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Sanciai Parade 2017
Akvilės Snarskienės nuotr.

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Akvilės Snarskienės nuotr.


Vita Gelūnienė and Ed Carroll work together for over a decade. We practice in the public spaces where community, culture and politics collide.

We collaborate with local community experts and other specialists to co-create a body of work from the potential of people and place. Our practice with others involves inquiry, duration, experimentation, co-production and risk taking. We try to re-assemble the disconnected parts of social life into a connected structure. We aim to do our part for flourishing communities using art and culture.

The genesis to the work contained in this wiki dates from June 2012 when the Blue Drum Agency in Ireland, the Community Arts Partnership in N.Ireland and Kaunas Biennial in Lithuania started working together on an EU funded project. Since 2014 we continue to engage with ordinary people as well as politicians, civil servants, community activists and artists. In Ireland the work is focused on the Community Culture Strategy and work in Charlemont Street, Dublin. In Lithuania our work involves the neighbourhood association of Lower Šančiai. You can read one article about each strand of work so that you are up to date on the work in the autumn of 2017.





Researchers

We share all the work included in this wiki with many others. Here is a listing of those collaborators:
The Creative Team for Friendly Zone #3 was Viktorija Rusinaitė, Gediminas Banaitis, Jūratė Jarulytė, Veronika Urbonaitė-Barkauskienė, Maryja Šupa, Justina Padvarskaitė and Monika Žaltauskaitė Grašienė. The project was part funded (approx €7,000) by the Culture Ministry of Lithuania and the Embassy of Ireland in Lithuania through the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland Cultural Grant-in-Aid.

The international team for Friendly Zone #4 was Jeanne van Heeswijk (Netherlands), Mary Jane Jacob (USA), Susanne Bosch (Germany), Fiona Woods, Niall Crowley, Ailbhe Murphy, Ciaran Smyth, Niall O'Baoill, John Mulloy (Ireland), Fernando Marques Penteado (Brazil) Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas (Lithuania). The Žemieji Šančiai team was Auksė Petrulienė, Darius Petrulis, Jūratė Jarulytė, Monika Žaltauskaitė Grašienė, Kotryna Valiukevičiūtė, Arnoldas Stramskas, Viktorija Rusinaitė, Dionizas Bajarūnas and Gediminas Banaitis (Lithuania). The project was part funded (approx €100,000) by the Lithuanian Culture Counsel, Kaunas Municipality, Culture Ireland and Creative Europe.

The creative team for "Friendly Zone #5” was Monika Žaltauskaitė Grašienė, Kotryna Valiukevičiūtė, Arnoldas Stramskas, Darius Petrulis, Auksė Petrulienė, Arvydas Liorančas, Viktorija Rusinaitė and Dionizas Bajarūnas. The project was part funded (approx €12,000) by the Lithuanian Culture Council, Kaunas Municipality, Vytautas Magnus University and the Lithuanian Science Councill.

The creative team for "Friendly Zone #6” was Monika Žaltauskaitė Grašienė, Kotryna Valiukevičiūtė, Arnoldas Stramskas, Darius Petrulis, Auksė Petrulienė, Arvydas Liorančas, Viktorija Rusinaitė and Dionizas Bajarūnas. The project was part funded (approx €12,000) by the Lithuanian Culture Council, Kaunas Municipality, Vytautas Magnus University and Lithuanian Science Council.


The creative team for "Friendly Zone #7” was Darius Petrulis, Auksė Petrulienė, Arvydas Liorančas. The project was part funded (approx €12,000) by the Lithuanian Culture Council, Kaunas Municipality, Vytautas Magnus University and Lithuanian Science Council.

The people who contributed to make the 2017 Kaunas School of Spectacle and Šančiai Parade were: Alexander Neidert, Alexis Johnson, Andrius Kurienius, Auksė Petrulienė, Aurelija Kurienė, Aušrinė Zavališinaitė, Benediktas Gelūnas, Brian Fleming, Carolina Itzel Pailhe, Catherine Young, Darius Petrulis, Egle Gudonytė, Gediminas Kubilius, Gintare Sikorskytė, I Made Sutama, Inga Galinytė, Ieva Variakojytė-Reynström, Ieva Voroneckytė, Indrė Bielevičiūtė, Justina Mitkutė, Kristina Nargėlaitė, Laura Lapinskė, Lina Žebuolienė, Liz Pugh, Rita Namikienė, Romualdas Volungevičius, Vida Jasulaitienė, Vytenis Jakas, Triin Kibur and special thanks to Žemųjų Šančių bendruomenė, Baltijos cirkas, Kauno Suaugusiųjų mokymo centras and Šančių seniūnija.

