Activists

Case Pyhäjoki reflects and radiates art & activism

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

3d0e04e51fb5c6310f91277d3bca9b3bAndrew Paterson got in touch to highlight the Case Pyhäjoki transdisciplinary expedition and production workshop having seen our earlier posts from Su Grierson in Fukushima Province, Japan.  A group of artists, researchers and activists undertook a drift to Pyhäjoki in Northern Finland at the beginning of August 2013.  Pyhäjoki is the proposed location of a new nuclear power plant.  This is their press release, and hopefully we’ll have some reflections from Andrew in due course.

Erich Berger and Martin Howse organised a geiger counter building workshop in Case Pyhäjoki. For the workshop, they designed an easy to build geiger counter and now, they have made a geiger counter building manual based on this design. The manual is available as a download from the project website. Photo courtesy of project

casepyhajoki.info * facebook.com/casepyhajoki * twitter #casepyhajoki

Case Pyhäjoki – Artistic reflections on nuclear influence is a trans-disciplinary expedition and production workshop in Pyhäjoki, Northern Finland 1. – 11.8.2013. The sixth nuclear power plant of the country is planned to be built in Pyhäjoki.

Participants of Case Pyhäjoki are for example artists, researchers and activists. The programme has consisted of lectures, meeting local people and expeditions of different kinds to get to know the area, nuclear power as a phenomenon, and what the power plant means to people. It reaches from the local to national and global. What is artist’s role in the changes in the area and wider? How can we develop methods of creative work in a complex and contested place of social tragedy and distress? How can we communicate this through to wider networks?

As well as talking, thinking and research, there is also time for action. The participants have created different types of engagements, prototype events and experiments, reaching from a large ‘thank you’ sign for those who refuse to sell their land to the nuclear power company, to the design of a ‘power sports day’, a local fairytale, aswell as a mural painting with local youth, a special karaoke playlist, and a DIY geiger counter building workshop.

The contributing presentations, workshops, expeditions and refections are documented online at
casepyhajoki.info and facebook.com/casepyhajoki

See also links to the broadcasted lectures on the website.

The final ‘show & tell’ day during the residency period took place on Sunday 11.8. at 14.00 in the local Parhalahti School, close to the location of Hanhikivi, the actual site for the planned nuclear power plant.

The participants of Case Pyhäjoki are:
Ryoko Akama (JP/UK), Erich Berger (AT/FI), Brett Bloom (US/DK), Bonnie Fortune (US/DK), Carmen Fetz (AT), Antye Greie-Ripatti (FI/DE), Martin Howse (UK/DE), Mari Keski-Korsu (FI), Maarit Laihonen (FI), Liisa Louhela (FI), Pik Ki Leung (HK), Mikko Lipiäinen (FI), Shin Mizukoshi (JP), Helene von Oldenburg (DE), Opposite_Solutions (RO), Andrew Gryf Paterson (SCO/FI), Leena Pukki (FI), and Heidi Räsänen (FI).  For more information on the participants go here.

Case Pyhäjoki is supported by Kone Foundation and Arts Promotion Centre of Finland.

Contact: Mari Keski-Korsu,
Case Pyhäjoki artistic director & executive producer
+358 40 506 5871
mkk (ät) katastro.fi

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.
It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

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Call for participants: Case Pyhäjoki – Artistic reflections on nuclear influence

This post comes to you from Cultura21

nuclearCase Pyhäjoki – Artistic reflections on nuclear influence
Transdisciplinary expedition, production workshop and events

Location: Pyhäjoki, Finland
Time: 31.7. – 12.8.2013
For whom: artists, activists, scientists, thinkers and doers + everything or opinion in between.
Deadline to apply: 5.5.2013

‘Case Pyhäjoki: Artistic reflections on nuclear influence’ is a transdisciplinary artistic expedition, production workshop and presentation events in Pyhäjoki, North Ostrobothnia, Finland 31st of July to 12th of August 2013. The sixth nuclear power plant of Finland is planned to be built at Hanhikivi Cape in Pyhäjoki.

