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Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture
  1. First out of three online seminars during the "Exploration into Possible Futures 2020" project, focusing on ecology, future, agency, and local perspectives in the complex context of sustainability, will take place on the World Environment Day, June 5, from 12:00 till 14:00.

    The first open seminar, Age of Agency,will reflect on the role of art as critical, revealing, caring, resilient, and holistic part of ecological and social change. The ecological aspects of transient agency in the era of climate change - whether it is human or not, and how it appears through different artistic, local, indigenous, scientific practices, and knowledge systems in the higher north region will be discussed.

    The dates of the next two seminars will be announced soon.
    All the seminars are free of charge, but registration is necessary to get a link to the event platform Google Meets.

    You can join the event from your computer or phone, and the REGISTRATION IS OPEN UNTIL 3 JUNE via katja.rakkolainen@gmail.com.

    PROGRAMME
    Moderator: Antti Tenetz, Regional Artist, Arts Promotion Centre Finland
    · NEW PRACTICES OF SUSTAINABILITY AND RESILIENCE, Cross-sectorial creativity in the era of climate change – Exploration into Possible Futures, Antti Tenetz, Regional Artist
    · Caring Art Practices, Song of the Earth, Meri Nikula, Vocal Artist
    · Negotiating with uncertainty – local ways of building social relations with the environment in the North, Stephan Dudeck, DPhil
    · Future rooting from critical contemporary, traditional art and indigenous knowledge, Matti Aikio, Visual artist
    · Q&A

    Speakers:
    · Stephan Dudeck, DPhil.
    An anthropologist working at the European University at Saint Petersburg (Russia), the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland (Finland) and the Centre of Arctic and Siberian Exploration at the Sociological Institute of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He has established close collaborations with Siberian indigenous peoples and conducted long-term anthropological fieldwork with Siberian reindeer herding communities.
    · Matti Aikio.
    Visual artist who reflects future from stand point of his own art practise by seeing sami indigenous peoples nature relation and deep rooted view to ecology and time challenging of nation state system and western economical perspectives.
    · Meri Nikula, Vocal Artist, composer and a transformational healer from Finland.
    Meri's work is very visceral, often a sensual experience. Her own voice and body are the core elements of her creations. She has developed a concept called 'Vocal Mosaic' making collages of her voice in layers, using various vocal techniques. She calls her genre Global World Music as she is inspired by how voice is used in every culture on the planet and channels voices through various cultures across timelines. Her music is both very new and curiously ancient at the same time.

    PROJECT
    Exploration into Possible Futures is a sub-project of Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture, Creating New Practices of Sustainability – Cross-sectorial creativity in the era of Climate Change - project which focuses on examining four pillars of sustainability in relation to local resilience at north.

    Project is based on the idea that art and culture can serve as activators for developing social discourse in an eco-social and cultural direction as a response to climate change. In this transition towards more resilient and sustainable thinking, expertise in art and culture can offer numerous development views and actions that significantly support multilateral regional cooperation.

    The end result of Exploration into Possible Futures will be joint artistic-scientific output carried out by Arts Promotion Centre Finland in collaboration with independent curating group FridayMilk (Murmansk), Magneetti (Northern Media Culture Organization Rovaniemi), and other partners.

    The project is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture. Project is implemented by Arts Promotion Centre Finland in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland.

  2. On May 1-3, the cultural and creative industries hackathon HackCreative: An Industry Transformed took place online, bringing together more than 300 industry representatives and other stakeholders from 30 countries around the world. Participants developed a variety of projects that could potentially provide support to the industry during the COVID-19 crisis. During the hackathon, 26 ideas were developed, but the three most successful projects shared a cash prize fund of 10 000 euros provided by Swedbank.

    See the Award Ceremony here: ej.uz/AwardCeremony

    During the weekend, an online hackathon brought together more than 300 industry representatives from 30 countries around the world to work together on projects that could potentially address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis, which has had a significant impact on cultural and creative industries across Europe. In total, 26 ideas were created during the 48-hour hackathon. At the end of the hackathon, a jury of experts consisting of Solvita Krese, Director of Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Dace Resele, Head of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture Secretariat, Uldis Zariņš, Deputy State Secretary for Cultural Policy at Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, Alex Antolino, Creative Director of Typeform, and Sebastien Toupy, Head of Relationships at The Next Web, selected the three most promising projects that performed best in a fierce competition.

    1st place and a cash prize of 5000 euros were received by the team BRAINFOOD, which developed a platform where various representatives of the creative industry and artists can earn extra income by offering private lessons and masterclasses. More about the idea: ej.uz/BRAINFOOD

    "I think that a hackathon is a great experience, whether the participants already came with a specific idea or it is being developed in a short period of time. The time allotted makes it necessary to gather all the skills in an organized way and focus on using them at all times. We worked in a small team of 4 people and it was easy for us to both communicate and meet the deadline. I hope that other people will also use these types of events to improve their skills,” says Elvi Kustavus, a representative of the BRAINFOOD team.

    The 2nd place and a cash prize of 3000 euros for further development of the idea were received by the team #visitmuseum, which offered online registration and ticketing tools for museums, libraries, and archives, based on the database www.kulturasdati.lv. More about the idea:ej.uz/visitmuseum

    The 3rd place and seed capital of 2000 euros for the further implementation of the project was awarded to team Cosimo, who presented an initiative in which business can be combined with creativity to support unique cultural projects through tax relief, which acts as a donation. More about the idea:ej.uz/Cosimo

    During the online award ceremony, special prizes were presented: the team LaikaForma received a 1000 euro cash prize from the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) for further development of the idea. This team developed a digital platform that includes the largest archive of contemporary art in Latvia, educational materials, and a transparent cultural heritage. More about the idea:ej.uz/LaikaForma

    Another special award was presented by Make Room Global, who selected two teams that won a fully paid opportunity to visit and participate in the Innovation Lab program, which will take place in India in February of 2021. 5 people from each team will be given the opportunity to go on a very exciting knowledge trip. During the Innovation Lab program, all participants will have the opportunity to participate in a project in which 3 best teams will share a cash prize of 20 000 euros, which will help in the further development of ideas. The winners of the Make Room Global award are the 3rd place winners Cosimo and the team Business of Creativity which developed an educational online platform where the creative industry workers have the opportunity to learn the basics of business from other leaders in the creative industry who already run successful companies. More about the Business of Creativity idea: ej.uz/BusinessofCreativity

    Participants had the opportunity to work with 17 different mentors who supported the teams by sharing their knowledge, experience, and useful insights. Mentors included experts such as Līna Marta Sarma, computer scientist, hackathon veteran and former Managing Director of TechHub Riga, Edgars Zvirgzdiņš, Founder of Associates, Partners et Sons, Egita Poļanska, Partnership Manager at Accelerator Startup Wise Guys, Birgitta Perssona, Head of Point of Value & Director of the Cultural Agency Olivearte, and other well-known industry representatives.

    The cash prize fund worth 10 000 euros was provided by Swedbank. Swedbank is a long-standing supporter of many innovative ideas, which continues to emphasize the importance of cooperation and efforts to emerge stronger from the crisis. Swedbank has also previously supported hackathons such as HackForce and The Global Hack, which brought together members to work together to develop solutions to help fight the COVID-19 crisis.

    The cultural and creative industry hackathon HackCreative: An Industry Transformed invited all creative workers, event organizers, cultural workers, as well as professionals from other fields who wanted to create solutions by encouraging cooperation between different sectors and by establishing closer contact with the audience.

    Creative and Cultural Industries hackathon is organized by the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) and supported by the Latvian Ministry of Culture, cooperation with Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, and Trans Europe Halles network. NDPC focuses on improving operational conditions for cultural and creative industries, bridging the gap between various sources of funding, sectors of activity, and strengthening cooperation between project owners, business communities, the public sector, and international institutions throughout the Northern Dimension.

    Hackathon HackCreative: An Industry Transformed is supported by Swedbank, Embassy of Sweden in Riga, Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Latvia. Partners of the hackathon are FOLD, Loov Eesti,  Latvian Literature, and Workstreams.ai.

