Culture of Solidarity: Second round grantees Back

Culture of Solidarity: Second round grantees

With the Culture of Solidarity Fund, we continue to support imaginative cultural initiatives that reinforce solidarity and deal with the aftermaths of the pandemic for European societies. The second round looked to re-unite Europe and its people in solidarity through supporting local cultural players in building alliances across nations, borders and differences with a broader European idea in mind.

We welcome these second-round grantees who grow immediate crisis responses into more future-oriented solutions and extend from local levels to building cross-national alliances and pan-European initiatives. The projects range from Europe-wide campaigns on the topic of European solidarity to grants that support groups who are most severely affected by legislative or financial adversities during the pandemic, and from proposals on greening the future of our continent to projects revealing untold histories of Europeans.

Meet the second round grantees

Agro-Perma-Lab – The Supermarket Museum. Living together within limits

A group of artists, agroecology, permaculture leaders, and volunteers will create an online audio-visual exhibition called “The Supermarket Museum”. The first “path” in the museum explores and artistically interprets the “supermarket culture”: its convenience-, monoculture- & profit- driven modus operandi that wipes out social, economic and ecological solidarity values. Opposing this dominant culture, the second “path” of the museum describes existent successful alternatives – those based on food sovereignty and solidarity.

The project will reinforce the notion of Europe as a shared public space, space for food sovereignty which is local, but based on universal values of human rights about access to healthy food and using our Earth’s resources wisely. By re-imagining local food systems, the project will address the lack of solidarity in supermarket workers rights, the disappearance of local food growers, and the huge climate footprint of long-chain distribution.

Click here for an interview.

Amateo – Postcards from Home

 

This is a partnership project between Amateo, its members and Galway European Capital of Culture, whose ‘Small Towns, Big Ideas’ programme focuses on the tradition of working together to ensure that all succeed in achieving a shared goal, in a contemporary and European context.

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, will be 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.

‘Postcards from Home’ will use a mixture of digital and offline exchanges and gatherings to engage with participants. All of them will share differing experiences of place across Europe, creating positive connections to the local environment and the world beyond.

Apulum Forum Association – The Fellowship of Questions

The Fellowship of Questions project will create an online public space made entirely of questions. It is an open-source tool that can be used to encourage critical thinking. Once the restrictions are lifted, this will lead to offline workshops and encounters. The Fellowship of Questions is a pan-European partnership, created at the Culture Lab Europe. The Fellowship of Questions hopes to counter the self-reinforcing bubbles of certainty and beliefs by building a space that celebrates the power and liberation of asking a question when we have no idea of the answer.

Their project will use the strengths of their organisations at the grassroots level, through workshops in 6 countries, with groups of people of different age, gender, sexual orientation, political views and understanding of the current situation. Can we question our enemies? Can we build on disagreement? They will test the concept of initiating discussions through questions in each of their countries – Holland, UK, Serbia, Romania, Germany and Portugal – and document the results.

Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) – Drawn to solidarity – Visualising encounters along the Greek-Balkan Route

“Drawn to solidarity” is a joint project of the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN), an alliance of grassroots organisations working along the Greek-Balkan route, and filmmakers, journalists and artists from Broga Doite Film and Brush&Bow. Through a campaign of 12 short films with animation clips, the above organisations will campaign to showcase solidarity initiatives at Europe’s borders, building civic consciousness around migration and a tangible space of exchange for refugees, activists and broader publics.

CEPS Projectes Socials – Megatrends. Toolkit to rethink the future of Europe

 

Given the situation of confinement and uncertainty regarding the future that we are living and the urgent need to reinvent ourselves as Europeans, it is vital to develop free and open methodologies so that people can imagine possible futures and start shaping the new reality.

MEGATRENDS is an online and offline toolkit in the form of a card game and discussion board for diverse people to reflect together on the present and future of Europe, and collectively design solutions to the challenges of the continent in all fields of contemporary life. It is an open methodology of collective thinking to build conceptual maps of the present and imagine creative, ethical, supportive, solidary and innovative ways of transforming society for a common future. MEGATRENDS propose play as a methodology to address the challenges of participation, citizenship and community. MEGRATRENDS is a playground to imagine possible futures as locals and Europeans.

