How does the new generation understand the concept of marriage? What does it mean to be bound together for life with someone you met once? Are there any remains of the traditions of our ancestors in how we choose partners? Where were women positioned in such a context? Is marriage just an economic proposition, just a prospect of prosperity, a way out of poverty, salvation from criticism and ridicule and gossip? We are interested in the concept of “virginity”; a woman’s most “treasured possession”, how people used to celebrate a woman’s “pureness” by displaying blood-stained sheets as a trophy, a relieving breath for the parents of the daughter and a “security stamp” for marriage bliss.
ECHO III: for Memory’s Sake explores how the Balkan cultures integrate and diverge from each other, our similarities and our differences, to put together a puzzle of our collective experiences.
ECHO III is an arts and heritage project that aims to bring together artists working in the fields of theatre, music, visual arts, and literature in order to explore tradition and culture through the themes of marriage, arranged marriages and nuclear families in the Balkan context. Specifically, the aim is to explore gender roles and norms through history and how all of the above affect young people and artists living in Europe. “ECHO III” is the continuation of ECHO I & II.
The aim of ECHO III is to:
- Strengthen the transnational creation and circulation of European artworks and artists through the creation of original artworks, the exchange of artists and the transnational circulation of European artworks between Balkan countries from the fields of theatre, music, visual arts and literature.
- Empower artists from old, new, and prospective EU member-states in the Balkans by building their artistic research capacities, by offering them opportunities to discover important gender issues embedded in Balkan traditions and histories.
- Disseminate their work through art residencies, local performances and exhibitions and a Wandering Arts Caravan.
ECHO III aspires to involve emerging artists from the Balkans through cultural and artistic practices, exchanges and stimuli , especially during critical and challenging times for the artistic communities.
By boosting the engagement of different audiences, it wishes to bring different generations together to ponder upon questions about the ways that society has chosen to raise its children. Older generations will be asked to reflect on the rules and traditions that have defined their lives and younger ones will be asked to observe if said practices have had an effect on the way they lead their relationships.
Project duration: January 2022 to June 2024