Performing Arts in the Scope Of Mobility: new profiles, practices and roles for artists in the EU
Art and Economy Utrecht School of the Arts Porto, Portugal
Artists have been pioneers of freedom of movement long before the EU was established. However these professionals face many obstacles when working around in Europe. Artistic activities seem prone to mobility, being less regulated by national and organisational frameworks thus more flexible and adaptable to different work contexts and partners. But on the other side, the sector is fragmented in a large number of micro and small organisations and self-employed workers, to whom staying alone in the international scene is quite a hard job.
Besides political, economical and professional arenas, the issue of mobility is also being intensively discussed within the social sciences that focus on how mobility comes along a system of constraints and how its right to use might be imposed and conditioned. Mobility is being analysed as a social capital and a resource that leads to new behaviours but also reflects and reproduces previous social and spatial inequalities along with its own intrinsic ones.
Therefore mobility should be addressed in terms of accessibility. The ability to work internationally depends on individual backgrounds and qualifications as well as institutional conditions. One essential hindrance to cross-border artistic collaboration work is the lack of strategic, management and relational skills. In this way, I argue that obstacles to mobility are inherent to personal and professional profiles so that economic and political supportive frameworks are insufficient to promote these workers mobility.
The analysis of motivations, conditions and consequences of artistic work in the contemporary performing arts sector at the European level allows clarifying what acts in as barriers and how mobility is nowadays changing professional practices, profiles and roles.