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Getting funding for renting facilities during a project period or to build shared spaces is getting harder and harder. Your project should preferably be run with excellent content, but no physical spaces.
There seem to be an idea among funding authorities that sharing spaces, need for offices and physical meeting places have ended. In these digital times you may as well sit at a café or at home, have meetings on skype, through facebook groups or twitter.
Eventhough this of course suits some people, we see a parallell trend that is showing the opposite; the need for meeting and sharing physical spaces.
In Göteborg we have several examples, and not only those build up from the 70s-90s. People gather to find solutions for expensive equipment and places to meet and work all the time.
But just to start with the 70s, Konstnärernas Kollektivverkstad Göteborg (Collective Workshop for Artists) was formed in 1974 with the aim to share heavy equipment, ceramic ovens, facilities for metal, wood, graphic art for professional artists. You find several of these collective workshops around Sweden. These are still up and running.
Medialab in Lagerhuset started in 1998 to share hard- and software, printers, video editing equipment, and work spaces. Other initiatives are ABF Medialab for study groups, Frilagret for young people, Collaboratory, the DIY days which is all about sharing knowledge, ideas, and spaces, the newly started CopyPaste. Several of these initiatives just decided to work together in the network Göteborgs Makerlabs. Just to mention a few.
The lastest in the row is newly opened Kompani 415 in Kviberg which is about the same thing. An empty house in need of some renovation that has been taken over by an association to provide working spaces, studios, and rentable rooms for people within arts and culture. So that people can meet, talk, discuss, and share.
Who has stated that we see an end of sharing?
The final semester of the two-year International Culture Project Management Training Program, Kulturverkstan, youdo an internship at an cultural och social organization, or run your own project. The internship is prepared thoroughly with planning classes and where you decide a theme or question you would like to look into during the internship.
This adds up to a public presentation in the end of the semester with invited guests, discussion partners and (or) opponents. This year’s addition of the presentations held the same high quality as last year, with interesting topics such as Cultural Heritage and Digitization; Food Trucks’ introduction to Göteborg; Art, status, and conditions; The concept
of class – is this still relevant?; Alternative forms of exhibitions; and many more (read more here).
The last thing to do is Wednseday’s graduation party and then we will meet 35 new excellent Cultural Project Managers out there!
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Jögge Sundqvist calls himself a sloyder. Not a handicraft artist, not a carver, definitely not an artist (he doesn’t have the education or language for that, he tells us), but a sloyder. From the Swedish word ”slöjd”. Slöjd is something in between, its own genre, he says.
We listen to his story in a gallery in the Artistic Campus in Umeå (one of the two European Cultural Capitals of 2014). The Campus is situated right by the Ume River, next to the fairly new Bildmuseet, a centre for contemporary art, and it’s the last workshop with exhibition and a method seminar for the Slöjd Incubator.
The incubator has been running as a pilot since August last year and have a specific focus on handicraft and slöjd. Ten participants from areas of handicraft, slöjd, design have followed the incubator process with the aim of identifying the entrepreneurial side of their idea and skills, their purpose, and way forward.
These two days they have their last large work of putting together an exhibition and an event, ”A taste of Slöjd”, where their work meet the public.
Jögge Sundqvist, one of the speakers on the method seminar, alongside with speakers such as business founder Jeff Melnyk, artist and professor Swetlana Heger, and chair of Nätverkstan, David Karlsson.
And perhaps Jögge Sandström’s story of how is father found his way to become a well-known and respected craftsman is the best way to sum up the whole event and the process the partipants have gone through.
When Jögge’s father grew up he loved to draw and paint horses on paper. One day his father asked him why he didn’t make the same horse in carved wood instead? He thought about this and replied that he didn’t know how to. And his father replied that it’s simple:
”You just have to take everything away that is not horse.”
The Slöjd Incubator is run as a pilot project by The National Swedish Handicraft Council during August 2013–June 2014. It’s financed by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth. Nätverkstan will do a small research of the incubator process that has taken place, what it has led to, the context of incubators, and the need for such a specific incubator such as one on handicraft. A report is due in middle of June.
Within a week, three seminars has taken place in Göteborg and Stockholm with the ambition to bring knowledge and perspectives on cultural policy, cultural and creative industries, and the myth of the creative city.
To begin with the last.
Justin O’Connor, Professor at Monash University in Australia and the authority on cultural and creative industries, did a quick stop in Göteborg on his way to Stockholm to talk about Cultural Economy and Cultural Citizenship. Beyond the Creative City. Göteborg is one of all the European cities being promoted as the ”creative” city and the ”most creative region” in Sweden, eagerly cheered by the American economic’s Professor Richard Florida during his visit in 2006 when he identified Göteborg and Sweden to be a role-model of creativity and innovation.
Interesting since at the same time Göteborg is one of the most segregated cities in Europe, something that seemed to have slipped away from the Professor’s research.
Justin O’Connor said three things to be important:
1) Reinstall the value of art and culture and move away from ”creativity”,
2) Don’t run away from economics! Culture is part of the economy. Don’t leave it for others to handle and do not escape by saying economy is only for Neo-liberalists, and
3) The public space is for all. It’s time to reinstall Cultural Citizenship.
Cultural and Creative industries was in focus in Stockholm when Professors Justin O’Connor and Birgit Mandel, from Hildesheim University in Germany, discussed CCI – and beyond. Are we seeing the end of CCI? Or is it time for a revived understanding of the concept? Where are the artists in the discussion of CCI?
And the message was clear: Drop ”creativity”. This has only messed up the discussion. Go back to cultural economy. Discuss and define economy from the perspective of the arts and culture.
And today, lastly, a day with focus on cultural policy on the regional level of Region Västra Götaland tossing and turning on Whose Culture? Whose Plans? Whose Money? The seminar ended with politicians answering questions on what they think is the most important cultural policy question that they will bring to this year’s election. Participation, inclusive culture, culture to children and youngsters, integration was some of the answers.
The most important words, though, were said by Poetry Slam Winner Nino Mick, who summarized hen’s impressions during the day in a poetic reading that went straight into the heart.
The Göteborg event with Justin O’Connor is found here.
The invitation to the seminar in Stockholm: KN_Seminarieinbjudan_pdf.
The Cultural Policy day here.
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