Culture Lab

June, 2020
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The Participatory
Action Research

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24th May 2021No Comments

EoC-Care Day 22-25 (Care Month?)-personal spinoff

Dear reader.



For this Care Month post:

four new songs by Kingalita

"Csikabuuun Ringabouw"  (00:18)

"Cincinman On Electric Toothbrush" (01:09)

"Silapi Simba" (00:15)

"What Do You Want" (00:03)


And, "Banizbat, the Island Of Loose Ends" stories went to the printer

on the Continent.

Here the temporary final whole book PDF.

Hope next week the paper book (1) will arrive by snail mail.


Have fun.


18th May 2021No Comments

News from the cracked fields #3

Here is our next update on the activities of the mapped collectives:

Call for participants in Feminist No Borders Summer School

14-16 June 2021 / online / registration deadline: 7 June

Additional info can be found here




We continue communicate with the main actors of our  #research to start a #discussion, and #exchange_of_practices. Our new series called News from the cracked fields will be actively sharing the news from our collaborations via our Telegram channel, to start creating a #network for mutual learning rooted in our differences and communalities.

Spălătorie Theater (teatru spălătorie) - an independent art initiative from Chișinău, which was founded in 2010, is stemming from the need of creating an alternative art space in Chișinău where artists could act and react to the political and social events in Moldova, but also to the ones occurring in the broader European region and generally in the world. In 2011 spălătorie has launched the călcătorie residency, a 5 week residency program at teatru-spălătorie. călcătorie is a creative platform for artwork and interaction between young independent Moldavian artists and guest artists both local and international. Besides theatre productions spălătorie has encouraged and supported the production of performance art works by local Moldovan artists. The initiative has also encouraged Moldovan visual artists that work abroad to present their work in Chișinău.

Interviewed by Vladimir Us, Nora Dorogan and Artiom Zavadovschi, as representatives of the art collective, state the importance of the independent theater initiatives for developing of a critical discourse beyond the limits imposed by traditional public theaters in Moldova that are often lacking vision, overlook the existing reality, lack strong connections with the publics and are hierarchically organized, which fact reflects on the way they operate today.


"With Spălătorie, we have tried to expose and question what our society has hidden and ignored." - Nora Dorogan, teatru spălătorie




Gato Gordo  arises under one of the roofs of the Realejo neighborhood, Granada, one spring day in 2013, when a small group of friends and inhabitants of the same house, who will be joined by other restless beings, decide to open the doors of their more intimate corners and turn their home into an authentic scene where once a month creativity sprouts in any corner and magic just happens.

Constituted as an associative space, and aware of the need to generate new spaces and artistic proposals in the city and in current times, they create a place of experimentation in which to share and combine their various personal baggage through search and creation processes. collective where music, gesture, word or dance investigate other forms of artistic expression and question the existing borders between them. 

’Intoxicated by this growing learning process, and eager to continue meowing and purring, Gatogordo takes to the streets and begins to inhabit other unconventional spaces in which to do theater. Thus, they bring the theater to everyday spaces in the city, proposing in each event the creation of shows that make the spaces and the people who inhabit them speak.

Interviewed by Iris Díaz, Maribel and Sara, as representatives of the art collective, state the importance of creating cracks between public space and private space. Pushing the boundaries of theater. Gato Gordo is a laboratory where communication, self-management and community are the main tools.


"We like to play with the daily life, but changing the point of view. We add a 'cat look' to the themes that cross us." - Sara, Gato Gordo



City Detective, Spălătorie Theatre and Gato Gordo mark our first mile-stones in building a network from the #cracked_fields as well as a valuable learning experience! Stay in touch to receive updates from our local points of focus on ways of learning!

Join us in #looking_through_our_cracks across our borders!


18th May 2021No Comments

c-r-a-c-k-e-d ways of learning

After six weeks of mapping we are happy to present the results of our research, which includes around 30 initiatives from 15 cities and 7 countries, representing a wide range of topics like #art, #urban_commons & #inclusive_cities, #human_rights, #migration, #ecology & #solidarity in general, centered on the question of #inclusive & #alternative_education that are making use of #public_space, #participatory_practices & #self_organization, and are encouraging #citizens_movements from the edges of the European continent.

In times of confinement and pressure on solidarity structures to totally re-organise the way they operate, our aim on making this mapping is to give exposure and space for solidarity initiatives to grow by cross-pollinating their methodologies, toolkits and experiences. Moving beyond the urgency of the moment, we hope to offer strategies of resilience and the sharing of knowledge coming straight from the fields of practicing solidarity and the local but interconnected struggles for more open and just societies.

The map we produced out of our research is a tool for visual organisation that we believe with help strengthening the ties between values, cities and people. We hope that it will serve as a (re)source for different initiatives to get in touch and share their visions, while informing citizens across the mapped territories. You will discover #culture_activism, #feminism, #participatory_design, #social_justice and other tools that were used as to spread #education!

We are inviting you to keep an eye on this blog space, to follow our research into the production of our online platform that will be filled with video interviews by the selected initiatives and more information from our mapping.

