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The last semester at Kulturverkstan, the two-year International Culture Project Management Programme, the students do an internship at an institution, organization or project which they have identified as interesting from a learning perspective.
During their internship, they also identify a question or focus area which they research. The topics range from the sustainable society, citizen dialogue, equality and gender in cultural life, the relation between an intense working situation and the every day life, work and motive, and much more.
Coming back to Kulturverkstan, they write a final report as well as have an open presentation to discuss their topics with invited guests and audience. The discussions are rich both in depth and learning aspects and it’s a time of the year that has become a must if you’re interested in keeping up-to-date in important discussions in the cultural scene.
Read more here and if you happen to be in Göteborg – slip into one of the seminars!
”Throw out the management books and read novels instead!”
Kerstin Brunnberg has a long list of references. She is now Chair of Swedish Art Council, and has a long career behind her as journalist and head of several of the large newspapers, as well as radio and TV.
She is invited to the education Kulturverkstan to talk about art, culture, the role of art in society, and leadership.
Being a leader of cultural institutions and organisations means to work with people, and the best place for learning of people is in novels. Read a lot, is a message.
Reading also helps writing. It’s necessary for any project manager to be able to describe its work in plans and project applications. Proposals written with passion, personal tone and genuin interest do have a larger chance to come through than buzzwords with no content. Might sound evident, but it’s easy to fall into the buzzword trap.
Flexibility, complexity, hard work, and to always stand up for the freedom of expression are leading words for this soft-strong lady.
For any project manager within art and culture, this should be on your bed-side to read: The law of freedom of the press.
Follow Nätverkstan at Vine, where you find a clip from the lecture.
What place should culture have in future Göteborg? Who’s initiative will be taken seriously and where do initiatives go?
The first semester at Kulturverkstan, the International Project Management within Culture, the students have to deal with ”glocal” Göteborg. They get real life projects to work with, which not only put them into project work, but also helps reflecting around the global and local – glocal – city. They deal with context, process and the operational from start.
Nätverkstan, the organization behind Kulturverkstan, is during 2013 using the same model to look at our own work and place in society. And we start with the question: What is the role of a cultural organization in today’s society?
To start off we went on a bus tour around glocal Göteborg. We rented a bus, asked Peter Rundqvist, Cultural Coordinator att Project UNO (Project Development Northeast) and well oriented in the city, to take us on a social, economic, and demographic tour around Göteborg from the rich south to the poorer northeast.
As the city changed around us from the dense city center to farming land, from richer to poorer areas, to hidden pearls in the middle of the million programme housing we discussed city planning, culture, space, possibilities, and demographics.
And it all came down to: Who has access to the city?
Professor of Cultural Economics, Pier Luigi Sacco, has been widely engaged around Europe as a consultant to governments, local administrators, and cultural organisations on culture-led local development.
His perspective is the system, and he talks about the system-wide cultural districts. The role of culture has changed over the decades, he says, and today the importance lies in the fact that it is system-wide which means it permeates social and economic life in cities and regions.
The worst thing a government can do is to cut in the cultural budget, he said on a conference in Göteborg in February 2012. The longterm effects will be severe for the city, region, and state.
Pier Luigi Sacco has also been engaged in Sweden. In Region of Halland his methods have been tried, and now also in the province of Skaraborg, part of Region Västra Götaland.
Nätverkstan has translated some of his texts, done an interview, and collected all this in a publication published in the end of April. The publication is part of the project Knep and financed by European Social Fund. Keep eyes open here.
The small public authority Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis (Kulturanalys) is a new authority assigned by the government to evaluate, analyse, and present effects from the national cultural policy. The Agency was formed in 2010 to function as a separate evaluation office with no attachements to the authorities they are evaluating. Common practice, one would think, but in Sweden we haven’t had such an Agency before evaluating cultural policy.
Several interesting reports have been produced so far and hopefully municipalities and regions will use the facts and statistics produced rather than producing their own.
Interestingly, though, one area falls between chairs. Which of the two agencies has the assignment to measure cultural and creative industries?
”Industries” suggest it should be the other analysing authority connected to Ministry of Entreprise, Energy, and Communications; Swedish Agency for Growth Analysis (Tillväxtanalys).
”Cultural” suggest it should be the agency for Cultural Policy Analysis. It will require both openness and cooperation to clear out where lines are to be drawn.
Last week Nätverkstan was invited to the Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis to present the report, produced on assignment of Region Västra Götaland in 2010; Örnarna och myrstacken. Vad vet vi om kulturnäringarna? (Eagles and Ant-Hills. What do we know of cultural industries?).