  3. The participants of hackathon will create creative solutions to prevent the crisis

    HackCreative: An Industry Transformed, a cultural and creative industry hackathon, will take place online from May 1-3, bringing together technology enthusiasts as well as creative and cultural industry professionals and other stakeholders who could potentially create solutions to an unforeseen challenge. In cooperation with Swedbank, the three most successful projects will share a cash prize fund worth 10 000 euros.

    The COVID-19 crisis has had a significant impact on the cultural and creative industries across Europe, preventing them from continuing their daily work, generating income, and attracting visitors. Subject to social distancing and security rules, face-to-face events, and the opportunity to experience the arts, which are at the heart of the industry, have been abolished, as has the creation of art and culture. In the current situation, it has become particularly important to seize the opportunities offered by technology to create cross-sectoral cooperation projects and seek new solutions to ensure that the cultural industry is accessible to consumers and that it operates successfully in crisis and post-crisis period. Participation in the hackathon is free.

    During the international hackathon, participants will work on projects with the support of experienced mentors and industry experts, as well as attend the free online workshops. Alex Antolino (Spain), Creative Director of Typeform, will lead a workshop on business in times of crisis; Sebastien Toupy (Netherlands), Head of Startup Relations at The Next Web, will talk about the potential of digital transformation; computer scientist and former TechHub Riga manager Līna Marta Sarma (Latvia) will offer creative technology training; Edgars Zvirgzdiņš (Latvia), the winner of the National Design Award of Latvia and the founder of Associates, Partners et Sons, will talk about design thinking, while Egita Poļanska (Latvia) from the accelerator Startup Wise Guys will give an insight into the product presentation.

    Three most successful ideas, which will be selected by a jury of experts, will share the cash prize fund of 10 000 euros supported by Swedbank. Swedbank is a long-standing backer of many innovative ideas, which continues to emphasize the importance of cooperation and efforts to emerge stronger from the crisis. Swedbank has also previously supported hackathons such as HackForce and The Global Hack, which brought together members to work together to develop solutions to help fight the COVID-19 crisis.

    Registration for the hackathon is open until April 30: hackcreative.org

    The 48-hour online hackathon invites all creative and cultural industry workers, as well as professionals from other industries who want to create solutions by encouraging collaboration between different industries and by building closer contact with the audience.

    Creative and Cultural Industries hackathon is organized by the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) and supported by the Latvian Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, and Trans Europe Halles network. NDPC focuses on improving operational conditions for cultural and creative industries, bridging the gap between various sources of funding, sectors of activity, and strengthening cooperation between project owners, business communities, the public sector, and international institutions throughout the Northern Dimension. Hackathon HackCreative: An Industry Transformed is supported by Swedbank, Embassy of Sweden in Riga, Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Latvia, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia. Partners of the hackathon are FOLD, Loov Eesti, and Latvian Literature.

  4. In order to identify the needs of cultural and creative industries’ actors who are working cross-sectorally across the Northern Dimension (ND) countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation and Sweden) and to be able to plan necessary future interventions, the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) has launched a mapping project ‘’CCI Cross-sectoral Cooperation and Innovation in the Northern Dimension Region’’.

    At the current stage of the project, CCI cross-sectoral innovation project actors are invited to submit information on their projects implemented in the ND area. The project team is interested in initiatives with proven impact, as well as in such projects and activities that have failed or faced problems.

    The information can be submitted by filling out this short form in English or Russian, whether by project owners themselves or any other person who is aware of cross-sectoral initiatives happening in the ND area.

    All contributions will be used as part of creating a bigger picture of CCI cross-sectoral innovation projects in the Northern Dimension countries. Some will be included as examples in a published report. 

    For any questions related to the mapping, please contact: petyakoleva@inter-cultura.eu  

    More information and regular updates about the project can be found here.

  5. The cultural and creative industries across Europe have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and both individuals and organisations in the field are trying to understand the ongoing impact and adapt to this new reality. A 48-hour fully online hackathon HackCreative: An Industry Transformed on May 1-3 invites industry leaders, creatives, artists, event organisers and culture workers to build new solutions for this unprecedented challenge.

    Cultural and creative industries across Europe, heavily reliant on physical and local experiences, have been disrupted by the current COVID-19 crisis. Мероприятия cancellations, travel restrictions, quarantine and self-isolation protocols along other containment measures aiming to protect the public against the pandemic have left the industry, heavily reliant on physical and local experiences, transformed and disrupted. In this time, creatives, freelance workers and events are particularly threatened by the pandemic at a time of huge uncertainty across all sectors.

    This challenging time is also a time of opportunity for transformation, collaboration and learning. Cultural and creative industries are in a strategically important position to promote sustainable and inclusive growth in all EU regions and cities both during and after the crisis. The 48 hour online hackathon is open to all creatives, event organisers and culture workers, as well as professionals from other industries, eager to develop new ways of building bridges across industries and creating platforms for collaboration with the audience. Registration for the event is available here: hackcreative.org 

    The online hackathon will not require previous experience in digital technology, only a proactive interest to work on new solutions and devote 48 hours to learn and work on projects together with other creative professionals from different cultural backgrounds and industries. During two days, participants will learn, build & share their creations over the course of a weekend with the help of experienced mentors and industry experts. 

    Over the course of the weekend, participants will divide into teams and work on their own projects - or join projects proposed by others. During this time, they will have the opportunity to attend six online workshops hosted by industry professionals and consult with several mentors available on hand at all times, offering advice on a wide range of topics that range from UX to event management. 

    Workshops will be led by industry proffesionals - Alex Antolino (Spain), Creative director at typeform, advertising specialist, documentarian and an overnight producer; Birgitta Persson (Sweden), COO at Point of Value & Director at Olivearte Cultural Agency; Sebastien Toupy (Netherlands), Head of startup Relations at The Next Web, open innovation and global events scene master; Līna Marta Sarma (Latvia), Computer scientist specialising in creative coding, hackathon veteran & former Executive Director at TechHub Riga; Egita Poļanska (Latvia), Partnership Manager at Startup Wise Guys specialising in business model & commercialisation; Edgars Zvirgzdiņš (Latvia), Founder at Partners et Sons, specialising in branding, product & graphic design. 

    Creative and Cultural Industries hackathon is organized by Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) and supported by the Latvian Ministry of Culture, the Embassy of Sweden in Riga, the Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Latvia and Swedbank, in cooperation with the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art and Trans Europe Halles network. NDPC focuses on improving operational conditions for cultural and creative industries, bridging the gap between various sources of funding, sectors of activity and strengthening cooperation between project owners, business communities, the public sector and international institutions throughout the Northern Dimension.

  6. THE EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-2019!!!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On 2 April 2020 St. Petersburg will host the XI Northern Dimension Forum. The forum is primarily aimed at fostering cooperation between business, authorities and civil society involved in developing of the Northern Dimension area.

    This year Forum will focus on CONNECTIVITY. NOW – boosting flows of people, information, energy, goods and services.

    As usual NDPC will host within the Forum a round table discussion titled “CCI Cross-innovation in the ND Region - How to Achieve Greater Connectivity with Other Sectors?''.

    Traditionally, the Forum will gather more than 250 participants representing Russian and European ministries, agencies, regional authorities as well as from the Northern Dimension area, business community and civil society.

    Invited keynote speakers are:

    • Alexander Beglov, Governor of Saint Petersburg;

    • Alexander Grushko, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation;

    • Alexander Gutsan, Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the North-West Federal District;

    • Alexander Drozdenko, Governor of Leningrad Region;

    • Paavo Lipponen, Prime Minister of Finland (1995-2003);

    • Markus Ederer, EU Ambassador to the RF;

    to mention but a few.

    Representatives from Russian and European ministries, agencies, regional administrations as well as national and foreign business circles and civil society have been invited to participate in the Forum.

    Forum is organized by the Northern Dimension Business Council and the Association of European Businesses (AEB).

    The working languages of the Forum are English and Russian. Simultaneous translation will be provided.

    More information can be found here.

  7. It is foreseen that fostering CCI ‘cross innovation’ will be an important element of the new Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture Strategy 2021-2024. Therefore the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) is launching a project, the core of which includes mapping to identify the degree of cross-sectoral cooperation and innovation currently taking place between the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) and other social and economic sectors in the Northern Dimension countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation and Sweden).

    In the context of this project ‘cross innovation’ refers to a process by which CCIs share information, collaborate and work with other growth sectors to promote new thinking as well as innovative products, services and activities. The focus will be on ‘cross innovation’ between the CCI sector and the digital, economic, environmental, social and education sectors.

