Archive for november, 2011

On the road in Västra Götaland

0001glNätverkstan is running workshops around the Region of Västra Götaland (West Sweden) on The Art of living on Art, a project funded by European Social Fund.

So far the first course, with workshops taking place at four different places in the region with around 8-10 participating artists in each, has ended and a new round of courses started. Last Saturday we had the full-day conference with David Karlsson talking about Cultural Industries, Gothenburg Combo on how they live on their art, and Ulla-Lisa Thordén on selling and pricing with all participants gathering in Vänersborg.

This is the road-trip around the Region of Västra Götaland this fall meeting artists in Skövde, Borås, Ulricehamn, Uddebo, Tranemo, Lidköping, Gerlesborg, Vänersborg. More to come!

Read more here.

29 november, 2011

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Ira Grass on Creativity

Ira Glass, an American public radio personality who has among other things produced This American Life for tv and radio, has shared quite a lot of his experiences during his career. Here something on the creative process.

27 november, 2011

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November 15: Imprisoned Writers’ Day

Yesterday, on November 15, Nätverkstan commemorated The Day of the Imprisoned Writer – this annual, international day intended to recognize and support writers who resist repression of the basic human right to freedom of expression and who stand up to attacks made against their right to impart information.

In Lagerhuset, Göteborg, the editor in chief for the magazine Filter, Mattias Göransson, explained the situation for the two imprisoned Swedish journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson. After that we listened to a discussion between the Palestinian/Syrian poet Ghayath Almadhoun and the freelance journalist Mikael Löfgren on the topic literature and politics in Syria. The evening ended with a poetry reading of Almadhouns recently published poems translated into Swedish (Asylansökan, Ersatz förlag, 2010).

Ghayath Almadhoun, describes himself as he ”doesn’t exist”. Being of Palestinian and Gaza heritage but born in Syria, which he later left, he doesn’t have any certificate or paper acknowledging his national status. No papers and no passport. This of course is a dilemma from the Migration Office in Sweden, where he is applying for asylum, who wants to see his birthcertificate to be able to decide on his heritage and by that also if he is allowed to apply for asylum or not. ”I am not learning Swedish until they accept me”, he says with a smile. ”I accept this country, and this country has to accept me.”

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16 november, 2011

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Snapshots in Belgrade

The Yugoslav Museum of History in Belgrade, also known as Museum 25th of May, is now hosting the 52nd October Salon It’s Time We Get To Know Each Other.

The curators, Israeli artist Galit Eilat and Slovenian curator Alenka Gregoric, use as a starting point Milgram’s simulation experiment on obedience towards authorities and want to catalyse a discussion on obedience, social responsibility, conformism and dis-obedience. The artists chosen all refer to the topic of what we, human beings, are willing to do when we think we are not responsible.

25th of May is former Yugoslav dictator Tito’s birthday and the Museum was planned to be his Memorial Centre where he would collect all the things he collected in his life; records, paper, art work. He is buried just behind the Museum. One art piece by Nemanja Cvijanovic’s Paying my Electricity Bill is a heated replica of the grave of Tito and refers to parts of history that cannot be erased.

The independent cultural scene that I meet is spurring and generous. Interesting organizations like the cultural house and European Center for Culture and Debate Grad down by the river Sava, and Rex placed in an old synagogue, both aim to debate contemporary topics relevant in Serbian and European society. While Rex is a laboratory for research of new fields of culture, Grad provides design and art space, run projects, and have a small stage for debates and performances.

Rex also runs the Free Zone Film Festival, an international filmfestival running this week. In his film A letter to dad, Serbian film-maker Srdan Keca searches for answers of why his father choose to die. He writes a letter to his dead father as he looks back to try understand what happened. In his interviews with his uncle, the father’s old friend, his mother; going through photos and films from the past; a story of a life interrupted by war unfolds. It relates back to the exhibition. How could it happen?

Other initiatives is the Monday Club, arranged by the Swedish Embassy and Museum of Science and Technology within the project Creative Society. Each Monday during the fall a Swedish and Serbian manager, professor, leader meet to share experience and knowledge from running an organization, setting up an initiative, or research on stage at six o’clock. This form of seminar has become quite popular among artists, cultural entrepreneurs and managers, as well as among university professors.

Wherever you turn on this independent cultural scene in Belgrade, in these few snapshots, you meet people educated at the MA Cultural Policy and Management at University of Arts in Belgrade. Many witness how important the training programme has been to build a strong independent scene in Serbia. During the conference on Management of culture and media in the knowledge society challenges in cultural management and the role of internationalization are addressed. It would also be interesting to discuss the role of these educations in strengthening an independent cultural scene in society.

Download the intervention from Nätverkstan here:belgrade_conference2011.pdf.

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10 november, 2011

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Tallinna Linnateater

The stage is like stepping into a living-room. In the center under the lamp a couch, an armchair, a small wooden table with an ashtray, a photograph, a lamp, a rug underneath.

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The audience sit around this centered placed stage. The play is Edward Albee’s drama Who’s afraid of Viriginia Woolf and it’s almost like you are part of the play, as if you are inthe middle of Martha’s and George’s sorrow and cracking marriage.

On another stage we see the play Stones in His Pockets by Marie Jones, a story placed on Irland with an Irish filmmaker dreaming of coming to Hollywood. Two actors play all the roles in this comic yet with sad undertones with an amazing presence. The stage is empty, no properties, a black curtain behind where only the light shows that the room is changing. It’s fully booked.

Tallinna Linnateater, Tallinn City Theatre, has seven stages in a building originally from around 15th century. There is the stage in ”Heaven” (up in the attic) and ”Hell” (down in the basement). Each stage with a different character, different possibilities and challenges. Outside in the courtyard a stage is set up for summer theatre.

Tallinn has seven theatres in a city with around 400.000 people. Linnateater is fully booked with a yearly audience booking of well over 100%, Ruudu Raudsepp, Manager of Public Relations, tells us. Just in comparison, Göteborgsoperan (Opera in Göteborg) has a yearly booking of 85%, which has to be considered good. This means around 250.000 people visit Göteborgsoperan each year. Another example is Dramaten in Stockholm, one of the most prominent stages in Sweden, that showed figures in 2010 of yearly booking of 85% (a rise from 2009 showing 78%) which means 290.000 visitors.

These figures say nothing of quality; for example urgency of the matter in the plays chosen, or acting qualities. But still, the figures in Estonia are interesting. In a country of around 1,3 million people, it’s said that around 800.000 up to one million people see a play at one of the many theatres in Estonia during a year. This means that nearly everyone go to the theatre, young as well as old, at least once during a year. Any theatre director would look at these figures with envy.

4 november, 2011

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Authors

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

Cultural and Social Entrepreneurship

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