Marta Martins (ARTEMREDE)
Creative Europe (2014 -2020) - Culture
Stronger Peripheries: A Southern Coalition / Sp
Project partners are gathered in Southern Coalition, an initiative targeting at strengthening the arts and culture in Southern European countries, especially focusing on participatory approaches and capacity-building. It gathers 14 organizations from 10 countries: all to some extent identifying with a loosely defined ‘Southern Europe’, all committed to foster local community engagement in the arts and all devoted to overcoming the obstacles in their specific contexts by increasing mutual cooperation. It is mainly a cultural concept instead of a geographical one, where “South” is broadly understood. It refers particularly to those affected by the political and economic crisis, interested in collaborative strategies based on a set of common values and needs that derive specifically from working in the peripheries.
Although in different ways, all the countries involved in the project share common challenges:
• unstable cultural policy contexts;
• vulnerable ecosystems, in which arts organizations cope with less funding, face bureaucratic obstacles and are generally severely under-resourced for the work they carry out;
• widespread need for professional training in the sector and capacity-building schemes that enhance the sustainability of the sector;
• a lack of knowledge of audiences needs results in low audience numbers; • shrinking of funds for artistic production, replaced by instrumental funding for social programs:
• a sense of being ‘peripheral’, with distinct implications in different cases: because the country is a small economy, because of their geo-political situation or because they work in rural areas or in territories marked by strong inequalities. Southern Coalition has identified 3 main areas of action to be tackled in the project Stronger Peripheries: collaborative strategies, capacity-building and cultural policies. Its priorities are supporting training, audience development, and inclusive cultural policies in the periphery.