Messolonghi by locals (Messolonghi, western Greece, Sociocultural center Local HUB)
Communitism sociocultural center (Athens, Greece)
The European Partners Bundesverband Soziokultur e.V. (Germany) and ENCC (European Network of Cultural Centers, Brussels) have offered their support as advisers to coach our network.
Greek society is changing rapidly.We need to find new forms of social interaction and cultural self-realization that foster social cohesion and humanitarian values.It is our aim to foster cultural practices that include and make offers to all members of society based on active participation and cultural expression.To this aim we intend to build a support structure that empowers the local actors to establish sociocultural practices in their communities by the exchange of ideas and good practices
The project will mainly take place in rural areas in Greece like Karditsa and Messolonghi.
In Greece, and particularly in the periphery, the active participation of citizens in the making of the public and cultural sphere seems to be underdeveloped. There is a common sense of distrust in the governments - both local and national – as well as a lack of trust in the citizens and their possibly valuable contribution to a healthy public life that supports social cohesion and the creativity of citizens. Instead of empowerment for the engagement of citizens, too often we are faced with obstacles due to complicated administrative structures, which leads to a widely spread apathy concerning active engagement. This is on top of the general lack of funds, which are not the main difficulty as most of the engagement so far is done on the basis of voluntary engagement.
HASC is an initiative for the foundation of a democratic community among the emerging SCs in Greece that will be promoting the interests of the sector and of its members,while respecting their autonomy and diversity. The few,new that already exist SCs have no connections among them because there are not any meeting point for the moment.We wish to provide the framework,the space and the opportunity for actors in the growing sociocultural scene in Greece to benefit from their interaction and from international cooperation.This proposal reflects in the growing need of the people,especially in the rural side of Greece,to shape social processes through greater participation in cultural life.SCs provide new opportunities for active participation and constitute the needed physical spaces.
Sociocultural Centers(SCs) are essentially societies of active citizens that employ art and culture to address social challenges.All social groups based on respect of every lifeforms,which feel excluded because of their special characteristics fit and hosted in the already existing Greek SCs.The HASC will be a democratic society of SCs that responds to the needs and promotes the development of its members,thus indirectly but organically promoting the voice of local active citizens to the regional,national and European level.Stakeholders of socioculture in Greece include also public and private institutions,foundations,municipalities,which we plan to keep informed on our constitutional development and consider their views and priorities in designing a blueprint of sociocultural development
At the first stage of project implementation, the partners will attempt to set the definition of a SC in Greece by setting the criteria for membership at HASC. This will be achieved with our digital communication and access to each other’s databases of knowledge but also with physical meetings that will help to build up the agenda and the Open Call for participants in the 1st HASC meeting in Karditsa, March 2021. The next meeting will be held in September 2021 in Messolonghi where the participants will be facilitated into developing the Statute of the new organization, inspired also by european examples. A third meeting organized in December 2021 will officially launch HASC and conclude with a Conference for developing a roadmap of sociocultural development in Greece.
The implementation of the project proposal will lead to the legal establishment of HASC with the specific characteristics decided by the educated opinion and participation of its Greek members. The legacy of the project will be an extended international network of supporters for the SCs in Greece and a new institution representing socioculture. The establishment of HASC will create new opportunities for the participation of people, especially from regional Greece, in activities that promote culture, democracy and active citizenship as mediums of social change. At a minimum level we will have initiated a public dialogue among our target audiences, develop a Greek definition of socioculture, bring together those who represent it and learn from successful European examples of cooperation.
The threats for democracy in Greece and broadly in Europe are becoming ever greater in conditions of austerity, high migration flows and health insecurity. Sociocultural initiatives can play a critical role in developing a resilient, tolerant and active civil society, and realize the potential that other Networks of SCs have already run successfully in Europe. Another purpose for developing HASC is to represent the Greek SCs in European networks and fora, and claim equal participation in the making of European and international developments and policies concerning socioculture. With the establishment of HASC we aspire to contribute to collective efforts for promoting the values of socioculture in Europe, as well as globally.
Our commitment to the sociocultural ideals guides our efforts for creating a common ground of interaction for all SCs in Greece and beyond. This common ground can produce benefits not only for the cultural and social development of our local citizens but also for many aspects of Greek democracy. The unity of our purpose can drive the unity of our action towards building up and representing socioculture in all layers with HASC, promoting the equal participation of people to cultural and social life, the “decentralization” of culture in Greece from main urban centers and large institutions, and the recognition of the fair share of participation of SCs in the cultural production of Greece and Europe.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Management and operational cost 17.000
Travel and accommodation cost 13.000
Digital design and media publications 5.000
Rents and registrations 5.000
Conference cost 5.000
Unexpected costs 5.000
We welcome recommendations from experienced members of the online community. We appreciate any valid feedback for our idea and we are willing to connect with everyone interested in our initiative.