Archive för Kulturverkstan

Final dazzling days of Kulturverkstan Class 2012…!

he 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!


26 maj, 2014

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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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Final presentations at Kulturverkstan

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!

21 maj, 2013

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Kerstin Brunnberg at Kulturverkstan

”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.


3 maj, 2013

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Project presentations at Kulturverkstan

Photos from the presentation of student projects on January 10. Read more here.

Photos taken by Mathilda Frykberg, student at Kulturverkstan.

Categories: Kulturverkstan

15 januari, 2013

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Projects at Kulturverkstan

Yesterday Kulturverkstan students held their project presentations at Frilagret, the new scene for youth culture in Göteborg.

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.

11 januari, 2013

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Searching for competence

A few years ago, Nätverkstan tried a slogan to attract advertisers to put in ads in small cultural journals. A fancy advertisement agency came up with witty slogans like Even poets need refrigerators to attract white goods shops to buy ads in a selected group of journals who’s target groups were poets. The slogan was put on dishcloths, refrigerator magnets and send-outs. So when you whiped your sink you would be reminded. Even poets need refrigerators.

On a seminar with John Newbigin, Chair of Creative England, at Kulturverkstan the other week, he reminded of another of those sayings. The success behind Victorian engineering in UK, he said, was said to be because ”It’s the same men building bridges reading poetry”. The engineers in Victorian UK not only held their expertise in engineering they also read poetry, which made them build better bridges.

It’s the same line that Steve Jobs is said to have followed, the idea that competence in liberal arts and humanities are important, and perhaps more so than computing skills. Jobs was looking for poets and artists with interest in computing, not computer geeks, John Newbigin reminded us.

Next weekend the yearly Poetry Festival (Poesifestival) is taking place –  a great opportunity to fill your minds and add competence with three full days (and evenings) of poetry, poetry-reading and exploring this years theme of ”Orientation”.

Read the post on Business or Humanities? about Stanford University here and about the report from Svenskt Näringsliv (Confederation of Swedish Enterprise) here.

18 oktober, 2012

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Kulturverkstan Examination Day

The thirty-five students at the final year at Kulturverkstan, the two-year International Culture Project Management Training Programme, just finished their seminars of their final internships and are at this moment celebrating their examination dinner.

As always the students have held a variety of interesting seminars on topics they have studied during their internship. Independent Culture House, gentrification, industrial cool – What does the connections look like?, A music life for all?, The heterogenic team, Participation and engagement within performing arts are just a small selection of all the different topics, all interesting to dig into.

Figures from the last group of graduated students (June 2011) shows that 82% got jobs or run their own business within the field they educated for. Many of the jobs are project work, either short- or longterm, but still. We are quite proud.

Read the different seminar topics here (in Swedish): Program_Kulturverkstan.pdf.

1 juni, 2012

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Kulturverkstan – real projects in education

For the last couple of months the Kulturverkstan students have been working with projects in the city of Göteborg. The themes for these projects have been culture, city development, participation and democracy. Our students have been working with external partners. These partners have presented real live cases and ideas for project development to the students. In a common dialogue they have together developed these projects.  As in all projects it has been an act of balance between the needs of the partners, the creativity of our students and the citizens of Gothenburg. Here follows a short summary for our English-speaking partners.


Eriksbo Fritidspark

Eriksbo Fritidspark is an activity centre run by the community’s recreation organisation by day and in the evenings the different activities are the responsibility of the volunteer driven Eriksbo Parkförening. Available to the public are activities such as help with homework, a pottery class and yoga. One can also find a petting zoo with bunnies, goats and chickens as well as a much-visited green nature area. The board however wants to do more. They want Parken to become the official meeting place of the multicultural, beautiful community that is Eriksbo. Over the years new inhabitants have moved in and a worrying lack of local participation has grown. In order to assist the board in their development process a project group from Kulturverkstan was tasked with acquiring a ”vision document”. What kind of activities do the citizens of Eriksbo want to have at Parken?

Through interviews, public meetings, workshops and surveys we have collected thoughts and opinions about which needs exist in the community and what people wish of their spare time in Eriksbo.

In conclusion, we have been in contact with over 100 citizens of Eriksbo. In addition to solid suggestions there has been talk of the needs in different areas and potential improvements. During our inquiry we have learned that the work being done already at Parken is much appreciated, and with more resources the Parken can be even better.