Clubture Network – Community, Culture, City: Collectively Transforming the New Normal

The City of Zagreb is being profoundly changed by the tragedy that struck it and the project Community, Culture, City: Collectively Transforming the New Normal will engage individuals and organisations on a local, national and EU level in the process of imagining a future of their cities and communities through research, talks and lectures, public campaigning and actions. Culture plays a transformative role, one that advocates for solidarity and acts through processes of participation will be crucial for envisioning just and solidary concepts for the renewal of the city.

They want to incite collective imagination in re-building the narratives of the community, culture and the city. By analysing the current situation and needs of cultural actors nationwide, with a focus on cultural and spatial policies and new models of citizen participation, they will gain crucial inputs for collective formulation of recommendations for cultural system development in the coming years. Through parallel processes of learning and knowledge exchange via online lectures with different EU, national and local actors on cultural policies, spatial policies and democratisation of public and common goods. They will imagine a public campaign that will put the collective practices in the core of their work.

Through monitoring the process of adopting the law on the reconstruction of Zagreb, with a particular focus on spaces for culture and society, they will organise actions and gatherings in Zagreb that aim at pressuring for just and solidary solutions for the renewal of the city.

The Digital Witchcraft Institute – Digital Witchcraft: transcultural cybernetic futures

According to the Digital Witchcraft Institute, we live in a crucial time in which automated tech (artificial intelligence, machine learning, algorithms) has to be adopted by communities instead of corporations which will replicate the discriminatory biases of the “offline” world.

Through a targeted collaborative action with artists and activists from around Europe, the Digital Witchcraft Institute will promote the understanding that technologies need to be emancipatory. The institute believes that a revision of diverse European cosmologies (which are not ascribed to geopolitical borders) will connect participants and audiences to their personal stories and will make them realize that our heritage plays a role in the technological realm. They will organize a series of virtual workshops in which the different realities and geographical areas of Europe are represented, and produce a catalogue with their prototypes and research which will be disseminated strategically through open channels.

Disability Arts Cymru – NI Chawn Ein Dileu/We Shall Not Be Erased

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. Through online interactions and EU partners, including existing Pan-European networks, they hope to identify long-term action to tackle existing inequalities. This engagement would create digital conferences, podcasts, interaction and an online European collection of disability art.

They will develop a series of conversations based on the societal position of disabled, Deaf and neuro-divergent people within the EU community through the lens of art & culture. These conversations/provocations include disabled academics, activists, artists, agitators, and their allies from across EU, partnering Wales/UK, Eire and Sweden, reaching beyond through established Pan-European networks. Artists will be asked to respond to these conversations with new commissions in a variety of art forms, creating an online collection of European disability art.

Disruption Network Lab – Disruptive Fridays – Tactics of Empowerment

The Disruption Network Lab is a Berlin-based nonprofit that has since 2014 organised participatory, interdisciplinary, international events at the intersection of human rights and technology with the objective of strengthening freedom of speech, and exposing the misconduct and wrongdoing of the powerful.

Following the 2020 coronavirus outbreak, they used their knowledge in digital culture to develop “Disruptive Fridays“, a new series of online conversations and critical reflection in the time of total lockdown. Disruption Network Lab creates a safe digital environment for their participants, as they often work with sensitive information. Their team of technology professionals focuses on open-source software development, enabling them to guarantee data safety of their participants, but also to control the aesthetic end-result of each edition. An inclusive and accessible environment was built on their website, so people can watch the live streaming, as well as take part into moderated chat discussions and ask direct questions to speakers. Each ‘Disruptive Fridays’ edition is archived on their social media channels.

The ‘Disruptive Fridays’ series consolidates a platform of discussion for whistleblowers, human right advocates, artists, computer scientists, journalists, lawyers and activists to present their experiences, research and actions – with the aim to share ideas for a free internet, modern democracy, strengthening human rights values and freedom of speech. Via art and digital culture they want to empower networked Europeans to explore new ideas and develop innovative digital tools.

DOC.DREAM – Inspiration Forum LAB

The IF LAB is an interdisciplinary collaborative art and research project, which builds on the combination of innovative audio-visual art and critical thinking in order to look for imaginative solutions for the future European society, which is currently facing challenges posed by the changes in the ecological, political, technological and social landscape, all of which were highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic. They aim at opening a dialogue about the shared future of the European community through research-based art projects and participants of the IF LAB will form interdisciplinary collaborative art groups and look for visions for the future and through their multimedia outputs articulate what is at stake, how we actually arrived at this point and, most importantly, what should happen next.