Download the report here (Swedish): ornarna_110925.pdf.
Researcher Rasoul Nejadmehr, from Region Västra Götaland, is enthusiastic. His talk is filled with energy and enthusiasm when he talks about the thoughts behind the two-day conference to which we all have been invited: Rethink. Expanding Participation (My translation. In Swedish: Tänk Om 1 – vidgat deltagande). Or perhaps as more often used in English: Audience Development.
The region is putting a focus on participation and will be talking about inreach instead of outreach, of intersectionality rather than interculturality and of the individual rather than the epithet that so often put people in boxes. The theories and intentions behind it are wonderful. Finally we could get away from this strange idea that working with diversity is something else rather than changing the structure from within.
The only question is perhaps how this goes along with the leading strategic documents produced at the regional office? And do they include themselves in this including idea – or is it the cultural scene that now will have new tic boxes to fill in?
An important talk was held by Ozan Sunar, Director of Moriskan in Malmö. Running a cultural organization you have to create a platform of ideas from which your work is performed. This is done in three levels: the societal level and politics of society; the cultural policy level; and the individual level. And you have to be able to keep these three perspectives in your head at the same time. It’s a responsibility to have an idea of your organization’s place and role in the larger society – and act upon this.
A good society has the capability of housing its minorities.
The Cultural Journal Glänta is celebrating 20 years and do this with an App full of future words. Like Deppbägare, Dialogdemonstrant, Öntreprenera, and Öövermod (sorry, an English translation of these words doesn’t exist yet as hardly the words yet exist…).
A few years ago the journal invited over hundred artists, writers, researchers, philosophers, and journalists to add one piece each to the puzzle and the Future Encyclopedia was born. It started as a printed journal and has now become an App for Iphone and Ipad possible to download for free.
Nätverkstan has created the App as part of the effort of together with Cultural Journals find new, simple, and economic sound ways to publish text in print and digital format. Also download the App for the Journal Ord&Bild.
Göteborg is the host city of one of the biggest book fairs in Northern Europe. The latest years, the need of finding another positioning has evolved and to meet this need Mediadagarna – The Media Days fires off for the second year in a row.
Nätverkstan and Kulturchock, who work vividly with different ideas and initiatives to meet up the needs of the cultural journals, see this platform as one way of putting the Swedish cultural journals on the map.
We are already convinced of the multi-dimensional spread in content as well as subjects presented in the printed cultural journals and their role in Swedish democracy. What we had not digged deeper into before was the sound of them. What would they sound like if it was sound? We decided to build a sound installation in order to make them ”speak” in a new way.
From an old portable typewriter you hear the sound of typings from laptops as well as manual key buttons in a mxi with lead pencils writing on paper. ”Typings” is a 7`48”tape recording played in a loop.
From the headphones attached to the installation play a variation of sound samples from cultural magazines that work with additional formats as sound. Some do radio, talking magazines or present sound art works along with their releases. For this special occasion we also did a special recording of a young girl reading poetry from the arty, literary, and philosophic edition of OEI.
Text and photo: Helena Persson
”Dear Beatrice Ask, I write to you with a simple wish, Beatrice Ask. I would like that we exchange skin and experiences. Come on. Let’s just do it.”
Swedish writer Jonas Hassen Khemiri writes in his open letter, published in the daily Dagens Nyheter on March 13, and addressed to Sweden’s Minister for Justice, Beatrice Ask, about his experiences of growing up in Sweden with dark hair and a foreign look. The everyday small harassment that we, with blond hair and white skin, never have to deal with.
The letter is a respond to the latest debate around the police efforts to stop paperless immigrants by just stopping people on the métro, on the street or elsewhere to check their passport. Memories goes back to the Second World War or South Africa under Apartheid, but also present conflicts, where checking ordinary people is a daily routine.
The project, REVA, has been widely criticized and the other day the Minister answered questions on the radio program (P1) responding to the critic by saying something like ” The perception of why someone has been asking me can be very personal.”
This would mean that if you are being harassed for your looks, background, sexual preferences, or other things, it is only in your own perception. Swedish inhabitants testifying about racial harassement are just being sensitive, it’s in their own perception.
The whole thing is extremely cynical and shows something of the grand structural challenges we have in front of us. Structures we are all part of withholding. It’s time for some self-examination. Also for you, Beatrice Ask.
The Cultural Incubator is a project run by Nätverkstan that aims to support people with ideas. The selected eighteen people come in with their ideas and over a six month period they get a chance to develop these to be more sustainable and feasible. Coaching and knowledge building seminars is part of the process, and finally they leave with action plans that can be used as a base to form business plans or project plans and applications.
