OPEN CALL for researched-based performance concepts for public engagement with experiences of Children Born of War:
The changing nature of armed conflict since the beginning of the 20th century has led to a significant increase in the volume and intensity of the social consequences of war on the civilian population. Children are often impacted strongly, and this is particularly pronounced for children associated with the enemy. Among those, Children Born of War, fathered by foreign/enemy or occupation soldiers or peacekeepers and born to local mothers, are especially vulnerable to a range of adversities. They are frequently born out of wedlock, are almost always raised without fathers, and their position as a child ‘of the enemy or occupier’ and often as a child of mixed ethnical parentage, leads to stigmatisation and discrimination.
These challenges and gaps in the knowledge about their biological father affect their identity
formation processes. Despite these challenges and the taboo associated with their provenance, their identities are varied. They are not merely, as has been suggested in research and policy making, secondary victims of armed conflict, but they often see themselves as bridge builders between previously inimical countries or kinship groups. This multi-facetted set of experiences is at the core of this call for projects that visualise – through performance-based engagement – the challenges and opportunities of CBOWs in postconflict societies.
With our OPEN CALL we invite artists of the independent performing arts throughout Europe
to develop performative works and make them publicly visible in a theatrical process that
also involves audience participation. Three selected artistic projects will be presented
publicly at the final symposium in April/May 2023 together with a symposium addressing
questions about performing arts as a way of communicating scientific topics and findings to
the public. Academic partners of the project are University of Leipzig and the University of
Birmingham; the artistic network partner is the regional association for the independent
performing arts in Saxony (Landesverband der Freien Theater in Sachsen e.V. / LFTS).
Prof. Dr. Heide Glaesmer, Psychologist and Psychotherapist, Head of the „Psychotraumatology and Migration Research Lab” at University of Leipzig, Department of Medical Psychology, works in psychological and interdisciplinary research on Children born of War from different conflict settings ranging from World War II to the War in former Yugoslavia, E-Mail: Heide.Glaesmer@medizin.uni-leipzig.de.
Prof. Dr. Sabine Lee, Professor of History, Co-ordinator of H2020 Innovative Training
Network CHIBOW works on social consequences of armed conflict and peacekeeping
globally; University of Birmingham, Department of History, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK, B15
2TT Tel.: +44 121 414 5749 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne-Cathrin Lessel, member of the board of the regional association for the independent
performing arts in Saxony, Tel.: +49 341 355 95513 E-Mail: email@example.com
CHIBOW (www.chibow.org) is a research network in which academic and non-academic
partners have organised themselves informally to continue the impactful work that arose out
of a formal European-Union-funded network with focus on the experiences of CBOW across
time and space. Based on research of a group of interdisciplinary researchers and their
supervisors as well as four years of intensive intersectoral engagement, CHIBOW’s core
was formed by historians, social scientists, psychologists and psychiatrists whose work has
influenced significantly our understanding of the life courses of CBOW.
We are looking for projects that engage Children Born of War (persons who were fathered
by foreign/enemy/occupation soldiers and born to local mothers in 20th and 21st century
conflicts), and co-develop artistic, performance-based concepts that translate scientific
knowledge about and experiences of Children Born of War to raise awareness about the
social consequences of armed conflicts, including conflict-related sexual violence and
children born of CRSV and consensual relations between foreign soldiers and local women.
Projects and concepts should focus on both audience development and audience
engagement; participatory approaches including the integration of CBOW into the
transformation in artistic projects, e.g. cast or the rehearsal and or post-performance
activities are encouraged, as are concepts that include evaluations of performance art and/or
participatory approaches at the intersection of academic research and artistic dissemination.
Friday, 15th of July 2022, 11.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. (CEST)
Online information event about the call. Please register by email to
Heide.Glaesmer@medizin.uni-leipzig.de. The link to the online event will be sent in advance.
Online Workshop involving actors/directors from the selected projects, Children born of War
from different settings as well as the academic and artistic partners of the Call.
Presentation of the projects and symposium on performing arts as a way of communicating
scientific topics and findings to the public in Leipzig (Germany).
We are looking for freelance artists and independent companies from the performing arts
who share our passion in high-quality artistically interesting and socially relevant
performance art and research concepts.
– Financial subsidy funded by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung through
the Ralf-Dahrendorf Preis für den Europäischen Forschungsraum (up to €6,500 for each
of the selected projects)
– Online mentoring, both with regard to the research content related to CBOW and artistic
development through the project team (UoL, LFTS, UoB)
– Travel and subsistence for actors of selected projects for the performance event
– administrative and technical support
– rehearsal space for final event
– Ongoing video documentary and podcast about the project development and initial
APPLICATION DEADLINE is 22nd of August 2022
Interested groups or actors are invited to send the completed application form, a project
sketch, motivation to be part in the programme, budget draft and additional relevant material
in English in one pdf-file to: Prof. Dr. Heide Glaesmer, University of Leipzig,
Please use the template document for your application.
All submissions will be evaluated by a SELECTION COMMITTEE comprising two
academics, three performance artists and one Child born of War. We will communicate the
outcome of the competition by 15th September 2022.
Further Information relating to the call and the project can be obtained from Anne-Cathrin
Lessel (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Heide Glaesmer