CALL FOR ARTISTS BY A-TEAM
As part of the three-year European project Engine Room Europe, A-Team – Artists for Change will realise four creative processes in Sweden, Bulgaria, Latvia and Slovenia, teaming up artists, cultural managers and local mediators who will deal with local community issues. For this project, A-Team searches for artists working in any medium affiliated with TEH Member centres or Friend organisations who enjoy process, research and community-based work and interactive dialogue.
The A-Team project foresees the shaping of 4 teams operating in 4 countries on 4 different tasks. Each A-Team consists of:
- 1 artist (from another country).
- 1 project manager (who represents the hosting Trans Europe Halles centre).
- 1 local mediator (local community professional or volunteer leading the community dimension, whose professional skills ideally relate to the A-Team´s task).
Each team will work with a community for approximately 1 month, addressing a specific question (see below). The work will be carried out through close partnerships between the independent cultural centres in question, the artist and the local community. Each A-Team will be responsible for documenting its process on the A-Team blog.
What are the project aims?
- Test practices for sustainable working relationships between artists and the community;
- Create opportunities led by independent cultural centres whereby local communities and European cultural workers intersect to address issues of civic concern through stimulating art processes;
- Liberate artistic potential in addressing these issues. Create possibilities for artists to use their skills on a wider platform;
- Provide the community with an outcome and a post-project plan for further collaboration on the issues in question, if necessary;
When and where will it all happen?
A-Team partners are 4 independent culture centres in 4 different countries. A-Teams are planned to be realised as follows:
- May 2012 in Pekarna, Maribor (Slovenia) and Pro Rodopi Foundation, Bostina (Bulgaria)
- June 2012 in NOASS, Riga (Latvia)
- July 2012 in Not Quite, Fengersfors (Sweden)
A gathering of all 4 A-Teams in September 2012 is planned but not yet confirmed.
What artists are we looking for?
We are looking for artists working in any discipline (e.g. visual art, music, dance, film, multimedia etc.) affiliated with Trans Europe Halles members or friends who enjoy process-based work, interactive dialogue or research-based work, community-based work and who are interested in investigating themes of social relevance to a specific community. If you feel this might be an exciting challenge for you, you can apply directly to participate in the A-Team of your choice.
What do we offer?
We offer cover of travel cost, accommodation and food during your stay in the A-Team partner centre and a small artistic fee of 500 €.
How can you apply?
In order to apply contact directly the relevant A-Team manager (contacts you find below underneath each single A-Team description) sending him:
- Your artistic CV
- A portfolio of previous work
- A short motivation letter (max 1 A4 page)
You can also address this person in case you have further questions.
Deadline for applications: April
The partner centres will directly choose the artists who seems most prepared and motivated to confront the specific A-Teams challenge. Please remember that artists have to be from another country than the one hosting the A-Team.
The 4 A-Team themes!
Not Quite (Fengersfors, Sweden)
“community building between Not Quite and the village of Fengersfors“
Not Quite is an arts and crafts centre situated in rural Sweden. It has been active in the area since 2002 and contributed to its attractivity, raising visitor numbers significantly over the past years. However, there is still a barrier perceived between the culture, arts and craft centre and the village of Fengersfors (600 inhabitants), between artists and local community. In order to support the sustainable development of the Region, making it attractive for young people to stay or move there, however it is fundamental to build a strong common spirit and understanding. The A-Teams task therefore will be to initiate artistic actions of community building, creating a common vision and image for the village and the artists of the centre.
Specific objectives are:
- to involve 1 – 3 representatives from the different local associations (football club, choir, scouts etc.) and a total of at least 40 people in the project;
- to initiate a shared process with these people aimed at the development of a positive and collaborative atmosphere;
- through the process to create a shared understanding and vision of the villages identity;
- to foster understanding for the role the arts can play in such a process of community building.
For application please contact Karl Hallberg at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pro Rodopi Foundation (Bostina, Bulgaria)
“addressing the issue of infrastructure in the village of Bostina”
In small village of Bostina (120 inhabitants) where Pro Rodoi Art Centre is located since 2004, the street infrastructure is in an inacceptable state. This reflects the situation of many mountain villages, which are not a priority of public investments. There is currently no chance to receive financial support from either the municipality or state to improve the streets condition in the village in the near future. The A-team’s task will be to support the local community in finding creative solutions to dealing with this problem through initiating artistic actions and participation.
Specific objectives are:
- to strengthen the relationship between the Pro Rodopi Foundation and the village inhabitants;
- to foster the village inhabitants understanding of the value of art;
- to involve at least 30 village inhabitants in the project;
- to organize a final festive event which will involve media coverage;
- to facilitate a dialogue with the mayor of Smolyan (administrative centre) on the issue.
For application please contact Petar Todorov at email@example.com
NOASS (Riga, Latvia)
“Facing the city“
The city of Riga is divided by river Daugava, which has a strong symbolic meaning in Latvian folklore where it is called “the river of destiny”. Daugava is a border-line in between the Central part of Riga- where the main institutions and infrastructure is located and the living area of the city. It divides 2 towns in one environment, two languages, two nationalities, two social classes. The A-Teams task is to create through art a social bridge between both sides of the river, as a mirror that reflects both sides. The location of NOASS is perfect for this kind of activity, as the floating art center is located next to a Semi island in the middle of the River.
Specific objectives are:
- to create a site specific artwork – an installation- sculpture located on the semi island in the middle of the Daugava river between two parts of the city of Riga city (made of material resistant to weather and is suitable for public space);
- to involve inhabitants of the district Pardaugava (suburb) in the creation of the artwork;
- to foster a dialog between authorities and the inhabitants of Riga city in the process of this work;
- to create the artwork through a process that is open to the public.
For application please contact Alise Vetrova at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pekarna (Maribor, Slovenia)
“For the State”
Facing an increased challenge concerning the privatization of different domains in the public sphere, both locally and all across Europe, particularly with regard to civic and cultural space, there is an evident and growing reaction from citizens. This reaction is resulting in grassroots revolutions, some calling for a new socialism or Utopia, others more dangerous in their anger and frustration. A less violent option is to support the struggle for The State to recover its power. Of course we are talking about the state in the sense of a public space, within which a constant struggle for interpretation and care for public services are of vital importance to its existence, which represents the strengthening of the society and social cohesion through appropriate execution of public functions. The economic capital should support social and cultural development in order to (re)build society and the A-Team project is an exploration of this theme. The A-team will be confronted with the challenge of finding local answers to the questions of the social importance of Culture.
Specific objectives are:
- to map and review what individual cultural workers and public officials in Maribor propose as solutions for improving the position that independent culture today has within public financing (also by exploring the wider national frame);
- to perceive and implement a grassroots media-campaign, which will enlighten the importance of supporting independent culture in times of economic crisis, bringing attention to the questions: Who is the culture for? What is it good for? And who should support it?;
- to cooperate with local cultural operators inside and outside the Cultural Centre Pekarna;
- to open a dialogue with local administrations through the campaign.
For application please contact Polonca Podgorsek at email@example.com
The following criteria or principles are important to be aware of:
1. Relevance of the work to the local community: the process should be as close to, accessible and meaningful for locals as possible.
2. Collaborations: in order to build bridges with the local community it is useful to create partnerships with other local associations, organizations, administrations, individuals.
3. Process before product orientation: each A-Team starts with a theme/topic to address and it’s mission is to provide possible solutions through creative action.
4. Shared decision making: the A-Team process evolves as a set of equal relationships and an organic process between the three stakeholders: the artist, the centre (represented by the centres A-Team manager), the local community (represented by the mediator).