The incubator is part of a large EU-project based in the immigrant dense Northeastern parts of Göteborg, the project is also named Utveckling Nordost (Development Northeast), and has the ambition to strengthen these areas’ attraction and create jobs. One way to do this is through strengthening culture and entrepreneurship.
The Cultural Incubator started in end of February and a great way to start is to use some time at the first meeting to get to know each other beyond the classical presentation round. It’s both valuable and sets the crossbar for the rest of the project time.
Our first start-up meeting followed by a cocking-session making dinner together and the second meeting was a bustour to visit the artistic group Not Quite in Fengersfors, in the woods of Dalsland. Inspiration, learning how Not Quite started and run their organization, and not the least: time to get to know each other and build networks.
Photo Elin Tollbom
In classes we often talk about the importance of a proper ending of a project. In reality this rarely happens. The project is reported back to funders, papers filled in, employment ends, and the project results, people and process just disappear in to the daily work and next steps.
To address this unsatisfactory way of working we last year put an effort into creating a project model, specific for Nätverkstan and our projects. It’s quite simple. Just a lot of questions and things to think of when you start as a project team. Who is responsible for what? Deadlines? Expectations? Decision-making processes? Small and large things to go through to elucidate the project for the full project team.
And of course, the ending. How do you end the project?
Yesterday we ended and celebrated the project Cultural entrepreneurship workshop (Knep) which two years has now come to an end. We still have the final report to write. Despite this, we invited the people around the project, both the project team and the consultants, to a pack-it-together-dinner where we over wonderful food shared goodies and difficulties during the project period, what we learned, what we thought, next step.
From now on this is how we will end all projects. A salute to pack-it-together-dinners!
When the Swedish Council for Cultural and Creative Industries formed in 2010 we were many that hoped this would mean a thorough and serious review of Sweden’s position and standing-points in the cultural and creative industries.
So far the regions had been the main motors in the discussion of CCI, this gave an opportunity for the state, the Department of Enterprise and Department of Culture, to form strategies and activities for CCI grasping everything from the single artist running her own one-woman-business as a platform for her artistic work to the larger businesses within areas such as music, film, and design.
Being one of the members of the Council, I wanted to see a more content-based discussion on CCI and in this include the artists and their specific situation.
At Nätverkstan we have written two reports on the this topic: Den ofrivillige företagaren (The reluctant entrepreneur, 2002) and Örnarna och myrstacken. Vad vet vi om kulturnäringarna? (Eagles and the ant-hill. What do we know of the cultural industries?, 2010), the last report on commission from Region Västra Götaland. Both these two had the ambition to put a perspective on CCI which include the whole complexity of the cultural field and which takes its standing point in the artistic production.
On February 5 the Council presented the report and a film clip from two years work. Disappointments were many, and perhaps most frankly declared by the Association of Swedish Illustrators and Graphic Designers where they simply state in an article ”No thanks to counsels from the Council!”.
Although the role of the Council was vague and was never meant to be other than a council, a discussion partner to the political structure, expectations were much higher than what came out.
Now the state shows minor interest for these questions and the main drivers of these industries in Sweden are still the regions. This means – as it looks at the moment – that the regions will act very differently around the CCI and depending on where you live in the country it can be a large public authority interest and thereby also possibilities for artists and cultural entrepreneurs, or it can be quite quiet. It will be continuously difficult to compare and evaluate incentives and policy work within CCI between the regions.
The gap that this creates leaves room for anyone to define CCI as they please and without a state policy framework the potential these industries hold will be lost. Sweden will continue to lagg behind in the European discussion in this area.
Read also Nätverkstan’s report written on commission of the Region Västra Götaland on CCI ”Örnarna och myrstacken”,(Swedish) here: ornarna_110925.
Nätverkstan is publishing translated (into Swedish) essays from two cultural economists shortly: A book with two essays by Italian Cultural Economist Pier Luigi Sacco together with an interview of his story, and a book with two essays by Cultural Researcher Giep Hagoort from Netherlands and an interview. Published in end of February.
To find the depth in culture journals you don’t need 3D-glasses, but sometimes a little better exposure would help.
The team running the Nätverkstan project Kulturchock (Culture Chock), who are quoted above, are clever people. New this year is a cooperation with eleven specific bookshops to expose the cultural journals under the signature ”Cultural Journals Weeks”. Some of the best bookhops in the country are leaving their best marketing spot to cultural journals: the shopping-windows!
The Cultural Journals Week will be visable from South to North during January and February and some already started!
