Hooligan at Mystetskyi Arsenal, 2019
Supporting Hooligan Art Community, a Ukrainian theatre group, to deliver a project with Ukrainian artists and refugees in Germany
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In May 2022 we were due to deliver Hooligan, a participatory music theatre project funded by the British Council in Dnipro, Ukraine, in partnership with Dnipro Centre for Contemporary Culture and Hooligan Art Community, a collective of Ukrainian artists working with our long-term collaborator Peter Cant. The war has of course made this impossible, but the artists, now displaced across Europe, have developed a plan to relocate the project to Germany with many of the original Hooligan artists and Ukrainian refugee participants.
We've been working with Hooligan Art Community since 2019 when they were selected for our Various Stages Festival 2020. They planned a three-day workshop with a young adult community chorus in London. This was cut short by the first lockdown and a scramble to return the artists to Ukraine before the borders closed. We could not have imagined what was to follow - an ongoing pandemic, and almost exactly two years later, the violent invasion of Ukraine.
Since the invasion the artists have developed a plan to deliver Hooligan in Germany, involving many of the original artists (and the remote participation of those still in Ukraine) and the recruitment of Ukrainian refugees as participants. In May, Hooligan Art Community will gather for a rehearsal residency in Ponderosa near the German-Polish border, and then travel to Halle, near Leipzig where British composer/vocal leader Jessie Maryon Davies, director Pete Cant and choreographer Mathis Kleinschnittger will work with the Ukrainian artists and participants to develop a participatory choral piece for performance at the WUK Theater on 25 May. Weaving together music, dance, film and archive material, ‘Hooligan’ is testament to the creative power and invincible spirit of a new generation of Ukrainian artists.
British Council continue to support the project, but to enable the participation of more Ukrainian artists and participants, we're collecting funds to support the project in Germany and the future of the Hooligan Art Community when it returns home.
We will be raising funds until mid-July 2022 in support of their work. Please join with us by making a donation via our CAF page. All donations will be passed on to support Hooligan Art Community and Ukrainian artists. We stand in solidarity with our Ukrainian colleagues and all those caught up in this terrible war.