Archive for oktober, 2013

Book fair in Helsinki

Kulturchock packed the suitcases with Swedish cultural journals and travelled to Helsinki Book Fair that just took place.

On the airport they met the first (that we have seen) print-on-demand machine for buying periodicals and journals, Meganews. It’s time to check what the deal is and how cultural journals can be part of this very modern way of buying journals.

28 oktober, 2013

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Size matters – In Swedish

Sarah Thelwall, a UK consultant on cultural entrepreneurship, took a deep dive into small arts organizations’ difficulties to communicate the value they contribute to society – a value that is rarely counted in profit or money, but in other things.

It’s a difficulty art organizations over the world can recognize.

Put any cultural organization next to statistic measurements, economic outcome, and evaluations with a quantative focus, and culture comes short. So how do you measure intrinsic value?

Many of us within culture are already initiated, we know the value but come short in describing it. It’s like the Swedish artist Staffan Hjalmarsson once said about the lack of measurement methods for culture,: it’s five squares of sorrow. It referred to a report by the Region Västra Götaland where the consultants had evaluated the work within the region’s five focus areas. The other focus areas had facts and figures, but culture glowed all empty and became according to Hjalmarsson: Five squares of sorrow.

Riksutställningar, The Swedish Exhibition Agency, decided to pick up this dilemma of showing the value of culture and has put focus on this during 2013 in seminars and discussions.They have invited Sarah Thelwall to talk about her report and discuss with others in two larger events: Supermarket 2013 in February and now Samtidskonstdagarna in Göteborg on October 18–20.

She wrote the report on commission of Common Practice, an organization based in London and with the aim to focus on small art organizations’ situation.

Riksutställningar translated, in cooperation with Nätverkstan, some of her work into Swedish in a book that just came from the printing presses. Everything to bring light and perspectives on the continuous discussion on describing the value of art for others than those already initiated.

Read also this blogpost on the same book (in Swedish).

18 oktober, 2013

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Art and culture in the periphery…

Take the tram fifteen minutes from the center of Göteborg – and you arrive in the periphery. At least that’s how many feel if you live in suburbs or areas around the city center.  Hammarkullen is one such area outside Göteborg and where many initiatives have started with the aim of bringing the art, culture, and social work done in the area into the spotlight.

Ten Russian visitors representing culture, art, business, and the authorities in St Petersburg is on a tour in Göteborg and Region Västra Götaland with the aim of discussing the role of art, culture, and social work in the rural areas and to address the question of the center versus periphery.

One stop has been meeting people in the area of Hammarkullen, with visits to different initiatives such as Hammarkullen365, Folkets Hus, and the local radio. Another Nätverkstan located in the city center, and then visits to the artistic workshop for sculpture, textile, ceramics, to artist Lukas Arons and his sculpture precincts, and Gerlesborgsskolan (School of Gerlesborg) along the coast-line. And today the visit is to the artistic collective Not Quite in the very small town of Fengersfors, a two and a half hours drive NorthEastly from Göteborg.

The visit was initiated by NGO Creative Project Kaykino in St Petersburg and is supported by the Nordic Culture Fund. Next step is to Stavanger in Norway, and the project ends with a seminar in St Petersburg in November.

See here a former post on the topic of center vs periphery

11 oktober, 2013

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The new literature scene in Göteborg

Today the Scene for Literature opened, or the Literature House, as Madeleine Bergmark put it in her opening speech of the inauguration in Lagerhuset (Warehouse).

The road to a new literary scene in Göteborg has been bumpy and particularly around where it should be located. Should a new house be built or is it a better idea to let it rest among already existing initiatives? And if so, with which existing scene? Glances were sent to Norway, where an ambitious new House for Literature in Oslo was opened in 2007.

In 2011 Ingrid Elam, a well-known literature critic in Sweden, got the assignment from the Administration of Culture in the City of Göteborg to investigate the possibilities of establishing a House for Literature in Göteborg.

The reason was that the conditions for literature are changing in a rapid pace and establishing a scene for literature seemed like a proper cultural policy action (also on state level this was done in 2012, a public investigation called Läsandets kultur, Culture of Reading).

Ingrid Elam came to four different suggestions, where two of them was weighing pros and cons of building a new house or building on already existing initiatives with focus on the independent and small-scale literary scene.

Lagerhuset (Warehouse), an old warehouse in central Göteborg right by the canal, for many felt like the natural location for a scene for literature. The building is already part of a vivid small-scale and independent cultural and literary scene housing several cultural journals and small publishing houses; a larger membership-based production space for journals; the Poetry Festival; education; and in the ground floor the scene for young creators, Frilagret. It’s a house that since 1999 host small cultural organizations with focus on cultural journals and literature.

It was also one of Ingrid Elam’s four suggestions, although not the main proposal. The Cultural Committee decided to place the House for Literature in an already existing structure: Lagerhuset. The House is organizationally under the City Library, they got two trial years and 1 million SEK (approximately 116000 euro) per year. Then the idea is that the independent scene in Göteborg takes over.

Read the two investigations here: LasandetsKultur.pdf and here: Litteraturhus i Goteborg.pdf.

2 oktober, 2013

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Buzz on the Nordic Book Fair

Last week and week-end the yearly literary event in Göteborg took place; The Nordic Book Fair.

As always, Nätverkstan was there with our cultural journals in focus. The audience magnet was no surprise. We had the honour of having the two journalists, Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye, in the stand talking about there newly released book from 438 days in Ethiopian prison.

Categories: Blogg

2 oktober, 2013

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

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