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Reinventing the critical language on contemporary crafts

Nordic Platform for Critical Craft Theory is a network for exchange of knowledge and expertise on contemporary crafts in the Nordic region.  The network received Short-term network funding in 2018 and was considered as one of the best short-term network projects that year.

With an ambition to attract a broader understanding of crafts as a diversified aesthetical field, the network consisting of experts within craft theory in the Nordic region  has contributed to strengthening the critical and analytical language on contemporary crafts within the Nordic countries.

Through seminars and workshops, the network has modified and reframed the Nordic and international perception of what constitutes as Nordic and to include aesthetical traditions such as duodji and non-Nordic/ non-Western crafts that challenge and broadens the concept of a shared Nordic aesthetics, politics and heritage.

It was a good opportunity to understand what are the current issues that my Nordic peers deal with in different sides of the field: the academia, makers, curators, small operators, large operators, and the under-represented. It also was a fantastic opportunity to understand who the key people in the field in the Nordic countries are, which I must admit not knowing that well. I feel I got huge amount of new contacts that I will for sure be using and sharing to my peers in the future.

The workshops were a productive framework for rethinking what constitutes as contemporary crafts from the Nordic region but building tools and language that can adequately discuss the current situation of crafts, craft-based practices, and materiality, takes time. Critical thinking needs new terminology and new perspectives time to mature to become part of the shared language.

Network funding is granted for without a requirement of an end-product. The network members agreed that there is a huge value in workshops that are open-ended, without a typical physical outcome, such as an exhibition.

I think I got a lot verification that the issues discussed during the platform, such as equality, equity and diversity etc. are needed to take into the DNA of institutions like our museum. We are actually trying to do it with our new strategy (which is in progress), and it was great to see how on point we are with our upcoming strategy. It aligns really well with the topics discussed in the platform.

As a part of this project Norwegian Crafts has published two articles on its website open for anyone:

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Participate in our library survey, win Nordic books!

The role of the Nordic Culture Point library is to raise awareness of Nordic culture and literature in Finland. Through this user survey, the library wants to understand your thoughts on our collection, the library’s digital programme, and our potential future digital ventures.

Your answers are anonymous, but if you want you can provide your contact details at the end of the survey for a chance to win a selection of recently published Nordic books.

The survey is open until 15 December.

Participate through this link!

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The Kelp Congress

The Kelp Congress (Tangkongressen) was a networking and knowledge exchange art research project that explored the relationships between artistic practices, kelp, seaweed and coastal communities. It was initiated with an emphasis on the environmental and ecological resonances these relationships held within the Nordic countries. The event focused on artistic enquiry and knowledge exchange surrounding the materiality of seaweed.

The project centred on the staging of three research enquiries, feeding into a public symposium that took place during the 2019 edition of the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF 2019). The research strands took place in Digermulen, Napp, and Svolvær in the Lofoten Islands, Norway, between the 16–20 September 2019. Contributors to the research strands were formed through partner representation, invited guests, and an Open Call.

The symposium and public engagement event of the Kelp Congress took place between 20–22 September 2019. The symposium featured artistic interventions and performances, opportunities for the sharing of insights from the three research strands, two keynote lectures, a panel discussion, and a dedicated networking gathering. The embeddedness of the Kelp Congress within LIAF 2019 also enabled access to the local, Nordic, and International audiences that the biennale attracted, increasing the congress’s overall visibility and impact.

Following the event, a publication was produced and published by the North Norwegian Art Centre (NNKS). A copy of the publication can be found at the Nordic Library at Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki.

More information about the project can be found here.

 

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Continued support for cultural cooperation in the Nordic and Baltic countries

The Nordic and Baltic ministers for culture have decided to extend the Nordic-Baltic mobility programme for culture through the period 2021 to 2023. The programme has three strands – travel support, network support, and support for residential centres – and aims to increase the sharing of knowledge, contacts, and interest in Nordic and Baltic art and culture.

