The early 21st century is a strange time to be running an organisation called Border Crossings. All around the world, reinforced borders are going up. Immigration has once again become a hot topic in British politics and the press, and across the continent - indeed, across the world - parties of the radical right are making huge gains as they play off people's fears of those they regard as "Other". There is talk of a wall to separate Mexico from the United States. There is a wall being built to seal off migrants in the Calais Jungle. In recent years, we have spent some time working in Beirut, where there are deep, extreme economic divisions that accentuate cultural difference; in Palestine, where there is a literal wall dividing people from their neighbours; in Belfast, where it was explained to us that people are not yet ready for the "Peace Walls" to come down; with refugees from the Western Sahara, where the occupying power, Morocco, has erected the longest wall in the world - and nobody in the West even talks about it.
Theatre is the opposite of a wall.
Theatre is one of the few spaces left in our suspicious, divided, ossified world where you can encounter – not virtually or in a mediatised way, but actually, physically, in the same room – people who are totally different from you. And you realise that they aren’t that different after all. Theatre gives us a more fluid identity, allows us to be in someone else’s shoes, recognises that the other person’s problem is our problem too. It offers us a shared space in a segregated society, public life in an age of privatisation, participation in an era of passive consumption.
This section of our website is an exploration of what theatre and culture can do to cross the borders in this world of walls.
The Articles page gives you links to articles, videos and sound recordings about our work and its contexts.
The Voices of Culture page allows you to download a range of policy reports associated with our work.
The Border Crossings blog is an ongoing site for debate and discussion.