In our series of interviews with Culture of Solidarity Fund grantees, Turismo in Langa explain how their local heritage and European cultural management ideas connect.
Through its 2020 Culture of Solidarity Fund, ECF granted a number of cultural initiatives whose work resonates with the ambitions and visions of the European Pavilion and gave us much food for thoughts. On this page, you will find updates on these initiatives.
Common Waves is an international collective that produced a series of radio programmes to critically examine the role of shared spaces and solidarity in our society. The collective did evolve during the Tbilisi Architecture Biennial (October-November 2020), which focused on the question "What Do We Have in Common?". The collective is formed by community and artist radios as well as podcasters from various areas like architecture, urbanism, politics and humanities to represent diverse voices.
In our interview series with Culture of Solidarity Fund grantees FNAS explain their project Arts are a restart area: "Mobility today is the engine most questioned by the pandemic crisis. Knowledge, exchange of good practices, sharing of ideas, the creation of partnerships develop above all within that environment, both formal and informal, that is called networking. We all try to fill this void through digital tools."
Music may be a relief, a cure and an escape, but words are necessary as well to process this period. Hence, Culture of Solidarity grantee Futur Festival envisioned a webseries where artists from the electronic music industry discuss a topic with prominent figures of the cultural, scientific community and the civil society.
In our series of interviews with Culture of Solidarity Fund grantees, meet Ilaria Gadenz of Radio Papesse who gives us an insight on their project "You are so sound!"
Giulia Avataneo of Hypercritic - a third round Culture of Solidarity Fund grantee - presents an overview of Hypercritic dreams and plans.
Elisa Peirone of Slow Food Italy answered some of our questions in our series of interviews with Culture of Solidarity Fund grantees. "Food is a universal need and key pathway to connectedness. Cooks, producers and artisans, including many migrants and youths, in Europe have launched new initiatives related to food production, distribution and consumption to tackle the pandemic. The project aims to encourage and celebrate the virtuous initiatives in the food world that are reacting to the emergency with ideas that may inspire others."
In our series of interviews with Culture of Solidarity Fund grantees, here is EUPavilion, a laboratory of research on the relationship between architecture and the EU. It is a collaborative effort that brings tighter architects, scholars, photographers, designers.
In an interview with George Blaustein, one of the initiators of the forthcoming European Review of Books, we touch on the art of translation, hyperlocalism and supra-nationalism and why European intellectual life needs more writers, why it needs more critique, more intelligent dissent, disharmony, even cacophony. The European Review of Books is a Culture of Solidarity Fund grantee.
Each edition of ‘Disruptive Fridays’ - the event series Disruption Network Lab applied with to our Culture of Solidarity Fund - covers a topic like grassroots data analysis, leaking and whistleblowing, legal and human rights mobilisation, anticorruption, health promotion interventions, or the effects of information technology on civil society, politics, culture and the arts. Their goal is to continue the dialogue among curators, programme participants, researchers, experts and practitioners interested in media culture and social justice, as well as to foster the understanding of the impact of technology and politics on society.
Read an interview with Culture of Solidarity grantee Mobile Open Culture and Innovation Hub. "The idea of the MOCI initiative emerged in late 2019 after reflecting on our journey in Albania so far with the numerous community meetings we had in different regions as well as our pilot project with three villages in central Albania and its very productive ideation phase."
Fine Acts Foundation launches their project to foster a creative space to produce emotional, compelling visuals that bring to life a common vision for a better future.They have already commissioned 27 artists (one representing each EU member state) to create new works on European Solidarity. In January 2021 they are opening a call to the European creative community, for previously created works that reinforce solidarity and deal with the aftermath of the pandemic in European societies.
Tereza Swadoschová, Head of the Inspiration Forum at Ji-Hlava explains us why an Inspiration Forum is needed: "Is it the lack of imagination that seems to be the reason why we are only filling in the urgent gaps that open up in the public sphere? What if artists were also involved in searching for possible solutions?"