    To enrich the ‘cross-innovation’ mapping component, the project will include a process of researching inspiring country case studies and the holding of three thematic workshops (in Norway, Poland and the Russian Federation). Finally policy and related research will seek to identify future CCI inter-sectoral ‘cross innovation’ potential and international opportunities related to the Northern Dimension countries.

    This is a European Commission project with the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) as the beneficiary. It will run from March 2020 to January 2021.

    For more information, please contact Dace Resele, Head of Secretariat, Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (email: dace.resele@ndpculture.org, telephone: +37129136112)

  8. NORTHERN DIMENSION PARTNERSHIP ON CULTURE: CREATING NEW PRACTICES OF SUSTAINABILITY

    Environmental Sustainability: Exploration into Possible Futures - the project has been postponed to Autumn 2020.

    The group of scientists and artists together will explore contemporary challenges raising from environmental and climatic changes during the research trip from Rovaniemi to Murmansk.  

    A week-long journey from Rovaniemi to Murmansk region will boost a series of topical events which take place in several locations on the way. Exploration into Possible Futures includes artistic research and creative field work, art interventions, openings to new technologies in extreme arctic places, themes and environments. Artists, researchers and other professionals from different fields from several countries around the ND area will collaborate with new colleagues, give their own artistic input to the event and reflect the work of others.

    The project produces collaborative and creative responses to climate change within the environmental, technological and socio-economical context across the Northern Dimension Area.

    Project is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) and  implemented by Arts Promotion Centre Finland in close collaboration with Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland, NDPC and other collaborative partners.

    Contact information: Special adviser Tomi Aho, tel. +358 295 330 850, tomi.aho@taike.fi

    First research trip to Murmansk Inversia -festival, project and collaboration presentations. In the photo: Tomi Knuutila, Panu Johansson, Antti Tenetz & Arttu Nieminen

  9. On 13 and 14 January 2020 the 10th PA-Culture Strategic Project Development Workshop was held in Warsaw. The Workshop was devoted to financial aspects of cultural engagement in the Baltic Sea Region. It provided brainstorming of stakeholders, taking into account key needs, problems and possible solutions. The aim of the Workshop was to present and develop next steps on possible Micro Funding tools as well as sharing good practice examples that are related to such. Any stakeholder from cultural and creative industries was invited to take part in the Workshop. The participants included both policy makers and practitioners. NDPC was also taking part in the event. We truly hope that some of the ideas developed will be implemented in real life in near future.

    Photo gallery from the Workshop:

  10. In the very end of November the first regional Nordic-Baltic Creative Industries Incubator network meeting - workshop was just launched in Helsinki.

    The meeting was organised within the project “Creating New Practices of Sustainability- Cross-sectorial creativity in the era of climate change” and the focus was on how Creative Industries incubators in Northern Dimension Area could foster sustainable cooperation within institutions and its members.  Participants from all across the Northern Dimension tried answering on questions like - “which areas of creative industries are the most potential for co-operation and what can Incubators offer to their clients? Another important question to be answered was – if the Incubator hub network is an internationally recognized platform for continuing cooperation, how then does the internationalization match with local measures?  

    After the event we had an interesting chat with one of the participants involved in the network project - Martin Q Larsson, director of Creative and Cultural Industries Incubator Klump, Subtopia, Sweden, as well as president of creARTive, the Swedish umbrella organization for culture incubators. The time schedules are hectic now by the end of the year, so we used the Whatsapp services in order to deliver you a short, yet well thought-through express interview that we carried out for almost a week. Here is the transcription of this interview!

    NDPC: Greetings, Martin! Can you tell us about the hottest industry sectors or topics in creative industry incubators in Sweden in 2019?

    MQL: First of all, it’s the grassroots approach that people try to do, and, I believe, it is equal to all sectors and businesses now (downshifting to local, small communities – ed.). That is why I actually would like to use a term “Creative Business” instead of “Creative Industry”. The word “industries” is referred to mass markets, big facilities, and they are more or less non-existent in our context. Second of all, these are businesses “in between”, say, something between circus and crafts, between music and visual arts were very popular last year.

    NDPC: What are your thoughts on the newborn Creative Business Hub? What do you think would be the most important things from what the future participants of the hub would benefit?

    MQL: I think the Nordic/Baltic creative network could be a huge possibility to develop international collaborations between the countries in Nordic Dimension. Another important thing would be the direct link to other countries’ markets and their national or local creative hubs. There would always be someone to talk to, the hubs would help as a base for collaborations - between incubators themselves or between participants/entrepreneurs.

    NDPC:Does it make it different in Northern Dimension to collaborate in comparison to other parts of the world? What is the biggest challenge to collaborate here if there is one?

    MQL: One of the advantages of collaboration in the Northern Dimension is, of course, the geographic vicinity, that you don’t have to cover that many kilometres to meet, and we are all more or less in the same time zones. We all share similar thoughts of important values for citizens and societies; what we feel is important to emphasize. My impression is also that within our region we see many differences between countries and people, but when we meet abroad, in Brussels or New York or Mumbai – we work exactly the same way (and everyone else believes we come from the same place…). Another advantage is that the Nordic collaboration has developed for a long time, so extending it to the other side of the Baltic Sea can build on existing, well-functioning structures: we don’t need to invent the wheel!

    Our largest challenge in collaboration right now is to engage and start doing things together equally. It also means that you have to start doing new things that you are not used to (like using Whatsapp… :). Usually, people already have a lot of things to do already, and even if we all have an intention to collaborate, we have to devote time and effort to it. Learning new things takes more energy than you expect.

    NDPC: Why do you think Creative Business Incubators have been activated and established right at this moment? What defines this age so much they were necessary more than in other decades?

    MQL: Most Swedish creative incubators were established around ten years ago, often due to a regional or municipal focus on creative business and the rise of new business incubators in many sectors. What I understand from many other countries, their incubators started because of the EU funding, but I have too little knowledge of these circumstances, and it differs a lot between countries and regions.

    However, it is clear for us all that incubators could play a much bigger role in our societies, both for the culture sector and for society at large, bringing new perspectives and opportunities to both artists, businesses and society. In the late eighties a German study proved that for each DM (Deutsche Mark – ed.) invested in culture, society got 5 DM back. This model is still valid, but largely forgotten, and it is my belief that incubators could not only be instrumental in bringing the knowledge back, but also upshift this ratio to much higher values for each Euro spent.

    The network meeting and valuable thoughts by Martin showed there are still a lot of opportunities in 2020 for creative business development and practice sharing, but all the hard work will definitely pay off! We are looking forward to see the Hub as a great tool to improving the exchange of know-how, experiences, market insights, contacts and collaborations next year and forever!

    The meeting is funded by Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture.

    Project is implemented by Arts Promotion Centre Finland in close collaboration with Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland, Creative Finland and Nordic Culture Point.

  11. Local artists’ work at the hairdressers’ and in supermarkets, creative breaks in the middle of a regular working day, a cultural “marathon”, “speed dating” to match artists, decision makers and citizens – only a few of the ideas born after a two-day intensive workshop at Kaunas Artists’ House. Guided by external design thinking experts Change Pilots, keen cultural minds from across the Baltic Sea Region gathered to work towards promoting local art and artists, increasing citizen participation, accessibility and ownership of culture and connecting cities and people of the region.

    Baltic Sea Cultural Cities project is an ambitious one; that is why it is crucial to invest time and effort in making its objectives achievable, its process targeted and its outcomes sustainable. This involves pinpointing the target audience of the project, the stakeholders that can help in its advancement and the best ways to reach them. With experienced and engaged project partners that is not hard to do: this workshop was only the start of this process with two more coming up in the new year. In the meantime, project partners remain active in generating ideas with each other and adapting them to local realities.

    For more information about the project idea, a full list of partners and project activities click here.

    Photos from the workshop:

  12. What does sustainable development mean in practice? How can it be better taken into account while working with living traditions? Download our new tool from here.

    Intangible cultural heritage can effectively contribute to sustainable development. In Finland, a concrete tool has been developed to discuss and analyse the different dimensions of sustainable development in relation to living heritage in a practical way. You can print out the tool from this website and use it for your own purposes – be it analyzing your own work, hobby or the activities of your institution. We hope it will be used by many all over the world!

