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Cultural Workers Exchange Engine Room Europe / Trans Europe Halleswww.teh.net, www.melkweg.nl,
The Cultural Workers Exchange is part of the Engine Europe Project (2011-2014) of Trans Europe Halles, the European network of independent cultural centres in Europe (www.teh.net). 30 cultural workers from all Trans Europe Halles centres, of all levels of artistic management and production, communications and related areas, will be exchanged over 2 years.
This project builds on previous TEH programmes such as the Youth Exchange Project (YEP) from 1997-1999 and Changing Room Staff Exchange (2009-2010) (http://changingroom.teh.net/blog/ – the website is currently not updated anymore).
Placements last from one week to one month, and will include shadowing as well as hands-on opportunities – with an emphasis on practice-based learning. Experiences and knowledge developed during these exchanges will be shared online via the TEH website/resource.
Currently, this project is only open to staff of the Trans Europe Halles network. However, we would like to investigate if there are similar projects in Brazil in the cultural and digital domain, and what the possibilities are for developing programmes that can lead to an exchange between Brazil in Europe.
I am also currently facilitating a Call for Curators/Artists in Residence for mobile media art platforms between the Netherlands Media Arts Institute (NIMk) and arte.mov. However, I’ve been considering how could exchanges like these be opened up not only to artists and curators, but also to other staff and cultural workers?
Traditionally, residency opportunities are limited to artists (while recently there are several that are being opened up to curators). I believe that residencies, exchanges and placements are a great tool for continuous learning, professional development and knowledge exchange for cultural workers who often act as multipliers within their own organizations. There is a lack of informal as well as formal education opportunities for people working in the independent/non-mainstream/media arts sector.
Several informal networks among media labs have recently formed in Europe out of initiatives such as Future of the Lab (BALTAN Laboratories, Eindhoven/NL) or Lab2Lab (PING, Nantes/FR, KIBU Budpest/HU & Medialab Prado, Madrid/ES), which have also stressed the need for more exchange and continuous learning environments.
I am aware of the platform Rede/labs (facilitated by Felipe Fonseca), which has been promoting actions to connect different independent labs across Brazil through knowledge exchange.
This workshop intends to be a platform for knowledge exchange, where we will address/discuss some concrete questions, such as what is really lacking in such networks, what can we build on and are there existing structures that we can learn from to move forwards?