Meet the third round Culture of Solidarity Fund grantee Turismo in Langa
Meet the third round Culture of Solidarity Fund grantee Social Community Theatre Centre
Meet the third round Culture of Solidarity Fund grantee Slow Food
Meet the third round Culture of Solidarity Fund grantee RATATOJ
Meet the third round Culture of Solidarity Fund grantee Hypercritic
Meet the third round Culture of Solidarity Fund grantee Fondazione Nuto Revelli Onlus
Meet the third round Culture of Solidarity Fund grantee FNAS
Meet the third round Culture of Solidarity Fund grantee Talking Futur
European Cultural Foundation, Fondazione CRC and Fondazione CRT invited organisations from the Piedmont (Cuneo province in particular) and the Aosta Valley to apply for the third round of the European Culture of Solidarity Fund. This special round of the Fund sought to support imaginative cultural initiatives that reinforce pan-European solidarity and the idea of Europe as a shared public space from a regional and cross-border perspective. We were looking for project ideas and proposals that connect local work with a real pan-European dimension.Set up at the beginning of the pandemic crisis, the fund continues to support imaginative cultural initiatives that reinforce European solidarity and the idea of Europe as a shared public space.
Recognizing the importance of the continued support in order for the CLE initiatives to be further developed and strengthened, ECF created the CLE Development Grants. Cultural activists and mediators who participated in the June Idea Camp were invited to apply for a grant of up to 12.500 euro for the period between December 2020 and July 2021. The four CLE grantees were chosen in mid-November. All five initiatives that have received the Development Grant are involved with the creation of spaces for solidarity and public debate and are motivated to collaborate on the European level.
This project wants to promote ‘Solidarity in diversity’, by assembling many wines for a single bottle. Documentaries filmed by European awarded filmmakers will capture this journey into the creation of a new European wine, meeting the winemakers throughout Europe and tell the difficulties they are facing.
Modern Poetry in Translation [MPT] will publish a special issue of their magazine featuring poetry from across Europe that has been written during or in response to the COVID19 crisis. In addition to the print magazine, they plan to produce a programme of associated digital content with additional artistic content, a free digital translation workshop, an online launch event and, travel restrictions permitting, a live launch event in London.
The European Green Deal is Europe’s roadmap for making the EU’s economy sustainable. By 2050, the EU wants to be climate neutral. For this to happen, societies have to believe in the power of green initiatives. Our Culture of Solidarity grantee NOOR images aims to create iconic work documenting the recovery of Europe from one of the biggest economic crisis of our times.
We interviewed Weronika Koralewska and Joanna Doyu of our Culture for Solidarity grantee Agro Perma Lab on their project ‘The Supermarket Museum. Living together within limits’. Agro-Perma-Lab is an educational initiative working in the fields of agroecology, permaculture, deep ecology and food sovereignty in Poland. It is part of the global food sovereignty movement.
Studio Rizoma's first public action is Pandemos, a one-day exhibition-performance which will take place online on October 27. The exhibition has been conceived as an artistic initiative entirely usable online, and all the works have been produced imagining a situation of lockdown and closure of public spaces.
By bringing together artists, creators, and heritage experts in inclusive activities the foundation wants to help in making the city of Gjirokastra accessible. The project offers a rediscovery of traditional themes as inspiration and drive for young artists in the multicultural context of European identity.
We welcome the grantees of the second round that specifically grow immediate crisis responses into more future-oriented solutions and extend from local levels to building cross-national alliances and initiatives of pan-European solidarity. These projects range from a Europe-wide campaign on the topic of European solidarity, seen through the lenses of the enduring global pandemic to grants that focus on groups who are directly affected by legislative or financial adversities stemming from the collapse of solidarity across Europe.
In the first application round of our Culture of Solidarity call, we received more than 2,500 applications from all corners of Europe and beyond. Out of it, we welcome the first 29 new grantees and their projects into our network! Their imaginative projects range from new international institutes for artists, virtual learning platforms for creatives engaging Black and African communities in Europe to digital handbooks that offer support during COVID-19. Meet them here.
The project “activism for solidarity” aims to inspire the civil society to communicate and act in solidarity in creative and artistic ways to bring attention to social and ecological problems. The project has its focus in Eastern Europe and Russia. We interviewed Vera Goshkoderia and Alina Minkova, to better understand where their idea comes from and to have an in-depth look at their project.
Good Chance Theatre embarks on The Walk. It is the story of one girl, Amal, but also of so many other unaccompanied minors throughout Europe. Good Chance Theatre will journey with Amal from the Turkey/Syria border, through Europe, to the UK, to both walk alongside her and discover her story and the story of the people she meets along the way. If Amal has a message, it might be simply: Don’t forget about us.
In the social environment diminished by the pandemic and economic crises, the new project “Communities of Learning, Bridging the Gap of Isolation” by What, How and for Whom/WHW reclaims the inclusive role of education and art while rethinking the future of cross-border European collaborations. Through exhibitions, educational and discursive programs in online formats and in physical spaces, the project initiates recurring encounters between the international partners, their local communities and a high number of pan-European cultural workers.
