Date: September 2006
Client: Culture 10, Arts Council England
Position: Producer

The first Mapping The Streets Conference was held in the North-East of England between 21st and 24th September 2006. It was a truly international occasion, attracting delegates and speakers from Australia, Canada, Colombia and Korea, as well as from many European countries.

The Conference was a great celebration of the development international street arts and included many inspirational moments as speakers of the stature of PhilippeFreslon (Compagnie Off), Enrique Vargas (Teatro de los Sentidos) and Manuel Vilanova (Xarxa Teatro) shared their thoughts about the artist’s relationship with public space and an audience of ‘everyone.’ Delegates left the Conference with fresh insights into how and why outdoor performance has developed into a global expression of culture which is popular and accessible.

Mapping The Streets attempted to get back to basics and ask pertinent questions of a form of artistic expression which is now so ubiquitous that the fundamentals are in danger of being taken for granted. These included:

• What motivates artists to make outdoor performances?

• Is freedom of artistic expression encouraged or compromised in this environment?

• What does the relationship between street arts and the city authorities tell us about the uses and ‘ownership’ of public space?

• Is it possible to see a global ‘direction’ in which street arts are travelling?