Join us in #learning_through_our_cracks and across our fields, mountaintops and seas:!




29th April 2021No Comments

Eoc-Care Day 21_personal spinoff

Dear reader.

I will just let you listen and read.


"Dimna" by Kingalita (00:12)


"Not A Part Of It" by Gringi (05:09)


For a Small Story, here the encounter with Jimi Prostata,

who had interesting points to make.


Love and care.


22nd April 2021No Comments

EoC-Care Day 20-personal spinoff

Dear reader.

Here comes "Metal" (00:22), a new song by Kingalita, another catchy

potential hit number 1. On the longish side, but Care Day 20 favorite for today.

And, as expected, no surprises here, another QandorA  installment.

Arguments between the Writer, the Translator and the Readers

some might call fierce and some might not. Who quotes whom?


Have fun.

Love and care.


20th April 2021No Comments

Multiplying circles of (self) care


Dear you,

Today is my Care Day, a day fully dedicated to taking care of myself.

Today you are part of it.

What you are holding in your hands is a little gift for you and the opportunity to pass the gift forward to somebody else.

“To take care of somebody or something” is a reflexive verb and I like to think that this action is too, in more than one way.

Since I have started this experiment, I have realised that the precious time spent for myself - which I felt not to have - had always been mine.

It is indeed a process and I am still learning the dos and don’ts that serve me best..

To me, it means  listening to my body and  getting to know myself more.

The reason why you have received this package is because when I love myself and I make it my intention to feel good, this feeling affects people surrounding me in a positive way as a ripple effect.

In other words:

I take care of myself (and therefore of you too)










13 people scattered all around Italy - with a brief interlude in France
1 disposable camera
A box with some money to cover postal costs
A loose set of instructions
And a personal message (not the one above) for the next person in the chain.


It might be called “community art”, 

it could be labelled as “hipster”,

and it can be categorised as //already seen and //already done. 

“Mi prendo cura di me (e quindi di te)” [=I take care of myself (and therefore of you too)] 

is (probably) all of that and it doesn’t care about labels, anyway.


It is an analog chain of people sharing the desire to experiment with self-care. 

Each person can participate by spending as much time as they want on something that makes them feel well. Then they have the opportunity to send a message to the next person, in the format of a classic chain letter.

I have asked the participants to use the disposable camera to represent the title of the project through their eyes.
Lastly, send everything to the next person.
[The addresses are covered with a handcrafted strategy in order to protect privacy.]



It is a way to involve my community into what I am doing.
It is my way of multiplying the circles of care by extending the opportunity I have been given to experiment with self-care by the Culture for Solidarity grant with my closest ones.

It came to my mind during one of my Care Days.
I had already had some chats with my friends about the project, about self-care and about what they would do if they had a Care Day for themselves.

“ I mean, you can have it, if you want”.

This is what I sometimes replied.
Technically we all can.
Of course, there’s a difference if you are paid for experimenting with it.
I won’t hide that participating in this project has helped me a lot throughout these months, not only personally, but also financially speaking.
Therefore, I am aware that our daily routine often doesn’t allow us to have a full day dedicated wholly to self-care.
However, a lot of my friends agreed that, for one reason or another, they were hardly ever devoting time to taking care of themselves.


This is how this little box came to fruition.

I will write an update when the box comes full circle once I receive it back  🙂



15th April 2021No Comments

EoC-Care Day 19-personal spinoff

Dear reader.

Let's keep it simple for the Care Day 19.

No questions given and no answers asked.

Here comes the new hit single by Kingalita, from the upcoming album

named "Facade". One song per personal Care Day Friday. From now on. 

"Maybe" by Kingalita, 00:18,


As the bonus for today, a video clip of "Blood Pressure",  another song from the same album,  the great dramatic and funky one too.


And, off course, here the super fresh Small Story for Everycareday,

QandorA structural development.


Have fun rocking and reading.


Rove and Rare.


p.s. and I did get new remark from Sputnik:

- " You are the brightest, multi-colored, tropical butterfly

that kindly shits on their meadow."

- "Multi-colored shit I shit on their gray meadow? I am thinking.



11th April 2021No Comments

News from the cracked fields #2

Since we were mapping the new ways of learning, we started to communicate with the main actors of our #research to start a #discussion, and #exchange_of_practices. Our new series called News from the cracked fields will be actively sharing the news from our collaborations via our Telegram channel, to start creating a #network for mutual learning rooted in our differences and communalities. 



As our project intends to create a platform seeded by video interviews, we made our first dialogue with the #City_Detective (Şehir Dedektifi) from #Istanbul, #Turkey, a #civic_initiative that focuses on the child's #right_to_live in a healthy and safe environment. They support #active_citizens who want to take a part in #decision_making processes in their #city, and increase #children_participation in spaces. They also develop #rights_based_tools on children's relationship with the city. 


The interview was held by our group member Liana Kuyumcuyan, with Gizem Kıygı and Nur Akdemir from the City Detective. The main points of the interview were highlighting the structure and current work of the civic initiative, and learning their tools that developed as an additional way of learning to the traditional system of education. 