Unhack Democracy is a pro-democracy and election watchdog group that facilitates the project "Election Health Check". Election Health Check is a transnational project that sets out to produce a series of interrelated short films inspired by Unhack and other election watchdogs' investigations on election irregularities & fraud in Hungary, Romania, and North Macedonia. By exposing the exploitations of disenfranchised voters, the videos advocate for solidarity and systematic change; they inform viewers of their civic rights and empower them to take part in the democratic process actively.We interviewed Zsofia Banuta, co-founder of Unhack Democracy, on the background, the need for the project, the project's contribution to Europe post corona and a European public space.
In the current situation, femProcomuns believes it is vital for communities and grassroots groups to share experiences, practices and thoughts across Europe. Knowledge should not remain enclosed in linguistic, cultural and communicative echo-chambers created by individualising and centralising data tracking technologies and algorithms of discourse and control, threatening technological sovereignty. Their project ‘Weaving deabtes’ aims to find better technical solutions (semantic wiki, templates, bots, machine learning, etc.) for multilingual exchanges and to continue testing them in events and meetings that take place in the coming months. Users will be able to browse, view and add content in a chosen language and connect it with content in other languages.
Voices of Iberia in the Black Europe (VIBE) is a project by La Rampa magazine and EducAR that connects stories and legacies to racial issues, intersectional discourse and artistic production by placing Iberia within a broader cultural structure linked to the Atlantic.
The project by the Disability Arts Cymru titled NI Chawn Ein Dileu/We Shall Not Be Erased, wishes to come together in solidarity to dialogue and learn from each other’s contexts, to share lived experience and identify opportunities and conceive our futures.
Amateo's project 'Postcards from Home' uses the simple device of exchanging on postcards what home, what place means to each of us, at a time when many have lived in isolation in recent months. This is a rich means of sharing our commonality while recognising our diversity. Amateo’s project spans the generations. The relevance of bridging generations is now more relevant than ever as Coronavirus widened generational divides.
The project ‘Stories from the balcony, Stories from the Balkans’ by ATAK (Alternative Theatre Active Company) plans to organize, through a public call, a competition for unemployed, independent and all interested writers, primary playwrights from the Balkans, in the form of a short play. We interviewed Vasko Raicevic from ATAK to have an in-depth look at their project ‘Stories from the balcony, Stories from the Balkans’ and what topics these plays will touch on.
We interviewed our Culture of Solidarity grantee Csilla Hódi on her project Fair-y Circles and how it will provide practical knowledge of working with mushrooms (local food production, habitat restoration, eco-architecture) and mentoring for community and network development.
“We have always been inspired by the idea of a network based on cities or towns rather than nations, connecting different territories with the same concerns as opposed to constructing relationships built only on the basis of the nation state,” say Aurora Adalid Núñez and Luis Galán of ZuloArk’s project ‘Universal Declaration of Urban Rights’.
“I do this trajectory almost daily, but now the uncanniness of the situation - this stranger that I just ‘met’, made me hyper-attentive of the public realm and the bizarre moment we’re all in. What struck me is the consciousness of my personal character, my social identity that is evoked by the other’s presence,” recalled a participant of silent walk in Brussels.
“….the perception of the public space can be altered very rapidly, and the dynamics of mobility and accessibility in public spaces can be all of a sudden questioned at political, economical and environmental levels. Those are the layers we would like to touch upon while walking and listening during the festivals to come,” says Jacek Smolicki of Walking Festival of Sound.
Art Workers Italia is an autonomous non-partisan group of contemporary art workers focused on cognitive work rights in the field of contemporary art, in Italy and Europe. We met members of AWI to tell us more about ‘Hyper Unionisation’.
“It is in the process of mutual recognition, a growing sense of belonging, and in mutual support that we believe the European public space is really built,” says Almudena Caso of Thriving Regardless.
We spoke with Márton Szarvas from Szovetkezetiseget Tamogato Egyesulet about the initiative Boosting the European culture of solidarity and how it will boost existing solidarity solutions into a broader sphere of cultural imagination in a time of crisis.
Arianna Petrosino, responsible for the project SOL.MAP, explained to us how living the corona lockdown in Italy had an impact on her decision to apply to our call Culture of Solidarity fund. They realized that many activists and organizations had to reinvent their traditional activities to face social distancing and the restrictions imposed by the lockdown.
We spoke with Joon Lynn Goh from Asia Art Activism on their initiative Tools to Transform: Workbook for Asian Diasporic Organising in Europe and what it means in terms of European public space and solidarity and Asian diaspora in Europe and beyond.
