We headed into this (in total) six hour workshop with a lot of ambition and enthusiasm.
The context was a training workshop for the Europe Grand Central platform at a conference for European network Trans Europe Halles. And the host was an independant cultural center in Verona called Interzona – Interzona is now being closed down to give place to a fancy shopping center and a parking lot.
Our ambitions during a couple of hours of workshopping was based on the following whys…
The situation is relevant to other centers all over Europe facing similar situations
Cities policies are changing which is resulting in commercial interests taking over spaces for culture – We want to explore this situation to prevent it from happening at other places
Also to learn from each other to share and develop strategies of resistance between the indepenent culture centers of Europe
We want to pinpoint the situation at Interzona to possibly help them secure another space – understanding the affect with the community
One further objective with the activity is for the participants of the workshop to learn the Europe Grand Central platform and tools
LocationInterzona, Verona, Province of Verona, Italy
Its in the outskirts of Verona, an area that is developing economically and the developers think they can no longer afford the culture centre. There is no services in the area at present, it is very industrial built to previous industrial needs
The community around Interzona, residents, shop owners, visitors, audience of Interzona
Cultural managers from all over Europe attending a conference for independant culture centers
Organizations from Verona and Italy
How the audience/participants were reached or discovered
Our intentions before the Activity:
- We´ll find people at a conference of Trans Europe Halles at Interzona – contact lists to the conference, Facebook page of the culture network
- Going to the local church to talk to the local community
- Visit bars, shops, schools other institutions in the neighborhood
- The workshop participants are also be part of the exploration
How it was done
Željko photographed he message wall of Interzona as part of the documentation
Juana did interviews with at a café and at a bar using a standardized set of questions
Marijana got lost in Verona in the evening and was trying to find our way back to Interzona. She approached 3 people asking for directions – a bus driver, a lady waiting for a bus and a guy driving in the bus. None of them had ever heard about Interzona, but after mentioning Magazzini Generaly they immediately knew where to send her. Possible conclusion – connecting your identity to the history of the space where your center is situated can improve your visibility among the broader community.
Dylan made an interview with Davide, a cultural center manager from a theatre in Brescia
Burak made an interview Julia a board member from the WUK art center in Vienna, Austria
Karl Hallberg, Agata Will, and Christo de Klerk walked down via Molinara, a residential street near Interzona interviewing residents and business owners.
Emelie and Susanna used a stick walking around the premises to make sounds to delineate the space
Susanna and Emelie also had cultural operators saying in their languages “Culture Center” and “Parking lot”
As part of this activity, Bordr stories were booked.
We got partly contrary results to what we had expected. Many had never heard about Interzona, and we discussed whether this was a valuable result or not given our entry into the Activity.
Also we sensed that our results (seen above) did not really do very much to address our why (also above), and we discussed the reasons for this below.
Our main result was increased learning about the platform and its potential usage…
How it went
Main lessons learned
- maybe we had a little over the top goals for the project…
- We had short time, we did not suceceed to our aims – but we did quite a bit anyway
- Language issues – we do not speak Italian
- Technology, internet did not work very well
- We did not get enough background information to support our activity
- We did not prepare enough, some more time would have been good
Suggestions for the future:
- Maybe we should have shared more thoughts beforehand
- An added why in this activity was to learn the tool of Europe Grand Central, and this was much more successful than the Interzona activity. We spent a good while discussing the potentiality of the site, and also specific design concerns to make it better. This gave a good precedence for future workshops.
Dylan Butler, Brunnenpassage, Austria
Norbert Tako, Ambasada, Romania
Agata Will, Workshops of Culture, Poland
Burak Sayin, TEH, Sweden
Juana Rooijakkers, Alte Feuerwache, Germany
Susanna Dagny Mohr, Kulturzentrum Schlachthof, Germany
Christo de Klerk, Not Quite, USA
Marijana Rimanić, Zagrebački centar za nezavisnu kulturu i mlade, Croatia
Zeljko Bašković, Zagrebački centar za nezavisnu kulturu i mlade, Croatia
Emelie Rygfelt Wilander, Not Quite, Sweden
Karl Hallberg, Not Quite, Sweden
Marcus Haraldsson, Not Quite, Sweden
At 15:00 we met again at our lab space and filled out the Activity form and discuss its pros and cons
We split up after presentations at 12:30 to start the exploration of the space and our target groups
We started at 10:30 with warm up border-story exercises and went on with project intro and Activity design