Group members: Josefina Samuelsson, Anna Sandin, Hanna Jansson, Caroline Andersson, Fillip Williams

External partner: Parkföreningen Eriksbo och Hyresgästföreningen


Pleasure Parking – An innovative step towards the car parks of the future

A project assignment conducted by the project group Pleasure Parking at Kulturverkstan’s International Cultural Management Programme

During the autumn of 2011 we, the members of the project group Pleasure Parking, have conducted an assignment at the request of Göteborgs Stads Parkerings AB (the municipal parking company) and Kulturverkstan. Our main goal within the assignment was to deliver a raw material of opinions of the general public, concerning the company’s indoor car parks and its atmospheres. What does it take to improve one’s feeling of well-being and ease in these car parks?

We chose to arrange a public event in one of the company’s indoor car parks, with the aim to there and then collect the participants opinions through an inquiry and a ”wall of opinions”. We also placed a number of minor inquiries in three of the company’s central car parks, and we created a web site in connection to the parking company’s homepage along with an e-mail address to which opinions could be sent. Some other internal goals of Pleasure Parking was to create a forum for discussions on car parks as a part of the public space and its connection to environmental-related issues, and also to make sure that the dialogue and cooperation of the parking company with the general public, would continue after the completion of our assignment.

When we delivered the result of the inquiries to the parking company, the gathering of data was however not completely finished. The reason is that the minor inquiries in the car parks will continue and that the web page and the possibility to e-mail, will remain open to the public. We managed to evoke a forum for discussions and debates during the public event on issues of democracy and the environment, and we hope that these topics were also discussed among the public who took part of the media reports of the project.

One of the conclusions that we can make is that indoor car parks can be used for more purposes than that of parking only, for example art exhibitions and music performances. We succeeded in creating an attractive event with a high rate of participants, and a democratic forum in which the opinions of the public was gathered. We did find a gap between the number of participants and the number of delivered inquiries, and we made the conclusion that we, in Pleasure Parking, could have been more active towards the participants in order to encourage them to make their voices heard.

A bonus result was however that at least one of the decorations which we placed in the car park for the event will be made permanent, and that connections have been made between different cultural workers and the parking company for further cooperation in the future.

Group members: Johanna Franck, Caroline Pehrson, Martin Reinikainen , Anna Svensson, Tobias Westerberg

External partner: Göteborgs Stads Parkeringsbolag.


Space for young culture

A community centre for young people is planned to open in the centre of Gothenburg. The public administration for culture claimed in a document at the 31st January 20111 that a dialogue process would be an appropriate way to form the content of this centre. This initial process was to be called Space for young culture. Six students at Kulturverkstan was called in to the project in September to ensure a dialogue process of high quality standard. By a critical scrutinizing analysis of collected information and by identifying strengths and flaws, they were to offer improvements and solutions to improve the process.

Group members: Johanna Byström, Johan Lind, Lisa Säthil, Tobias Brandin, Elin Tollbom, Julia Adielsson

External partner: Kulturförvaltningen Göteborg, Rum för ung kultur


Project Vega

Project Vega has aimed to variegate and strengthen the voice of the elderly in the public debate, in a positive and artistic way see them as unique personalities and satisfy a need of being able to be a part of the cultural life in the city. The project created conditions for interactions between local artists and residents at the nursing home Vegahusen, one of Tre Stiftelser’s three nursinghomes in Gothenburg. In the creative process of the artworks, ten elderlys experiences and thoughts has been taken care of and shaped by ten artists with different forms of expressions. The project resulted in two exhibitions named ”A priest, a Dane and a ballerina” and a catalogue including information about the participators and the process of the artworks.

Group members: Erika Alsén, Anne-Li And, Lars Dyrendom, Klara Fulgentiusson Ejeby, Anna Hansen, Robin Palmqvist

External partner: Tre stiftelser Äldreboende



Being the main host of Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Röda Sten Art Centre asked us to arrange a one day activity within the Biennial. We all found the theme Pandemonium – Art in a time of creativity fever, to be highly interesting. The Biennial statement expresses a wish to be a “launch pad for new ideas and new world orders”. Sadly, we couldn’t find any means to harvest these thoughts, nor did we find any other points of interaction with the visitors. In this we found the aim for our project.

Our objectives were to catalyze the visitor’s reflection and enhance their participation, to enable simple ways for leaving a print and a forum for discussion in conjunction with visiting the Biennial.

Framtidslabb, Swedish for Future Laboratory, housed four stations ranging from our abstract Reflektorium to the more hands-on Tomorrow’s Headlines workshop.

From surveys and our conversations with participants we found that our goal was met. Our conclusion is that this sort of pedagogical activity offers the Biennial visitor a more enriching experience.