The aim of the project is to explore artistic perspectives on the vast changes planned in Pyhäjoki, through the planning of a nuclear power plant at the site, and this way of considering energy production and consuming in the world. Artists can not only reflect upon and depict social phenomena and socio-economical relations, but can also situate themselves in between politics, activism and science. Can art make changes? If so, what would be the creative tools of activism? Life itself has become increasingly politicised in the new millennium and obviously this reflects on us all. There are plenty of art works that comment on issues seen unethical or wrong, revealing different kinds of world views. Also, there are community art projects that comment for example social condition that involve participants from different fields. But can the border in between art and activism be blurred more? Could it be involving yet aesthetical? Aren’t we all activists? What are other ways of activism in addition what we are used to think? And what is the change we are after? The nuclear power plant in Pyhäjoki is a concrete project that connects many aspects from NGO-activity, politics, local and global economical situation to energy production and consumption expectations as well as decreasing natural resources.

The local situation in Pyhäjoki, and the planned nuclear power plant, is a case example for the workshop. People have formed strong opinions about the plant. The small community in the area has divided into those who are for and those who are against the power plant project. The aim of the expedition is to familiarise well with the current conditions in Pyhäjoki and try to collaborate with the local community, although many questions may be raised with are not easy. What kind of political process leads to the power plant plan? What does it mean to a small, agricultural community like Pyhäjoki or Ostrobothnia area? What does it mean at the national and global level? Can nuclear power mitigate climate change? What are the alternatives to nuclear power i.e. zero growth or new means of renewable energy production etc? Pyhäjoki is an excellent case study during the times of continuing ecological, social and economical crisis of the different path choices which humankind can take in order to flourish.

The first days of the expedition are for discussions, presentations (both local, national and international researchers, activists and artists), getting to know the area and its’ people with trips and excursions. The rest of the days are dedicated for independent or group work that can lead to e.g. a project demo, plan, performance, artistic action tools, discussion event, intervention etc. locally or creating overall action structures that can be implemented elsewhere. There will be a final public presentation and if needed a small exhibition for demos, ideas and documentations in the end of this production workshop. The aim is to have something concrete in our hands in the end to continue the work in the future.

PRACTICAL DETAILS

Please send your letter of motivation to Mari Keski-Korsu mkk[-at-]katastro.fi by 5th of May 2013.

Case Pyhäjoki -project covers the participants travel, accommodation and per diems. There is also a possibility for documentation fee in the end. We will accommodate in a cozy Holiday Village Kielosaari and utilise some other spaces in Pyhäjoki.

The travel dates are 31st of July and 12th of August.

The selected participants will be contacted in May 2013.

ORGANISERS AND SUPPORT

Case Pyhäjoki was initiated by artist Mari Keski-Korsu and is now a collaboration in between artist-organiser and researcher Andrew Paterson/Pixelache, musician and artist Antye Greie-Ripatti/Hai Art and Finnish Bioart Society. Please read more about the organisers in the end of this post.

Case Pyhäjoki is funded by Kone Foundation and Arts Promotion Centre of Finland.

BACKGROUND INFO

The actual building location of the nuclear power plant is Hanhikivi Cape. 65% of the area is nature preservation with rich marine flora and fauna. It is also a rare land lifting shore where the land is still rising up from the sea due to processes of the last Ice age. There is no industry or energy production at the cape. The infrastructure for the nuclear power plant will be build as new in a so called greenfield location. Even thought the building of the plant will last for years, we are living the last moments to experience Hanhikivi as it is now. More information www.hanhikivi.net

The nuclear power plant is hoped to bring prosperity to the local community but there are still many people against the building plan. People are scared to loose their land, homes and all the risks the nuclear power production brings. Recently, the company responsible of the project Fennovoima Oy announced the plan to store the nuclear waste materials also at the Pyhäjoki plant, as the Finnish long-term nuclear waste material storage ‘Olkiluoto/Onkalo’ may not be able to store all the country’s nuclear waste. In autumn 2012, the German energy company E-on resigned from the Pyhäjoki Nuclear Power Plant project. It was the biggest investor in the project and was considered to have the best know-how of the building process. Other international nuclear energy partners have been approached to replace E-on.