The project “incubator for the young” aims to support young people to realize a small project for the local communities: they develop their skills and in the meantime, do something for the community.We spoke to Zuzana Palová, responsible for the project, and Petr Kantor, coordinator, about their first project supporting young people at the Centrum Propodnikani.
We interviewed Cultureghem on how they responded quickly to the crisis by adapting its activities fast and being efficient in reacting to the current situation with their project Recup'art: adding art to their food aid parcels to help people in need and artists. Adding some culture to the food package connects two different sectors: the social and artistic sector.
The idea for the title Symptoms of the Future comes from the work of Dušica Dražić on Hallstatt civilization in Austria, says one of the project leaders Mirjana Dragosavljević. Dražić is researching “civilization through time”, starting from prehistoric times, when goods were distributed equally. The focus of this project is looking into the future, having in mind experiences from the past.
We spoke to Tina Sauerlaender from Germany, Julia Hartman from Austria, Ágnes-Karolina Bakk from Hungary, Gleb Divov from the independent Republic of Užupis (Vilnius, Lithuania), Nikita Khudiakov from Ukraine and Mara-Johanna Kolmel from the UK. The curators from KARA AGORA about the goal of their project and what it means when it comes to European solidarity and public space.
We sat down with Zoe Greenfield, Operations Manager at The International Network of Street Papers (INSP) to dive into their project “Supporting marginalized people through solidarity of culture, experiences and knowledge”. And what the project means when it comes to European solidarity and how street papers have adapted to COVID 19 and life in lockdown.
We talked to Leutrim Fishekqiu of Autostrada Biennale, one of the grantees of the first round of our Culture of Solidarity call.
“I wanted to do something to help people stop and reflect and not just run with their lives without understanding what happened to them and how this experience affected them,” says Maria Nekrasova.
“Another issue is the political isolation”, says Kenneth, “the sense of isolation across Europe has affected people in such a way that they are afraid to share their European experiences.”
We spoke with Craig, Feven and Michelle of The Black and African Solidarity Show (B.A.S.S.) on what does a European pubic space mean for their project and solidarity.
In the interview series with Courageous Citizen grantees here is the story of Khaled Barakeh, a Berlin-based Syrian artist and cultural activist whose work often revolves around power structures in context of identity, culture and history. He and his team are working on realising the Syrian Biennale, the first mobile exhibition showcasing Syrian and international artists within the framework of a biennale.
In the interview series with Courageous Citizen grantees here is the story of Adriana Radu, who, being a social media influencer, decided to produce a theatre play on her own and other Romanian feminists’ experiences: Portrait of the artist as a young influencer, which premieres February 29 in Bucarest.
In the interview series with Courageous Citizen grantees here’s Clara Nchama who established the ‘Connecting Africa’ project in Spain, going beyond stereotypes, but presenting contemporary African arts and culture.
With only a few more days remaining until Brexit we are happy to share some quotes from the book by our #DemocracyNeedsImagination grantee Madeleina Kay, aka #EUsupergirl.
In the interview series with Courageous Citizen grantees here’s Ivo Krug, who together with his team, turned Tek Bunkeri into a social innovation initiative and digital network platform in Tirana.
Courageous Citizens grantee Levent Duran searched for creative ways of talking about the social knot around the mandatory army service in Turkey.
In our series of interviews with our 2018 Courageous Citizens research and development grantees we introduce you to Mio Lindner. He developed a format for an intensive exchange between international marginalised queer participants in a one-week book laboratory, resulting in a printed book at the end of the week. The two labs took place at Akademie Waldschlösschen.
Raluca’s and Elena’s idea aimed to change the mindset of people in Bucharest. They hoped to offer small, sustainable solutions and eco-conscious attitudes to the inhabitants of the city, by introducing the concept of repairing and buying directly from small producers, and thereby help save the numerous small repair workshops in the city.
Numu believes radio can be used as a tool for expression, to promote social inclusion and to unlock the talent of marginalised and young people. He also believes radio speaking requires a lot of skills that should be developed through a safe learning environment. He took his idea to Marseille.
In our series of interviews with our 2018 Courageous Citizens research and development grantees we introduce you to Vonne Hemels and her project Boomboomtales. Boomboomtales wanted to open a small cross-cultural printing house where locals and migrants in Lesvos could work together to create books. Using a risograph printer they intended to offer a space for creativity, learning and co-creation. Together with migrants they published books, stories, zines, postcards, maps, comic books and posters.
