Archive for maj, 2011

Lotterymoney to culture

Kungliga Operan, the Royal Opera in Stockholm, was filled to the rim with people from politics to culture in a grand opening event arranged by Svenska Postkodslotteriet, Swedish Lottery,

The event was the closing celebration of three days where Nobel Price winning scientists, researchers and others had come together to discuss on how the world could become more sustainable. And it was also an introduction to the Lottery’s new fund of 100 million SEK per year for artistic and cultural projects.

The amount can be compared to the newly formed state authority Kulturbryggan, with the aim of distributing 25 million SEK to innovative cultural projects. An additional 25 million SEK is hoped to come from business life.

For Sweden having lottery money for culture is a new thing. Within sports we’ve seen it before, but for culture it’s new. The Lottery is part of a Holland-based and privately owned group of companies Novamedia, and has, as they describe themselves, both a commercial company and non-profit association. Through sales of lottery they bring in money that can be distributed to charity, a model they call ”marketdriven charity”.

It was a star-dense evening with Nobel Price winner in literature, Nadine Gordimer; musician Melody Gardot; and 42nd President of United States and running the Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton. There were music by children in Il Sistema, dance performance, choirs and many others. They all represented how culture makes the world a better place. It was no doubt of the Lottery’s intention to with this lavish event take Swedish cultural life and political structure with storm.


20 maj, 2011

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Eurozine 23. A report from the frontline of publishing intellectuals in Europe

Nätverkstan has for some time worked on a Eurozine application for iPhone and iPad. For this project we have developed a cooperation with partners in Bangalore, a newly formed company which, inspired by our profile, decided to name their enterprise Namnätverkstan.

The 23rd conference of the Eurozine network, 13-16 of May in Linz, Austria, was organized under the theme Changing media – Media in change. For this conference, representatives of both Nätverkstan (David Karlsson and myself) and Namnätverkstan (Anand Varadaraj) were invited to present our results so far. We were given the opportunity to take part in a panel discussion with Simon Worthington, editor of Mute magazine, and moderated by the editor in chief of Eurozine, Carl Henrik Fredriksson. It felt really rewarding to present the audience, some of Europe’s most distinguished editors of culture journals, with a fully working iOS application that could be viewed both through simulator on a large projector screen and hands on, on our devices. We also gave a quick overview on how to work our online backend with wysiwyg editor. It became very apparent that many of the journals were interested in the project.

However, even if the presentation was a major milestone for us who have been involved in the project, our workshop was only a small part of the immensly interesting conference programme. The opening speech by  Khaled Hroub, on one of the mega stories of 2011: The arab spring, really set the tone for the rest of the days. His reflections on the demographic and social changes in the arab countries for the last decades and his thoughts on the impact of both Al-Jazeera and social media in the current situation were also complemented the following day by the statement:

”The Facebook revolution or the WikiLeaks revolution is a colonial fantasy, a narcissit projection of the West”.

This viewpoint was certainly not left uncontested in the vivid talks the were held in and around the seminars.

And so we discussed, debated and dined through three days of conference – professionally organzied by the Eurozine administration, generously hosted by the Lentos art museum and Linz municipality. It is hard to imagine a better crowd to give response to our endeveours in the publishing field. We have strong hopes for a continued fruitful cooperation.

Text: Carl Forsberg, manager of Mediaverkstäderna (Medialabs) at Nätverkstan.

Read a note in the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet about the app development at Nätverkstan here.

18 maj, 2011

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Framtidens kulturutviklere • Oslo

The well-known Italian economist Pier Luigi Sacco did something interesting when he visited Sweden last November, invited by Kulturmiljö Halland. He put two different ranking tables next to each other; one ranking the level of innovation in a country, the other active participation in amateur artistic activities.

When these two tables came next to each other, a relationship between the two could be discovered. It looked like there might be a correlation between cultural participation and capacity of innovation in a country. This can’t, according to Pier Luigi Sacco, be a coincidence.

For Sweden, it’s great news. Sweden lies in top of both tables. If Sacco’s argument is right, it looks like there is a connection between the local municipality-led music schools for all children, something you find in almost all Swedish communities, and the level of innovation in the country.

Listening to the presentations at the conference Kompetensebehov for framtidens kulturutviklere (my translation: Competence need for future cultural developers), these correlations come to mind. I have together with around ninety developers, strategists, civil servants and practitioners within culture come to Gamle Logen in Oslo to listen to and discuss the competence need for future cultural developers.

The main focus of the conference, financed and organized by Norsk Kulturforum and Nordisk Ministerråd, is children and youngsters and how culture is a pedagogical tool in schools. In Sweden and Norway culture in schools have a specific focus in cultural policy; in Sweden through what is called Skapande skola, and in Norway through Den kulturelle skolesecken. In Finland basic arteducation in schools is the norm and stated in the law since 1999.

Projects like Fargespill in Bergen (Norway), Den mangfoldige scenen in Oslo (Norway), and work in Sunnadalsskolan and Marinmuseum in Karlskrona (Sweden) are all examples of how working with culture as a pedagogic tool in schools can be done in a successful way.

The three projects are set in areas with high level of immigrant inhabitants and one message of the conference is that here lays an unseen competence and potential. The Nordic countries need to look at future competencies in new ways. The key factors of success the three projects address have been an inclusive approach to all children, a respectful attitude, and to see all individuals as resources. This will, then following Pier Luigi Sacco’s thought, also have effects on innovation.

Download the program of the conference here: forelobig-program_110511.pdf and the speakers here: presentasjon-av-foredragsholderne-med-konferansebilde.pdf.


12 maj, 2011

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DasArts in Amsterdam

I’m in a school building, originally designed to cater for children with lung complaints. The huge terrace, the number of windows and doors opening onto the adjoining park were supposed to provide them with lots of fresh air. But now it’s a residential theatre education called DasArts, in Amsterdam.

In this room with windows to the park we are 15 people. Most of them are master students here to give each other downloadedfilefeedback on their artistic practice duringthree intense days. Some mentors and advisors are here to support the specific student project they follow. Three people are staff members of DasArts and they have in turn invited Karim Bennamar to hold this feedback session with the students.

Karim makes an introduction and clarifies feedback should be about learning. But the brain is lazy and and it goes to places it already knows. By restricting the feedback in a format, something new could come out. Then he goes through six different styles of feedback and for every student presentation the studentgets to choose what type of feedback he or she wants from the group.

For me as an outsider it was noticeable the group knew each other rather well and there was a level of intimacy that made it possible for a more honest and straight forward critique than I have experienced before. For example some students asked for the “gossip round” a type of feedback where the others talk about you and your artistic work as if you weren’t present. Still, throughout the day the atmosphere remained on a good level although there were moments of uncomfort. Altogether these feedback methods appeared very effective given that huge number of different thoughts in a short time.

In the mission statement of DasArts you can find the following quote from Heiner Goebbels: “A group of young artists can develop the power to stop doing something: not to show the obvious, to mistrust the flood of inner images, the so-called ingenious ideas. Anyway, theatre is not about the ‘flowering fantasy’ of the artist, it’s about the imagination of the audience.”

Text by: Malin Schiller, Coordinator at Kulturverkstan/Nätverkstan

3 maj, 2011

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Lotta Lekvall
Director of Nätverkstan, a Cultural Organisation in Sweden. Nätverkstan provides services …

Cultural and Social Entrepreneurship

On this blog we would like to explore entrepreneurship from a cultural and social point of view. Or rather put forward entrepreneurial initiatives within these two fields.




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