The new year and our new cultural strategic assignment kick started with a seminar at Vara Concert Hall, focused on the topic of streamed culture, last Thursday. The Swedish government has marked digitalization as an important way for culture to reach a wider audience (read here). Vara Concert Hall celebrates their 10th anniversary this fall and together with Nätverkstan they are now in the process of implementing technology and procedures to start live streaming their events. Their aim is completely in line with the thoughts from the Swedish government – especially to reach people not able to come to the cultural events, in places such as prisons, homes for the old and hospitals.
The first action in our mutual project was to identify and invite the most prominent organizations in the field to a hearing. Our aim has always been to support the small and independent organizations and we are glad that Vara Concert Hall shares this belief. Together, we also believe that sharing knowledge and solutions strengthens the efforts made, and that this is especially true in the complex field of digitalizations where new technology is introduced almost on a daily basis. The procurement of digital services is an intricate matter and smaller organizations often make mistakes in the process – which in turn means that tax money is wrongly spent on expensive and short lived solutions.
The keynote speakers were Urban Ward from Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Ulrik Flood from Digital Live Arena, Peo Thyrén from STIMand Johannes Nebel from Play Kultur. In the audience were representatives from the Swedish Arts Council, Kultur i Väst, Kultursekretariatet i Västra Götaland as well as people from cinemas and smaller cultural organizations. Moderator for the hearing (and project manager for Vara Live Stream) was Leif Eriksson from Nätverkstan.
Magnus Lemark from the Swedish Arts Council remarked that this hearing is a running start for them, as they have just been handed the assignment from the Swedish Government, to help the Swedish cultural sector over the digital threshold. And Johannes Nebel agreed that this kind of meetings to share knowledge is the best way to get knowledge and tackle new complex investments. He also said that the main problem for digital material is distribution, and that Sweden lacks the kind of marketplaces that focus solely on culture. Play Kultur was started with exactly this in mind, to become the first portal for live streamed and archived material on performing arts.
We hope that Johannes last words from the hearing gives echo and they will certainly work inspiring for our own efforts: ”Västra Götaland now has the chance to be the first region in Sweden to show how coordination of digital efforts works.”
Our cooperation with Vara Concert Hall continues, and knowledge produced within the project will be made public in a conference later this fall. But we are also open to smaller hearings in the region and we especially look forward to the 20th of May, when GSO and Play Kultur are hosting a seminar in Gothenburg. Cooperation makes us stronger!
By Carl Forsberg, Head of Medialab and Technique at Nätverkstan
Photos from the presentation of student projects on January 10. Read more here.
Photos taken by Mathilda Frykberg, student at Kulturverkstan.
During the first semester of the two-year education International Project Management within Culture, Kulturverkstan, the students get their very first large challenging task. They are formed in groups and together work with a real assignment presented by organizations in the local scene of Göteborg and west Sweden.
The projects have twofold meanings. It’s a way to study ”glocal” Göteborg, the local and global cultural scene in the city, and also a kick-start into the education and learning about project management. The projects end with an open presentation with invited colleagues, organizations, students, relatives, friends, and others.
And yesterday. in a full Frilagret in centre of Göteborg, the six presentations took place. Humouristic, professional, engaging presentations of their project work and their results. Impressive.
The six projects were:
Angered Boxing Club. How do low memebershipfees go together with organizing the largest boxing tournament? To show the importance of this meeting place, the warmth and feeling of community, the students decided to do a short documentary of the club focussing on the people.
A Göteborg for all (Ett Göteborg för alla). The inter-religious centre in Göteborg is a place where faith and dialogue over religious differences is in centre. The students assignment was to answer two questions: ”How can a more constructive dialogue of religion be held in the public sphere?” and ”What is a Göteborg for all?”. The students have formed a concept for a festival in May 2013 to answer this.
Frilagret. Frilagret offers an arena for young culture. The activities are put forward in dialogue with young people and one idea is a small exhibition room. The students work have led to an exhibition and discussion around ”What is art?”.
Humouristic political stunt. The project is a way to use humour in activism, in this case used to put the light on public transport ticket inspectors. Commissioner was researcher Majken Jul Sørensen, who focus on humour and political activism. The project was done in an action at the trams and a documentation of the process.
European Year for Active Aging and solidarity between generations. 2012 was the European Year for Active Aging and the students put together an touring exhibition with the message to politicians and decisionmakers to better encourage active aging.
TedxYouth@Järntorget. The TedxYouth@Järntorget have ambitions to create a meeting place for discussions and encourage young people to pursue their ideas. Everyone has a story worth telling! The students organized one of these events, 17th of November on the UN day for the Convention on the Rights of Children, the first of such meetings at Järntorget.