In our series of interviews with our 2018 Courageous Citizens research and development grantees we introduce you to Nour Abofarraj. With her project ‘Trace’ she wanted to invite youngsters to real-time events and enable real time encounters between audiences from different religious and regional backgrounds, in Damascus, Syria. This is important, as she wrote in the application because “Many Syrian youngsters are growing up in a challenging and isolated environment, forcing large segments of Syrian youth to live in virtual realities of social media.”
We launched our grant call ‘Courageous Citizens’ in 2018. We received more than 500 applications from all corners of Europe and beyond. As a result, we welcomed 31 new grantees and their projects into our network! Their bold and daring projects range from raising eco-consciousness in the city, being decolonial detectives, empowering people with physical disabilities, to re-inventing one's heritage in the context of migration and displacement.
On 11 March 2017, Courageous Citizens grantee artist Alessio Mazzaro reopened Edinost, a Slovenian newspaper printed in Trieste, Italy that gave voice to the first anti-fascist movement in Europe. It was shut down by fascists in 1928. He reopened it as a multicultural space of dialogue and collective writing journal that he directs to investigate borders, fascisms, politics of memory and the role of arts in re-discussing unresolved conflicts.
Thomas Diafas, one of the 2018 Courageous Citizens grantees, talks to us on the Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival.
Initiator Cherelle Harding tells us how a Courageous Citizens grant helped her start training decolonial detectives in a community-engaged history project: Windrush Strikes Back: Decolonising Global Warwickshire.
In our series of Courageous Citizens grantee interviews, Framer Framed tells us about their “The City is Ours” project.
Geraldine Lavelle, one of our 2018 Courageous Citizens grantees, tells us about her project on disablism.
In the run up to the European Parliament election we ran a first round of our ‘Democracy Needs Imagination’ grants call. ‘Another Europe is possible’, represented by Luke Cooper, answers some questions on what the grant allowed them to do.
In a series of interviews with grantees of our 2018 Courageous Citizens call, here is Simeon Vasilev of the Bulgarian GLAS foundation. Since 2014 the ‘Gays and Lesbians Accepted in Society’ foundation works for a positive change to the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Bulgaria.
In a series of interviews with grantees of our 2018 Courageous Citizens call, we start with Sana Murrani. She applied with her project proposal “Creative Recovery: Mapping Refugees’ Memories of Home as Heritage”. Now that the exhibition is over we asked her to share some thoughts with you.
Our #DemocracyNeedsImagination Action Grants support campaigns that defend the future of an open and democratic Europe and get Europeans to vote. In this overview we present a few of them.
Is it possible to hold a debate across Europe, despite language barriers and national borders? Thousands did as part of Europe Talks, which kicked off in Brussels.
With our annual theme ‘Democracy Needs Imagination’ it is no wonder we soon ran into Giuseppe Porcaro. He published the book ‘Disco sour’ and is the man behind the 'Europarama’ podcast series. An interview.
Each week we highlight the work of Democracy Needs Imagination grantees: music, art and European life!
In our series of Courageous Citizens grantee reporting, here’s Sarah Story representing Refugee Info Bus, an organisation whose mission is to assist refugees in having access to the rights that people with European passports take for granted.
Find out all about the second round of selected projects of our new Action Grants!
Find out all about the first round of selected projects of our new Action Grants!
The 2017 Idea Camp brought together 50 Idea Makers from 24 countries across Europe and its neighbouring regions. During three days, participants nurtured and up-skilled the ideas that they have developed with the ambition to counteract anti-democratic practices and bring forward voices excluded from public debate and decision-making. They worked with the support of a group of guest Idea Feeders, and Facilitators- the Hubs in the Connected Action for the Commons.
For the 2017 Idea Camp, the Idea Camp team has drawn on the rich social fabric of the city of Madrid, working hand in hand with local organisations and collectives on the ground not just to plan the programme for this year’s Idea Camp but also to design the space for the event and to shape the communications around it. We are delighted that 2017 Idea Makers will have the chance to meet some of these inspiring local organisations and collectives, to exchange experiences with them and to share the visions and challenges that inform their work.
Idea Feeders are professionals interested in collective learning, who have been invited to share their expertise and knowledge around this year's theme "Moving Communities". They will support the 50 Idea Makers throughout the three-day programme by offering feedback on their ideas.
Meet the fifty Idea Makers who have been selected to participate in the Idea Camp: read their short biographies and have a glance at the ideas they will be working on during the Idea Camp.