DOC.DREAM – Inspiration Forum LAB
My name is Tereza Swadoschová and I am the Head of the Inspiration Forum; with our fantastic team, we organise a discussion platform taking place during the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival every autumn in Jihlava, Czech Republic. Over the course of the six-day Forum, we explore six topics that resonate in today’s world through debates, discussions, lectures and ensuing workshops. We aim to discover new perspectives, strengthen the dialogue and raise new perspectives on the situation of humankind in the public space.
What made you think of the project?
At the outset of the pandemic, and in relation to the climate crisis even before that, we had the growing feeling that the public debate on the topic of the future direction of our society has been failing. As if the public space was deprived of imagination that allowed us to envision future scenarios and model the ways of approaching them. And it is the lack of imagination that to me seems to be the reason why we are only filling in the urgent gaps that open up in the public sphere – the burning issues that have to be addressed without delay. However, the capacity of imagination becomes prominent when we cease to think only in terms of our limited fields of interest and specialisations. This is one of the things that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed. Epidemiologists weren’t able to handle the situation on their own without taking into account the political and economic context. The solutions didn’t become effective until they teamed up with economists, sociologists, data analysts, virologists, state administration experts, and others. What if artists were also involved in searching for possible solutions?
What will your project contribute to Europe, post-corona?
We want to use this platform to foster previously improbable collaboration between different disciplines and people that may seem somewhat remote. The most obvious example is the link between science and the arts – sciences are usually seen as objective and fact-based, whereas art is considered subjective and emotion-based. And it is their overlap that makes it possible to newly explore and interpret phenomena and possibilities that would remain inaccessible do different specialisations. The aim is to expand human experience and combine the scientific and artistic language to find ways of expression that could describe phenomena from imaginary futures. The project’s reference frame is the European continent and its society that we consider interconnected and joint – as best uncovered by the pandemic. The main idea is not to wait for what the future brings but to enter the future through a multidisciplinary dialogue in the present time using sources of imagination that are offered by each of the fields involved.
How do you envision your initiative to grow from local to pan European?
Art in its essence has both local and global implications. In the current interconnected world when the events at the remote part of the globe can affect the lives of all of us, local stories can easily turn into global issues (and vice versa) relatable across continents while the audience does not have to be familiar with the local context. Thanks to the international scope of the festival including the workshop and currently also thanks to the pandemic-driven boom of digital platforms providing access to art for all, artworks created by festival participants can easily gain pan-European relevance and attention.
Finally, how does your project help to make Europe an open and shared public space for everyone?
Our main aim is to find means of communication that will be accessible to a wide audience and to use the awareness of essentially shared experience and work on this basis. It is a new type of scientific and artistic language that will be able to overcome the difficulties stemming from the inaccessibility of sciences and the abstract character of arts that is often difficult to grasp. By being inclusive towards the international audience and abandoning the inaccessible language of science using audio-visual means we can cause a shift and break the confines of different professions, social classes, and categories of education.