The project "International Choir" aims to contribute to peacebuilding processes in the South Caucasus with the means of music. It addresses young people from regions affected by unresolved political conflicts and where nationalistic interpretations of culture prevail. The project consists of a series of workshops on folk music from all around the world. artasfoundation organizes the project in collaboration with the singer and choir conductor Franziska Welti (Singfrauen Winterthur), the musician Jean-Daniel Girod (body percussion) and different local cultural institutions in the South Caucasus.
The project takes up the rich local traditions and by the means of music (workshops and concerts) expands them by including musical traditions of other corners of the world. In post-soviet countries, artistic education is often dominated by a technique-oriented approach and characterized by strong formal subordination. The "International Choir" offers a working method that is open and focuses on individual creativity. The project opens new horizons and gives new impulses to young people living in peripheral or disputed regions characterized by an atmosphere of uncertainty and waiting. With the assistance of experienced artists, the young participants are provided with a space for experiments and stages for public display of their skills. Through the participation of international artists and through a specific selection of participants – partly across ethnical boundaries – new possibilities of encounter arise in a context characterized by low mobility.
In connection with the workshops and the concert tour, further education and networking for the local musicians participating in this project takes place, as they are invited to be co-workshop leaders.