The 31st of December was a historic day. The very last printed issue of Newsweek was published and distributed. From now on the only way to read Newsweek is on the web.
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine, published since 1933 in New York City and with US and international distribution. I
n October 2012 the editor Tina Brown announced that the weekly would end it’s eighty years of printed publication to go only digital. It’s an historic change and follows a period of changes within in printed press due to changing reading habits. Read more of the challenges and future of print here.
Nätverkstan managed to get the hands on a copy of the very last issue. And as the historic winds of change are blowing around us we continue our work to help small cultural journals and publicists to face the digital challenges and find solutions that are cost effective. This year the project Literature and digitization will take further steps in this direction with funding from Region Västra Götaland.
The second pilot course Creative Entrepreneurship – Reaping the value out of your creative work has just finished its ten weeks program. Around 25 musicians, illustrators, visual artists, sculptors, storytellers, poets and more participated to review their ideas, reflect on their lifecycle, look ahead and finish with an eighteen months plan.
During the course they have had lectures of well-known artists in different art forms telling their lifecycle and sharing their experiences, and courses such as marketing, IP Rights, pricing, and others. On examination day well-known musician Makadem told his story, telling the group that challenges don’t stop. Every level has it’s own challenges, and it never stops.
The pilot program is run by GoDown Arts Centre. Nätverkstan has been one of the partners in building content and preparing for the start of the program with funding from Swedish Institute. The cooperation started in 2009.
Ghanian writer Kojo Laing talks softly but with emphasis. Every word comes from the heart and touches the heart of the audience. It’s the most generous and honest presentation I have heard in many years.
It’s like a curse, he says about writing. He can’t stop. He has tried to stop, but he just can’t.
Coming from a Christian family in Ghana, his father was a priest, and with all his five siblings working within the church, he is the only one being a writer and also in pressing doubt in faith, something that is also topics in many of his books. He leans forward in his chair, looks over the audience, hitting his chest with his hand and asks, insisting on the honesty of this question: Am I a fool? Am I crazy having this doubt? Can anyone in the room say that they are anywhere near the doubt I have?
His writing is anything but a simple process, he tells us. One of the books took eight years to write. He wanted to write Ghanian and English, not for the sake of it, but because he wanted to squeeze out the English from the Ghanian languages. With his hands he shows us the guesture of thoroughly and hard squeezing water from wet laundry. And that took time. He picks up the book, shows it, and looks at it, exhausted. And goes quiet.
He answers each question posed by Kwani Trust Chairman Tom Maliti sometimes with a big smile of a question that he founds on the spot, then continues with a story and sometimes ends abruptly. The room gets quiet a short second before a new line of thought is unfolded.
Kojo Laing is like a ghost in his own country, he describes his situation. His books are mainly published outside of Ghana. But on the question if he would rather write something else, if he got the chance to re-do things, something less controversial that sold many, many copies of his books and made him more famous, his answer is distinct and clear. He couldn’t write anything else. This is what he writes.
A young woman raises her hand and asks what he suggests a young writer should think about pursuing a career as a writer?
Be yourself, is his first answer. Read as much as your brain can contain. The more you read, the more complex you become. And it applies to experience as well. Paradoxical experience. Encourage many identities. It will be needed as the world goes smaller.
And he adds and laughs: And when you get advices you reject them.
Kwani? Litfest 2012 is a yearly literature festival run by Kwani Trust in Nairobi. This year the theme is Conversations with the Horn. Writers, artists in exchange.
Christmas carols are on the schedule this afternoon and on stage of the outdoor assembly hall in the township Kogorocho in Nairobi, the young musicians are in deep concentration practicing for a show later on this week. And a small taste of the concert is given in an open session for whomever who would like to listen. Kids fill up the rows, together with a few others and us guests.
”Making music can make a difference” says Elisabeth Njoroge, Head of the Art of Music Foundation, the Foundation behind the project. Getting the chance to play an instrument, learning music, can actually change peoples lives, she says, and tells us examples of children from the slums who get a chance to play and how that has opened new possibilities and hope for a future.
Ghetto Classics, the project was named by the children, started in 2009 and has become an important contribution in the township. The foundation also runs the National Youth Orchestra in Kenya with the same ambition and conviction:
Music can make a difference in the lives of young Kenyans.
Nätverkstan, together with Ole Lützow-Holm, Assistant Professor at Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg, are in Kenya to work together with GoDown Arts Centre on the education Creative Entrepreneurship. Read more of Nätverkstan’s cooperation in Kenya here.
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