory, new methodologies and new ways of making performance art an instrument to reach democratic debates.

Locally rooted with an international perspective

The vision of BIRCA is to create a locally rooted artistic environment with an international perspective. BIRCA is to be considered a glocal organisation. Alongside its participation in international programs (Island Connect, IETM etc) BIRCA is proactively seeking to establish collaborations with artists and art institutions on Bornholm. Thus, the advisory board of BIRCA is consisting of local cultural workers as well as experts from the Danish and Nordic performance art scene.

We believe that there is a particular good reason to work and stay on an island such as Bornholm: On the one hand, the rural surroundings can make way for intense concentration, on the other hand, a stay on Bornholm opens for a unique opportunity to interact with local contexts and thereby make way for a rethinking of creative processes. Every year BIRCA hosts open performance events, which local artists and citizens are invited to attend and to evaluate. It is our aim to establish relations to young local artists. By inviting these artists into the international context of BIRCA they are encouraged to work on the same glocal level combining the particularity of Bornholm with an international perspective. 

Futhermore, BIRCA strives to offer long term residences to artists who wants to partake in an artistic research process in dialogue with local citizens and, by doing so, help make way for new perspectives on familiar conditions and give birth to new insights into local issues. It is our aim to support this exchange with respect for the specific context, the existing culture and the local population. By these actions we hope to give local citizens on Bornholm the opportunity to look at their own culture with new eyes. We also hope that the actions will make people want to further their interaction with the performers residing on BIRCA.

Development of theory, frameworks of understanding and “political” instruments

  1. Development of business models/artistic entrepreneurship
  2. Development of methods for artistic research (especially methods for interaction with local cultures)
  3. Tools for development and evaluation of artistic projects in process, for instance through feedback processes
  4. Methods to identify and analyze the relation between performers and audience(s) at open space performances
  5. Development of (societal changing) collaborative forms of interaction
  6. Examination of art as instrument for societal and cultural change, based on the assumption that art cannot solve societal problems, but it can draw attention to those problems and help us understand and develop our society in new ways

Collaboraton and new types of partnerships – locally, nationally and internationally

BIRCA shall continuously develop itself through partnerships with relevant artists, networks and organisations. One priority is to seek out possibilities for financial partnerships in order to secure the foundation of BIRCAs activities. Another, just as important, priority is to establish dialogues and collaborations, that will strengthen the artistically developing work taking place on BIRCA. Thus, BIRCA shall continue to reach out for and to intensify the international exchange of artistic experience. BIRCA shall also continue the development of theory and methods in close collaboration with national and international experts within dance, theater, art and culture.

BIRCA is a residency founded on European partnerships. It is a goal in itself to maintain the opportunity for international cultural exchange and sparring about artistic processes that occurs when national and international artists stays at BIRCA at the same time. It is also an ambition to let local, national and international artists cocreate on productions based on the local specificity of BIRCA and Bornholm. Further BIRCA endeavors to actively involve local citizens in the development of new works.

In the long term BIRCA shall also look for opportunities to collaborate with partners outside the art scene, such as local business owners or networks within the creative industries. The aim is to offer new solutions to well known issues or conflicts or to take conventional business and product solutions to a new step through artistic intervention.