    The four dimensions of sustainable development (ecological, economical, social, and cultural) have been divided into eight categories of questions that are interconnected. In the wheel chart you will find 24 questions to help to analyse and develop the current situation. This is how to do it:

    1. Choose a living heritage phenomenon or activity that interests you.

    2. Look at the topics on the edge of the outer sleeve.

    3. Choose an interesting topic and explore the questions. Try to be open-minded and avoid obvious answers.

    4. Explore as many topics as you like. What are the new thoughts (1-3) you could put into practice?

    The Wheel Chart was developed for and tested at the seminar “Living Heritage in the Nordic countries” held in Finland November 2019. The World Saving Clinic had 50 participants testing and further developing the tool.

    The wheel chart has been developed as a part of the project of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture: “Creating new practises of sustainability - Cross-sectorial creativity in the era of climate change”. The project is a creative response for supporting sustainable development by using art and culture as activators for developing the social discourse in an eco-social, economic and cultural direction.

    Team members were from the Finnish Heritage Agency (Leena Marsio), the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Antti Huntus, Aura Seikkula), Future Research Centre / University of Turku (Katriina Siivonen), The Association for Cultural Heritage Education (Ira Vihreälehto and Hanna Lämsä), Finnish Folk Music Institute (Matti Hakamäki) and Humap (Vesa Purokuru).

    Download the wheel chart here.

    If you are interested in translating and using the wheel chart in some other language, do contact us!

    More information:

    Leena Marsio, Finnish Heritage Agency, leena.marsio(at)museovirasto.fi

    Antti Huntus, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, antti.huntus(at)taike.fi

  13. On November 13 more than 60 participants from 10 countries attended a one-day long hackathon in Saint Petersburg. During the event, participants developed innovative ideas for the creative and cultural industries sector that would help build a more efficient, inclusive and greener world. During the pitch session, participants presented such ideas as a platform that structures and provides users with more objective news, a platform that helps others to learn and use smart devices and applications, and more.

    “Hackathons help people to get out of their comfort zone and learn something new. As most of the learning is done by doing. One of the things often learned in hackathons is the huge amount of work that can be achieved. Participants also discover a depth of knowledge gained from finding things in common with newly met people. The job of mentors is to provide participants with an external point of view and challenge the assumptions that help them to define their ideas,” says Mike Bradshaw, mentor and host of the Shaping the Future hackathon.

    “I must admit that working in a hackathon is quite challenging, because we had to be ready to pitch our work in a very short amount of time. Nevertheless, this hackathon was our chance to think of new ideas and learn useful insights, gain knowledge that we can now use in our daily work,” says Madara Apsalone, representative of the team Sorted.

    During the 3-minute pitches, participants exhibited such ideas as: an app that allows elderly people to socialize, for example, by becoming a tour guide or planning an authentic dinner abroad; a project of social gathering of neighbors to improve the nearby environment; a platform for kids that allows children to meet other youngsters around the world and celebrate each other's cultures; and more.

    The mentors evaluated various pitches from three different sectors. The most promising idea in the Livable Cities sector was deemed to be Safe Hands for Your Bicycle from a team including Ieva Treija, Linda Sleja, Annamarija Trausa, Līna Leitāne, Ingus Jakstiņš. This is an idea about an innovative and compact bike lock, which works through an app and reports any suspicious action. In the Circular Economy sector, the most promising idea was Sorted by Madara Apsalone, Andres Rodrigo Gonzalez Buzzio, Vadims Poronomarovs, Sergejs Korsakovs with their app that uses AI to help people sort their waste or recycle it. In the Diversity sector the Tribe Rights project by Ansis Līpenītis, Kārlis Oja and Zigurds Uldriķis came out on top with their idea of a platform where people can work together to solve a shared problem and jointly cover the costs of a lawyer.

    At the beginning of the hackathon, participants attended workshops that gave them insightful knowledge that helped develop their ideas. Mike Bradshaw, Head Coach at Sampo Accelerator and the host of the hackathon introduced the plan of the one-day hackathon. Trevor Davies, Director of Copenhagen International Theater talked about such topics as sustainability and how the digital and physical opportunities blend together to offer an immersive urban experience. Ernests Štāls, Co-founder of TechChill and TechHub Riga explained participants on how to think, build and execute ideas, how important teamwork is and how to be mindful and efficient on setting goals, while Alise Dīrika, Co-founder and Senior Manager at Infogram & Prezi highlighted the process of building a product and the importance of research and connecting with potential users to test a product. Before the pitch session, Gleb Maltsev, Co-founder at Fundwise & Pitch Trainer at Stoneful guided participants through the importance of successfully pitching an idea.

    Everyone who was interested in the topics and wished to gain new knowledge and insights were invited to join the open workshops that were organized in parallel with the hackathon event. Participants of open workshops had a chance to meet with an additional mentor Tatu Marttila, a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Design, at Aalto University, who talked about the interprofessional and transdisciplinary design action.

    Photo gallery of the event can be viewed here.

    Creative and Cultural Industries hackathon Shape the Future was organized as the VI International Cultural Forum by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation jointly with the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC). The NDPC focuses on improving operational conditions for cultural and creative industries, bridging the gap between various sources of funding, sectors of activity and strengthening cooperation between project owners, business communities, the public sector, and international institutions throughout Northern Dimension.

  14. There is a thin red line between a living and dead tradition, sharing and stealing, change and memory, diversity and unity, or obsessively protecting while making any culture available. An the thin red line can even look like seal skin. What makes intangible cultural heritage the hot topic of today for everyone - from careful safeguards and careless globe-trotters?

    We begin a series of articles dedicated to the ongoing NORTHERN DIMENSION PARTNERSHIP OF CULTURE: CREATING NEW PRACTICES OF SUSTAINABILITY project(that CAPITAL R will cover during the next following year) with an exclusive discussion from the “Living heritage in the Nordic countries” conference that took place in Espoo, Finland, from 31.10. - 02.11.2019. A conference gathering more than one hundred professionals from all across the Northern Europe and the Arctic - from Lithuania to Greenland, from Denmark to Sápmi (with participants from NGOs, museums, educational or research facilities to governmental institutions or avid practitioners), who try keeping traditions at good health according to the UNESCO’s Convention “for safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)”. It’s a document adopted in 2003, ratified by 178 states as of today, and defined many activities during the conference.

    Invited by TAIKE (Arts Promotion Centre Finland) and supported by NDPC (Northern Dimension Partnership of Culture) in Latvia, CAPITAL R had an exclusive chance to talk with two important participants of the event. They were: one of the most knowledgeable minds on the Convention Eivind Falk, also director of Norwegian Crafts Institute, and one of the most vocal researchers of Greenland’s history and indigenous heritage, Kirstine Eiby Møller, also working as a curator at Greenland National museum and Archives.

    Sitting in a rest room before the sauna at the conference venue, we talked, and with this transcription of our discussion, touching multi-layered, difficult and even contradictory topics, including not a single right solution, we began to uncover this international project bit by bit. A project that “focuses on exploring the problematics of sustainable development experienced by communities in the Northern Dimension area from the perspective of the arts based on the four pillars of sustainability” – social, cultural, economical and ecological.

    When entering the premises and registering for the conference, every participant received an interesting artefact – the “Wheel chart of sustainability”, developed as a part of the project. Although created as a tool to implement the UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of the ICH in Finland, it gave a better, universal idea on how to construct this conversation too. After all, the eight topics covered on the wheel (ownership, accessibility, interaction, economic equity, role of economics, ecology, nature, continuity) are important globally for both the tangible and intangible.

    CR: At first, I would like to ask you if there might be a particular and uniting reason that brought us and no one else here (talking about a geographical region north of Central Europe). After all, there might be some cultural similarities that unite us. Let’s put it like this – many people from the south talk about some kind of northern temperament, so there is an element that defines the north more than others. I also asked that question to myself and sometimes I think we might know the bathing and sauna culture a bit – from Latvia, across Finland and all the way to Iceland’s hot tubs. But one thing, more unique to that, might be our understanding of darkness. And I believe every person in the north might know how to use it or cope with it better, and might have managed to even enjoy it. What elements do you think could define the Northern European culture?

