As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads through Europe, Spyros Andreopoulos is visiting the Atlas of Transitions festival of Théâtre de Liège. Restrictions and anxiety for the future cast their heavy shadow on the city and its people. Yet, Liège still spreads the light of openness and human compassion, despite the grim reality of our times. Strong together…

Situated at the Praga-Południe district, one of Warsaw’s formerly ‘infamous’ areas, on the east side of the Vistula river bank, Teatr Powszechny (Universal Theatre) opened in the autumn of 1944 and was the first theatre that began operating in post-war Warsaw. More than seventy years later, the necessity of its existence remains crucial for the city and its people. Spyros Andreopoulos shares his reflections after visiting Warsaw for the Atlas of Transition festival, organized by our Polish partner.

Calais is generally known as the city of uncertainties, where thousands of migrants rely on charity to survive since many years. In May 2019, Le Channel organised “A Taste of Other”, a weekend of multidisciplinary events to look beyond the European borders and promote cultural solidarity between communities. In this issue, Spyros Andreopoulos explores other aspects of the French port city, revealing a truthful picture lying underneath the layer of common imaginaries.

Friendly, vibrant, segregated, a place of contradictions, opportunities and transforming industries… there are many different words to describe Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg. In May 2019, actively involved in young communities, Backa Teater organized a series of events and performances under the title “A Changed Europe”. Spyros Andreopoulos shares with us echoes and visions of his experience there. 

After exploring the ‘Right to the City’, Atlas of Transitions Biennial returns to Bologna and invites international artists and foreign communities to exchange their knowledge during a 10-days festival. Looking back at past identities, switching perspectives, the challenges that lie ahead of finding a place called home. Spyros Andreopoulos leads the reader across performances and workshops held in a city which faces disputes while looking for alternative spaces of co-existence. Find more about the role of art in creating social change through interviews with Dorothée Munyaneza, Nadia Beugré, Meike Clarelli, Kristina Norman, Farah Saleh, Nanda Mohammad.

Crossed by river Skumbin, Elbasan is a city at the very center of Albania. Since 2006 it hosts the Skampa International Theatre Festival organised by Albanian Contemporary Theatre Association A.T.K, which never stops expanding its activities to neighbouring cities and to engage with local communities and youth. Discover the festival’s 20th edition, its performances artists and audience, as seen through the eyes of Spyros Andreopoulos – founder and director of Motus Terrae company – who draws a portrait of a place in the sun, struggling for tomorrow.

No discourse on migration can avoid questioning the boundaries of citizenship, the right to live in a city, to flee and ask for shelter. Access the city’s unknown territories and the mapping of urban spaces while finding new perspectives is the key focus of Atlas of Transitions Biennale Right to the City.

This first issue of Focus for Atlas of Transitions centers on the idea of the European Project as a peace and Human Rights project. Under the premise that it is important to know history in order to understand the present, three scholars have been interviewed about the origins of the European Union.