European Spaces of Culture

New round of project ideas selected under European Spaces of Culture

The international jury of four independent experts has selected eight new European Spaces of Culture pilot project ideas to be implemented between June 2024 and October 2025.

The European Spaces of Culture jury convened on 18 January online after evaluating 38 submitted applications and selected the following eight ambitious cultural relations project ideas for implementation between June 2024 – October 2025:

  • Bolivia - Celebrating Cuir Culture in public spaces
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina - ALL INCLUSIVE: Performing Arts Project for Diversity and Social Inclusion
  • Colombia - DANCE IN CONSTRUCTION: Strengthening the upcoming generation of Colombian dance artists through a Colombian-European dialogue
  • Ethiopia - Stations of Culture - Stations of Dialogue
  • Indonesia - Design Matters Lab
  • Kazakhstan - Dybys: Female Soundscapes in urban environment
  • Malawi - The Future is Female
  • Turkmenistan - Dance Turkmenistan!

35 countries around the world responded enthusiastically to the new Call for Ideas launched by EUNIC to identify innovative projects designed to bring a novel approach on cultural relations between European and local organizations in countries outside the EU. The submitted projects proposals, rooted in fair collaboration between EUNIC members, EU Delegations, and local partners, are aimed at addressing local needs through arts and culture. Various aspects of the ideas had to be covered by the concept note applicants were asked to present, such as the contribution of the planned activities to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

After evaluating each project separately against selection criteria such as innovation, relevance to the local context and foreseen impact, the jury members convened to compare their observations and thoroughly discuss the applications. A rich exchange resulted in the selection of eight projects spanning various artistic disciplines, including dance, design and performing arts, and answering to different local needs, be it reconciliation in a post-conflict setting, underrepresentation of marginalised groups, lack of support for (young) artists, pressing environmental developments, or opening up in a difficult working context. All projects are awarded grants up to 60,000 euros, totalling up to 420,000 euros.

Over the next four months selected projects teams will have the opportunity to develop their ideas into a concrete activity plan, taking into consideration the jury feedback and the reflections that will emerge during the Spaces Lab scheduled before the implementation phase.

Discover the selected projects

Bolivia – Celebrating Cuir Culture in Public Spaces
Queer individuals face pervasive discrimination in various aspects of life, wether in the job market, in educational institutions or in healthcare. They often even endure mistreatment and abandonment by their own families. Celebrating Cuir Culture in Public Spaces constitutes a channel of expression for all queer creatives who wish to make their voices heard through their art. It provides them with a platform to create meaningful content, breaking away from the cycle of poverty and discrimination, while fostering their inclusion in queer culture.

A vital site of resistance, this project was brought into existence through the collective struggles of local communities and supportive institutions. Its ambition is to offer queer artists a platform for education, bonding, new connections, complicity and encounters. This will be made possible thanks to collaboration with local organization DIVERSA, the only dedicated queer art space in Bolivia, that guarantees respect of artists’ rights.

Bosnia and Herzegovina - ALL INCLUSIVE: Performing Arts Project for Diversity and Social Inclusion
ALL INCLUSIVE fosters harmonious inter-community relations through intercultural dialogue in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Focused on marginalised groups – people with disabilities, minorities like Roma and Sinti, and refugees – it aims to create a platform where their stories, talents, and experiences take centre stage. Through artistic productions, community engagement, capacity-building workshops, and storytelling, it empowers individual community members to be multipliers and stronger actors of change. Moreover, it raises awareness of the struggles waged by marginalized groups against discrimination and dehumanisation.

Fostering understanding, empathy, and connection, ALL INCLUSIVE transcends conventional official narratives and integration approaches. Local and international project partners amplify voices often unheard, adopting a bottom-up strategy that emphasises equality and elevates collaboration to a new level. The project is intended to have a lasting impact on both participants and audiences by cultivating unity and appreciation for diversity, creating a cultural shift towards a more inclusive and understanding society.   

Colombia - DANCE IN CONSTRUCTION: Strengthening the upcoming generation of Colombian dance artists through a Colombian-European dialogue
How can we strengthen the ability of the upcoming generation of Colombian dance artists to create new narratives and seize development opportunities in the field of contemporary creation, drawing on a rich and diverse heritage? This project contributes to the emergence of Colombian creators in the contemporary dance sector by promoting diasporic and inclusive exchange with Europe. Dance in Colombia bears witness to a wealth of cultural practices, both historically and geographically, stemming from Spanish-European, Afro-Colombian, Amerindian and Caribbean heritage. Dance also contributes to the construction of memory, reconciliation and symbolic reparation.

Local institutions are showing renewed interest in promoting this intrinsic diversity and the role of dance in the lasting peace. However, they are stumbling over the need to provide better support for tomorrow's talent and to find new organisation models to respond to a precarious context. DANCE IN CONSTRUCTION is designed with Colombian institutions, universities, as well as the civil society and the art scene. Implemented during nine months and connected with high visibility dance events in Bogotá, it includes a laboratory programme for 200 young artists, training sessions, and a forum on sustainable models for 150 cultural managers and professionals, all focused on a dialogue between Europe and Colombia.

Ethiopia - Stations of Culture - Stations of Dialogue
This project will transform train-related sites in Ethiopia into innovative European Stations of Culture - Stations of Dialogue for a period of six weeks between February and March 2025. In a post-conflict setting, dialogue is needed more than ever in Ethiopia. As the country is about to embark on an ambitious National Dialogue process, this project will spread European and local cultural approaches to dialogue beyond usual audiences in the capital as well as along the old, now disused, 800 km Ethiopia-Djibouti railway.