    K: First of all, Greenland should not be counted in as Northern Europe, and I can also feel it at the conference. I maybe see some things common with the Sápmi, but I definitely only feel Arctic compared to here. Sure, Greenland probably does have something to share with Northern Europe, since it was colonized by the Danes for a long time, and trough Denmark we usually have ties to Norway, Sweden, Finland. But, even though many people have stressed that we have many things in common, what I noticed here in Helsinki were the differences; but I mean that in a good way. I felt that I am definitely in Finland, not in Denmark, although it’s quite flat in both places!

    E: I am not sure we need to find anything that unites us at all. If you use the ICH Convention, there is a term “community” that is actually mentioned 25 times on the application form for the representative list alone. For five questions! So it is crucial to the whole process. I have been in the evaluation committee for four years, and what I see is that, the more you try defining a community, the more difficult it becomes. For example, you have three traditional makers of wooden skis, say, in Norway, Latvia and Greenland. So they come together, fill out the form and go for a multi-national nomination for the representative list. They all connect to each other, or they have some representative for the group, but when something gets thais big, it’s very hard to maintain the unity. It’s like the sauna nomination in Finland – they say that, out of 5,5 million people in the country, 5,4 million take sauna. So it is one sauna community! But how can they give the letter of consent? Who will represent them? How will they prove that this is a common interest to everybody? So, when you ask about the uniting culture of the north, is is very difficult to answer. Maybe blacksmiths have something in common, maybe ski makers, maybe Sápmi people have connections of traditions in Finland, Norway, Sweden and even in Russia, but to find one thing that unites us all… It is actually against the spirit of the Convention that tries to promote diversity. Why do you want to find something in common?

    CR: I believe that if we must also find pinpoints of unity rather than differences, it is very helpful. There was a reason that the European Union was created - to avoid future conflicts between different nations.

    E: Yes, but I believe conflicts have not much to do with the diversity. After all, you don’t have to water flowers the same way, or eat with the fork the same way to have respect of each other. But, on the other hand, many elements of culture might not need to be of a national ownership. In fact, if it’s a living heritage, it must travel around.

    CR: Do you think there’s someone who owns such cultural elements?

    E: Do you know El Cóndor Pasa, a song by Simon & Garfunkel? It has been used as an example, when they took this song from indigenous people from South America and made a big world hit out of it. But who has the ownership to it? Did any money Simon & Garfunkel earned made it to the the indigenous community*?

    CR: Is it generally okay if they only appropriated the melody and if it's another example of this living heritage that travels around?

    K: I think appropriation is never okay. There is a huge difference between being inspired by something and stealing. When you take something from indigenous people without any acknowledgement to the culture or any way of appreciating it, then you are just hurting people that have been hurt for many, many centuries. Of course, any nationality can appropriate from any other as long as you don’t step on anyone. I’m talking about another sort of “intangible culture” I would like to see dying out, and that is colonialism. We need to respect the fact - when some communities feel ownership of something, they don’t want to share.

    CR: How can we be totally sure they don’t want to share it? If someone buys an old record somewhere, and there are songs without copyrights, then who is to stop them from using that material? Even when there is any ownership, if the author has died 70 years ago without any successors, anyone can legally use the work.

    K: It depends. If we are talking about sacred songs of indigenous people, do they ever stop being sacred? When discussing about ICH, I believe you only own something if you really practice it.

    E: That is why the Convention starts with community. If they are the ones sharing any element, they have the ownership over it. It is crucial to the Convention, and shows a good way to respect any community.

    CR: What about recipes? Many of us eat things that were created across the globe even several centuries ago, and who could tell if any of the nations have their ownership purely? Recipes usually stand as a representation of sharing and even stealing, say pasta (Italians from Chinese) or bread.

    E:Two hundred years ago there were regulations in Norway that instructed who can bake bread, do silversmithing, jewellery, make furniture and houses. Craftsmen had strong organizations, if you tried to do any of the given things on your own, you could be arrested. I agree that today there could be cases of taking ideas from others, but I believe there are still many traditional crafts that are too complex to be stolen entirely, for example, boat building. It takes several years to learn it, and you need somebody, who can teach you and with whom you are in good relationship. Many communities are happy if someone is very eager to learn their traditions, although it can cause many problems too.

    There were studies done in Uganda, where part of their traditional herbal medicine is based on leaf extracts. But now there are big pharmacy companies that learn the trade and make patents for this medicine, they claim its ownership and leave the natives with no rights.

    CR:Meanwhile, according to the law, there is really nothing to protect those tribes.

    E:That’s right.

    CR: It's terrible to hear it, but the paradox here is that, if the community keeps a tradition, it is maintained the way it was planned, but if one wants to promote their heritage without eventually dying out, one must also take risky measures to make it accessible to the public.

    K: I disagree. You are talking about the accessibility of elements to all humanity. But then why are there differences between communities and cultures? What makes a culture different? It’s a particular way of expressing, navigating, understanding.

    CR: But all elements are still accessible, everybody can try approaching them.

    K:Not necessarily. The difference between you and me, for example, is that you could never see the world the way I do. There are some parts of my culture that’s always inaccessible to anybody else.

    CR:But what if someone really falls in love with you, creates a new family with you and lives in Greenland the rest of his life, and you both live long lives, say 90 – 100 years, and he really is into your culture, really wants to learn every single bit? You have children, and he even denies everything he’s been before. Do you still think he might not have rights to reach for every element and tradition your community can share?

    K: Of course he can learn all of it, but he will never experience everything the way I do. And I also think it would be so horrible, if any person would give up their entire culture to be with someone else. It’s what grounds us, and when we start to displace people from their culture, they are hurt. Of course there are people in Greenland, who want to be identified as a part of something else when they re still not born in the culture. But, when kids are born in a culture, they are completely shaped by the worldview subconsciously. That makes the difference between them and this hypothetical man, who might learn and indulge into my culture, but will never really understand it.

    CR:Would you understand your children in 20-years time?

    K: Probably not.

    E: But nothing of that stops you from learning any elements of ICH that you believe connect us as communities. If you are dancers, you can learn other dances, too, understand their meaning over time, their social and emotional function in the community. But there are other elements, rituals, contexts and their meanings, for example, in Ethiopian culture, that could be really hard for any white person to even understand. On the other hand, I don’t think there’s any obligation to learn an element at all. Sometimes it just takes too much time to learn it and might take too much to understand the element just like that.

    CR:But I still insist there should always be a possibility to learn as much as I can.

    K: That is true. But there are some things that might not be accessible to you not because of people not willing to give something away, but because you are not grown up with it. For instance, do you feel comfortable with silence? A lot of people don’t. But in Greenland we can sit together, not say a word for hours and still enjoy ourselves. And then others might enter the room and say that, oh, it feels like tension, people are too silent! And then, depending on what culture you are from, it might also be impolite to ask – what if they were fighting?

    E: Sometimes we wrongly decontextualize cultural elements in order to try to learn them. Alright, we all can learn how to knit socks. But very often, if you read or watch the documentation, it still doesn’t give us the whole context, a broader view of the real function behind each ornament or the whole process of why we knit. I have an example on how Sápmi people are stopping blood. Some time ago I attended a conference and participated in some traditional Sápmi crafts. I chose to work with seal skin, and, as you probably know, it’s very thick. The needles to work with it are shaped in a special way and very sharp. Like a blade. And, accidentally, I cut a little piece of the top of my thumb that started bleeding. I put the plaster on, but it continued to bleed when I started working again. I struggled with this for one and a half hours, when suddenly this Sápmi woman in her dress appeared after observing me. She took the needle I cut myself with, dragged it over my wound and said some mumbly, indistinct words, and it stopped bleeding! And then, before I managed to say “thanks”, she took my thumb and said – you know you have a very strange colour of your blood! It was an interesting encounter that I forgot after a while until later that night when returning to the hotel to meet other people, who attended the conference. They asked me why I was late, so I told them the story and, when I needed to show the thumb for proof, it turned out there was nothing wrong with it! It was totally healed! Two years later I was there again for another conference and suddenly saw the same old, short lady standing behind the curtain. I went over to her and asked if she remembers me. When she was unsure, I told her the story about this thing with the thumb and asked if she can teach me how to do this because it is really useful to learn how to stop blood! And she said – “Well, I could do that, but it will, most probably, take two years, you will have to live with me, with the reindeer, in our tent just to understand the nature, how things are working here.” So, you cannot decontextualize the element, take a piece out of something and think you can understand it.

