Help and support offered

Hello Galway,

It was great to meet with @NiallOH and Thom as part of the LOTE5 weekend. I’d certainly be interested in offering any support and help to the ECoC bid going forward.

Let me know how i can integrate into your plans. Let’s keep this LOTE energy going forward and see if we can get some of that poetry back after the prose of the discussion at the weekend (thanks @jimmytidey for your great phrase)


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Well played sir!

Alex, this is very generous. Noemi and I commit to maintaining the communication channel for the people out there in the community. I think Noemi is working on the opening post as I write this.

Thanks Alex

Well, here is a plan for at least the next 3 months. Let’s see what we find during a first visit in town - Alberto is traveling starting next week.

As for the broader Culture Team, years ago we set up this Projects recycle bin - failed funding applications that could be re-purposed. I am adding there language for unMonastery (Matera) and Futurespotters Lab (Bucharest) just to have them handy if opportunities arise.

On a slightly different note, any thoughts after your visit to Calais? Ideas worth looking into on a broader scale?


Given the decision to start the site clearance in Calais on Monday morning whilst i was on my way back home i put my plan to go back there on hold briefly. I also had to look at my own finances which were running a little low. I’ve had to satisfy myself by acting as an amplifier for the voices and stories coming out of the camp during this time instead. It’s helped me focus on projects i want to activate in my own community though, so that has been helpful.

I spent an hour this afternoon reading the ECoC preselection report for Ireland 2020, which was very interesting and enlightening. I really like this “every project has a European partner” angle that Galway are aiming for. Certainly very ambitious. Also interesting to compare the reports for each city to see where there are similarities in projects and criticisms. Anyway, certainly something i wouldn’t have done before LOTE.

Next plan is to go digging through the recycling… maybe there’s some hidden gold in there.


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With @Natalia and @Hannes we are exploring setting up residencies for future of collectivities in ex-soviet/ post-communist countries (Hannes is in Estonia, Natalia covers Czech Rep, Poland, Hungary, myself Romania) - which is where we could repurpose Futuespotters Lab we proposed for Bucharest. Basically we have a stub, now Natalia goes out and looks into funding sources, and we might do new write ups as needed. But we have a starting point. It’s all it takes. If you have similar thoughts we can bounce off ideas anytime, just shoot.

A few thoughts (or, what gets me thinking)

Working with voices that aren’t often heard or listened to - stories from the edge (homeless, newly-arrived but settled migrant communities, rough-sleepers) - finding ways to a) listen to these voices and b) share these voices to people who wouldn’t normally acknowledge their existence.

Creating artefacts - physical and digital cultural objects (books, images, poetry etc)

I am also reminded of an amazing man i met at the Edinburgh festival last year. He lives in Nederlands but runs a beautiful and inspiring “mobile global exhibition” of paintings about ‘hope’. He has 1000s of painting from artists around the world, all the same size. He takes the exhibition to a town/country and then asks artists there to add to the collection as well. I bet something like that would be of interest to artist communities in ECoC cities. He also publishes them as books from each area.

Alongside the exhibition he (astonishingly) tells the story of every painting he has been given - either of the artist, or of the inspiration.

I was looking after him at my venue last year and every day i had a wonderful conversation with him, looked at his paintings and felt better about the world.