The biggest town close to Pyhäjoki is Raahe and the neighbouring municipalities including Pyhäjoki have been very much dependent on one big employer, steel factory Rautaruukki Oy, established in Raahe in 1960. It was seen as an answer to economical despair after the local shipping companies declined, and now that Rautaruukki has been laying off people. Hence, the nuclear power plant is seen to bring new jobs and basically repeat the economic promise that Rautaruukki brought to the area previously. Another point of view is also that the plant can produce energy for the needs of the steel factory.
www.raahe.fi
www.pyhajoki.fi

MORE INFO ABOUT THE ORGANISERS AND PARTNERS

Mari Keski-Korsu (Artist, initiator of the project, organiser, born in Raahe)
Mari Keski-Korsu (mkk) is an transdisciplinary artist. She explores how ecological and socio-economical changes manifest in people’s everyday life. Her works have a political nature with a humorous twist. The basis of the work is in location, a place and people’s relations to it. Keski-Korsu started her artistic career with photography and then started to work with internet live streaming in the mid 1990′. This lead her to work with live video visualisations as well as net and video art, interventions, documentary, installations and location based art. She is interested in relations in between art, politics and science. The works has been exhibited in Europe and in several other countries around the world. She collaborates with artist groups, researchers as well as organises and curates different types of projects.

Pixelache (Contact person and participating artist Andrew Paterson)
Pixelache, based in Helsinki, is a transdisciplinary platform for experimental art, design, research and activism. Amongst our fields of interest are: experimental interaction and electronics; renewable energy production/use; bioarts and art-science culture; grassroot organising and networks; politics and economics of media/technology; alternative economy cultures; VJ culture and audiovisual performances; media literacy and engaging environmental issues. Pixelversity, its outreach and education programme since 2010, aims to be a ‘learning bridge’ between practitioners, cultural and non-profit organisations, interested individuals and larger institutions, and an outreach programme extending beyond Helsinki. Consideration is given to the relationships between the different activities, and how they may build up accumulative knowledge and skills towards future Pixelache events. The CasePyhäjoki project is part of the Pixelversity 2013 programme’s ‘Techno-ecologies’ theme.
pixelache.ac/pixelversity

Hai Art (Contact person and participating artist Antye Greie-Ripatti, director of Hai Art)
Hai Art is an artist ran international art platform with focus on contemporary art forms such as new media, sound art, environmental, ecological and participatory arts with crossover to science and education to intertwine international and local programs in Hailuoto/ Finland. The main activities of Hai Art include public sound choir KAIKU, international The Wilderness Art Conference, national and international artist residencies as well as courses and workshops for children and youth. Hai Art occupies unused spaces, beaches, a ferry, forests, fields and public spaces etc. in Hailuoto.
www.haiart.net

The Finnish Bioart Society (Contact person Erich Berger)
The Finnish Bioart Society, established May 2008 in Kilpisjärvi, is an organisation supporting, producing and creating activities around art and natural sciences, especially biology. The Finnish Bioart Society is creating public discussions about biosciences, biotechnologies and bioethics. Additionally it is the Finnish contact node in international networks of bioart and art&science.
The Finnish Bioart Society has currently 60 members, representing different art and research fields and other expertise – bioart, theatre, film, music, video, performance art, art&science, fine arts, media art, sculpture, environmental art, design, zoology, botany, ecology, environmental sciences, animal physiology, genetics, philosophy, cultural production, art history, engineering, etc.
www.bioartsociety.fi