The premise is that railways connect people across space and time. Stations and sites are points of encounter, arrival and departure and the train journeys pave the way for dialogue with other passengers, the landscape or the destinations along the way. The project will create free spaces for cultural and artistic expression in a context of reduced space for civic society. This will be done through partnerships linking the train-related spaces, key local cultural partners and European cultural institutions.

Indonesia – Design Matters Lab
Design Matters Lab is a ground-breaking collaborative design programme transcending geographical boundaries and cultural differences, and uniting European and Indonesian creatives in a shared mission to revolutionize sustainable design. With Indonesia’s ranking in the top three of countries most vulnerable to climate risks and with the nation’s waste generation reaching 18.99 million tons per year, there is an urgent need to address these issues and adopt a creative approach to problem solving. Design Matters Lab will bring together emerging design talents from Europe and Indonesia to exchange ideas, co-design, and co-deliver, leveraging the principles of design thinking and cultural collaboration.

The project aims to unlock the potential of waste materials, transforming them into innovative, eco-friendly products in the craft, design, and fashion sectors, for the benefit of local communities. Young emerging designers will take part in an online workshop and mentoring programme and work together during an in-person residency camp in Bandung (UNESCO Creative City of Design). The result of this collaboration will be a series of presentations showcased during several sector led events such as ICAD, Jakarta Fashion Week, Bandung Design Week, and EU-ID Climate Diplomacy Week.

Kazakhstan - Dybys: Female Soundscapes in urban environment
This project deals with an underrepresented and unheard chapter in contemporary Kazakhstan: the influence of women in social and political changes. Citizens of Almaty, Astana, Atyrau, and Taras are invited to experience a performative sound-walk of life stories, dialogues and interviews containing female voices of various generations. The aim is to artistically convey the history and present of Kazakh women's movements and women’s rights, and to showcase forgotten stories as well as current conflicts in the urban space. The produced soundscapes are based on a series of interviews with female changemakers, public figures and artists that have shaped their specific environment. They are supplemented by historical archive material. The sound collages out of these materials are presented to the audience via twelve live performances in urban space and will afterwards be available as a digital tool.

By using research instruments, urban history, technology and artistic tools, the interdisciplinary project is designed to raise awareness of the lack of gender equality and the ongoing struggle to demand equal rights for all groups of society. The project creates a unique physical and digital space where silenced voices are being raised, where new forms of expression, social engagement and solidarity are discussed and brought to a broader public.

Malawi - The Future is Female
The Future is Female is a collaborative project between the EU Delegation to Malawi, the Embassy of Ireland in Malawi, the British Council Malawi & South Africa, Goethe-Institut South Africa, Tumaini Letu, Zomba Arts Platform, and Music Crossroads. This incubation programme offers capacity building, skills development and networking opportunities for female creatives and project managers. The project fosters collaboration, co-creation, and intercultural exchange to empower female creatives in Malawi, amplify their voices, and develop impactful installations addressing social themes. After an immersive experience, the cohort will create its own topic for artivism.

The programme offers a nurturing environment, cross-border support and the positioning of installations as export-ready cultural products. It thus creates a sustainable ecosystem supporting the creative industry growth and exporting Malawian culture. A selected cohort of 8–12 female creative entrepreneurs, and 1 project manager will enhance their network and experience cultural exchange, producing multi-disciplinary works which will be exhibited at Tumaini Festival, Zomba City Festival and Pakhonde Ethno Festival in Malawi. Participants from diverse creative disciplines such as photography, videography, poetry, music, fashion and dance will contribute to this collaborative art project.

Turkmenistan - Dance Turkmenistan!
In the early 2000’s, ballet performances disappeared from Turkmenistan and the Ashgabat Opera-Ballet Theatre was destroyed. For two decades, only folkloric dances were seen on stage. Other forms like hip hop for example currently exist at a private and informal level only. In May 2023, the French Institute, the EU Delegation to Turkmenistan and Turkmen partners seized the opportunity offered by the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the European Union and Turkmenistan to bring the very first contemporary dance show to Ashgabat: Myselves, by K. Danse.

In the wake of this resounding success, a clear evolution in conversations with Turkmen officials was witnessed: a reel interest raised towards new dance forms. However, this new appraisal is followed by the common observation that the local dance ecosystem has collapsed over the past twenty years and that the country now lacks professional trainers. Building on the current dynamics and deep roots of traditional national dance forms, this project aims at jointly producing a first Turkmen contemporary dance performance and initiating a regional contemporary dance network.

  • Cultural relations
  • EU
  • European Spaces of Culture

A jury of 4 independent experts from different fields, backgrounds and experiences but sharing a deep understanding of contemporary cultural relations, read thorugh and examined all 38 incoming applications. In an online meeting on 18 January, they convened, discussed the projects and together selected the 8 project ideas.

Avril Joffe

Economic sociologist and Post Graduate Coordinator of the Cultural Policy and Management Department at the Wits School of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Co-author of EUNIC’s commissioned work on Fair Collaboration in cultural relations.

Kateryna Botanova

Cultural critic, journalist, curator, former director of Foundation Center for Contemporary Art Kyiv and co-curator of multidisciplinary biennial Culturescapes. Researches and writes on decoloniality and artistic practices in Eastern Europe and the Global South. Jury member for European Spaces of Culture in the first and third round.

Lynn Fu

Shanghai and New York based independent curator, consultant and producer, focusing on international programming and collaboration for various theaters, festivals and organizations in China and beyond. Curator of European Spaces of Culture’s Diverse As We Are in 2022.

Marijana Cvetković

Independent cultural manager and cofounder of the Platform for theory and practice of the common. Cultural activist it the independant cultural scenes of Belgrade and Serbia. Jury member for European Spaces of Culture in the second and third round.