BtO in Romania, Mesto Zensk in Ljubljana, other calls and updates

A couple of updates from the Cultural department:

  • We failed to apply for the Plovdiv grant - despite the deadline set on the 15th of October, the city closed the call some days earlier, and as I was busy organizing a big event in Berlin with my other colleague who helped develop it, we couldn’t finish the document earlier, and missed the chance. I did call the Plovdiv 2019 office and they told me they plan to have one more call next year - we will keep an eye on this. Plus, the idea is very flexible, as it revolves around the creation of new myths and rituals (for the presence and the future) - so whenever we find a suitable grant, we can repurpose it and make it happen elsewhere.

  • With @Noemi, we are preparing for the conference in Romania - I’ve been working on our slides and thinking of what exactly should we propose to the audience and possible clients. Noemi suggested an Art Camp with one-month residencies, while I’m tempted to describe it as a modular project which can last a varied amount of time and have different purposes, depending on the needs and ambitions of the city. What do you think makes more sense? I’m thinking of using these trials to explore ways of plugging into cities for longer periods and maybe testing the more international iterations of The Reef?

Here you can see the slides (work in progress, any comments welcome until tomorrow)

  • I have visited the festival Mesto Zensk in Slovenia, where I had a chance to meet cultural workers and artists and made some interesting connections. I have met Maude and Bernie from a community theater in Dublin, located in the maternity hospital, which works with disenfranchised groups from the neighborhood and the city. We’re definitely interested in collaborating in the future. I also met the visual/video artist Marva Arsanios, who did some impressive works about the feminist community movements in Rojava, unionization of Mexican house workers and the creation of new land in Lebanon (her homeland) by using waste and demolished houses to build new land in the sea. Plus, the curator of the festival, an organizer of a feminist film festival in Skopje, a couple of designers and local artists and some passionate beer brewers :slight_smile: Even had a chance to ask a question to Francoise Verges at a small panel on decolonial feminism.

Plus, I think I found a suitable call for our general ambitions in creating artistic spaces and connecting complex research subjects with creative work and participation. We have over a month to develop the proposal - take a look and let me know if that makes sense?

@alex_levene @noemi


This is great Natalia.
I hope that you’re having a brilliant time with Noemi in Romania.
Perhaps one day i will also get to sample the home cooking in Cluj!
Slovenia sounds brilliant, many great connections. I had a good time meeting with ATSA team in Clermont Ferrand. Another brilliant set of artists that we must find a way to work with in or next projects.
Perhaps what they are trying to make next will fit in with this Creative Europe proposal?
Would be keen to hear your preparatory thoughts on how that proposal may come together. Happy to work with you on it.

I really love the Plovdiv proposal we’ve put together. I hope we can have a final shot at it in 2019. I really want to find a way to make it happen though. Particularly within the context of that area.
Alternatively, i think it could be easily re-worked for a Georgia/Armenian setting… Do we know who we could ask about arts funding for cultural projects in that region…??:thinking::upside_down:


If you put together a concept note and call for partners around the Plovdiv proposal we can send it to everyone we know who works in culture. Rather than pinging people here I would rather send them a clear invitation, and early on… What say you?

Same for the next Creative Eur round, conceptualizing and inviting others early on is my preference.

I’ve included a brief précis of the project in the summary document you shared with Scott.
I’m also going to talk with Nabeel about it and see if he has any ideas/leads

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Oh hai guys, finally got a moment to check on ER and see that many things are happening here. Finally done with the festival in Karabakh and have some time to dedicate to Edgeryders.I am now working on a story about the festival and will post it on the platform, but do let me know if I can help you with anything.

Hi Anna,

Really looking forward to hearing your report of the festival. It looked beautiful and the article you shared about it made me feel very sad that i didn’t get to be there to see it all happen!

@natalia_skoczylas and I have been working on an artistic project idea (mentioned above) that looks at myths, rites and legends in a new way. We built it for a call from Plovdiv ECoC 2020, but i think it has really strong echoes with some of the things that brought me to Armenia this year.
I wondered if you would like to read over the original project and see if you see a synergy with whats happening on the ground in Armenia, and perhaps if there are any organisations and NGOs that you think may be interested in funding the delivery of a project like this?