Pro Hanhikivi Ry (Contact person Hanna Halmeenpää)
Pro Hanhikivi is a non-governmental organisation found in 2007 at Parhalahti village to preserve Hanhikivi Bay as a nuclear power free nature and amenity area. The organisation has 300 members (autumn 2012). Pro Hanhikivi activists collaborate with the officials both in Finland and in EU, organise Hanhikivi Days festival and other smaller event as well as try to affect in many ways to stop the nuclear power plant plan in Pyhäjoki.
www.prohanhikivi.net

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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Liberate Tate action

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

A group of artists and activists donate a symbol of alternative energy to the BP sponsored Tate Modern

The Turbine Hall – image from Liberate Tate blog – image by Ian Buswell

Watch the Vice News video.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

NOW – Permaculture in Europe

This post comes to you from Cultura21

11th European Permaculture Convergence, 1-5.8.2012

Gastwerke Kassel, Germany

Now! This year the EuPC will focuss on Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share in August. For five days 300 activists and designers gather together to start a dialogue on permacultures. Interdisciplinary workshops, lectures and art will be part of the program and will promote European networking and grand celebration.

EuPC stands for ideas themselves, not only for  financeable ideas. Communication is more important than reactions of others.

Speakers from all over the world will dedicate their focus on methods and the design of transition processes. Workshops on many different topics such as Deep Ecology, Wandelnde Gärten and Social Sculpture will be held in Englisch and German.

Adjacent to the Convergence, the traditional international Permaculture Design Course takes place in Kassel: Its challenge is to bring in ‘Permaculture, Art & Society’ as an innovative focus and approach.

Tickets and more Information can be found on the website of  EUPC or in the leaflet.

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

A House Is Not A Home

Nearly $7 trillion dollars went up in smoke with the housing crisis in the United States. The loss in social capital has not been calculated.

The Trailer Trash Project is hitting the road, taking a mobile recording studio into Southern California neighborhoods to the tell stories of families fighting  to stay in their homes in the face of foreclosure.   A House Is Not A Home is the name of our new series of bi-monthly reports for KPFK 90.9 FM (Pacifica, Los Angeles). We’ll dig beneath the surface of housing crisis to pinpoint how one foreclosure can affect an extended family, a neighborhood and community.  We’ll also document how a coalition of activists have come together under the umbrella of the Occupy Movement to bring about much needed change. The series will also include a traveling exhibit will online access to material

Help us report from the road on the foreclosure crisis in Southern California.  We need to raise $3500  to buy an audio recorder and a used van to tow our 1972 mini camper. The camper will serve as  recording studio and home on wheels which we’ll take into neighborhoods around Southern California. (This 16′ camper is not to be confused with our 33′ Spartan trailer we are restoring as a performance space.)  Click here  to make a tax-deductible donation.

Javier Hernandez: "You hear stories of people who loose their homes and never get over it." Javier and his 4 year old brother are pictured at a rally in downtown L.A. to lend support for a lawsuit seeking redress of unlawful foreclosure practices.

We’ll tell the stories like these: Javier Hernandez was a 25 year old delivery driver in 2006 when Countrywide Finance him a $546,000 loan on a home.   Before signing, Javier, who planned to live in the house and share costs with mother, father and brother asked the lender if he thought the family could swing the $3,900 monthly payments that would require more than half the family’s income (The family had no   no credit medical or car payments debt.)   The lender assured him that after two years the value of the house would increase substantially and he could then refinance with lower payments.

In fact, the opposite happened. In 2008 Javier’s mortgage payments ballooned The lender assured him that the value of the house would increase substantially after two years at which point the family could lower their payments.  The opposite happened. In 2008 Javier’s mortgage payments balloonedThe lender assured him that the value of the house would increase substantially after two years at which point the family could lower their payments.  The opposite happened. In 2008 Javier’s interest rate ballooned, raising mortgage payments to $5,000. They asked to refinance but were told the value of their home had sunk; the only way to get help was to stop payments and go into default.  In 2008 they were given three months to vacate the house.  While the family remains in the house, they know the axe could fall at any time.  Meanwhile, Javier and his brother Ulysses – both previously apolitical,  have joined the Occupy Movement to support the fight to keep people in their homes.

