European Spaces of Culture


Understanding European Spaces of Culture: how to address a local need?

The European Spaces of Culture Call for Ideas is open until 13 June 2021. First point on the roadmap towards a project idea: what is the local context and what needs can be addressed by a multilateral partnership?

With the European Spaces of Culture Call for Ideas open until 13 June 2021, EUNIC colleagues worldwide are teaming up with their local partners and EU Delegations to form partnerships and design project ideas. Following good practice of international cultural relations, such activities must answer to a certain need that is identified on local level, after consultation with various partners on the ground.

What kind of obstacles, missing pieces, or pains are there to address? And following up on that: how could such multilateral and multinational partnerships try to address these local needs? To understand better how such local needs can be identified and addressed, the currently running pilot projects offer inspiration. Follow the links below to read more about the projects.

Project idea design toolkit

EUNIC has developed a toolkit to guide aspiring project teams through some of the main aspects of project design, from identifying the local need to taking concrete steps to set up the partnership. It offers five main guiding questions that are recommended to be discussed and answered jointly by all collaborating partners and includes several thinking exercises and templates to help them develop their partnership and project idea. Find the toolkit here.

Benin – Urban Cult Lab’Africa

African urbanisation brings together different cultures, languages, traditions and heritage, particularly because of the attractiveness of cities for rural populations, intra-African migrations, but also by an international presence from other continents. This diversity is a potential source of tension and conflicts, in particular in West-Africa where urbanisation is booming.

Diversity by rapid urbanisation in West-Africa, bringing together different cultures, languages, traditions and heritage diversity, is a potential source of tension and conflicts.

Associating six maker's spaces in West-Africa, Urban Cult Lab’Africa rather develops an alloy of skills and talents to develop solutions to urbanization questions, in the area of digital innovation for education; makers and artists; and goods and services.

El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – Triángulo Teatro

In Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, possibilities to produce performing arts are limited, due to a lack of public funding, limited consumption of cultural products and exhibition spaces, making it difficult for the sector to professionalize and to establish itself as a stable economic sector.

Triángulo Teatro aims to respond to these needs with a programme of cross-border creation and (digital) mobility of cultural products throughout the region. Production and circulation of plays between the countries (albeit now virtual) should create a larger market and access to a bigger audience, improving capacities, awareness and cultural exchange in the region.

In Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, it is difficult for the performing arts sector to professionalize and to establish itself as a stable economic sector.

Ethiopia – Tibeb Be Adebabay

Emerged from a time of authoritarian regimes in Ethiopia, Ethiopia’s definition in cultural policy is limited to the areas of heritage, tourism and cultural industries, resembling a lack of understanding and appreciation for contemporary artists, their work and their role in society. Public space ("adebabay") in Addis Ababa can rarely be used by artists or civil society actors for encounters between people, art and culture is confined into closed spaces like galleries and bars.

Public space in Addis Ababa can rarely be used by artists or civil society actors for encounters between people, art and culture is confined into closed spaces like galleries and bars.

Born out of the conviction that culture is not a luxury but a necessity, Tibeb Be Adebabay offers new experiences for Addis Ababa residents to participate in the public domain. The primary goal of the festival is to get the public to participate in the making of artworks with artists in open space, which is currently a virtual domain.

Mongolia – Nogoonbaatar Eco Art Festival

Half of Mongolia’s population lives in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolian for "Red Hero"), one of the most polluted capital cities on earth. Fine particulate matter accounts for many health disorders and premature deaths, and is a high threat to younger generations. It grows with the expansion of the population and increasing rural-to-urban migration.

Nogoonbaatar ("Green Hero"), the first eco art festival in the country, aims to change this critical situation by creating awareness of the dangers of air pollution, developing art projects and events in community centres, schools and public spaces.

Half of Mongolia’s population lives in Ulaanbaatar, one of the most polluted capital cities on earth.

Sri Lanka – Colomboscope

The recent history of military regimes in Sri Lanka leaves fundamental questions unanswered about identity and openness towards differences. In parallel, across Sri Lanka, artists face a constant struggle to maintain a professional livelihood in the cultural sector due to lack of public funding, accessible arts libraries and open-source archives.

The recent history of military regimes in Sri Lanka leaves fundamental questions unanswered about identity and openness towards differences.

Organised by a local team of creative producers, designers and curators, the festival Colomboscope offers opportunities for creative producers to have a horizontal exchange on creative questions as well as topics of socio-political urgency.

USA – The Grid

Technological innovation has ripple effects throughout the entire world, dominating our lives in positive, and often negative ways. Society nowadays focuses on the destructive sides of technological progress. The overwhelming cluster of tech companies in Silicon Valley define big parts of culture and daily life while at the same time not being linked to cultural organisations and their discussions on society.

Initiating a pioneering experiment, placing artists within research and development teams in Silicon Valley, The Grid is investigating if art-thinking can humanise technology, influence design processes, anticipate destructive impacts and jump-start a conversation between artists, technologists, and policy makers from Europe, Silicon Valley and beyond.

Tech companies in Silicon Valley define big parts of culture and daily life while not being linked to cultural organisations and their discussions on society.

Call for Ideas open until 13 June

The European Spaces of Culture Call is open until 13 June 2021 and aims to find innovative projects that redefine the idea of what European cultural relations can be by finding and testing new collaboration models. The Call requires proposals to be co-created by local stakeholders (e.g. civil society organisations, local cultural actors, etc.), EUNIC members and EU Delegations in the spirit of equal partnership. Find the Call for Ideas and all relevant documents for your application in the EUNIC Google Drive. The dedicated Mobility Scheme is open for colleagues to apply for travel funding, meet your partners and discuss your idea already at this stage!

Webinar series and Open Spaces

Join the EUNIC Spaces team in the dedicated webinar series on European Spaces of Culture, where all aspects of the project idea design are discussed, including how to identify the need in your local context, how to set up partnerships and how to start with your application. Find all upcoming dates and sign up for the webinars here.

The EUNIC Spaces team also opens its doors regularly in the Open Spaces free consultation room, open every Thursday at 5-6 pm CET and Friday at 10-11 am CET. Once in, follow the instructions on screen.



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