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Warsaw, Seville, Zagreb, Marseille, Chisinau
January 2018 - December 2019
Artists and cultural animators often position themselves at the fringes of society - so they are able to remain outside and challenge what others consider normal. This could explain why in societies where we are encouraged to see ourselves as individuals, consumers and choice exercisers - artists and cultural animators have become particularly interested in art and culture as a way of exercising solidarity, mutuality and community bonds. In a fragmented Europe, you could say that ‘society’ has become an avant garde idea. The objective of the Participatory Action Research phase is to explore this further and identify solidarity in cultural practices in 5 European contexts.
The researchers use ‘art based anthropology’ to identify social interactions that are oriented towards empathy and mutuality. ‘Art based anthropology’ encourages research subjects to take part in an an unusual activity that accentuates a subtle behaviour, making it distinct enough to be forensically investigated by a researcher.
Next, teams of artists and researchers program and research a participatory activity, in order to showcase and upscale concrete ways of how solidarity is exercised. Thus the project will result in ten analyses of social solidarity practices exercised in 5 different European communities.
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December 2017 - May 2020
The public forum throughout the project is a dedicated Lab for Europe - an open source online space for research, debate and campaigning. In the context of “Culture for Solidarity” over a hundred cultural changemakers will discuss collaborative cultural practices on the platform. Other users of the platform (currently over 12.000 registered users) are invited to join these conversations.
A team of researchers and a network of bloggers identify and collect research reports, case studies of cultural practice, videos and other materials in four areas:
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The “Culture for Solidarity” Encounter will be innovative meeting of peers to examine how collaborative cultural practices can help institutions to include their audiences in their practices and how the wider public realm can be improved with more participatory policies and actions. This mobile event will take places across six different venues in Seville and will combine talks, collaborative exercises, film screenings and walks - creating an atmosphere in which sharing and learning thrives. The Encounter will have three goals:
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16-18 April 2020
The final event of Culture for Solidarity will be an opportunity for cultural activists and mediators who are:
- engaged in initiatives that create spaces for solidarity and public debate, and who are keen on European collaboration.
- engaged in non-partisan initiatives that provide digital or physical space for citizens to share ideas and engage in debate
- well connected to relevant (local) communities and stakeholders such as decision makers, educational institutions or media
- committed to sharing their knowledge and experience and working on collaborative projects with peers from across Europe
Culture Lab Europe is a unique opportunity to:
- be inspired by initiatives tackling the pressures facing European societies
- build connections with other cultural change makers across Europe
- develop initiatives contributing to a European space for public debate, fostering solidarity amongst people living across our continent
- meet funders and be part of their initiative for European public space.
Learn more and apply at