When Bank of America bought Coutrywide,

Faith Parkerwho has lived in her South Central L.A. home for 50 years.  An educator

Mrs. Faith Parker and her eldest daughter Brenda outside Mrs. Parker’s South Central L.A. home of 50 years.

who has contributed much to children and families in her community, Mrs. Parker fell on hard times when she refinanced her home to get a loan to help care for her daughter who had contracted multiple-sclerosis.  Her mortgage payments shot up from $900 to $2200.  When Mrs. Parker asked for a second revision, Bank of America told her she would first have to default.    In a letter the Bank told her not to worry, trust the bank,  she didn’t need a lawyer.  After months of frustrating letter writing and calls, Faith’s house was put up for sale.

Bertha Herrera, a grandmother and volunteer chaplain for has lived in her home of more than 40 years.  Mrs. Herrera’s troubles started with an accident and ended with eviction from her home in January.  The Trailer Trash Project was there when deputies with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department broke down her door and evicted her.  On hand as well were more than a dozen “Occupiers” providing support and publicizing Mrs. Herrera’s plight. 

This post is part of a series documenting Sam Breen’a Spartan Restoration Project. Please see his first post here and check out the archive here. The CSPA is helping Sam by serving in an advisory role, offering modest support and featuring Sam’s Progress by syndicating his feed from http://spartantrailerrestoration.wordpress.com as part of our CSPA Supports Program.

Balance The Kaleidoscope Video

This post comes to you from Engage by Design

What is the Kaleidoscope Project?

Interviews and conversations with experts on sustainability, design and innovation, reflecting theory and generating actions between a diverse range of disciplines including design [product, fashion, graphic, web, architects and interiors], science, art, activists, business, psychology and academia. This project tackles these conversations with two supporting outcomes.

The first is the 5 Kaleidoscope Videos, split into four different values; Balance, Meaning, Innovation and Culture. During each interview we asked how each value is seen and practised today and how they should be practiced in order to move towards a better future. The last video focuses on the tools and skills that we need to get to that better future, acting as a call to arms for designers and professionals about the need for rethink the way we practice our disciplines.

This short film is about Balance.

Engage by Design is a social enterprise developed through the final Master research of Rodrigo Bautista and Zoe Olivia John in sustainability and design. As a consultancy they specialize in strategic interventions that aim to support the transformation of your product or service into a more sustainable one.

Engage by Design’s research arm intends to act as a platform which enables dialogues and actions between a diverse range of disciplines around sustainability and design.

Rodrigo Bautista – Rodrigo is an Industrial Designer and has worked in many different industries including media, products, services and telecommunications. Today his work focuses on strategic interventions and tools to apply sustainability and design instruments within a company.

Zoë Olivia John – Zoë’s background in Fashion & Textiles has lead her into the research and development of better ways to integrate learning about sustainability for Higher Education students and tutors, particularly within the F&T programme. She is interested in finding new ways to readdress our value structure from one of linear economic quantity to one of circular quality.

Go to Engage by Design

Culture Beyond Oil publication launch

Liberate Tate, Art Not Oil and Platform warmly invite you to a get together to end oil sponsorship of the arts. Featuring a performance from singer-comedian Mae Martin, contributing artist to the upcoming Tate à Tate audio tour, the evening will be the first opportunity to purchase the freshly stamped limited edition copies of Not if but when: Culture Beyond Oil.

Event details:

Tuesday 29th November

Free Word Centre 60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3GA

10.30am – 6.30pm Oil daub performance by Ruppe Koselleck

6.30pm – 9.00pm Culture Beyond Oil Launch Event (refreshments provided)

Not if but when: Culture Beyond Oil is a publication that sets out to discuss oil sponsorship of the arts. The single issue, limited edition publication features artworks in dialogue with the BP Gulf of Mexico catastrophe and articles that set out the compelling arguments for an end to BP and Shell’s murky involvement with many of the nation’s favourite cultural institutions.