    CR: By using this example, you touched another two topics on the “Wheel chart of sustainability” – ecology and nature. And today, like it or not, many traditions, especially near maritime regions, are eventually going to extinct. That one element, fish or sea food, disappearing will affect fishing culture, also traditional crafts related to endangered species, say, Polar bears, might mean that many intangible practices will die out. No doubt, we are to blame ourselves, most of nations only start thinking about overfishing problem when we have caught too much. The question is, though – can we maintain some of the endangered traditions if we know they are on the brink of extinction globally?

    E:At first, ICH or traditional crafts are, maybe, the most sustainable way to protect while producing. Instead of using machines, they use traditional materials, tools, techniques, are a good physical activity, are much better for the nature, consume less energy, and, in most cases, the practitioners also appreciate the source of nature.

    K:The way I see it (and the way I was brought up to think) is that, if no one has any interest in any practice, it has lifted its course, including colonialism. I was on a meeting last year with a lot of American scientists, all talking about the grimness of melting ice and how it destroys archaeological sites in Greenland and their science. They asked me to talk about ICH and, unlike them, I was not scared about anything dying out.

    If no community wants to keep the practice alive, I’m not going to force it on anybody, but I will at least record their last saying so we have it in the archives, proving it once existed. Call it an organic view.

    E:That is again the ownership of the community. Eventually, it is not an expert or professor at university that decides, what is important and what is not, and it’s the choice of the community, nobody else’s. If a tradition is broken then, according to the Convention, it is not regarded as ICH any more.

    CR:But then again there are examples of languages like Livonian that died out in most parts of Latvia not because of the community being interested in practising it no more. It died out because of, in this case, the Great plaque epidemics (1709 – 1711) and its aftermath on human count, literally killing almost every Livonian speaker in the largest part of the country. It died because of unforeseeable circumstances. Or the tradition of horse keeping. We had hundreds of folk songs about the relevance and meaningfulness of ploughing fields, but it’s been more than 50 years since they mean nothing to most of people, and horse breeding is something exclusive nowaydays. How should we feel about the people loosing their tradition? If they are fishermen asking for subsidies in the near future (especially when they are not related to any ICH, but rather pure industry), should we support them if we know that there might not be any fishing allowed in a few years time? When is the moment when the community says – we have decided we don’t need this tradition, there is no interest from younger generations, there is no demand, we don’t consume this any more or there is nothing left to consume? I believe it is never easy to say it, especially to the last ones physically and emotionally attached to it for all their lives, believing they practice the tradition at their best intentions.

    K: I believe we have the ability to revitalise traditions. Of course, it wouldn’t be the same thing, but nothing is ever the same thing. The way we do knitting today is very different to what it was even 100 years ago. For instance, a century ago tattoos completely died out in Greenland, they were banned because of the Christianity. Today, if you go to Greenland, you will see so many men and women carrying tattoos and finding strength in them. Not because they are not Christians any more, but because we are able to express a part of our culture that was forbidden by others. We might have lost the exact meanings of the symbols, but what they mean today are still important to our culture. So, yes, I do believe, when the time comes, we will always revitalize traditions.

     

    * In 1913, Peruvian songwriter Daniel Alomía Robles composed "El Cóndor Pasa", and the song was first performed publicly at the Teatro Mazzi in Lima. In 1965, Paul Simon heard for the first time a version of the melody by the band Los Incas in a performance at the Théâtre de l'Est parisien in Paris. Simon became friendly with the band, later even touring with them and producing their first US-American album. He asked the band for permission to use the song in his production. The band's director and founding member Jorge Milchberg, who was collecting royalties for the song as co-author and arranger, responded erroneously that it was a traditional Peruvian composition from the 18th century. Milchberg told Simon he was registered as the arrangement's co-author and collected royalties. In late 1970, Daniel Alomía Robles' son Armando Robles Godoy, a Peruvian filmmaker, filed a successful copyright lawsuit against Paul Simon. The grounds for the lawsuit extended that the melody had been composed by his father, who had copyrighted the song in the United States in 1933. After the lawsuit Armando Robles Godoy said that he held no ill will towards Paul Simon for what he considered a "misunderstanding" and an "honest mistake", admitting that Paul Simon is very respectful of other cultures. It was a court case without further complications. In regard to the Simon & Garfunkel version, Daniel Alomía Robles, Jorge Milchberg, and Paul Simon are now all listed as songwriters, with Simon listed alone as the author of the English lyrics. Wikipedia.com

  15. The first “Living heritage in the Nordic countries” conference during the ongoing NORTHERN DIMENSION PARTNERSHIP OF CULTURE: CREATING NEW PRACTICES OF SUSTAINABILITY project took place in Espoo, Finland, from 31.10. - 02.11.2019. A conference gathering more than one hundred professionals from all across the Northern Europe and the Arctic - from Lithuania to Greenland, from Denmark to Sápmi (with participants from NGOs, museums, educational or research facilities to governmental institutions or avid practitioners), who try keeping traditions at good health according to the UNESCO’s Convention “for safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)”. It’s a document adopted in 2003, ratified by 178 states as of today, and defined many activities during the conference.

    In collaboration with TAIKE (Arts Promotion Centre Finland) and close collaboration with Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland, and Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, NDPC co-supported the event “focusing on exploring the problematics of sustainable development experienced by communities in the Northern Dimension area from the perspective of the arts based on the four pillars of sustainability” – social, cultural, economical and ecological.

    When entering the premises and registering for the conference, every participant received an interesting artefact – the “Wheel chart of sustainability”, developed as a part of the project. Although created as a tool to implement the UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of the ICH in Finland, it gave a better, universal idea on how to implement such ideas globally. After all, the eight topics covered on the wheel (ownership, accessibility, interaction, economic equity, role of economics, ecology, nature, continuity) are important to every community and their heritage, both the tangible and intangible.

    The conference covered many topics, related to ICH and its temporary and contemporary hurdles, and offered 7 workshops and discussions on sustainable development, education, museums, cooperation, UNESCO nominations, indigenous people and safeguarding practices. It also included real experience of ICH like the sauna or concerts. Despite a large part of the conference being covered by the topic of UNESCO Convention, during the event there were several other topics that emerged and generated multiple fruitful conversations and debates during the conference and right after:

    Safeguarding the practices turned out to be a very fundamental topic to be discussed and overlooked during the event. All, presentations, discussions, interviews and also workshops, covering multiple domains, were represented here in order to contemplate on how to watch over the tradition and be sure it grows the right way, but also grows alive, appealing and adapting enough not to lose its seminal purpose and message. The major part of participants represented non-governmental organisations, therefore Aura Seikkula from TAIKE said for a reason that: "NGOs must understand they are very much responsible for living heritage", but every responsibility also comes with finding new different ways in executing such practices;

    After a survey was provided during the first day, it turned out that a large part of the participants also represent museums, archives, education domain and heritage centres. Also, as one of the workshops showed, museums are essential to the ICH, and two very good formulations on why museums are so important, came from it. Reetta Karhunkorva from Finnish Forest Museum Lusto said that: “nothing but museums can offer deep understanding into phenomena,” while Kirstine Eiby Moller from Greenland’s National Museum and Archive, when reflecting on their challenges with heritage gathering, admitted: “museum also serves as the secretary of the people”;

    Meanwhile, another aspect, related to museums and heritage centres, was covered when talking about the future and digitalisation. The topic turned out very important, when discussing about whether it is possible to capture ICH fully when digitalisation exhibitions, centres, stories, museums, archives, documentation. One aspect was the preservation of the fragile shapes of ICH, the other aspect was looking at the perspective of attracting the younger generation that also seems like a real challenge to almost every community preserving and maintaining the flow of their ICH;

    Another hot topic of the conference (that very much covers the contemporary life of any community during the era of migration across the globe) was the topic of displacement and heritage keeping. A good example of the phenomena today (not to say about experiences and memories from Sápmi people and communities in Greenland, who were presented during the event), there was the Egyptian bard Ramy Essam, who performed at the conference, reflecting on his past living in Scandinavia as a political exile. He performed his songs in a manner that represents a modernized Arabic singing, and admitted he was damned at home by his rough singing style and was not accepted. Now his songs are songs of rebels and protesters, famous tunes that restore humanity of Egyptian culture more than ever, thus Ramy proved that, even if the heritage sounds, looks and is used differently than we imagine it should, yet it resonates more than ever to the people of today, still keeping its genuine at its core and thus maintaining the ICH in a contemporary manner;