At the core of the Inspiration Forum 2020 program is the examination of the changing world and search for solutions for structural problems that contribute to growing division within European society.

EducAR – Antirracist Education and LA RAMPA Magazine – VIBE – Voices of Iberia in Black Europe

Voices of Iberia in the Black Europe (VIBE), 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 will create a visual album and website archive of content produced by Afro-Iberian artists in dialogue with the current Black Lives Matter movement, by crossing geographical boundaries and providing opportunities for empowering dialogues within the European Black community through reflective and critical artistic productions.

This project intends to examine institutional racism and its effects on artistic production, especially at a time when the pandemic has mostly affected Black, brown and minority communities. This project is for the artistic production of a visual album and website archive of related content produced with and by Afro-Iberian artists. The artistic production will follow a series of interactive (online) workshops discussing themes including the African presence in Iberia, and the creation of original music and performance that references current events and experiences. The inspirational guides for this production will be the fourth issue of La Rampa Magazine – Portugal and in Spain the artistic project “Afro in Progress”, developed by a series of collectives and artists/academics.

EUPavilion – EUPavilion

 

EUPavilion is an exhibition dedicated to the imagination of a new architecture for Europe. The design of a European pavilion inside the Giardini della Biennale provides the opportunity for a collective reflection on fundamental questions of language and form for a building representing a non-national – yet not generically international – identity. EUPavilion is part of the broader debate about Europe as a cultural entity and not just as a defined geographic area or a political and economic organization.

The EU Pavilion project aims to raise awareness of the public on the issues of the EU’s lack of a clear project that engages with (public) space, architecture and monuments through design. Ten offices from different European countries are invited to present a design for the first European pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The Venice Biennale and the typology of the pavilion provide an ideal testing ground for a new kind of European public building. The exhibition will be presented in Venice and will be permanently accessible on a dedicated website. Detailed and interactive renditions of the proposed projects will be made available on the website.

femProcomuns – Weaving debates

In Wu Ming collective’s words “Stories belong to everyone. They belong to the community… Open and choral narratives are urgent.”

In the current situation femProcomuns beliefs, it is vital for communities and grassroots groups to share experiences, practices, thoughts across Europe. Knowledge should not remain enclosed in linguistic, cultural and/or communicative echo-chambers created by individualising and centralising data tracking technologies and algorithms of discourse and control, which threaten technological sovereignty. Their project 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.

Fine Acts Foundation – Strengthening solidarity and public space – the power of creativity

This proposal envisions a Europe-wide campaign on the topic of European solidarity, seen through the lenses of the enduring global pandemic. Launching with a curated selection of 27 artists, one from each EU member state, the campaign will grow into a large movement through an open call to creative communities and art schools. All produced works will be open-source so everyone can use and adapt them to spread the uplifting message of solidarity and unity in their community and country.

Through the campaign, Fine Acts Foundation will offer citizens and communities not only a message of hope, solidarity and care, but also free and inspiring resources to debate on and reimagine the shared public space in the (post-)pandemic era. The campaign will directly support individual artists, which are work-wise extremely vulnerable at the moment, and strengthen the capacity of the European civic community.

Forensic Oceanography – Launch Border Forensics: video triptych and programme

After focusing on migrants’ deaths at sea Forensic Oceanography launches Border Forensics (BF) a new investigative project that directs novel arts-based strategies for visual and spatial analysis to lesser documented areas of mobility conflict in and at the borders of Europe. To investigate the Alps, the Mediterranean and the Sahara, they will expand their team across Europe and beyond. This project will culminate in the first, agenda-setting, cultural programme displaying a video triptych and fostering democratic public debate.

By doing so they aim to contribute to civil society’s capacity to hold states accountable and to foster democratic public debate. The cultural programme displaying a video triptych will introduce Border Forensics to the public. The maps, models, animations, videos will be later exhibited in other venues.

FundAction – Resist for Solidarity

The crises brought in a heightened way to the forefront, the need for systemic change.

FundAction as a participatory grant-making fund, promoting participation in the distribution of funds, across sectors, has a pan-European cross border focus. Their membership stretches from Ireland to Ukraine, Norway to Turkey. Their focus has always been to build solidarity, shift power and support systemic change.