The team who produced the Balsamic Poplar Spectacle were:
Auksė Petrulienė, Aurelija Kurienė, Carolina Itzel Pailhe, Darius Petrulis, Egle Gudonytė, Gediminas Kubilius, Ieva Variakojytė-Reynström, Ieva Voroneckytė, Kristina Nargėlaitė, Laura Lapinskė, Lina Žebuolienė, Rita Namikienė, Romualdas Volungevičius, Vytenis Jakas, Triin Kibur and special thanks to Žemųjų Šančių bendruomenė, Baltijos cirkas, Kauno Suaugusiųjų mokymo centras and Šančių seniūnija.

We are often surprised by what we find out and the wiki - experiences of publicness - will continue to draw out a synthesis of the work and to represent the narratives and learning as a work in progress. We value our exchanges, even when we do not know how to proceed or feel a sense of being lost. What emerges now is a need to invest more time in meaning-making with each other and across the boundaries that might divide us. The next steps are about continuity, about advocating for the cultural rights of community, constituency building; and the use of the virtual space as a platform to extend the discourse.


Ed Carroll
Vita Geluniene
last update> January 2018


Creative Europe Project 2012-2014

In one of our many applications for support funding, the Project Assessor for Creative Europe noted in her report that our study was based on "the correct observation that there has been an institutional failure to create conversations between arts/culture and other momentum's for social and political rights, and rightly place their efforts in the framework of developing a new consensus about the public value of culture. " That continues to be our work at community level.


People and Actions

Between 2012 and 2014, we went and had dialogues in three cities, Cork, Belfast and Kaunas. In Cork, the City Re Searchers themselves were on view helped by Cork Community Art Link and Mayfield Arts: moving from being present at a series of encounters and through various cultural activities in the city to a once off intervention in public space at the English Market. In Belfast, Community Arts Partnership was on show and programmed a series of community arts events and workshops in a specially commissioned Pop-Up space. In Kaunas, the artistic coordinator, Vita Geluniene programmed multiple formats: artist’s walks, talks and shows, collective project development and real–time interactive research in the Pop Up space. We made one change from our Plan which was to shift from Derry to Belfast. We had a concept for a mobile pop-up space and tested this in Belfast and Kaunas. We developed a public deliberation process for people to discuss the hot topics in the field of local culture significant to their context. We spent time reflecting upon our own ideas and values to see if we could formulate some degree of shared understanding and insights.
Aims

  1. To probe how to reach lay/local knowledge beyond the reach of cultural policy and institutional approaches;
  2. To travel to 3 cities (Cork, Belfast, Kaunas) and end with a reflective event in Rotterdam;
  3. To work using the tactics of engaged art practice and informed by an inter-disciplinary team.
Goals
  1. Assess and develop data sets of knowledge about culture and community;
  2. Incorporate and develop new measurement and conceptual insights about community and culture;
  3. Proffer recommendations for applying new methodologies to local cultures and communities ;
  4. Produce proposals and recommendations to reset and refresh community culture in society.

Outcomes
(1) Established a basis for a cultural rights lens in Ireland to assess progress in access and participation;
(2) Identified the value of precariousness and the role that informal practitioner collectives have for the creation of publicness beyond the publicly funded institutional framework;
(3) Established discreet cultural actions in 4 cities which calibrate modestly with the scale of the global challenge facing European democracies;
(4) Identified how culture can be more permeable for political agents/agencies to understand what capacities it brings to creating and sustaining public value beyond economic models;
(5) Produced and disseminated 10 pamphlets in EN and 4 in LT language.
(6) Developed a Community Culture Strategy 2014-2017 which has specific Irish and transnational delivery milestones;
(7) Tested a newly emerging platform to ensure the sustainability of the Friendly Zone cycle of social art interventions in Kaunas, LT.

Concluding Observations

(1) More inquiry necessary at this time into the ever changing ecology of local community culture whether it is the silent face of non-participation or the non-appearance of spirit in how we speak about the value of culture.

(2) Invest in meaning-making through cooperative practices with fellow practitioners by donating time and talent, knowledge and capacities to make a difference especially through small collectives and individual arts/cultural practitioners.

(3) Witness what culture can do and how can culture transform peoples and places.

(4) Protest the bad and the ugly aspects of the official trade routes of art and culture and assert new values.

(5) Reform the lacunae in all our cultural institutions and community movements through new interfaces, closing the gap between aspiration and action where change itself is limited.

(6) Transform peoples and places through practices that try to be brave in the face of fears.

(7) Form resistance to the non-performance of actions and stupidity in the administration of culture.


City (Re)Searches: Experiences of Publicness was part funded (€59,420) by the Creative Europe cultural policy research strand from June 2012 until May 2014. In June 2015 we received the final payment of €17,683,87 from the EU and wish to acknowledge the work of Stephan Wynants at Creative Europe in processing the final report and financial report.





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