    One more topic to mention was the visitor culture related to tourists, ending with the raising blogger trend and, again, related to the digitalisation of communications. One concern was that all the contemporary means of education, media, ways of experiencing (e.g. short-term and not devoted enough) might cause challenges to safeguarding and also transfering ICH. Meanwhile, as Meg Nomgard from the Museum of Legends said: “it's very much related to ability to raise funding in order to protect many elements of intangible cultures”, and her quote followed a discussion related to whether many culture centres, museums, archives, or professionals individually or in groups should uncover their ICH deep enough to appeal to general audiences, thus generating funding from visitors (but also keeping in mind that many, particularly indigenous ICH takes a lot of time and a different worldview to be truly and responsibly experienced). As in an interview stated one of the most knowledgeable minds on the Convention Eivind Falk, also director of Norwegian Crafts Institute, that: “there are other elements, rituals, contexts and their meanings (in indigenous culture) that could be really hard for many other communities to even understand” and such conclusion is another hurdle that resticts ICH to be approachable and comprehensive to many in short term;

    After the conference, TAIKE facilitated the “World Saving Clinic” with the conference participants. “Believing in the power of co-creation, the World Saving Clinic aimed to empower experts in a new, bold future-oriented role” and used the “Intangible Cultural Heritage: Wheel chart of sustainability” mentioned before. “By using artistic methods as tradition-innovation creating tools, clinics are moderated as participatory innovation labs where biggest dreams come true and futures are saved. By stimulating creativity as well as experimenting solutions through a facilitated process, the World Saving Clinic employed a variety of tools to engage participants in envisioning possibilities for global change.”

    The conference was organized by the Finnish Heritage Agency in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Culture, Hanaholmen Cultural Centre, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, the Finnish National Commission for UNESCO, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and NDPC.

  16. Empowering lasting cultural exchange grounded in shared local perspectives

    The Baltic Sea Region is home to a large number of diverse, exciting and challenging cultural and creative initiatives. They are diverse in the sense, that they reflect our modern, international and culturally manifold societies. Exciting in terms of the potential to engage participants, to fascinate them with interesting new perspectives and challenging in the sense, that they constantly want to move forward, challenge established value systems and make progress towards a more equal, tolerant and conscious world we live in. It’s also in the hands of cultural and creative leaders to take responsibility and deal with issues, that otherwise might remain unheard of in our modern and dynamic societies.

    ARS BALTICA in cooperation with Cult-CreaTE project invites to attend ABCD workshop:

    Date: 13th November, 2019, 10:00

    Venue: National Botanical Garden of Latvia Miera iela 1, Salaspils, LV-2169, Latvia

    Programme

    09:30 -10:00 Registration

    10:00-10:30 Martiņš Eņģelis

    10:30- 12:30 1st part Workshop (with coffee breaks)

    12:30-13:00 Lunch

    13:00- 15:00 2nd part Workshop (with coffee breaks)

    15:00 -15:30 Discussion on how can we improve policy instruments within Cult-CreaTE project with CCT based on CCIs in the Action Plan of Vidzeme

    16:00 Excursion in Daugava museum with Aivars Siliņš (https://www.daugavasmuzejs.lv/lv/aktualitates)

    Please register your participation, it is essential: https://ej.uz/13CultCreaTE

    ABOUT THE EVENT:

    Community building in challenging times

    Community building is about trashing the comfort of playing with your peers and selling only your successes. In an age where transformation is the name, but status quo is often the game, there is a strong need to improve the impact of common action. What does the map of your actions look like, and how do you bring others in there with you? Build a community that surprises you, challenges you, and carries you further.

    Culture as a driving force for Sustainability

    In the Baltic 2030 SDG Report, 7 avenues are drawn for the region to improve its sustainable impact. At least three of these depend highly on cultural interventions. Common understanding, collaboration, motivating youth. But maybe the real challenge for culture is to take the goals and become more than human, more than culture, more than good enough. Culture is where ‘the goals’ can finally feel real.

    • Learn about Community building tools

    • Connecting the SDGs to your everyday cultural practice

    • Being part of a growing Cultural Network

    • Cross - cutting solutions between Cultural Creative Industries and tourism

    • How to deploy cultural creative industries into cultural creative tourism

    ARS BALTICA

    As cultural initiative for international co-operation between cultural practitioners from across the Baltic Sea Region ARS BALTICA facilitates and encourages exchange with the aim to emphasize the importance of culture for our modern societies. Advocating for the significance of arts and culture on the political level and promoting the cultural life around the Baltic Sea is the overarching aim. The platform has tree main action fields:

    > EXCHANGE: Bringing cultural practitioners and stakeholders from the region together

    > EXPERTISE: Providing cultural practitioners from the Baltic Sea Region with expertise

    > OUTREACH: provide on- and offline visibility for the indipendent BSR cultural scene

    Oleg Koefoed

    PhD, action-philosopher. Founder in 2016 of Growing Pathways, agency for human-nature relations. Co-creator of new collaboration formats for urban nature and urban farming in Copenhagen, since 2016. Co-founder in 2006 of Cultura21, international network for cultures of sustainability. Facilitator, project designer, network builder, and community engaging agent. Directs sessions for cultural community facilitators in European cities, explores how the SDG’s can sustain nordic copyright associations, maps urban cultural ecologies with Copenhagen Business School. Contributed to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ strategy for sustainable culture 2013-20. Taught social and sustainable entrepreneurship to asylum seekers for the Red Cross, and co-founded the SDG Leadership and Action University with Danish think tanks and municipalities.

    Marcus Hagemann

    As a cultural ambassador, passionate cellist and cultural manager always believing in the transformative power of music, arts and creativity, Marcus has founded, curated and directed many projects, festivals and formats of international cultural dialogue. 2002-2009 he was Artistic Director and Co-Director of the Festival Cully Classique on Lake Geneva. 2009-2014 he was Artistic and Managing Director of Nordlichter Biennale Berlin before he joined the International Cultural Initiative and Network ARS BALTICA. 2012-14 he was invited to curate the Borusan New Series in collaboration with the Borusan Foundation in Istanbul. In 2014 he was founding member of the association CRAZY4CUTURE to promote and support cultural sustainability. Born in Donaueschingen, raised on beautiful Lake Constance with intermediate stops in Cincinnati, Hamburg and London, he now is based in Berlin.

    Martiņš Enģelis

    The leading expert of Tourism Department at Latvian Investment and Development Agency, always looking for innovative and creative solutions, initiator and organizer of several events with a focus to future tendencies. Martins has run and organized excursion industry. His views and observations as travel professional he publishes in his blog Capital R. This summer Martiņš was leading creative missions RADI! To Latvian provincial towns in order to creative new approaches deploying creative industries to tourism.

    More info under: www.arsbaltica.net

    The workshop is co-organised by CREA.HOLM

    About the Cult-CreaTE project: www.interreg.com/cultcreate

  17. On the 23th to the 24th of October the third Urban Lab was carried out in Pori, Finland within the framework of UrbCulturalPlanning project with the overall theme Designing.

    The Urban Lab was organised to bring together urbanists, city planners, artists, researchers and academics, students, community organizers, politicians and activists. The main purpose was to explore key aspects of the Designing part of cultural planning.

    Over more than 50 participants form the Baltic Sea Region countries attended the two-day international Urban Lab, with the aim of discussing and developing new ideas for process designs for urban city planning to create cooperative and experimental cities.

    PORIS

    As a part of the Demonstrator Project, the contemporary demonstrator space PORIS was developed in the city centre of Pori. From the 28th of September to the 26th of October the contemporary demonstrator functioned as a collaborative space where the citizens had the opportunity to communicate their thoughts, wishes and ideas concerning the city centre of Pori. The citizens had the possibility to give their opinions on what functions in the city centre and what doesn’t, what it looks, feels and sounds like and what their future dreams would be for the city centre.