Their newest round of Resist grants were originally developed for grassroots activists in FundAction’s extended family to access small amounts of money rapidly and to meet a sudden change – whether that was reacting to an emerging political situation or other unforeseen developments. COVID19 forced them to accelerate these grants. The grants are focussed on grassroots, vulnerable, and / or minority groups who are directly affected by legislative or financial adversities stemming from the collapse of solidarity across Europe.

Gjirokastra Foundation GCDO – Artech for Solidarity

ARTECH (Arts, Rediscovery, Traditions, Eclectic, Contemporary, and Heritage) has 4 partners (Rumania – Spain – Ukraine – Albania). The project, co-funded by Creative Europe, Creative Europe-program, but affected by the pandemic, focuses on finding common ground with European culture heritage as an inspiration.

Gjirokastra Foundation will add a new dimension to the ARTECH project, by making isolation and solidarity one of the themes in the project, and scaling up efforts in the involvement of marginalized individuals. The grantee sees a great symbolic value in continuing the project now and will ensure online access to the project.

Click here for an interview.

Good Chance Theatre – The Walk

 

Starting March 2021, Good Chance Theatre will walk across Europe with a 9-year-old refugee girl called Amal. Searching for her mother, Little Amal is curious and playful. She also happens to be a giant 3.5m-tall puppet. From Gaziantep in Turkey, through the open streets of Europe (Greece, the Western Balkans, Italy, France, ending in Manchester, UK), Amal will bring Europe together again after the pandemic. Creating solidarity and brilliant art with diverse local artists, multicultural communities and refugees she meets along the way.

They’re partnering with numerous cultural organisations across eight countries to make this happen and revive Europe as a shared public space. These events will generate local interest, encourage people from across diverse local communities to take part, and gather press and publicity locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, online and in print. They anticipate press and publicity to increase exponentially across the route as more people discover Little Amal and follow her in person and online.

Read an interview here.

Marginal Associazione Culturale – FULCRUM – Research Center for Material Culture in Transit

FULCRUM will re-imagine urban productions as a bridge between local culture and migrants. Material culture is the common ground to establish a dialogue that bypasses linguistic bias and focus on mutual curiosity and solidarity. Stemming from the COVID-19 emergency response in Palermo, FULCRUM proposes a long term strategy for the involvement of migrants, young people and unemployed around hand-making and food distribution, establishing a European network and an archive for material culture in the process.

They will research, experiment, and prototype earthen construction techniques, use natural fibers and woodwork in order to create an archive of sustainable design tools. This content will shape an online archive that renders the importance/richness of these sources, the know-how of marginalized cultures is extremely compelling for the future of sustainable design and architecture, it is a knowledge, circular and less extractive, that is inevitably disappearing from the European craftsmanship as well as from the African and Asian ones.

FULCRUM is an inquiry into the potential of migrations to re-frame contemporary European heritage and visions, it represents a model possible to replicate in any “arrival city” worldwide. In the process of creating the archive, they will involve experts and research centers from France (Amacò and CRAterre), Portugal and Greece.

Modern Poetry in Translation (MPT) –The Pandemic Issue

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. At a time when national borders have closed and communities have turned inwards, MPT will demonstrate the shared nature of the European experience during this extraordinary time. Their project will generate acts of linguistic exchange and artistic solidarity, reviving and maintaining cross-cultural conversations, and enabling acts of empathy and sharing amongst audiences across Europe.

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.

Mophradat – A Collective Retreat

Sarah Abu Abdallah’s tarot reading at Accomplices, Delphi Annex of the Athens School of Fine Arts, 2019. Photo by Jasmina Metwaly.

Mophradat will bring progressive Arab art groups (antipatriarchal, egalitarian, non-normative, feminist) together with like-minded peers from across cultural fields to develop (intellectual and practical) means of mutual support. The project comprises a series of collective retreats in Athens that act as intersectional fora for exchange, where those with shared concerns can find ways of working that embody greater equality and inclusion – essential conditions for bringing about broader solidarity. During the retreats, participants will work to invent forms and protocols that take advantage of the current rupture in prevailing paradigms to experiment with alternative organizing methods. Although the retreats will primarily focus on Arab art groups (based in Europe for the time of the current pandemic), the program will draw on the specificity of their situation to invent counter-normative strategies that can empower an expanded community.

