ART TRANSFORMING URBAN SPACES
The Erasmus+ funded project ‘Art Transforming Urban Spaces’ is a collaboration between eight partner organisations: Dear Hunter (the Netherlands), Mosaica (Ukraine), Impact VZW (Belgium), Urban Forms (Poland), Oberliht (Moldova), P_Public (Greece), Art, Culture & Society (Sweden) and Balkan Initiative for Tolerance (Serbia). It aims to develop the abilities of cultural operators active in the youth field in using public art projects to motivate engaged, inclusive communities. Through a training course for professionals in the area, hosted at the city of Borås, Sweden from 15th- 22nd May, 2016, it will bring together 26 actors working at the crossroads of public art, urban design, youth and civic engagement to develop innovative models for using participatory processes in public art interventions.
As ever, Europe is growing. This means that finding new ways to facilitate dialogue and discussion in our changing, diverse cities is of vital importance to ongoing social cohesion. We believe that the cultural and creative sectors can take a lead role in creating spaces for social intervention and alternative means of participating in the democratic process. Public art has both deep roots in civic engagement and a part to play in culture-led city development. When participatory processes i.e. working with the community, are placed at the centre, it has the potential to empower community engagement: strengthening civic identity, feelings of ownership and recognition. High unemployment levels which breed conditions for alienation, exclusion and discontent have left European youth particularly vulnerable. This project supports the professional development of those who work with this demographic, providing them with a space to develop high quality methods through intercultural, collaborative working practices. The main activity of the project: the training course, will unpack key concepts in the implementation of public art projects: community, participation and civic engagement, with a youth-orientated focus. In order to do so it will utilise the principles of non formal education: expert input, peer learning and individual reflection. The city of Borås will act as a site where meaningful, concrete tasks can be set so that theoretical input and prototypes can be taken into the real world and tested
The 6 key objectives of the training course are:
- to identify, describe and discuss key concepts underlying public art practices: community, participation and civic engagement
– to examine, contrast and evaluate different tools which are used translate these concepts into participatory practices that are implemented with the youth demographic
– to operationalise and test knowledge of the concepts and tools by undertaking concrete tasks in physical site
– to synthesise these concepts and tools into a working approach appropriate for a particular case by designing a proposal for a participatory public artwork
– to develop soft and transferable skills: communication, presentation, interpersonal, time and project management
– to practise, assess and reflect upon the value, issues and benefits of intercultural learning and working environments
The expectations are that this project will provide partners and participants with the competences to take their collaboration to the next level by implementing these results through a future, larger scale project.