Group members: Göran Dahlström, Bella Ghajavand, Héctor García Jorquera, Jenny Haraldsson

External partner: Konsthallen Röda sten, Göteborg International Biennal for contemporary art.


Accomodation of Blattsploitation

The project’s primary aim has been to create conditions for a sustainable non-profit business that can accommodate the association ”Alla har en Historia att Berätta”, its ideas and visions. We have chosen to do this through a pilot study. In the beginning part of the pilot study we tried to gather and create a consensus on the ideas, the knowledge and experience within the association. We have also added ideas and suggestions that we believe favours the association’s sustainability and long-term work ahead. This was done in close collaboration with the association. One of these proposals, to develop the association’s website, came up early in the process. There was a lot of interest in this proposal from the members of the association and therefore we decided to begin this work in parallel with the work on the pilot study.

The issues that have been a leader for us in the pilot study concerning the association’s structure and development was:

  • What does the association’s form, content, skills and resources look like?
  • How would they go ahead? What opportunities and conditions are available for these ideas?
  • What can be our contribution to the association to increase the possibility of a
  • sustainable structure?

The association’s purpose is to highlight the suburbs of Gothenburg and those who live there, to allow people to visualize themselves on their own terms. They want a larger amount of voices to be heard and more perspectives to be made visible through the stories in the media form of Digital Storytelling (DST). The association’s focus is twofold. DST will be the association’s core activity. DST is a short film, usually 5-15 minutes with a voice and images combined with music or other sounds that create a story. They also have a vision about the association being a knowledge centre for DST. The second part of the association is to serve as a platform for other thoughts and ideas that fit within the framework of its statutes. Here they have thoughts about casting companies, films, TV-Shows about food from mixed cultures and so on.

Group members: Annika Jonsson, Johan Elldér, Martina Jeansson, Olle Andersson, Pia Engman

External partner: Föreningen Alla har en Historia att Berätta

Photos from the project Pleasure Parking.

13 december, 2011

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Snapshots from the 72nd Trans Europe Halles meeting

Trans Europe Halles – meetings that matters

During four days, 27 – 30th October, around 100 people from different Independent Cultural Centres throughout Europe have met in Bordeaux for the 72nd Trans Europe Halles meeting. This network (founded in 1983) gather more than fifty multidisciplinary and socially engaged member centres. Most centres are located in buildings from industrial heritage and have taken important action in challenging the established cultural policy.

This meeting was held at TNT – Manufacture de Chaussures in Bordeaux, France. The theme of the meeting was Neighbourhood / Voisinage. The meeting was organised together with TEH Friend organisation ARTfactories/Autre(s) pARTs and supported by TEH:s three-year network project Engine Room Europe.

About TNT

TNT opened in 1997 in a former shoe factory, and supports artistic research in the performing arts. Originally devoted to the theatre, it opened to other disciplines such as dance, music, visual arts, poetry, etc. These relations can last from a month to two years, through residencies or long-term projects. TNT tries to develop new ways of working, in its programming as in its functioning, in the choice of the artists, as in the working modalities, in the relations with the public as in the economy of the projects.

About ARTfactories/Autre(s)pARTs

The organisation ARTfactories/Autre(s)pARTs is a common platform for reflection, research and action, transmission and solidarity for the development of art centres that organise their practices and experiments around the relationship between arts, territories and populations. ARTfactories/Autre(s)pARTs is based in Toulouse, France.

Kulturverkstan is not a member of TEH but took part of the meeting as a guest. Networking is always a good way to reflect upon what’s possible, get inspired, review your own work and talk with people with common interests. This network is also interesting to us as we always look for interesting internships for our students.

Some snapshots

The meeting was a mix of formal and informal meetings, information and interaction, meeting with artist, brain-gym and artistic work. Among other things we took part in two different workshops:

The workshop ”Cross-Boarder Exchange” set out to explore the relationship between people with common ideas, but different national contexts. In this workshop we discuss challenges and possibilities of these exchanges, starting with two examples from Kulturfabrik in Luxembourg and La Grainerie in Toulouse, France. They both shared their experiences from recent cross-boarder projects and the discussion that followed centred around issues such as regional identity, European funding and the benefits of proper evaluations. The over all outcome was the positive encouragement from the participants with experience in cross-boarder exchange. That even though communication can prove to be very challenging and a lot of the budget needs to be spent on travelling it is still a very rewarding experience that your organisation will benefit from in a number of ways. The workshop leader was Dušica Parezanović from the centre REX, in Belgrade,Serbia.

