Selection Committee chooses 14 project ideas
A jury of experts has selected fourteen project ideas for the second phase of European Spaces of Culture to be developed into concrete projects for 2022. "There is a lot of dynamic and energy being put together as part of this initiative. I appreciate being involved in all of these different steps in quite a complex time where of course we have more questions than answers." says Natasha Ginwala about choosing new project ideas at the selection meeting which was held online via Zoom on 8 July.
After reviewing all 39 applications along the lines of the selection criteria, the committee selected to be awarded:
Bosnia and Herzegovina: 'My Story Matters: confronting exclusion of minorities in the Balkans'
The protection of national minorities in the field of sexual orientation and gender identity are key to active tolerance and non-discrimination in the Western Balkan region. Beside the legal framework, collaborative learning practices adressed to civil society and especially young people are necessary to transfer the language of human rights to all. "My story matters" will help improving intercultural and multireligious understanding between all members of societes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, North-Macedonia and Montenegro through artistic interpretation of minority life stories.
Brazil: 'Politics of Nature/The Mobile Game'
Due to Brazil's global importance to the climate as the world's most biodiverse and fifth largest country, there is an urgent need to strengthen agency and engagement in the climate cause and environmental issues among Brazilian youth. In a large collaboration including Brazilian youth climate movements, institutions, NGOs and two UNESCO Creative Cities, this project proposes to engage and connect Brazilian youth across social borders for the climate and sustainability cause as well as to connect Brazilian and European youth by developing, distributing and activating a digital version of the game Politics of Nature or simply PoN for smartphones and tablets: The PoN mobile game.
Cameroon: 'Cameroonian Cultural Network'
How can the Cameroonian cultural scene gain more economic and structural independency? How can the the production of high quality art creation be reinforced? How can the local audience be more engaged in a dialog with contemporary arts? The project, as a pilot, is unifying for the first time European and local stakeholders to develop a digital and physical platform in order to establish a strong net work for artists and to tour the cultural art productions in Cameroon. This will be achieved through regular high quality cultural events, which are offering well needed alternative visions and impulses for the growing civil society in Cameroon.
China: 'Diverse As We Are (DAWA) - International Festival of Inclusive Culture"
Shanghai: “Diverse As We Are (DAWA) International Festival of Inclusive Culture” connects avantgarde disability artists and mixed abled creative minds from Europe and China. As the first of its kind, the DAWA festival showcases and discusses the diversity of artistic aesthetics and cultural production, and builds bridges to local audiences, disability communities and culture institutions. The festival offers a platform to link and empower underrepresented groups of the art scene and society, and calls for more access, and inclusion in the cultural life through various public engagements such as performances, concerts, exhibits, workshops, expert talks and discussions.
Egypt: 'A musical Caravan across Desert Borders'
Musical Caravan aims to strengthen the technical and creative skills of professional and non-professional musicians in Egypt and Tunisia. Given the challenges imposed by the current times, and the digital practices implemented to cope with social distancing, it might appear as a precious momentum for bridging transnational borders through a musical caravan that connects North-Africa with the European shores. The capacity building devoted to cultural actors covers different musical needs emerging from the area, from technical tutoring for orchestras to supporting endangered folkloric musical traditions.
India: 'Spaces 4 Kolkata'
Spaces 4 Kulture (S4K) will renew, revitalize and contemporize the European relation to the culturally diverse and vibrant Indian state of West Bengal and its capital, Kolkata. The European presence in Kolkata is stronger than anywhere else in India but is in material terms often dominated by and reduced to the build heritage, to the visible past. Spaces 4 Culture will set a different stage for our common history in the area by rethinking the Indo-European future based on dialogue, local inclusion, genuine exchange and partnership building. This approach is made possible by addressing topics, concerns and agendas that we as Europeans and Indians share and have a strong common interest in.
Mexico: 'Flash ACT - Arte, Ciencia y Tecnología'
Flash ACT as a hybrid project aims to explore new pathways in the intersection between art, science and technology to develop innovative tools for scientific communication. By modifying the way in which we perceive and conceive our environment, we may be capable to transform our relationship with it, in a deep and significant way. Work results address real challenges, translate them into experiences, promote systematic thinking and encourage active engagement by creativity and curiosity. Flash ACT is strengthening existing structures of our multidisciplinary network, to promote new initiatives around artistic creation and scientific communication in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
Moldova: 'MoldArte - platform for promoting cultural actors of the Republic of Moldova'
MoldArte aims to connect cultural actors of the Republic of Moldova and the European countries by creating an integrated online & onsite platform - a viable and sustainable networking tool for professionals (artists, cultural managers, public or private organisations) active in the field of socially engaged art, in order to stimulate critical thinking and promote culture as a pillar in education and sustainable development. The platform will support the development of local and cross-border initiatives in the contemporary art field, in relation with urban, social and environmental changes, relevant for the local context.
