Municipality of North Tzoumerka
Greek Ministry of Culture
-Cultural Association of Pramanta,Ioannina “Strongoula" -Cultural & Educational Association of Christ -Association of: Beekeepers/Tsopela/Matsouki/Kalarryttos/Prosilio/Dance Syrrakiotes,Ioannina
Common Ground will be implemented in the Tzoumerka area of Epirus. The goal is to enhance relationship with the arts, highlight art as a vehicle of communication, and provide space for everyone no matter age, social or political background to speak up. The intention is to cohabit, exchange knowledge and ideas in order to co-create through artistic tools, give birth to new consciousness on traditional point of views. The results of this effort will be diffused in more communities and Europe.
North Tzoumerka, South/East of the Ioannina regional unit, Epirus, Greece
Geographically, Tzoumerka is an isolated mountainous area with rich history, tradition and culture. The area's economy is focused on the primary sector, with a potential for sustainable tourism. However, tourism is hindered by the problematic road infrastructure which creates difficulties in accessing the region. This causes a societal problem of isolation and disunity of the local communities. We want to address this problem by embedding local traditions in a modern context of cultural creativity, digital interconnectivity and openness through democratic participation to collective activities. We want to explore practical ideas of overcoming the division between the periphery and the center in terms of democratic cosmolocalism, i.e. the interconnectivity of the local and the global.
We aim to strengthen the sense of local autonomy and cultural identity of the mountainous region in an open, equalitarian and participatory way which will focus on participation and collaboration as regards both social events and political decisions. We aim to revive traditional ways of being together through acquaintance with modern technology and innovative artistic expression that will be open to everyone. We wish to promote the approach of ancient drama, emphasizing on the chorus, based on Aeschylus’ saying that «Man has taught man to himself». We will provide the matrix for the cultivation of a more democratic, practical and free way of both communication and deliberation that could help local communities interact with each other, forming autonomous cultural and economic hubs.
The project will take place addressing both the permanent residents of the area and the visitors returning to their place of origin during the summer. We will bring together locals and visitors, farmers, traditional craftsmen and artists. We will work with people who are involved in cultural associations and collective co-operatives, trying to strengthen the effort they are already making. In the area there are traditional dance associations at Pramanta, the Municipal capital and most villages, collectivities for ecological farming at Melissourgoi village and a maker space at Kalentzi village. The latter have initiated projects related to open source tool making and commons peer production. We will also collaborate with locals that maintain local traditions through art and craftsmanship.
Co-creation of New:
-Dance-Games Apogeos: an existing dance practice-methodology since 2014, supported by the Greek Ministry of Culture & European Dance Centers
Collectively created dances at a specific time and place/emphasizing on the common that emerges from a shared experience
-Theater-a vessel for political thought-action/Workshop on ancient drama “Antigone” by Sophocles
-Short ethnographic documentaries/Co-curation screenings with International Dance Film Festivals of Europe
Open discussions/lectures/guests & locals/Theme: connecting art&democracy & reconsidering traditional relationship with arts
Creation of project data base/Distributed locally&globally
Passing the relay to the locals Challenge to create&share
The art of co-existing and co-creating will be the community’s stronger “weapon” on the constant fight of keeping the democracy alive and essential. The realization that everything is alive thus always changing and depends on our actions to do so.
A year from now we expect that our new common creations will be used in the community events as part of “who they are” and will remind them that they are the ones that can keep traditions alive, e.g. dance one of the dances co-created (Apogeos) in a regional gathering.
The local community will be empowered through new eyes on what art can offer to transform the known into potentiality, e.g. read ancient drama and discuss upon its theme in the cafes. Another example can be screening nights on the square, inspired by the project actions.
In a world confronting critical interconnected challenges it is essential to re-consider what the role of art is. If we are going to have to re-engineer society after coronavirus, we need art that is less about individualism and the “artistic genius” and more about collaborative practices that foster community care and participation, collective consciousness and action-taking in a colosseum scale. Considering Democracy as a practice for social equality, the expressive artistic tools can be powerful means of exploring and developing social and cultural identity. Art transforms the physical spaces but also the people it comes in contact with. Co-creating activities can bring social change and empower democracy in small and big scale, from a small village till the whole Europe.
Both as a team and individuals we strongly believe in the power of art practices. Our projects and activities so far are focused on bringing art into the community, bringing the community feeling into arts and create horizontal structures of exchange, shared spaces and co-creation.
The Common Ground project represents for our team the potential and the continuity of two long-durational community & research projects we‘ve been working since 2012 and still rolling: Apogeos Dance Practice-already mentioned- and Skytali (means: relay), it’s a volunteering educational exchange project for art pedagogues & public schools with the support of Greek Ministry of Education & Culture, funds by Stavros Niarchos Foundation and distinguished as one of the best European practices by EDN.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Office Expenses: 2.000
Publicity (Media/Website, Communication): 2.000
Travel Expenses: 2.500
Accommodation Costs: 3.000
Personnel Fees: 15.000
Guests Fees: 5.000
Equipment Rentals (Sound, Lighting, projectors, etc.): 5.000
Rental Spaces: 2.000
Please do not hesitate to write to us about any of the sections or responses that are not clear. Your ideas and feedback are valuable and very welcomed! Thank you!