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Hey @alex_levene sure thing, send me the project proposal.

Hei @natalia_skoczylas : ahead of our next team call on Friday - can you scan the Creative Europe application and check for fitness with our current ideas / possible partners / budget requirements etc?

Let’s try to gather more possible sources of funding and see which ones are best to concentrate efforts around.

@alex_levene : it would be super if you could synthesize your thoughts after the last 6 months and let us know where you want to take things further.

FYI count on my full time engagement end of this year to do plumbing work for 2019!

@iriedawta @nabeel_p @bob you are welcome to join the team call on Friday at 14:00 Brussels time. A good opportunity to catch up

I will call you, just add noemi.salantiu on skype!

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I’m up to my eyeballs in EconSciFi prep and planning, plus i have a really dull task for Bedford that i’m right in the middle of.
However, as long as you’re happy with some handwritten notes to start with, then i can certainly sort this out whilst i’m travelling all day on Thursday.
So excited to have the full time support. Lets build some awesome things and sell them to all the cool people across Europe (and beyond!)

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Oh I sympathize with you and the tasks claiming all your attention :grimacing:

No worries. More than written stuff, it matters more that you reflect on these last months and have it clear in your head where you think it’s worth going: with our network exploration, IETM, our current project ideas (are they edgy enough? are they fulfilling a need besides of our own? are they monetizable?) We need to move ahead with targets, not just for applications sent it, or networks we want to be part of (that’s more the how) but what is it that we want to do by when.
After the next 6 months we will be able to say if this effort is going somewhere or not, and at least we will know we will have tried seriously.
I don’t know about you guys, but I think we have some collective capacity still to push stronger :smiley:

Thanks @noemi, I’ll be joining today’s team call <3

Hey @alex_levene , looked through the proposal for Plovdiv, indeed it could work well in Armenia, except instead of focusing on Yerevan, we’d rather do that in one of the regions of Armenia, better even in Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh. I can even see this turning into ARTsakh Fest 2019 very well. The only issue is funding: in case of Karabakh the only source of funding would be the Armenian diaspora and an online fundraiser.

The documentary about this year’s edition of ARTsakh Fest will be ready in mid-December, once it’s out we are hoping to start fundraising to change the roof of the abandoned theater building, so that we can hopefully move in next spring and continue our activities there, making it into a community art space.

Here are some short video reports for reference:

Laura Arena’s project

Project by Marcel Mayer & Susanna Arakelyan

It’s today… hope you didnt try yesterday :slight_smile:

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ahahah, only realized it this morning, a bit lost in space and time I guess. Not sure I can make it today but will do my best…pls keep me posted on the next one as well. x

Amazing. Sorry that you won’t be available today to join us.
We start in 30mins in case you get a sudden gap.

This sounds like a great place to start, as you say funding will be the difficult part. Also, we’ve become quite sure that what we need to run the project is a live/work space that we can inhabit for the 4-6months of the project.
So making sure that we had such a space that we could purpose in order to accommodate, feed, exhibit and present would be a key part of the project. I know @natalia_skoczylas agrees with that approach.

Rolling it into a wider festival ? Of course, bigger and better is great.
We’ll continue to send the idea around to other places as well, because we think it has a really interesting focus, and can be replicated and iterated in many locations multiple times.

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oh I just read your comment @alex_levene, as I did not receive a notification( probably because I wasn’t tagged). This year we rented a house where we(artists, volunteers and organizers) were all squatting and working on the project. It was only for 2 months but it is also possible to get a space for a longer period.

Funding is the main issue but I count on the almighty Armenian Diaspora since they preach about Artsakh(Nagorno Karabakh) all the time, even though they mainly support social projects like building houses and renovating schools. It’s really hard to convince them that both social and cultural aspects are equally important for the development of the region. I always bring the example of Documenta to show how a place can transform after war through artistic interventions.

Please, let me know when is the next call, so that we can discuss this further with everyone. x

@iriedawta, will for sure let you know - expect it around mid-December. It would be super interesting to do it, maybe in partnership with other performative organisation from Europe.


yes! Looking forward to catch up <3

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