"The studies we made showed us that the space was ignored during the traditional system of education. So we started to use the space as the teacher."  -Gizem Kıygı


Since Istanbul is a mega-city that continues growing, different age groups confront different difficulties while engaging with the city. As these challenges increase, it starts affecting the daily life of the citizen, which might end up with drawing back. To enhance the engagement with the city in early ages would be the best way to teach children to be active and aware citizens, and to know their rights to use the public space. The City Detective works on sharing this knowledge via their #mapping_projects, #city_walks and #documentation that tackles the #problematic_areas in the city, and also #public_transportation which is not seen as a space, but contains a lot of engagement with the children.



City Detective marks our first mile-stone in building a network from the #cracked_fields as well as a valuable learning experience! 

Stay focused for receiving new interviews from different geographies with a different focus on the ways of learning! 

Join us in #looking_through_our_cracks across our borders!

5th June 2020No Comments

Culture Lab Europe methodology

Thank you all for joining the 2nd session of Culture Lab Europe - Spaces for Solidarity today. For the ones who missed it or the ones who can't get enough of it, please watch the presentation on CLE methodology by Ruben Diaz.

3rd June 20202 Comments

New! Interesting FACES#3 LOOKING out of European Windows #SPACESforsolidarity

mikes badhuistheater amsterdam

mikes badhuistheater amsterdam


The Cultural scene in Amsterdam (read :your major European Capital)  needs some adaptation to meet demands of the present population. The original Dutch (whicheverCity) are in minority but most cultural services still reflect the ideas of 1970s when the performers were colored and the audience was white. A few cultural centers serve the ‘categorial’ “Official” minorities of the former Colonies. but these “official” minorities all  together these days form  a minority in the non-Dutch crowd. The  Present “minority” population  in whatever European Capital , lumped by the expat label, cover a few dozen nationalities. There are large communities of  East Europeans, Anglo-Saxons, EU neighbours, South-Asian and several others are found. Most live well and have fun because people are friendly and many styles are encountered. However, the cultural services and facilities  for them are minimal  and the Municipal cultures do not benefit from their vibrant communities. It is  because the cultural policies of the Municipalities  prioritize the few institutions too “ big to fall “ and the “official Minority”  organisations have small audiences, each one  a subsidized club. A Change is necessary  toward services for the “other “  cultures. And this diversity would refresh the scene. Why not start with such innovation in the parts of the Cities  where so many cultures study and live. 

ThePower of the SMALL

100 years ago in New York in the 1920’s ,there were Italian,Yiddish,Irish,Afro American and Russian theatres all being successful with original language productions. As a Theatre centre  ourselves in Amsterdam , we host productions in many languages other than English or the Secret language of Dutch 🙂  The refreshment and renewal of the cultural scene can start from outside  because many good performers are interested. Given that “our city “ of  Amsterdam has much goodwill as a European metropole on a human scale, a number of reasonably priced European Theatre groups  can be attracted, not only for a one-night performances , but also for workshops with the Amsterdam professionals, and  workshops  for the  more ambitious amateurs than typical spectator. Such combinations of performances with  training and education generate vibrant local culture and enlarge public interest in culture and arts because ‘delights make people hungry’ as the  Polish say. 

We are ready for your Proposals ! and Solidarity and looking forward to cooperating with

ECF, Krytyka Polytizcna and ZEMOS98 


Surviving the Plague

THE Non-commercial Venues essential for Post-Corona Major Cities

SO , new paths in arts should be pursued, in particular ,the multimedia combinations because they can be homemade, which is attractive to younger age groups , thereby fostering continuity in this Endeavour. Key is that all these lines progress because only the combinations can avoid the deadlock of “too small” arts for attracting audience and ” too small” audiences  for attractive arts; this is a conclusion observed in many cultural organizations. All  together ,The Art Scene needs sufficient numbers  to satisfy the performers ,the policymakers and the costs.

The  New Faces at the European Windows are looking out and asking at the #spacesforsolidarity , And we as the art centres face questions and challenges of different demands ,not the commercial ‘as you ask, we run’ neither the artists as ‘donkeys carrying politician messages’ as Gerrit Komrij has written.  Are we up to it ? Can we deliver answers for our “new” populations ? Since all the City monies are already spent twice to maintain many anachronistic  buildings  and out of touch  businesses and even more bullshit jobs, we have to be clever instead of big. Clever means combining things together. It is a combination of organisers. The organizers cover costs of performing, marketing and organization and make the performers happy to serve, stay and come back. The Cities and Municipalities ,with European support, need to find Capital to  pay reasonable accommodation and costs of stay during the services. So we are going Dutch.

 In addition, investment is needed for the start-up and goodwill to attract extra  sponsors.

Written by Yoram Krozer,  Professor of Sustainabilty and Member of the Artistic Council of Badhuistheater Amsterdam.

Best Wishes. Mike Manicardi Gimpel   email