international gathering, grassroots conference, growing global community

ANAMUH is proud to be co-organizing Play Perform Learn Grow (PPLG). PPLG is an international gathering, a grassroots conference, and a growing global community.

Founded in 2017 in response to the dehumanizing conditions created by the refugee policy crisis in Europe, PPLG has taken place four times. It brings together people from around the world who use play and performance to engage social issues, heal trauma, stimulate imagination and possibility, generate community, and build bridges.

PPLG ignited among its participants and their communities a collective movement, nourishing homegrown performatory initiatives and creating new spaces of belonging across borders and cultures. Through play, performance, ritual and arts, PPLG honors and celebrates the power of collective creativity to endure and transform adversity, to create new possibilities.

PPLG was created in response to crisis and pain, with the motivation to bring art to ordinary people and to isolated places, trusting the capacity of play and performance to heal and to transform. The vision and the activity of PPLG is to bring together artists, to support and sustain them by helping them to develop and sustain their work. Also to bring performing arts into academia, into organizations, into everyday life fostering exchange and collaboration across disciplines and across borders.

During the previous four editions of PPLG, more than 700 people have gathered, from more than 60 countries. The focus each time has been to support the art and the social initiatives emerging from marginalized communities to grow and develop. Performing artists have gathered from refugee camps (like the Western Sahrawi camps in Algeria) and war zones (as Syria). Arts have been shared by people with disabilities and in support of the LGBTI community. Those artists have been supported to network, to raise funds, to gather academic support, to turn social initiatives into organizations through the PPLG community, located across the fields of performance, academia, social sector, education and therapy. In that sense under the umbrella of performing arts, PPLG has made possible the building of community across identity, across disciplines and across borders.

PPLG is itself sustained through its community. Without any external funding, the gathering/conferences and the community events have been made possible through the fees paid by all the participants who could do so, and by their donations. After each edition, new initiatives emerge among PPLG presenters, which are then supported to acquire an international presence and impact through the community.

PPLG has always been organized grassroots and completely independently. The registration fees and crowdfunding campaigns make the conference and its community activity feasible and sustainable, and also supporting grassroots organizations assisting refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos. Scholarships are offered when needed. It’s the people that each time co-create PPLG and make it possible.

The focus of PPLG in the context of the presenters and their communities has become the core of the grassroots online event “Creating Community Across Borders”. Local performing artists gathered their communities in 15 cities across 13 countries, engaging 200 refugees, migrants, locals utilizing creative methods and online collective performance to create opportunities of dialogue and new communities to emerge from it.

Art including performance, poetry, dance was presented from each of those contexts and new art was created among them. For instance a performance was created online bringing together three Syrian and Greek artists located in Greece, Germany and UK. What was made possible through this hybrid, pioneering event was the radical inclusion of performers and people who could not cross borders or find ways to get visibility and sustain their work. For instance artists participated from refugee camps in Greece, Romania and Luxembourg sharing their work internationally and creating an audience for it. New collaborations were created that were later further developed and consolidated during the following PPLG editions.

Support and be part of the PPLG Community!