Another workshop introduced ”Holacracy, a new way of Governance”. The term ”Holacracy” refers to a practice of structuring, governing and running an organisation. One of the interesting aspects of this model was the concept of doing what’s ”workable”. To not spend to much time on finding what’s perfect before you try it out. Inspiration comes from software development and open source where you launch a Beta-version and get immediate feedback to make it better.

Travelling to a European meeting often give you the opportunity to also meet colleagues from your own country. We spent some time with the Swedish members Röda sten, Konstepidemin, Kulturmejeriet, Subtopia, Culturen and Not Quite. Carl-Oscar Sjögren, artistic director for the performing arts company Drift, took part of the TEH meeting to launch, and gain inspiration on, his new project; to open an international art centre in an old abandoned mine. The mine is called Ställberg and is situated in the Swedish forests of Västmanland in a mine district that was closed down some 30 years ago. Since the TEH network constitutes mainly of cultural centres in buildings that was once used for industrial purposes, Carl-Oscar had the chance to meet with a lot of people that had pioneered the same roads he is now about to discover.

In Autumn 2012 the TEH meeting will be held in Gothenburg, hosted by Röda sten and Konstepidemin. Nätverkstan/Kulturverkstan will most certainly take part in some way!


Parallel to the TEH meeting  the second edition of EVENTO in Bordeaux offered a series of interesting exhibitions and art projects. EVENTO2011 has invited Michelangelo Pistoletto and his foundation Cittadellarte as artistic director and brings many local and international artists together under the theme ”Art for an Urban Re-Evolution”. The aim is to encourage us to reinvent the city and how we live together.

We visited some of the interesting spots:

ONCE UPON A FUTURE (STEALTH.unlimited + arc en rêve centre d’architecture Bordeaux) is a fictional account of a possible utopia for Bordeaux in 2030, inspired by citizen’s initiatives. This fictional narrative takes the form of a large mural created by a number of graphic designers and graphic novel artists. We have learnt from history different consequences of imposed utopias, in this work the artist are trying to use the concept of utopia in a ”more pragmatic and less theoretical, more immanent and less transcendent: a hybrid of utopia, somewhere between desire and reality”. Walking along the mural, taking part of all these different ideas and desires my reflection is that the notion of utopia or future at least tells us a lot about the present.

”This is how we came to eat sugar”

Musée d’Aquitaine (Aquitaine is the south-western region of France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain)

This museum with it contents Pistoletto uses as a portrait of the past that help us to prefigure the future: Slavery, immigration and other things that we have built our societies and economical growth upon. Six international artists – William Kentridge, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Marzia Migliora, Michael Blum, Shilpa Gupta and Wael Shawky – create a link between the museum collections and elements of refexion on contemporary society.

Our last stop was at a space-specific art project where an artist has worked together with people living there creating a garden, a stage and a café. Everyone in the neighbourhood has been invited to use it for their ideas.

By: Karin Dalborg & Malin Schiller, Kulturverkstan


1. TNT, and 2-3. Once upon a future


31 oktober, 2011

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Study visit in Istanbul

The educational board of Kulturverkstan has spent a couple of days in Istanbul, visiting organisations, students on internships, and taking part of  the vibrant cultural life of the metropolis. We have visited and discussed the possibility of future cooperations with, among others, the following: Garasjistanbul, Istanbul´s major scene for experimental dance and theatre, with a huge international network; Filmmor,  a feminist film festival that gains a rapidly growing domestic as well as international attention for its creative work for gender equality; Kalem, a literary agency as well as festival, that focuses on bringing world literature to Turkey, and Turkish literature to the rest of the world; Pozitif, one of the major labels of the Turkish music industry, as well as a leading concert and festival producer.

The impression of cultural diversity and expressive power is indeed overwhelming. Some features seem to be common to the initiatives we have visited. One is a sense of curiousity for the surrounding world, whether it is Western Europe, Japan, Brazil, or the Middle East. This openness is usually explained by the fact that Turkish cultural life for decades suffered from isolation when the country was ruled by a military dictatorship. A crucial year in this respect seems to be 2005, when several initiatives suddenly came in to action.

Everything is not at its best. As Mustafa Avkuran, director of Garasjistanbul, points out, there are many limits to the freedom of expression, both artistically and journalistically, both formal and informal. According to recent reports, no country in the world has so many journalists in jail as Turkey. And Tugce Canbolat, at Filmmor, told us that domestic violence has increased during recent years, partly as a tragic consequence of women´s stronger demands for equal rights. This does not in any way prevent Filmmor for carry on their work, on the contrary. The cooperative has two main objectives: to increase involvement of women in cinema and in the media, and to disseminate non-sexist representation and experiences of women. To this end they not only organise festivals, but also workshops on how to write, produce and make films. Right now they are engaged in a documentary project that highlights the situation for women in Turkey and Sweden.