This is an open event – feel free to invite your friends and colleagues.

Featured artwork: Anthony Burrill, 'Oil & Water Do Not Mix', 2010. Phot credit: Happiness Brussels

The launch event will bring together many of the growing number of artists, activists, cultural workers and gallery-goers who have built the ideas, drive and passion that are embedded in the publication itself. The launch will be an opportunity to celebrate our collective visions and strategies for ending oil sponsorship of the arts.

During the day on Monday the 28th November, each copy of this full colour 1000 limited edition will be numbered and daubed with oil from Gulf of Mexico beaches by featured artist Ruppe Koselleck, as part of his ongoing Takeover BP project, in which Koselleck sells artworks to buy shares with the aim of ultimately taking over BP.

People are warmly invited to come and witness the process during the day, have a chat with people present from Liberate Tate, Platform and Art Not Oil, or browse some of the literature relating to BP and Shell’s global activities.

The Free Word Centre is next to the Betsy Trotwood pub. The nearest tube station is Farringdon (Circle, District and Metropolitan Lines) a 5 minute walk away. Buses that stop near Free Word are 63 on Farringdon Road, 19 and 38 on Rosebery Avenue and 55 and 243 on Clerkenwell Road. See map.

Liberate Tate is an art collective exploring the role of creative intervention in social change dedicated to taking creative disobedience against Tate until it drops its oil company funding. Contact: liberatetate@gmail.com@LiberateTate.

Platform is an arts and research organisation bringing together environmentalists, artists, human rights campaigners, educationalists and community activists to create innovative projects driven by the need for social and environmental justice. Contact: info@platformlondon.org@PlatformLondon.

Art Not Oil encourages artists – and would-be artists – to create work that explores the damage that companies like BP and Shell are doing to the planet, and the role art can play in counteracting that damage. Contactinfo@artnotoil.org.uk.

2012 Residency Application

This post comes to you from Cultura21

The Guapamacátaro Interdisciplinary Residency in Art and Ecology is a site-based and community-oriented program for artists from different disciplines, scientists, educators and activists, aimed at fostering socially and ecologically-conscious cultural development. The hacienda is set on rural farmland and located in the state of Michocán, Mexico.

The topic of ecology plays an important role for the program and is not confined to the common association with the preservation of the natural environment. The facilities include several studios, large common areas and ample outdoor space.

Each year the residency takes place in Spring (March through June) and lasts 3 weeks.

During their stay, participants use the hacienda grounds as a laboratory for the creative process and engaging with the local community in art, ecology and development practices. They are free to work whenever desired in the provided studios and anywhere in the property. Experimentation is encouraged as is discourse and collaboration. Daily group activities such as morning stretch and meditation, and occasional guided walks and fieldtrips to nearby towns and natural areas are often organized, depending on people’s interests.

Up to 10 people are selected from a mix of the following disciplines: Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Sculpture and Installation, Design and Architecture, Humanities and Social Sciences, Natural Sciences.

Application is open to professionals (or students who demonstrate maturity) from all countries, cultural backgrounds and aesthetics. The next residency dates are from the 7th until the 24th of June 2012, you are able to send your application until the 1st of November 2011 to http://www.guapamacataro.org/apply

More information can be found here http://www.guapamacataro.org

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

Review of the Cultura21 event “Can Artists Change China?”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

httpvh://youtu.be/010yAyQN2Dg

On June 16th, Cultura21 – together with partners – invited panelists with broad experience and knowledge concerning the art sector and the human rights situation in China for a discussion around the arrest of Ai Weiwei. The event was attended by more than a hundred people of all ages.

See also: Press articles on the event

One week after the event, on Wednesday June 22nd, we were very glad to hear about Ai Weiwei’s release, almost three months after the arrest at the Beijing Capital Airport.