    During the last month over 2000 visitors has stopped by the demonstrator space and in total contributed with more than 1000 opinions about the city centre in Pori. The aim was to gather the most comprehensive picture of the citizens’ wishes and ideas for the city centre of Pori.

    After collecting the ideas and opinions from the citizens themselves, the aim of the Urban Lab was to create possible process-designs for transforming cities into cooperative and experimental neighbourhoods.

    Transforming cities into cooperative and experimental neighbourhoods

    Drawing on the collected ideas and opinions from the citizens, the participants at the Urban Lab joined co-creation sessions to develop new ideas within the process-design to transform Pori into an experimental city. As a part of the program the participants were split into groups and guide through four different sectors of the city. The purpose was to illustrate and discover new ways to use participatory processes within the themes of mobility and transportation, creative spaces, urban landscapes and community atmosphere.

    “I was surprised to notice how much the ideas developed in the co-creation workshops. The working groups were mixed with locals and international people within the project. It was really beneficial for our Demonstrator Project in Pori, and I think also for the international partners. They got the idea of the design process and now they have the tools how to develop them further”.  Kati Fager, project coordinator.

    Through lectures and co-creations sessions the participants discussed and developed new ideas for a process-design for urban city planning to create cooperative and experimental cities.

    Collaborations between Demonstrator Projects

    The second day of the Urban Lab was dedicated to knowledge sharing by exchanging and discussing certain issues and solutions for the ongoing design-process.

    “We wanted to overdo the corporations and co-creation sessions within this Urban Lab – it is time that we just start to work together”! Harri Sippola, producer.

    Through co-creations workshops the project partners had plenty of opportunity to present their specific Demonstrator Project and open a dialogue-based interchange with feedback. Simultaneous, local experts within the field of urban planning were assisting the work groups to rethink issues and give them practical advice for the designing process.

    Outcomes and the next steps

    The Urban Lab in Pori was a platform where all sorts of people engaged in urban transformation processes was gathered to develop and foster creative ideas concerning the designing process of the Demonstrator Projects.

    “The Lab has been a huge success, we have collected a lot of inputs and materials from both local and as well international partners, which we now have to work on. I am expecting this material will be summarised into a toolbox which the city of Pori later on will benefit from. And the toolkit will be available for all”. Harri Sippola, producer.

    “At this moment we are handling all the material collected in PORIS and during the Urban Lab and at the same time deciding what the next steps are. For Pori, specific, we are working together with the local city development department and are now involved in the official process of the future planning of the city centre. Around Baltic Sea Region we are focusing on spreading the knowledge and methods of Cultural Planning.” Kati Fager, project coorinator.

    Reposted from urbcultural.eu

  18. Introducing hackathon mentors and open workshops on November 13

    As creativity and culture industries have become more important not only in daily life but also in work and projects, The Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) and Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation is inviting everyone that would like to make the world a better place to participate in open workshops in Saint Petersburg on November 13.

    Acknowledging how important it is to implement culture and creativity in regional and international sustainability development ideas and projects, Shaping the Future hackathon in Saint Petersburg will gather participants from different countries across Europe. Hackathon attendees passionate about making the world better through innovative problem-solving, who want to contribute towards shaping a more inclusive world will learn the basics of building sustainable projects and bringing ideas to life with the help of experienced mentors. The Creative and Cultural Industries hackathon Shaping the Future will be held on November 13.

    Everyone who is interested in the topic and wish to gain new knowledge and insights is invited to join the open workshops that are organized in parallel with the hackathon event. Participants will have a chance to learn the basics of entrepreneurship, design and sustainability thinking on November 13, at the Parklane resort & SPA. To apply for the open workshops and see the detailed program, please visitwww.hackcreative.org/open-workshops

    During the open workshops, participants will have a chance to work with experienced mentors who have gained their knowledge around the world. Alise Dīrika (Latvia), Co-founder and Senior Manager at Infogram & Prezi will offer insights on the importance of design, while Mike Bradshaw (UK), Head Coach at Sampo Accelerator and the host of the hackathon has extensive experience working with new ideas and founders from idea to real products and services in the market. Gleb Maltsev (Estonia), Co-founder at Fundwise & Pitch Trainer at Stoneful will deliver a workshop on presentation skills to help pitch your idea to others on a stage, while Ernests Štāls (Latvia), Co-founder of TechChill and TechHub Riga will offer insights on the mindset of developing ideas in the early stages, Tatu Marttila (Finland), a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Design, in Aalto University and Trevor Davies (Denmark), Director of Copenhagen International Theater will host workshops on design and urban planning.

    Creative and Cultural Industries hackathon Shape the Future is organized as the VI International Forum by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation  jointly with the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC). The NDPC focuses on improving operational conditions for cultural and creative industries, bridging the gap between various sources of funding, sectors of activity and strengthening cooperation between project owners, business communities, the public sector, and international institutions throughout Northern Dimension. Read more about us: www.ndpculture.org

  19. International Conference on the Role of Communities and the Possibility for New Sustainable Societies will be held from 31 October to 2 November 2019 in Hanasaari, Espoo.

    Living heritage is a timely topic gaining awareness all over the world. In the era of global crises, where political instability, cultural alienation as well as political, religious and ideological extremism continue gaining validity, the seminar aims to tackle issues of sustainable development, social cohesion and cultural diversity within a context of cross-sectorial expertise.

    The UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has already been ratified by 178 countries that shows the willingness to act together for the safeguarding of living heritage. All the Nordic countries have ratified the Convention and cooperation across borders flourishes actively on versatile levels.

    Now for the first time Nordic actors will gather together for a conference in Finland to discuss about safeguarding, joint projects and sharing good practices. As urged by the Faro Convention, the conference gives special focus on the role of communities and NGO’s.

    The conference will consist of keynotes from all Nordic countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, including Greenland, Faroe Islands and Åland as well as from the Baltic countries. The presentations will highlight experiences in different fields of intangible heritage: performing arts, crafts, oral heritage, nature and social events. Several workshops will be held to give the participants room to interact with each other, learn together and to promote Nordic cooperation.

    The conference is free of charge. The programme is targeted at anyone and everyone working with intangible heritage: practitioners, NGO’s, civil servants, researchers, museums professionals, etc. The seminar language is English.

    The seminar is organized by the Finnish Heritage Agency in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Culture, Hanaholmen Cultural Centre, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, the Finnish National Commission for UNESCO, the Royal Norwegian Embassy the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and NDPC.

    After the two-day conference the Arts Promotion Centre Finland facilitates a World Saving Clinic with the conference participants. Believing in the power of co-creation, the World Saving Clinic aims to empower experts in a new, bold future-oriented role.

    More information and programme can be found here.

    Contact information:

    Leena Marsio, Finnish Heritage Agency, leena.marsio@museovirasto.fi, +358 29533 6017

    Jaana Tamminen, Hanaholmen – the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre, jaana.tamminen@hanaholmen.fi, +358 40 54 54 972

  20. Registrations are open for the Northern Dimension Future Forum 2019: Fresh and sustainable experiments of the Global North.

    Date: 28 November 2019

    Venue: Aalto University, Dipoli (Otakaari 24, Espoo, Finland)

    Organizers: Northern Dimension Institute, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

    Financed by: DG NEAR

    The Forum is open to everyone and free of charge. Participants are invited to register to the Forum by 14 November 2019 here.

    Forum Programme

    The Future Forum panels present technology- and human-centered sustainable solutions to societal challenges in the fields of health, transport, environment and culture, which are Northern Dimension thematic partnerships. Voice is given to representatives of civil society, university sector, business and government. The exhibition area presents fresh solutions to societal challenges – particularly those generated by students and youth.

    The Forum is a part of the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2019. It serves as the people-to-people pre-event to the "Clean and Global North - High-Level Мероприятия on Regional Cooperation in the North event", organized by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland on 29 November in Finlandia Hall, Helsinki. The invitation-only event will also acknowledge the 20-year anniversary of the Northern Dimension.

    More information:

    Northern Dimension Institute Lead Coordinator

    Professor Riitta Kosonen

    Director, Center for Markets in Transition CEMAT Aalto University

    riitta.kosonen@aalto.fi

     

    Dr. Päivi Karhunen

    Research expert

    CEMAT & Northern Dimension Institute

    +358 50 3878 159

    paivi.karhunen@aalto.fi