European Spaces of Culture: happening in September
For several European Spaces of Culture pilot projects for European Spaces of Culture, September marks the launch of their final project activities or final preparations of public events. See here a sample of the rich and engaging activities happening in amongst others India and Palestine!
Coming up in September
Palestine: Tadafuq / تدفق: Contemporary Art Programme in Palestine
Tadafuq / تدفق: Contemporary Art Programme in Palestine supports a new generation of Palestinian visual artists from Gaza, West Bank and Jerusalem, to unleash their full artistic and professional potential in an innovative and inclusive cultural exchange project. For the last several months, the project has hosted weekly masterclasses, delivered by Palestinian (local residents and in diaspora) and European professionals. The project also contracted fifteen selected visual artists - five artists from Gaza, five from Ramallah, and five from Jerusalem - who are following a mentoring programme with Palestinian professionals (both in Palestine and from the diaspora).
A touring exhibition will be curated to showcase the produced artworks, taking place in the venues of the three local partners, and will then travel to the EU starting with Casa Árabe in Madrid, and two more venues in France and the United Kingdom, with the help of the European partners. Already in September, the fifteen artists will present work at Casa Árabe in Madrid, opening on the 21st (to be followed a month later in Córdoba). The exibitions in Spain offer the opportunity to get to know the artists who make up this new generation of Palestinian creators, from the vantage point of contemporary creation. In the meantime, preparations are made for their new works works to be exhibited in Gaza, West Bank, and Jerusalem from October.
India: The Restoration Toolbox
The Restoration Toolbox, launched on 19 April this year, creates tools and spaces to promote participatory heritage conservation in India, using open-source digital technologies to empower citizens and local communities to preserve their own heritage. After the platform was launched in April, the project has set out mapping of restoration works and methodologies, opened an internship programme on restoration crafts, and hosted several seminars and outreach events to create networks and raise awareness among communities and partners, in several cities in India.
From 27 until 29 September, the project will host the conference “Enabling Conservation Through Digital Engagement” at the Jindal School of Art and Architecture, spreading awareness about the project’s results to communities, policy makers, students, and civil society actors to empower them in the process of conserving everyday heritage. The conference will include panels, interactive reflections, workshops and exhibition of the work done and the impact on the local community. It will be a key advocacy moment to put on the agenda cultural heritage restoration and reuse in India, not least as it comes only weeks after the G20 taking place in New Delhi, where circular economy and sustainable development are key agenda points.
Looking ahead to October
In other parts of the world, preparations are well under way for key public events in other European Spaces of Culture pilot projects happening in October. In Angola, the Enter My Universe festival will signal the first fully inclusive and accessible festival with particular focus on making art venues structurally accessible. The festival will be a premiere to have artists with disabilities being seen on stage, addressing directly potential decision makers, with workshops, exhibitions, screenings, two policy roundtables, and the first ever European-Angolan co-production of a hip hop opera by artists with and without disabilities.
In Egypt, the travelling Shaeirat project will kickstart its first editions of Arabic international performed poetry festivals - to be followed in Algeria and Morocco over the following months. Besides the performances, the poets will be leading concept development and creative production (poetry, performance, and of public poetry festivals) reaching out into MENA and Europe, which has has no precedent in the region.
In Kenya, the Kibera Fashion Week is gearing up to its high point. After a first trial edition in November last year and a full programme of workshops, showcases, exchanges and castings throughout 2023, in October the fashion week will see its grand showcase of local creativity involving and open to the entire Kibera community. The week will include runway shows, the Local Heroes showcase and market, sustainability workshops, and much more.
Watch this space for updates!