The retreats will continue Mophradat’s long-term practice of creating new models of gathering, but now at its own recently set up venue in Athens. It will act as a portal to the Arab world rather than an exile: A place to freely think, meet and do, with critical distance, care, and imagination for those who stayed and those who left.

My Villages – The Rural School of Economics

Europe will learn from an a-national and trans-local identifier: The Rural. With farmers families, artists, academics, villagers and migrant populations we learn from self-determination strategies that exist in lived rural life. Taking back the economy as an everyday act, with an emphasis on access to means and the right to self-determination, is how we work.

The school embraces ‘economy’ as the daily basis of how we give (or get) space to act on our terms. The Rural School of Economics sets up its nomadic classrooms in European barns, on fields and in village halls. The learning key is to listen to and act in solidarity with rural communities that face (and have faced) major challenges in their economic and cultural survival; from forced migration to climate crisis, from industrialization to abruptly changing governance.

It is urgent to learn from how to adapt to a place and the ability to connect with the nonhuman. With the Rural School of Economics MyVillages wants to practice trans-locality as a new European geography and identity (versus enforced nationalism); recognize the rural as a place of cultural and economic knowledge production and innovation (versus urban dominance and centralized thinking) and strengthen solidarity and collectivity through the lived experience of interdependence (versus further individualization and disconnection from nature).

NOOR Images – Green Shoots

The European Green Deal is Europe’s roadmap for making 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. A team of 10 European photojournalists will document the efforts of governments that use the Next Generation EU program to invest in energy transition and come out of this Corona crisis as a greener, carbon-free Europe, by implementing the Paris Agreement.

Photojournalists working with NOOR Images will collaborate with photographic institutions in various European countries in documenting and showing these efforts, inspired by the American Great Depression photo-documentary projects. The project will result in a touring exhibition which could show how green initiatives can kickstart economic recovery, the creation of employment and transformation of industries towards a more sustainable future. Green Shoots aim to encourage citizens, civil society organisations and business owners to change the lens with which they look at the future during the turning point this crisis has created.

Click here for an interview.

Radio Papesse – You are so sound! LUCIA mentoring program

With the exception of rare cases the erosion of public investment in authorial radio production leads to a low disposition for experimentation and a significant reduction in new commissions. On a wider European ground, this means few educational programs and an increasing homogenization of formats on North American industry standards. Radio Papesse wants to respond to this lack of programs for creative authorship by presenting YASS! a 5-month distance mentorship for emerging and experienced producers of any age who come with demonstrated audio storytelling experience. YASS! is promoted by Radio Papesse in the frame of Lucia Festival | Radio at the movies

You are so sound! provides European and Mediterranean audio producers and podcasters with competences and resources to advance in their projects and careers. Solidarity needs new narratives and it asks us to learn to listen to other voices and perspectives. YASS is a subverting tool to tell new European stories.

OENOPEThe Borderless European Wine

 

Europe is the original land of viticulture and wine. Most of the European countries keep the tradition of crafting wine alive through the work of men, farmers, vineyard owners and oenologists. But climate crisis and the abrupt halt of out-of-home consumption due to the COVID19 crisis jeopardize the sector. By blending wines from the most representative vineyards of Europe we show the union of our traditional actors, share their know-how and promote their work and culture as proof of European solidarity.

No marketing has been developed to make consumers discover through wine, the beauty of Europe, to embrace the “Made in Europe” label. According to the EU motto “‘United in diversity’ and quoting José Ortega y Gasset‘s idea of ‘Europe is a swarm: many bees and a single flight’, OENOPE wants to promote ‘Solidarity in diversity’, 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.

Click here for an interview.

SPACE – Rehearsing The Revolution

The idea of Rehearsing The Revolution started with an interview of Petra Ardai (SPACE) with philosopher Ágnes Heller on the 30th anniversary of the Pan European Picnic; about European responsibilities and the possible reanimation of the joy and solidarity of 1989. Rehearsing The Revolution ensures an exciting pan-European dialogue between 3 countries [Netherlands, Hungary, Cyprus] that are geographically, politically and historically connected, yet very different.