Nordic-Baltic co-operation on culture has been around for just over a decade. Before announcing their decision, the Baltic ministers for culture indicated that the programme continues to provide significant benefits, helping professional cultural practitioners to create contacts with their Nordic counterparts, develop partnerships, share experiences, and implement various culture projects.

“In recent decades, Nordic-Baltic co-operation – both institutional and at grassroots level – has been broadened and deepened. The culture sector has played a central role in this. The sharing of experience and partnerships in the field of culture are arguably the best way of bringing our countries closer together, which is why we are extremely pleased that the mobility programme has been extended,” says Stefan Eriksson, director of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ office in Latvia.

The total budget for the Nordic-Baltic mobility programme in 2020 is approximately EUR 1.8 million. The programme is administered by Nordic Culture Point under the direction of Ola Kellgren, who is also pleased about the extension of the programme.

“This is one of the most important forms of support offered by the Nordic Council of Ministers because it is aimed at professional cultural practitioners, and because it strengthens and promotes contact between the Nordic and Baltic countries,” says Kellgren.

The Faroese writer Helle Thede Johansen, chair of the expert group for mobility support, points out that the impact of the mobility programme extends beyond those who have been granted financial support. It enables Greenlanders to gain insight into Lithuanian folk music, Faroese authors to participate in a literature seminar on island literature in Åland, and artists in different visual art genres and from different Nordic and Baltic countries to work together on the production and exhibition of their works in Iceland.

“Art and culture are the glue that binds the Nordic and Baltic countries, helping us to achieve our objective of being the most sustainable and integrated region in the world. The coronavirus pandemic has severely limited development opportunities for art and culture practitioners in recent months and consequently had a huge impact on their finances. Thanks to the Nordic-Baltic mobility programme, the artists of today can help to create the future history of the Nordic Region,” says Helle Thede Johansen.

 

The remaining application rounds that are still open for 2020 are for short-term network support (open until 9 October) and mobility support (open until 19 October).

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Grant decisions for Volt 2020

The application round for Volt 2020 is now closed, and all decision have been made by the expert group.
24 applications were submitted, for a total applied amount of 1 023 097€.

The expert group decided to grant 4 of the 24 applications. The amount granted was 205 968€.

Of the granted applications where projects that will focus on creating interacting exhibitions for children and youth that have little or no access to contemporary art. The project, Form in Motion, consists of a co-operation between Katrineholms kommun (SWE), TransCultural Art Production (NO) and the Nordic House Faroe Islands (FO).

The next call for application will open in 2021.

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Virtual Design Destinations

Nordic-Baltic Design and Craft Collaboration by Adorno was one of the projects in 2020 that had to adapt to the circumstances caused by COVID-19. They did so by reinventing their plans for the London Design Festival in September 2020. Instead of exhibiting design items on-site, Adorno decided to revolutionize the way in which we experience online design and art.

The plans for the project were innovative from the start, with a digital exhibition with objects transformed into 3D-models , as a first time to use a new 3D-technology for a digital exhibition. With this technology Adorno encouraged the viewer to engage in a smartphone virtual reality, in which the viewer could place design items in his or her own home.

As it became clear that the physical exhibition for London Design Week could not be produced as planned, the project switched over to producing a full online experience. Adorno produced curatorial themes and scenographies for the virtual collections, invited designers and pieces to be presented, produced 3D-models, edited short presentation films of the designers and created interactive-virtual environments for each of the eight Nordic and Baltic collections presented.

Beside the 8 design collections from the Nordic-Baltic region 6 additional countries are presenting virtual design collections on the same platform. During London Design Festival all collections were presented by the curators in guided tours, produced as online interviews.

COVID-19 is also present in the theme of the exhibition, The new reality. As the curatorial statement of the exhibition describes it:

Awareness of the global ecological, political, economic, and social crisis we are threatened by has been furthered by the uncertainties and fears caused by the pandemic. It is more apparent than ever that we need to rethink and adapt the way we live. Luckily, the readiness to create a new and better reality is greater than ever.