AfrOeste is an exchange, learning and promotion network for the contemporary creative arts of the Afro-descendant people of Latin America that builds a bridge between both sides of the Atlantic. A platform that mixes practice and the re-value of contemporary cultural expressions of one of the largest and more diverse populations in the continent—one with a complicated past and cultural richness—with the networks of international cooperation in existence in European cultural institutions. A work alliance based on the equality between creators and institutions, with a bottom-up approach, and a willingness to bring to the public the artistic expressions of Afro-descendants.
South Africa: 'Right To Speak-Fostering South-North exchange through spoken words on human rights and social issues'
The project "Right To Speak" will establish multiple spoken word events on humans rights and social issues allowing artists to showcase their art. Here, international days like March 21–International day of Poetry as well asSouth African Human Rights Day–work as conduits for the supported art form and the content of contributions. Using a flexible combination of virtual and physical formats, "Right To Speak" supports medium-sized and smaller venues in South Africa as well as it allows artists from Europe and South Africa to build and expand relevant networks. Furthermore, the project provides opportunities to participants to further devleop their skills.
Tajikistan: 'Art residencies ECO – Sayohati Sabz (Green Journey)'
Tajikistan is a mountainous country in Central Asia and home to some of the most enchanting and untarnished natural landscapes on the planet. It is also one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to the impacts of climate change, where landslides and extreme weather have devastating, visible consequences for the mostly rural and impoverished population in remote mountainous villages. Sayohati Sabz (Green Journey) is an art project that transcends geographical boundaries, taking remote communities & local/international art activists on a journey together to explore the shared vulnerability of humanity to climate change, and the need to build a shared resilience beyond borders.
Tanzania: 'Umoja (Unity in Swahili)'
Umoja, meaning unity in Swahili, embraces the belief that collaboration brings innovation, cultural understanding and uplifts the creative economy. Umoja will repurpose a public space and launch digital platforms to bring visibility to urban and contemporary art froms in Dar es Salaam, one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. Umoja encompasses an innovative multidisciplinary art residency that opnes up cultural dialogue between East African (EA) and European (EU) artists and promotes gender balance in the arts. Umoja is managed by a pioneering network of Tanzanian and European Cultural Institutes, Academia and Government bodies dedicared to promoting social cohesion through the arts.
Uruguay: 'UNLIMITED – International Inclusive Arts Festival SIN LÍMITES – Festival Internacional de Artes Inclusiva'
UNLIMITED - International Inclusive Arts Festival is the first festival in Uruguay dedicated to arts and inclusion. It aims to create reflection on inclusive artistic companies from Europe and South America being also inclusive from the audience perspective. The festival includes performances, art residencies, workshops and lectures on inclusivity for permorming and musical arts.
Vietnam: 'Repurposing Industrial Heritage'
This project aims to create an open art and creative model space for Hanoi as an alternative to the dominant trend of removing industrial architecture heritage. The market dynamics of Hanoi have until now replaced factories from last century with new commercial buildings. In a context of shrinking spaces for the arts and unhindered development of cultural innovation this bottom-up initiative is advocating to revalue remains of urban history for cultural incubating, start-ups and new communities. The local stakeholders expect European partners to share experience on private and public-private partnership models, build capacity suitable for repurposing industrial architecture.
The selection committee consisted of:
- Joan Álvarez (Creator and director of the Chair of Cultural Diplomacy of the European Institute of Internatonal Studies and Director of the Cultural Diplomacy and International Cultural Relations course at the Ortega y Gasset University Institute)
- Marijana Cvetkovic (Independent cultural manager and co-founder of the Platform for theory and practice of the commons, University of Arts in Belgrade)
- Natasha Ginwala (Curator and writer, Associate Curator at Gropius Bau, Berlin and Artistic Director of Gwangju Biennale 2020 with Defne Ayas. Artistic Director of Colomboscope)
- Sabine Longin (Deputy Director, Giacometti Foundation, former cultural attaché at the French Embassy in Doha)
- Ayeta Wangusa (Executive Director of Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA), creative thought leader, mentor, writer, researcher)
As observers, colleagues from the EUNIC team and from the European Commission (Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture) and the European External Action Service were present at the meeting.
The selection meeting followed the Call for Ideas, which was launched in January 2021 and invited EUNIC members, EU delegations and their local cultural partners in countries outside the EU to come together and seek new ways of collaboration in cultural relations, following a number of guiding principles, which reflect the EU strategy for international cultural relations and the EUNIC Strategic Framework 2020-2024:
- The project should encourage people-to-people contacts through a bottom-up approach, based on local consultation and co-creation;
- Go beyond projection of the diversity of European cultures;
- Focus on the process as well as on outputs and outcomes: a new spirit of dialogue, mutual listening and learning, where partners are on equal footing and engage in a joint capacity building process.
The Call for Ideas resulted in 39 applications involving 28 EUNIC members, 44 EU Delegations and 172 local partners.
The selected project teams are now invited to further develop their ideas into concrete proposals for projects taking place between January and October 2022. In September 2021 representatives of the project teams will meet in virtual 'Creative Labs' to discuss the process, their partnerships and evaluation models. Deadline for submission of the final project proposals will be 4 November 2021.