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Initiative for a European Public Space Back

Initiative for a European Public Space

The Initiative for a European Public Space (IEPS) is developed with partners and promotes a European public space, which includes online spaces, inclusive media spaces and cultural safe spaces.

Europe Talks

Europe Talks is an international online matching and debating platform and a series of local events in which citizens can meet and talk to other people on specific topics of European relevance. The initiative challenges growing polarisation and fosters solidarity by bringing together people of different political opinions across Europe. Newspapers and media platforms in different countries in Europe collaborate in Europe Talks, which is hosted and coordinated by Zeit Online


VAHA (meaning ‘oasis’ in Turkish) is a new two-year programme for cultural spaces of public discussion and free dialogue in Turkey and Europe. VAHA has been initiated by our Tandem Turkey partners Anadolu Kültür and MitOst. It strongly builds on previous work and programme communities in the region, and answers new challenges for independent voices and autonomously working cultural spaces in Turkey and around Europe.

In Turkey and Eastern Europe, independent cultural organisations and civil society initiatives are struggling to preserve a safe space for dialogue and freedom of expression. New local actors nevertheless try to provide and maintain unconventional (cultural) spaces and action for public programming and debate. Their efforts are a crucial source of inspiration and provide a spirit of endurance for their local public and civil society peers. They can function as veritable ‘oases’ (vaha in Turkish) that supply freedom of thought, open debate, creativity and human encouragement for the surrounding ecosystem of other independent cultural initiatives and local citizens.

Vaha – Oasis strengthens and increases the role such creative spaces can play inside different social, political, economic and cultural ecosystems. Over three years, this programme builds common ground and shares knowledge between autonomous cultural centers and civil initiatives. First locally, then regionally, then across Turkish, Eurasian and EU borders.

Summer of Solidarity

‘Summer of Solidarity’ is the first pop-up continent-wide, European, collaborative, storytelling media initiative. The ‘Summer of Solidarity’ project aims to knit together a patchwork of human stories through collaborative slow journalism, by going on an e-road trip throughout the continent.

The team behind ‘Summer of Solidarity’ looked for submissions from any and all European countries, in the form of a photograph or a 20-second video (with no commentary), to showcase a place near you this summer.

Online European Public Spaces

Europe is facing real challenges in coping with market-driven and mainly non-European online platforms on which dis-/and misinformation and nationalistic tendencies easily grow and threaten democracy. There is no real European digital public space that is based on values of collaboration, sharing and safeguarding privacy and freedom of people. Waag Society initiates a series of in-depth conversations and research to define the public values that are at stake in the current digital environment. Over the course of 2020, there will be design labs planned with stakeholders from different sectors and interests.

Read on.

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