Being European has many connotations around the continent and nearly all of these narratives are estranged from daily life, from the people. Every systemic change towards a new common narrative of pluriform notions starts in the imagination of people who envision the future they want. Rehearsing The Revolution works with the methodology of immersive collaborative storytelling and the artivism toolkit of Augusto Boal. His methods allow for a creative process that helps us to experience common ground with people you’d never thought you could.

The project partners will organise a series of residencies, workshops, presentations, and interviews with artists and the general public. In parallel to these physical events, their interactive digital platform rehearsingtherevolution.org will host all activities and generated materials like live streams, films, podcasts. “In this case, perhaps the theatre is not revolutionary in itself, but it is surely a rehearsal for the revolution.”  (1974 Augusto Boal: Theatre of the Oppressed)

Studio Wild – The Forbidden Garden of Europe

The European legislative act from 2016 instated a list of 35 invasive plant species which are to be eradicated and banned from European soil. This means that these plants have been degraded to a minority that cannot be traded, imported, sold or grown within the borders of the European Union. Studio Wild wants to question this European legislation, provoking a discussion on whether spatial, legal and social restrictions contribute to a more inclusive society.

Studio Wild’s exhibition space at the Venice Biennale Architettura will host a garden of ‘invasive alien plant species’, which have been listed for their ethnic and biological characteristics and pose a threat to European native species. Their aim is to create a parallel between the fate of these species and the fate of many of our neighbours who struggle to find common ground in Europe just because they are different.

Studio Wild will enclose a garden in a cave-like space. A forbidden garden with a secretive or hidden atmosphere in which these forbidden plants can live in a salvaged environment. Slim bundles of light illuminate individual species which grow on small hills. This organisation portrays a protective and monumental feel, strongly contrasting their current cultural and social environment depicted by exclusion.

Tbilisi Architecture Biennial – Common Waves – International Radio Collective

Common Waves is an international collective that will produce a series of radio programmes to critically examine the role of shared spaces and solidarity in our society. The collective will evolve during the Tbilisi Architecture Biennial (TAB, October-November 2020), which focuses on the question “What Do We Have in Common?”. It will take a close look at the notion of commonness by investigating ownership structures and “common” space transformations. Common Waves operates as a cross-national alliance between various community radios primarily from Europe and introduces its listeners to challenges related to community spaces and their functionality.

Also, the radio will explore virtual and imagined communities as well as physical environments. This will involve examining everyday spatial standard practices and discovering spaces of resistance. 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.

Tek Bunkeri – MOCI – Mobile Open Culture & Innovation Hub

Challenged by increasing emigration, brain drain and ceasing funding resources, communities, active citizens and their remaining cultural professionals in the Balkans rarely have access to innovative skills, opportunities to network or platforms to share experiences.

Perisphere – culture now°here portraits and connects creatives and activists and their local communities in non-urban blind spots in Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro that are put under pressure by the current crisis. Tek Bunkeri will design a digital platform for peers of the region from different professional backgrounds but with a mutual passion and focus on non-urban communities and cultural and social revitalisation of their commons. This platform puts the connected actors of rural change into the spotlight for a broader audience. An accompanying tour to the different participants will function as a mobile culture tour – bringing a mobile cinema and micro-workshops to the countrysides.

Transnational InstituteM2M solidarity. Building municipal to municipal culture of European solidarity

Our Democracy Needs Imagination grantee The Transnational Institute will launch their project M2M solidarity: Building municipal to municipal culture of European solidarity. The project will create peer learning exchanges among local communities in Europe that have transformed their local context experimenting with new forms of democracy rooted in a culture of solidarity.

They will work with local transformative initiatives that have assured access to fundamental rights like water, housing, food and clean energy. The exchanges are aimed at building shared models of a European culture of solidarity, and documenting and publicising these to inspire others.

The project intends to demonstrate that solidarity works to assure everyone’s basic needs are met, regardless of their status as rights-holding citizens or undocumented migrants or refuges. In so doing, it will build a compelling narrative and contribute to a pan-European movement that pushes back against austerity, exclusion and nationalism.

Tranzyt Foundation – Solid for Solidarity – European Comics Competition

Solid for Solidarity is a pan-European project strengthening marginalised voices and making them heard outside their communities. The project encourages a wider circulation of socially engaged literature and wants to reinforce mutual understanding, and celebrate diversity for the benefit of all Europeans.