Nermin Mollaglu and Mehmet Dermitas at Kalem Agency work for the exchange  between literatures in many ways. They are literary agents, but they also organise book festivals, and have taken an ambitious initiative to promote translations (and translators). One of Kulturverkstans students, Silke Spangler, is doing her intership this spring at Kalem.

Another one of our students, Ricardo Samaniego, is doing his internship at Pozitif, one of the most influential networks in Turkish music industry. It contains of many things, as Okan Aydin told us when we visited his office in central Istanbul: festival organiser, record label, radio station, and – not the least – one of the hottest scenes in Istanbul´s boiling club life: Babylon.

There is of course many paradoxes in the Turkish cultural life: the state support for the arts is limited, which forces all organisations to search for sponsors, a both tiresome and time demanding work. The ruling AKP party (no one expects it to lose the upcoming elections in June) is on the one hand strictly conservative on moral issues, but is one the other hand liberal in economics and strongly in favour of closer relations to the European Union. The atmosphere that the visitor meets in Istanbul is one of a self confident and proud nation and culture, situated as it is between the historic Orient and Occident, determined to play a role that suits it size and traditions, both in the region and on the world scene as a whole.

Text: Mikael Löfgren, acting Manager at Kulturverkstan

Photo: Malin Schiller, Coordinator at Kulturverkstan, & Karin Dalborg, Manager at Kulturverkstan


12 april, 2011

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Real projects in education

At Kulturverkstan, our two-year training programme International Project Management within Culture, the students get a flying start.

As soon as the introduction is done, schedules distributed and the first getting-to-know-each-other-exercises performed, they are put into groups that during the semester work on a project together. The result is presented in public at the end of the semester.

The projects are real life assignments from cultural and civil-society organizations, institutions or university in the city of Göteborg. All courses during the semester on culture and the local city, project management, democracy, communication (written and oral), team building, and so forth are integrated during the semester, including contact and communication with the constituent.

Thursday, January 13, the seven groups presented the impressive results of their projects relating to the Glocal (global and local) city of Göteborg. Each project had in dialogue with the project owner, and as part of their education, worked out seven very relevant and important projects where culture and society meet in the very real sense.

In the project Lost in Migration they wanted to put focus on authors in exile and are producing a booklet with short stories from exile writers in the region; in Röstverket the group held a workshop in the Art Exhibition Hall Röda Sten combining knitting as telling stories; Gothenburg Shout had the aim of creating meeting spaces through digital storytelling as a way of putting personal stories in a public room and has showed the short films at various places around the city; Nya Grannar (New Neighbours) a project working with the new Mosque in Göteborg creating dialogue with university-students studying to become teachers and the Mosque to mitigate the religious gaps and increase knowledge of Islam; Att förtöja en stad (To moor a city) is an artistic research project where they aim to understand the city from the grassroot level, which goes directly into the debate on city development; and the project En drake i Göteborg (A dragon in Göteborg), an assignment where the Göteborg International Film Festival asked for a small study of the role of the festival in a growing city; and one project as a sort of reaction of the ”projectification” in society and the need for something else than effectiveness, goals, and instrumentalization.

Several of the projects have gotten attention in the city outside of the education and have had public events and shows.

To work with real projects in education is a challenge and a necessity in training as Project Managers in Culture. To be able to handle the unexpected, teamwork, flexibility, conflict management, and communication are a few of the important competencies for managers in this field.


15 januari, 2011

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Nairobi Workshop • The Art of living on Art

Expectations were high when we started the workshop on ”The Art of living on Art” with visual artists, theatre people, a writer and dancers and choreographers in Nairobi, Kenya. How do I do to be able to do what I like most? How do you as an Artist to balance the business and the artistic side? How do you find ways to sustain your artistic work? How can you find the missing link between production and the market? Open a window to see new things?

We start quite frankly. We don’t have any answers. There are not any quick fixes you can follow that will solve all the obstacles or solve how to live on Art. You have the answers yourself. What we do is putting up the room for reflection and a structured way to reflect and think of where you are, your obstacles, how to get past these, your future ideas, how to deal with changes.

Eleven professionals within the Artistic field gathered to go through this process for two intense days. It’s interesting to see that Artist from different contexts as Sweden, Turkey, Georgia, India and Kenya have so much in common. The obstacles, difficulties and challenges put forward are very much the same, although the contexts are so different.

The workshop in Nairobi was organized by GoDown Art Center in cooperation with Nätverkstan. Read more about ”The Art of living on Art” under the catogeory with the same name.