But many questions remain unanswered – also by exceptionally quiet Ai Weiwei. The Chinese authorities’ statement that Ai Weiwei’s release is related to “his good attitude in confessing his crimes” (tax evasion) signals the ongoing threat of potential criminal prosecution.  Also, it must be kept in mind, that many human rights defenders and activists who were arrested or imprisoned for peacefully exercising their freedoms of expression, association, and assembly (rights that are guaranteed by the Chinese Constitution and international human rights law) still remain imprisoned. Read more (FIDH press release)

The topics dicussed on June 16th at Leuphana University Lüneburg remain of greatest actuality. In the following, please find a review of the debate “Can Artists Change China?”, synthesized by the FIDH in collaboration with Cultura21:

 

International Attention

The panelists debated the role of Ai Weiwei and the international media. “He may be famous in the West but within China his popularity/name-recognition is limited, which is also due to censorship”, said documenta12 director Roger Buergel. The panelists agreed that the Western media portrayal of Ai Weiwei is overly simple as it does not address the complexities of the art world in China or the human rights situation. However, it was pointed out that the media’s attention on Ai Weiwei does not alleviate the need to draw attention to the bigger picture of the current crackdown on many human rights activists.

Crossing the red lines

Ai Weiwei’s disappearance demonstrated that no one is safe from the strong arm of the government if he or she criticizes the government publicly and on issues considered ‘very sensitive’ by the authorities, such as the issue of shoddy construction in Sichuan which was deemed responsible for the deaths of thousands of students in the 2008 earthquake. The frustration and discontent of a majority of the Chinese population in the face of economic inequality and social injustice is boiling over in many ways, and in Ai Weiwei such anger finds an outlet that has tremendous reach in the international community (thus making him an increasing threat to the regime).

Spurious claims of economic growth as a human rights achievement

The Chinese government often argues that it has lifted millions out of poverty and that the Chinese people are freer now than ever before. Such propagandistic arguments mask the reality that the increasing wealth of the state strengthen the government’s ability to control domestic unrest and activism. It has been reported that for the first time spendings on public security have exceeded those of national defense/military. Even in the current context of aggregate economic growth, there are thousands of public demonstrations per year recorded.

Role of artists in social transformation

Artists take great risks to engage themselves in social activism, but they are a minority among the various groups that advocate for human rights and rule of law. Not all artists take political positions and many do not. Many artists are elitist and urban-based and their main objective is fame and profits. Some who wish to make political statements through their art also face other real-life restraints, such as finances. Foreign funding to domestic institutions, including NGOs, is heavily scrutinized, manipulated and restricted by the authorities.

Role of the international community

There is a need to better understand the complexities in China in order for external actions and advocacy be effective. There is worry that external demands may be seen as ‘colonial’ and would certainly be spinned this way by the Chinese government to generate nationalistic support among the population. On the other hand, silence is not an option. In fact, strong public outcry, including rumors that Ai has been tortured, may have forced the government to let his wife see him and prove that his physical condition was fine.

This post is also available in: German

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)

– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)

– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)

– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

Ashden Directory & Ashdenizen launch new project to find metaphors for sustainabilty

This post comes to you from Cultura21

By Another Name: New Metaphors for Sustainability from Wallace Heim on Vimeo.

To launch the Ashden Directory and Ashdenizen’s major new project on metaphors for sustainability, a new DVD was just released, devised and directed by Wallace Heim.

“Sustainability is a concept without strong or imaginative metaphors. Over the next months, we’ll ask artists, scientists, activists and cultural commentators to suggest a metaphor for sustainability.”

The first four responses are presented in the embedded video. (The film was shown at the Staging Sustainability conference, York University, Toronto, 20 – 22 April 2011.) Updates from the project will be posted on the Ashden directory: http://www.ashdendirectory.org.uk/news.asp

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)

– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)

– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)

– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21