Due to pandemic a vast number of literary festivals were cancelled – to the adversity of authors and publishers who rely on personal encounters. Yet literature and culture remain as important as ever.

At the same time, there has been a renewed focus on the importance of people’s creativity during lockdown. Arts and culture seemed vital for our social well being and our futures. Solid for Solidarity is a project that explicitly makes that argument and recognises the value and urgency of direct creative engagement. Tranzyt Foundation considers graphic novels a perfect — and refreshingly engaging — means to address the ongoing issues and strengthen social cohesion. Their project consists of two phases: A transnational, open to all, and free to enter competition for the best European graphic novel about solidarity and the importance of European values in these turbulent times, and Europe’s future: The publication, promotion and distribution of print and ebook of the winner, and an anthology of runners up. To secure the diversity of voices and outreach of the call, the project will be promoted in partnership with the largest literary and comic culture festivals operating on the peripheries of mainstream cultural circulation in Europe.

Tw Letteratura – Social Reading Hugs Europe

Social reading is the practice of commenting on literature through digital devices. Starting from Lombardy and Piedmont, two main European epicenters of the COVID19 outbreak, the ‘Twitterature’ will engage European teachers and students to read together 10 passages of literature representing the essence of European identity on their self developed app Betwyll. This collective reading builds up on three previous projects (funded by Compagnia di San Paolo) that Associazione Culturale Twitteratura implemented in Italy from Spring 2018 onwards involving 200 classes of students from 14 regions. The students engaged through these projects were able to write more than 25,000 comments and were involved in dozens of events and school activities related to the texts they read. Interestingly enough, notwithstanding where and when the texts were set, their comments were also rich of suggestions and opinions about the present life as European citizens.

This strengthens Twitteratura’s belief that, in order to revive a European culture of solidarity between citizens from different nations, it is important to act at a deeper level, fostering the awareness of the core values defining the European identity as a whole and that literature and reading are perfect to enhance the awareness of solidarity as a form of respect and inclusion towards different cultures and identities.

This project receives a grant within the special collaboration in the Fund between ECF and Fondazione CRT.

Unhack Democracy European pro-democracy group & election watchdogElection Health Check

Election Health Check is a transnational project facilitated by the pro-democracy group Unhack Democracy. It sets out to produce a series of interrelated short films, inspired by the investigations of Unhack and other election watchdogs, 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.

Election Health Check will commission creative teams from Hungary, North Macedonia, and Romania to produce short, relevant videos building on the studies and ballot counters’ interview transcripts of Unhack Democracy. The creative teams will closely be depicting/recording the violations of voting rights and abuses of power that takes place in the voting precincts on election day. These videos set out to raise awareness of electoral clientelism, phantom voters, and, as a result, the further corruption — accelerated by the pandemic — of the democratic institutions in Central Europe and the Balkans. The short films expose the extent to which the authoritarian-leaning state’s ideological control determines individual people’s mentalities and everyday life experiences.

Union of Justice – European POC Climate Justice Network

The privileged few created the climate crisis, but all across Europe, it is ethnic minorities who are disproportionately affected.

The European POC Climate Justice Network will revive a culture of solidarity to unite, create and build a vibrant network of European POC (people of colour) activists, groups and changemakers who focus/work on climate justice. This network will facilitate training, collaboration, mentoring, and provide capacity-building support which will include education around democracy, democratic participation and democratic change. This network will also help encourage networking through a digital platform, campaigns, events and outreach work. They will run a mentorship scheme for budding activists from across Europe. The network will also guide members through their projects from conception to completion, amplify their ideas and campaigns, as well as celebrate their achievements and wins.

What How and for Whom – Communities of Learning, Bridging the Gap of Isolation

The project stems from the experiences of WHW Akademija, a tuition free and experimental study program for emerging international artists, that WHW started in Zagreb in 2018.

In the social environment diminished by pandemic and economic crises, this new project 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. The goal of this project is to challenge conditions of closures, to reclaim co-learning and conviviality as collective platforms for generating strategies of deconfinement, applicable in wider social contexts. Concretely, galleries in Zagreb, Bilbao and Athens will host exhibitions and workshops on topics as education, commons, free digital culture and public space. An ongoing digital program will serve as a laboratory for the collective development of new international organizational formats in participatory interdisciplinary education.