BEGA! is a performative art program created by PLAI together with the creative community of Timisoara, in order to activate the banks of the Bega River and to attract the inhabitants of the city towards them by involving them in artistic activities coordinated by local organizations and partners with international expertise.
All the elements of the program will be implemented with local human resources, developed through international partnerships with the aim of growing the local artistic production capacity and to develop the sense of belonging to the community.
Unlike a classical format, BEGA! doesn’t aim to import artistic productions but rather focuses on collaborative work with artistic companies whose expertise can facilitate the creation process and implementation of the local community.
Developed for Timisoara’s application file for 2021 as one of its main programs under the original name of "Mega Bega", the program will include various artistic projects and works gradually developed by 2021. From 2022 BEGA! will become a biannual program.
BEGA!’s assumed stake in TM2021’s context is to go beyond artistic acts and have concrete cultural, social and even infrastructural impact.
The preparation of the first phase began in 2017 when study visits were held in Denmark, France and England where external partners were selected and continued with meetings in Timisoara, bringing them together with the local organizations involved, to define the work environment.
Phase 2018 consisted in activating the former port of Timisoara by creating a personalized production using the story of the city.
In order to stage the production, a structure was built on the site of the former Solventul refueling plant, where over 200 people (professionals and amateur volunteers) performed a show. The entire structure has been video mapped, the actors constantly interacting with the graphic content. Two 80 T and 130 T cranes for aerial acrobatics were used.
The artistic content of the program in 2018 was created with the participation of Unfold Motion (RO, TM), Asociatia Culturala TGP (RO, TM – the coordinator for music volunteers), Asociatia Tango Timisoara, Fabrica de Arte, Salsa with Atittude Dance School, Melopolis, Verde pentru Biciclete, Amalia Gaiță and Alexandra Sari.
The artistic coordinator was Kevin Finnan, choreographer and movement director of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, founder and artistic director of Motion House company.
The music was written by composer Sophy Smith in collaboration with Cari Tibor and the graphic content for video mapping is made by the Basque company, Logela.
Phase 2018 also had the support and involvement of: Prin Banat, Cries, Solidart, I.S.O.T, Ceva de Spus, Verde pentru Biciclete, Universitatea de Vest Timișoara and Servicul de Transport Public Timisoara.
Phase 2019 will have two projects and will focus towards activating densely populated areas in several non-historical neighborhoods near Bega riverside through pop-up shows that feature artistic content. The installations will rise during the evening so as to surprise the inhabitants of the area and stimulate their interest in visiting the other neighborhoods. The first project will be called "The Lightning Project" and will combine science and performing arts. The second project will focus on urban installations that will encourage the public to interact and communicate through personal or relevant messages on a social level.
Hosting the most important European education and networking event for independent cultural centers (Trans Europe Halles Conference) with over 80 representatives of the European cultural center scene.
The event’s main objectives will be to connect the local community to their European peers and promote Timisoara and it’s projects throughout the network.
2020 (in development):
The program will focus towards inter-neighborhood mobility and social cohesion through Architects of Air’s Luminarium project.
These structures will be installed in Timisoara for one full week.
The close to 1000 sqm structures will be inflated during night to astonish the inhabitants of the area and to rouse interest not only to visit their Luminarium but also the ones in other neighborhoods.
Neighborhood residents will be involved where the interventions will take place to bolster interaction and mobility.
2021 – 2022 (in development):
Reaching its full development in 2021, the program will connect the pilot projects, adding interventions on the entire length of the Bega river both in Timișoara and the surrounding villages, as well as partnerships with Szeged and Novisad, counting up to 21 stages/ stations.
A week-long event, BEGA! will be one of the main attractions of the year, following the grand events of the Opening and Closing of the European Capital of Culture.
Following the awarded year, in 2022, the program will continue as a biannual project developed in Timișoara, curated to become an event that celebrates the avant-garde of artistic expressions while using top technology, and keeping the participative and educational components in order to further develop organically the audience engagement, especially in areas with limited access to a cultural life.