A rainbow appears over Templehofer Feld, the public park at what used to be the famous Tempelhof Airport. Sep. 2, 2017.

A rainbow appears over Templehofer Feld, the public park at what used to be the famous Tempelhof Airport. Sep. 2, 2017.

Fulbright Project:
Dance-Making in the International, Creative City of Berlin

Anjal Chande has been awarded a scholarship by the U.S. Fulbright Program to conduct a one-year independent study as a dance artist and researcher. She will be investigating what makes Berlin an international, creative city. What does “creative city” even mean? What factors led to Berlin’s emergence as an inclusive artistic hub? Is it, in fact, inclusive? What sorts of migration patterns have brought artists to and through Berlin? How do artists of diverse backgrounds participate? Situated in a very particular and charged historical context, what is the connection between its history and the community’s attitudes toward culture, creativity, freedom of expression, etcetera? How do Berlin’s residents sustain a thriving cultural ecosystem? How is it evolving?

How might Anjal's creative work interact with and be inspired by the ethos in Berlin? As a person of color, how will Anjal's work be perceived and understood in this context? In an international city seemingly open to outsiders, in a country psychologically averse to exclusion, will Anjal be equally free to engage in self-directed, self-determined creative practices concerned with innovation and the dissolution of traditional boundaries? Will her work be "other-ized" in ways similar to or different from what she has experienced in the U.S.? Will it be allowed to exist in an inclusive conversation liberated from Western-Eurocentric frameworks of categorization?

As an artist and the founder of Soham Dance Space, a non-profit arts organization in Chicago, Anjal is interested in how cultural activities and the development of artist communities are situated in a larger urban context and what makes artists thrive.

Her interdisciplinary research will be both experiential and scholarly, as she will look at artist communities through a two-prong approach: 1) As a practicing dance artist, she will combine firsthand experience of continuing her own artistic practice in Berlin and navigating the platforms for performance, collaboration, dialogue, choreographic mentorship, and artistic growth; and 2) As an academic, she will consider the historical, sociological, cultural, and economic factors that have shaped Berlin into an international and inclusive, creative city through independent research, discussions, and interviews.

Anjal has two university affiliations to support her project: 1) Center of Metropolitan Studies at Technische Universität and 2) Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz (HZT), the dance program at Universität der Künste.