Conference - Exploring The Borderlands

Conference - Exploring The Borderlands

Conference – Exploring the Borderlands

between performance arts, political theatre and academic research

17th– 18thJanuary, 2019

University of Birmingham, UK






This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 642571








To arrive at an enhanced understanding of the use of creative and performance arts for the transfer of knowledge, amplifying the impact of academic research.


Conference organized jointly by University of Birmingham,

Children Born of War Innovative Training Network (CHIBOW),


the alpha group


with support from

AVL Cultural Foundation


Date:               17th– 18thJanuary, 2019

Venue:            Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre, 53 Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2RS, United Kingdom

Hosts:             Prof. Dr. Sabine Lee, University of Birmingham (UK)

                        Darrel Toulon, Artistic Director of the alpha group (Austria)


To explore the borderlands between performance arts, political theatre and academic research, and to investigate how and where our practices and methodologies diverge and intersect, cross-fertilise and complement.

During the first day of the conference we will invite participants to share their experiences of working in these borderlands with a view to facilitating a rich and multi-voiced exploration of the nature of collaborations between academic researchers and performance artists while investigating what happens in the spaces that we jointly occupy.

The second day will move from the theoretical space into a more practical space and will be case-study based, looking at the specifics of a collaboration with one arm in performance and the other in academia.

This part of the workshop will focus in particular on a production under development: IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, a docu-dance-theatre production which aims to shed light on the experiences of Children Born of War, children fathered by foreign soldiers and born to local mothers often after exploitative, abusive or violent encounters.

Exploring the link between research insights and the genesis of performance art, this project forms the basis of discussions of the interdependence between impactful research and performance as a medium for communication.


University of Birmingham contributes to the growth and spread of knowledge and ideas which will help to

transform the world; working with partners to take on the big questions, find and implement solutions and

make a difference locally, nationally and globally. By investing in, and cultivating, intellectual talent and

ideas, and delivering world-class research and education, the University of Birmingham will unlock value,

make important things happen, and continue to thrive.


CHIBOW (Children Born of War – Past, Present, Future) is an H2020 Marie Curie Innovative Training Network

(ITN), supporting a new generation of researchers to advance our knowledge and understanding of the lived

experiences of Children Born of War in a variety of 20thcentury conflict and post-conflict situations.


The AVL Cultural Foundation was born out of AVL CEO Professor Helmut List’s vision to bring art into AVL’s

corporate culture. With Arts & Science, the AVL Cultural Foundation embraces projects that bridge the gap

between science and art to explore and support human creativity and innovation.


the alpha group was founded in 2006 by Darrel Toulon and Herwig Baumgartner to develop interdisciplinary,

experimental artistic works for installations and performances. In 2018, the alpha group was re-launched with

a view to focus on the development of participative docu-dance-theater and trauma-transformation projects

dealing with socially relevant contemporary issues.