8 september, 2009

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Kulturverkstan celebrates 10 years!

In 1999 Kulturverkstan, the two year Project Management Training Programme within culture started. The idea was to combine theoretical analysis with practical action plans, academic level with practice in the ”real world”, studies at Lagerhuset together with internships on organizations in cultural – or other – fields in Sweden or elsewhere. Lecturers from academia combined with festival managers, writers, philosophers, project managers, theatre directors, actors, film makers. And to work with students with all artistic expressions, to be cross-cultural. Thirty-five students each year have been accepted to Kulturverkstan after an extensive application process. Around three hundred students have examined and 85% have gotten jobs or started their own business after education. A number we are proud of.

On Saturday we celebrated Kulturverkstan 10 years with a big party and event at Röda Sten, a cultural house and exhibition hall by the channel in Göteborg. The Artist Lisa Nordström started the evening with her piece 7 States of Passion followed by Islandic writer and poet Andri Snær Magnason who talked about is award winning book ”Dreamland – a Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation” (2006) and the situation in Island after the financial crisis. Old students showed what they are working with, speeches, food and lots of dancing to the DJ:s captivating music the whole night long. The new cultural price in Göteborg, in memory of our late colleague Lars Lövheim was inaugurated.

A book on Kulturverkstan 10 years will be available soon (in Swedish)!


24 augusti, 2009

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The Art of living on Art • Final days Steneby

The summer academy ”The Art of living in Art” has come to an end after three intense workshop days at Stenebyskolan (School of Steneby) in Dalsland. Guest lecturer and workshop facilitator was Sian Prime, among many things MA at Goldsmiths University in UK.

The Artists taking part in the academy have been musicians, composers, visual artist, actresses, who have worked all summer on their action plans. They have in workshops in the beginning of summer visualized their future, looked at their skills, hinders and possibilities, money and meaning, what they put their time on, how to plan your actions differently to achieve what you want and so forth. They have had group meetings with a facilitator during summer, together with individual coaching sessions. And now, in Steneby, the final days of building relations in relationship modelling, working on their offer, discussing the literature they have read, drawing some conclusions. Everything in workshops, open discussions, talks two and two, and individual thinking and writing.

”Don’t stop look around you. Don’t stop caring. Don’t stop listening” is one of Sian Prime’s many interesting thoughts. There are three questions to keep constantly with you when thinking of what you offer as an artist and how this could interest others:

1) Why should I care?

2) Why should I trust you?

3) Why should I believe you?

You need to have your heart (1), guts (2), and head (3) with you when engaging with other professionals. Another thing is not to let money hinder you. You are not the only one not driven by money, Sian Prime explains, so are many others. ”Money is rarely the driver”, she says, you have to find out what drives those you want to work with and engage in building professional relationships. In the long run, this can build new ideas that you can live on, but you have to get started.

”Treat no as a question”, is another point. Always ask what the ”no” means. What does it stand for?

Nätverkstan runs the summer academy in cooperation with Göteborg University, Sian Prime, and the Västra Götaland. The Academy was the first of three summer academies. The experiences will also be put into the new Masters Programme at the University on Art and entrepreneurship that will be developed this year. Read this post on the start of the course.


21 augusti, 2009

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The Art of living on Art

The summer academy ”The Art of living on Art” started this week and we just got back from three interesting days of work in Steneby, Dalsland. The academy is started by Göteborg University, Academy of Music and Drama, in cooperation with Nätverkstan, and turns to those who are, or aim to be, professional Artists. It’s about Art and entrepreneurship with a bearing thought that Artists know more about entrepreneurship than they (and others) believe they do. One of the aims is to make Artists aware of the competences and resources they have and catalyze these by reflection, discussions, good examples and guidance. It’s about taking power of your own lives. If you want to make a living on your Art – what do you need to do? What actions do you have to take? What hinders are there on the way?

There are no easy solutions or quick ways. On one hand report after report show that creative industries are a growing field, this is where you will find future jobs and new entrepreneurial ideas. At the same time other studies show that the income level among Artists is very low. So how do you do if you want to live of the income from your Art? The idea of the summer academy is to create a room for reflection and to start look at the resources you have; ideas, competences, skills; and to look at your network and relations. And ask yourself ”What do I lack or what is stopping me from doing what I want to do?”

The models used are workshops for self-reflection. The Artists have the competence; the teachers are  putting up the framework and leading the process of reflection. Many of the workshop-themes and models have been done in cooperation with Sian Prime, who was one of those running the incubator Creative Pioneer Programme at Nesta in London a few years ago, an incubator specifically within the Artistic field.

