Živi Atelje DK (Living Atelier DK)
Udruga Stakleni Svijet
Anja Slapnicar | Contemporary Ceramics
The project integrates two programs within our organization and we have local organisations and institutions during the traveling component of our project to smaller communities.
Project empowers local and migrant women to connect, create, and organize through ceramics, glass and tea, to help heal a divided society (since 90s war) wary of Otherness. A participatory 1 year art-education process grows a community to share life skills and intercultural communication, and culminates in public gongfu tea ceremonies/exhibitions in the region. Participants gain community support, craft and entrepreneurial skills and horizontal organizing with diverse networks and institutions.
Croatia, Zagreb + communities lacking transcultultural experiences: Sisak, Pakrac, Karlovac
Small communities chosen for our ceremonies and exhibitions still suffer the corrosive effects of the 90s war. Many have scant experience with incoming migrants and some are designated for refugee resettlement. The “Balkan route” has included Croatia since 2015. The mainstream media prompts prejudice and stereotyping. Nationalism fosters intolerance and impedes promoting human rights as European. Local and migrant women face economic and social marginalization. Refugee women face cultural, psychological, and economic obstacles integrating constructively while the state cuts funds for integration. They lack social networks, opportunities, and facilities for learning arts and expressing integrity while local women lack positive engagement with newcomers.
Our project, “No Borders: Healing Through Ceramics, Glass and Tea,” views democracy building as starting from the individual (empowering women) to the building of communities who embrace and value diversity, multilateral integration and environmental preservation. At the local context, we approach integration as a two-way process in which peoples of different origins and world views integrate into an ever-changing, dynamic society. Women are a source of the future and not solely repositories of the, often traumatic, past. Art provides the means through which we come together, build capacity, strengthen confidence in the face of challenges and engage with the public. Offering opportunities for positive interaction fosters understanding and acceptance, or even embrace, of diversity.
Women are about 46% of the migrant population in Europe though are less involved than men in engaging in their new communities (EUROSTAT 2019). Due to various factors including domestic tasks such as childcare they have less mobility, linguistic training and job opportunities than men. The project targets 10-20 women of diverse economic, social, educational backgrounds to work on psycho-social therapy, economic and individual empowerment. Other beneficiaries include audiences of our public events (exhibitions and tea ceremonies) in and out of Zagreb with our local partners, and indirectly through media and ongoing social media presence, within the boundaries of privacy and security.
1/ Participatory decision-making–begun with meeting of 12 women reflecting diversity (Croatia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, France, Somalia, Slovenia, Turkey) goals and measurable outcomes defined
2/ Education – Ceramics: find, dig, prep local clay, test shapes/glazes/firing techniques/make tea cups & utensils – Glass: basic intro to glass, recycling & torch usage /form-blow basic shapes /glass spoon & cup - Gongfu tea: tea history /teaware significance /basic etiquette, presentation /tea art & storytelling - Product design: functionality, concepts, multicultural aesthetics - Entrepreneurial skills: basic product photography, cooperative finance
3/ Travel, presentation/exhibition - Interaction with local community & partner organisations / future collaboration
Women will master a unique set of skills (ceramic and glassblowing) making them into creative factors in the community. Women to Women collective maintains their psycho social inclusion and base. Existing facilities will advance their skills. Gongfu tea ceremony is a therapeutic, inclusive, transcultural social lubricant that is new in the region and enables migrant women to offer unique presentations to the local population of their skills and knowledge. Rise in self-confidence influences the perception of migrant women in local communities to focus on their creative potential. Participatory decision making within the group and project helps local and migrant women build leadership skills for enhanced participation in their families, work environments and local communities.
The project empowers women socially and politically engaging them in decision-making and expanding their networks. With community and skills, local and migrant women can more securely confront domestic, work and local challenges. An empowered migrant population helps bridge the chasm with the local population thus preventing conflicts and fostering human rights. Transculturalism offers an alternative mindset to blooming nationalism in Croatia thus helping support an EU identity rather than an ethno-national one. In Croatia the population often feels frustrated about being EU but not Schengen; the nationalistic fervor from the 90s ethnic strife can resonate. Two-way integration promotes not only tolerance, but supports women as leaders in participatory democratic practices.
Women to Women fills a gap in the support provided to migrants: the needs of women. Equally, local women lack opportunities for intercultural interaction and creative fulfillment. We fund our activities on a case by case basis but recognize that structural change comes from continued sharing and interacting across multiple communities. Our comprehensive program combines our experience supporting women migrants, previous connections to art networks and new partners across the region in a sustainable approach for all concerned. This will empower participants socially, economically and therapeutically and foster integration as a 2-way process in Croatia as a whole and within local communities-the core values we have actively promoted since our inception and in all of our projects.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Materials costs for workshops (includes refreshments/food) 5583 EUROS // Travel and accommodation costs (includes per diems) 2038 EUROS // Public relations (includes payment for PR and design, and printing of promotional materials) 9541 EUROS // Personnel costs (includes project coordinator, project manager, accountant) 14595 EUROS // Education costs (trainers & translators) 18180 EUROS