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New employees at Nordic Culture Point

The support programme team at Nordic Culture Point has two new employees.

Danish Sidsel Eskesen, new advisor for Volt and Norden 0-30, has moved to Helsinki from Copenhagen, where she previously worked with support schemes at Statens kunstfond. Anne Malmström is the new advisor for Demos. Anne is Finnish and has project management experience from both the Nordic Association and most recently from a digital agency.

You can book consultations with Anne and Sidsel from October! Until then, questions about the current application rounds for Demos and Norden 0–30 can be booked with Anna Skogster and Geir Lindahl.

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Grant programme experts gathered in Helsinki

On 6 September, grant programme experts from all Nordic Culture Point’s expert groups gathered for the 2023 Joint Annual Meeting in Helsinki. The meeting focused on how to measure effects in the cultural sector and the effects of granted funding in the sector.

There was also time for sharing experiences regarding the expert groups’ task, the assessment of grant applications. The experts agreed that statistics and numbers do not give the full picture of results as the focus in the assessment process is mainly on quality and therefore harder to measure unequivocally.

“Our task is to spot the human aspect – AI is here and we still don’t have tools to review it. That’s why heart and intuition will be more and more important tools in future (grant programme) decision-making”, concluded Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir, member of the Network Funding expert group in the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture.

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100 years since the passing of Edith Södergran – an interview with the artist Josef Ka about I AM EDITH SÖDERGRAN

As a tribute to Södergran, Nordic Culture Point wants to highlight the multidisciplinary and multidimensional project I AM EDITH SÖDERGRAN by the performance and media artist Josef Ka. This art project is fully dedicated to the life and art of Edith Södergran and was also granted Mobility Funding from Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture.

Josef Ka’s interest and admiration for Södergran’s poetry blossomed into the the beginning of I AM EDITH SÖDERGRAN during winter 2021:

“It’s like falling in love; it defies description through mere words. It surpasses linguistic expression and embodies something greater. It’s pure magic.”

Photo: Walter Ulreich

I AM EDITH SÖDERGAN consists of several parts and dimensions and includes collaborations with several other artists. Among these, there was the first collaboration together with the Russian photographer Vassily Popov consisting of a captivating photo series, or “still performances”, based on Södergran’s poetry. Later the first preliminary performance by Josef Ka (titled Höre) was photo-documented by the Austrian photographer Walter Ulreich which also included animations created by an anonymous Russian artist ID.

During January 2022 Josef Ka collaborated with Austrian musician Harald Weinhofer and recorded seven music tracks based on Södergran’s poetry. During the same month the first more finalized version of the performance was presented at Gallery Blumentopf in Vienna.

Josef Ka describes how there weren’t a specific collection of poems or poem that were of more importance than others when it came to the inspiration for I AM EDITH SÖDERGRAN:

“I deeply appreciate the beauty of nearly every poem in her collection. Each piece holds a childlike wonder that resonates with me. I believe they all deserve to be cherished and loved for their inherent beauty.”

In January 2023, with the support of Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture, Josef Ka showcased the performance in Copenhagen and Stockholm. She describes the experience as:

“It was an incredible opportunity to present my project in both Denmark and Sweden. I am immensely grateful for the support of my Swedish friend, Alexandra Kostrubala, and my Danish friends, Rune Fjord and Jesper Dalmose, who made it possible for me to showcase the project at one of Copenhagen’s finest art venues – LITERATURHAUS – run by Paul Opstrup.  In Stockholm, thanks to the wonderful artist Laura Tynan, I had the privilege of performing my piece twice at the extraordinary venue, DETROIT STOCKHOLM. I feel truly honored to have been recognized and given the chance to travel in a manner that all artists deserve.”

Read more about Josef Ka, I AM EDITH SÖDERGRAN as well as the artists who have collaborated on Josef Ka’s website.

This project was granted Mobility funding. You can read more about our grant programmes here.

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Nine projects were granted funding from Norden 0–30

The application round attracted 33 applications for a total requested amount of EUR 1,159,723. The budgeted distribution sum of EUR 234,548 was distributed among nine projects, which corresponded to 16 percent of the applications. The individual funding amounts ranged from EUR 5,000 to EUR 50,000.  

“The applications were distributed over the entire spectrum of the programme, which invites applications for socially engaging projects, culture and politics. Many projects were equally good, and the Nordic dimension of the project was, in some cases, decisive for which of them received funding,” says Jack.  

Young people’s co-creation requires supporting structures 

Hancock thinks that, in general, the applications did well in fulfilling the programme’s application criteria such as young people’s co-creation, sustainability, and Nordic co-operation. However, he reminds future applicants that projects must build in the necessary supporting structures where knowledge-sharing and learning can transcend generational boundaries.  

“The inclusive perspective can also go too much in the other direction, in that allowing young people to govern everything doesn’t necessarily yield the best results. For instance, in terms of the climate issue, young people haven’t even had half the time that adults have had to learn what’s required in these situations,” says Jack.  

“My personal opinion is that it’s crucial for children or young people to be the creative force, but that we can’t expect them to come up with the organisation and all the initiatives. Funding and assistance are needed, and once confidence is built up and there’s a platform to stand on, then young people’s voice can travel far,” he adds.  

Three rounds of applications per year 

Due to the large number of applications, individual responses to applicants sadly cannot be provided. However, you’re welcome to contact Nordic Culture Point’s funding advisor when preparing your application. For more information on the programme criteria, visit the page about Norden 0–30. 

Norden 0–30 has three rounds of applications per year. The next round opens on 6 September 2023, with an application deadline of 6 October 2023 at 15:59 Finnish time.  

See all projects which received funding from Norden 0–30 in this round

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Mobility funding granted for 140 applicants

Among the artists who received travel support was Norwegian Tori Wrånes who will do a musical performance that aims to challenge the traditional expectations of a concert by utilizing costumes, masks  and 3-dimensional sound. The performance will take place from 11th to August 13th 2023 at Fylkingen in Stockholm which is an experimental venue for contemporary arts and music.

A group that received funding in this round was a Finnish theatre collective Glitcher. In their work the group explores popular culture, genre exploitation and the intersection between genres. The members have been invited to have a guest performance of their show The Porn Horror Musical 2 at Teater Får302 in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is a grassroot collaboration between two theatre collectives who are planning also new collaborations in the future.

Mobility funding is to cover the travel and accommodation expenses of professional artists and cultural practitioners in the Nordic Region and Baltic countries.

The funding gives individual applicants access to contacts, skills, and knowledge from different parts of the Nordic and Baltic region. Creating new collaboration and new contacts is at the core of the progamme.

In 2023 there is still one application round left. The last round opens on 28 August and will close on 28 September and funding can be applied for activities that take place in December 2023 or after.

Mobility funding part of the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture, which strengthens artistic and cultural cooperation in the Nordic region and the Baltic countries. The programme focuses on increasing the exchange of knowledge, contacts and interest in Nordic and Baltic art and culture. The Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme comprises three forms of funding: Mobility funding, Network funding and Funding for artist residencies.

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