Three intense, hard working and fun days. Now the course continues with group and individual coaching. Next gathering with the whole class is July 10.

The Summeracademy is running over the summer and in August each student will have a three-year action plan on how to live on their Art. Read the Swedish website Att leva på sin konst (The Art of living on Art). On this website you can find many reports of creative industries and the incomelevel of Artists, look under the category ”Reports, articles and books”.


17 juni, 2009

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Cultural Leadership

”Running cultural institutions and cultural projects of tomorrow into the 21st century will put new demands on leaders. Competencies as flexibility, risk taking, courage, intercultural awareness and international outlook are increasing in importance for leaders in organisations.”

Eight leaders of important cultural organisations and institutions in Sweden gathered in a think tank last November to discuss leadership omslag_2within Art and culture and the idea of a Cultural Leadership Award in Sweden. The results are put forward by Nätverkstan in the newly published report on cultural leadership: ”To lead Art into the Future. An idea to develop leadership within culture” (in Swedish ”Att leda konsten in i framtiden. Om en idé för utveckling av ledarskap i kulturlivet.”).

Leadership within the field of Art and culture is an ignored area, and possibilities are few for development. Management-courses are many, as well as courses in laws and regulations, staff management, economy and likewise. But how do you develop the leadership role? This has to do with personal skills as well as a continuous interest in reflecting on experiences. The model for the idea put forward in the report is from UK; the successful ”Cultural Leadership Awards” run by Venu Dhupa, which at the time was put up by Nesta. The award was dedicated to exceptional leaders within Art, technology and science and showed to be an innovative way of developing leadership. As Venu Dhupa says ”an investment in leadership is necessary for the future of cultural life”.

Leading Art and cultural institutions and projects is difficult and put specific demands on leadership. Again you are expected to be an all-area-Artist. And there are, argued by people in the field and Art Management researchers, specific conditions in the cultural field you have to handle. The main goal is rarely profitability, but rather human, Artistic, social or aesthetic goals. It is therefore more difficult to show when goals are achieved. It’s easy to put economic figures on paper, but how do you measure social or aesthetic goals? For many working in the field, money is not the main goal. This means motivation, drive and belief in higher values are important factors for anyone working in the field and a factor when motivating staff. It is a production-driven field, research shows, and not consumer-driven as in so many other areas. Another factor is that Art production doesn’t follow the logic of competition and is often unprofitable. All these factors put demands on the leader, who also has to adjust to a changing society where flexibility, risk taking, resilience and resourcefulness are necessary personal skills. Interestingly the same skills were put forward in an article in the Hindu, in October last year, when discussing necessary skills when working in the Indian context. Read a short version here.

The report was written by Karin Dalborg, Manager of Nätverkstan’s training programme Kulturverkstan, and Lotta Lekvall, Director at Nätverkstan. Download the report (in Swedish, a translation is hopefully published soon)  kulturledarskap2009. You can have a look at the model for the Swedish Cultural Leadership Awards on the attached images, just double-click to make them larger.


13 april, 2009

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Development tendencies and education in the 21st century

”Will all of us working in the cultural field adapt to new tendencies in society or will we create alternative views and solutions?” The question is put by Lena Stenmar, Coordinator at Kulturverkstan, and who just published the report on development tendencies and educational needs within culture in the 2010 era. The study is based on interviews and seminars with people within the cultural field in Sweden.

omslag-rapport-kulturverkstan1Several of the interviewed stress that society is becoming more and more instrumental, culture and Art are expected to solve other problems in society and the boarders of commercial and non-commercial is changing. Full time jobs at an institution are declining, the employments will be project based and on free lance basis. Cultural practitioners and Artists will be forced to find other sources of funding than, in the Swedish context, traditional public funding. Skills and knowledge expected of people within Art and culture are within a wide range; you are supposed to be flexible and a sort of all-area-artist, doing everything. Skills expected are communication skills, writing skills, social competence, leadership, economy and law, organisational and administrative, understanding of Artistic processes, political science and a professional way of working. This combined withthe necessity within Art: a high quality level of Artistic work.

Some overall tendencies are found, that will affect cultural practitioners and Artists, and educators. There will be more expectations of working across traditional boarders; internationalisation, regionalisation, globalization is becoming more important, you are expected to work on international basis; more work on every level in society will be project based; professionaliing the sector is expected, which puts more demand for continuous education and training possibilities; funding from many different sources; entrepreneurship; and, finally, leadership development.

The report is written by Lena Stenmar, Coordinator at Kulturverkstan, and can be downloaded (only in Swedish): kulturutbildning10-talet.