Visit Virtual Design Destinations here.

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Happy End

Happy End – en kunstnerisk undersøgelse af alderdom i Norden (an artistic exploration on aging bodies in the Nordics) by NextDoorProject was granted funding from Culture and Art Programme for its different phases in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

This cross-disciplinary project was about including elderly citizens and raising questions about the notion of old age in our societies. It was realised in nursing homes for elderly people in all Nordic countries. Stories of and expression by aging bodies were created and documented through dance, music, photo, film, media and theatre. The project resulted in performances, an exhibition and a short film by Engeli Broberg.

Documentation from the project can be found on http://www.happyendproject.dk

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Book an appointment with a grants adviser

Autumn’s application rounds for the Nordic and Nordic-Baltic grant programmes have now started! In September, the Nordic Culture Point intensifies the grants information with a possibility to book an online appointment with a grants adviser.

We offer appointments on several dates between 17–29 September and you can choose either general information about grant programmes or advise on a certain funding form.

The language is primarily Scandinavian or English – but this is something to discuss individually with your adviser!

 

 

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Second round of Norden 0–30 supports young film makers and digital activism

The Norden 0–30 grant program has held its second decision meeting of 2020.

We received 21 applications, for a total of 451 791€. The expert group decided to grant 8 applications, in total 183 464€.

The applications showed a great variety in terms of content. Among the approved applications there are projects for young film makers, as well as digital activism for the youth.

The last round of the year of Norden 0–30 will open on September 3rd, and closes on October 2nd.

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Library opens after long break

The Nordic Culture Point Library opens its doors to customers again on 11 August. Because of the Corona outbreak and the normal summer break the library has been closed for five months.

During this time we have received a lot of new books to our collection, free for you to borrow! We remind all customers to keep a safe distance and we have also limited the amount of seats in the library.

Our events will be held normally from August onward, but with a limited amount of seats.

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Second round of Norden 0-30

The Norden 0-30 grant program has been held for the second time this year.

21 applications have applied for a total of 451 791€.
The experts decided to grant 8 projects, for a total of 183 464€.

All the applications showed a great variety in terms of content. Among others, there were applications concerning film festivals for young film makers, as well as digital activism among youths.

The next round, which will be the final round of this year, will open on the 3rd of September, and it closes on the 2nd of October.

Stödprogrammet Norden 0-30 har för andra gången i år beslutat om projektstöd.

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Creating space for New Nordic Voices

New Nordic Voices – For Colored Girls was granted funding from the Nordic Culture and Art programme in 2018.

The project New Nordic Voices presents the visibility of Nordic minorities through exploring selected theatre works of iconic Nordic playwrights and juxtaposing them with Global icons from Afro-American, African and Caribbean traditions.

New Nordic Voices was produced by ACT, Afro Cosmopolite Thespians, a professional multi-faceted theatre company in Denmark whose vision is to have multiple cultures share a stage, in cooperation with International Culture Centre Caisa (Finland) and Intercult (Sweden).

The post Creating space for New Nordic Voices appeared first on Nordic Culture Point.

Creating space for New Nordic Voices

New Nordic Voices – For Colored Girls was granted funding from the Nordic Culture and Art programme in 2018.

The project New Nordic Voices presents the visibility of Nordic minorities through exploring selected theatre works of iconic Nordic playwrights and juxtaposing them with Global icons from Afro-American, African and Caribbean traditions.

New Nordic Voices was produced by ACT, Afro Cosmopolite Thespians, a professional multi-faceted theatre company in Denmark whose vision is to have multiple cultures share a stage, in cooperation with International Culture Centre Caisa (Finland) and Intercult (Sweden).

The post Creating space for New Nordic Voices appeared first on Nordic Culture Point.

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