Set in front of an unresolved territorial conflict and the friction built up from varying historical narratives of the countries in the Eastern Partnership and Russia, there is an increasing loss of trust among the participants in civil society and a diminishing preparedness to make dialogues and to outline a perceptible collaboration. Trans-regional civil society networks of the kinds that existed in the past are currently hardly there at all. Therefore, the imagery of ‘’the other’’ above all else becomes stamped by national(-ist) discourse. The sense of self and the sense of the foreigner are becoming differentiated more strongly with increasingly deepening prejudice. The obvious weakness of critical voices in Russia in current social and political developments strengthens the process of keeping people apart. The aim of the CIVIC MEDIA LAB is to breakthrough these negative trends by making unconventional dialogue and long term trans-regional collaborations between people working in civil society from the countries in the Eastern Partnership.
Alternative perspectives, and perspectives from outside, as well as involvement in a trans-regional networks make possible the promotion of dialogue and understanding through civil society multipliers, as well as a knowledge- and experience-transfer though a ‘’best practises’’ method. With these possibilities a civil society engagement in the entire region will be delivered with sustainable clout, preventing new conflicts and dispelling friction. In the CIVIC MEDIA LAB, the participants should abandon old ways of thinking by approaching media and artistic practises and interventions that you are not used to: the CIVIC MEDIA LAB stands as an experiment with media and digital forms with common experience in the foreground in order to turn away from traditional presentations of ‘’the other’’. Participants can activate the borderless freedoms of the digital realm and harness them for an engagement with real space and time.
As the body running the project, OSTRALE has established the conception of the CIVIC MEDIA LAB through many years of experience in unique international exhibitions, festivals and events: they commit themselves in their work to both the cultural valuation of interdisciplinary media projects and art production as such, to the valuation and production in whose meanings, regarding forms of expression, they can connect themselves to other cultural practises. With the CIVIV MEDIA LAB a creative platform for self-reflection and for learning at a global level is realised, a platform on which those taking part are urged to discover what is new, to inquire and question each other, to inspire and to challenge. The trans-disciplinary approach builds active bridges between various backgrounds and cultures, art disciplines, scenes and genres. The participants learn there to understand their activities as a creative force that – in terms of their long term dialogues with artists, producers, critics and audiences or publication – contribute in a constructive manner to dialogue and communication overall.
The format was prepared as a low-threshold ’’Do-it-yourself’’ format. The participants should become able to implement their new experiences and experimental methods within their individual specific locations and contexts. After this implementation participants will come together to present and reflect on their results and to analyse with hindsight their success factors, portability and the possible potential for approaches to intercultural dialogue. These results, as well as reports on different experiences, will be collected together in an online portal which shall be freely accessible to other civil society organisations. This media directed project is highly effective in multiplying itself. Digital formats have many possibilities as means of distribution. In this way, the public visibility of this project and its partners is assured within further arrangements like the Info-events of the Project and the public presentations and involvement in the already established events Konstrukcija and OSTRALE.
CIVIC MEDIA LAB can be thought of as a pilot project. It should be build up further from the experiences of its first years progress in 2017. Long term, a Network of participants in the countries of the East-European Partnership and Russia should be built up as well as a ‘’best practise’’ principle for an online portal.
Aims of the CIVIC MEDIA LAB
• Capacity Building: the promotion of creative handling of artistic and media formats and their utilisation for intercultural dialogue and understanding.
• To lift up our voices: the ability of the participants in civil society to present their engagement across regions and to record the impulse for social debate.
• To manage new domains: trans-media and trans-national formats for new forms of engagement and participation.
• To take down the borders bet• New perspectives: international exchange, dialogue and understanding between participants in the progressive political realm concerning common project work.
ween networks: to consolidate longterm the networking of participating multipliers, building up a sustainable infrastructure for independent further development for the CIVIC MEDIA LAB especially in giving impulses to new experimental, critical and media based projects.
• To have a multiplying effect on the Internet those who can’t take part themselves will be able to reach other participants in civil society through the online-portal.
There are two weeklong workshops planned in the Ukraine and in Germany in which participants in civil society can meet each other to exchange knowledge and experience, and to work together with German and ÖP facilitators and artists on a common network and media project for Place und Online, which will be extensively documented.
CIVIC MEDIA LAB Dnipropetrovsk
• Getting to know each other and presenting the areas of work and work situations – to determine the aims of the common work.
• Exchange of ‘best practise’ principles (officially).
• Exchange of methods, target groups, partners and ways of approaching problems.
• To work on innovative formats and media formats in civil society work.
• Self-awareness and self-examination and the collection of material (documents, narratives, media work dialogues).
• Public Information events presenting the project.
• Exchange between the participating festivals and organisations as well as a public presentation of results within the framework of the festivals.
[ CML call for participants ]
CIVIL MEDIA LAB onsite from the 11th of July until the mid of August in the hometowns of the participants.
• The continuation of the collection of material for the implementation of local media based projects.
• The involvement and activation of local communities.
• Exchange with other team members through social networks.
CIVIC MEDIA LAB Dresden
27 th August to 2nd September 2016, OSTRALE’O16 International Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Dresden.
• The classification and evaluation and analysis of the experiences of the teams.
• A collective presentation of the results of all the small groups in a collective artistic show (in documentary narrative and dialogues though media works).
• Public presentation of results within the framework of the art exhibition OSTRALE – a discussion of the success factors and possibilities for carrying the format forward in other contexts – and a reworking of the results in the Online Portal.