7 april, 2009

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Kulturverkstan in Berlin and Potsdam

”Entrepreneurship is to find out what you would like to do and then how you are going to realize it”, says Professor Dr. Hermann Voesgen at Fachhochschule in Potsdam. He is Head of the Course ”Culture and Project Work” and Kulturverkstan visited him to discuss culture work, culture policy and the culture sector in Germany.

Mr Voesgen has worked among other things in many cultural projects for the development of rural regions and as cultural advisor. He showed us an area in Potsdam newly developed to host both Cultural institutions of the City and Creative Industries. Old industrial and military buildings are rebuilt. Further development is needed though to make the area more vibrant and alive.

Written by Karin Dalborg, Manager of Nätverkstan’s education Kulturverkstan. The visit was part of a study visit to meet representatives from different organisations and education in cultural life, together with the cultural scene, in Berlin and Potsdam on 19 – 22 of March.


27 mars, 2009

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The Creative Industries: Ten years after

On March 20-21, a seminar on creative industries will take place in Jonsered, close to Göteborg. The seminar is arranged by the Foundation for the Culture of the Future (Stiftelsen framtidens kultur) and will discuss culture economy, the every day life of cultural work and the economical aspects, experienced based knowledge of cultural actors and more. The seminar is based on a study produced by Nätverkstan in 2002 called ”Den ofrivillige företagaren” (”The involuntary entrepreneur”). Many things have of course happened since it was written and a new edition will be released soon.

The concept of Creative Industries is fairly new in Sweden and it could be a good idea to look deeper into experiences from other countries. Nätverkstan has followed the development in Great Britain since 1999 where it definitely has been a bigger subject. In 1998, the recently created UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport placed the newly named ”Creative Industries” – media, design and arts based enterprises – at the heart of the nations economic future. The antecedents of the creative industries, the so-called ”Cultural Industries” of the 1970s and 80s were carefully steered from view, as the use of the term creative industries signalled a desire to harness cultural production to the new economic agenda.

In February last year Nätverkstan attended a seminar at the Open University in Milton Keynes called: The Creative Industries: Ten years after. The organisers, Mark Banks, Department of Sociology/CRESC, The Open University, and Justin O’Connor, Cultural and Media Industries Research Centre, University of Leeds asked themselves:  What has happened in the decade since 1998?

In the invitation Mark Banks reflects:

”On the one hand the creative industries can be seen to have gone from strength to strength. The UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport has re-launched its creative industry strategy with renewed vigour. The creative Economy Programme sets out an ambitious strategy, which once again places the creative industries at the heart of the UK’s economic future. The UK model has then been internationally exported, across Europe, and into territories as diverse as Australia, China and South Korea, shaping and being shaped by pre-existing policy frameworks, contributing to the rapid globalization of creative industry debate. Yet there are some hard questions to be asked and key issues to be addressed – this symposium attempts to address these issues and in doing so take forward an agenda for critical debate on the creative industries.”

Many interesting key speakers were invited: Justin O’Connor, David Hesmondhalgh, Andy Pratt, Kate Oakley, Chris Bilton, Mark Banks and Jason Toynbee. They addressed themes such as: The historical formation and context of creative industries; Creative industry policy and the legacy of New labour; Creative industries and local and regional development; Creative industries in comparative international contexts; The changing politics of creativity and creative industry work; And The future policy agenda for creative industries.

Several of the perspectives highlighted were indeed more critical and interesting than many of other seminars we have attended. Mark Banks talked about the shift from cultural to creative industries policy represents a de-politicization of cultural work in so far as ”cultural” concerns (i.e. those regarding meaning of work or its artistic, social or political value) have been sequestered in favour of approaches that focus on enhancing only ”creative” commodity production and economic value. Kate Oakley talked, among many other things, about an over focus on novelty as the primary determinant of cultural worth. Andy Pratt described how the cultural industries have been ”made up”. In particular – in the UK context – he examine the pre-mapping document (1998) period; the mapping document; and the ”framework” phase. He set out to show that categories are embedded in concepts, therefore the taxonomies that are used to measure the cultural industries, constitute them.

There is a web cast replay of the Creative Industries Symposium here. The programme of the event is found here. The programme (in Swedish) of the event in Jonsered on March 20–21: program-jonsered.pdf. The report ”Den ofrivillige företagaren” (in Swedish): ofrivilligforetagare.pdf.

Written by Karin Dalborg, Manager of Kulturverkstan, a Project Managament Training Programme within Culture, run by Nätverkstan.

19 mars, 2009

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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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