Open Call Resilient Communities / Inclusive Cities / Just Societies II – 13 projects selected

In the second round of the Creative Industries Fund NL’s Open Call Resilient Communities / Inclusive Cities / Just Societies, 13 projects have been selected. Internationalization programme manager Mireille de Koning reflects on the selection.

With the Open Call Resilient Communities / Inclusive Cities / Just Societies, the Fund aims to connect the creative industries in the Netherlands and countries on the African continent and encourage equal approaches, collaboration and exchanges, including of knowledge. In collaboration with one or more foreign partners in countries in Africa, designers, makers, architects, collectives and cultural organizations based in the Netherlands were asked to tackle topical themes and issues that relate to the city, its surroundings and the communities living there. This also focused on the following questions: what opportunities for ‘belonging’ arise within changing landscapes, structures and infrastructures? And what is the significance of new forms of navigation, connection, customs and rituals within cities in flux?

general impression

The 13 selected projects relate in different ways to the theme of resilient communities, inclusive cities and just societies. Many projects demonstrate an understanding of the context(s) in which the proposed activities take place and actively engage the perspectives and strategies from a community. The projects each approach local issues in their own way and show a diversity of topics. Together, the selected projects provide insights into the social dynamics at play in different contexts in relation to the theme of the open call.

Lagos, home for all – Maatschap Mooves and Vortex

focus on participation

Several projects place the emphasis on exchange between project partners and stakeholders in designing and implementing the intended activities, and publicly sharing and discussing the results. For example, the project Lagos, home for all reflects via AR storytelling on landmarks that symbolize social change in the fast-growing city of Lagos. Maatschap Mooves and Vortex are collaborating in the project with a diverse group of animators and makers of comics and films to develop digital stories together and share them publicly in different parts of the city through illustrated posters that utilize Augmented Reality. With Sing for Sudan, We Sell Reality – a collective of social designers from countries including Sudan – Nest Foundation and SalaMedia set up a ‘makers’ space’ in Kampala (Uganda), where designers, artists and activists who have fled Sudan are offered a space for experimentation and creation. The makers’ space will function as a collective workplace where connections with each other and with the city are made and cross-pollinations are encouraged. The project WhoseDemocracy? LAB is a laboratory that focuses on co-creative research to explore democratic and participatory practices emerging from different West African traditions in Benin, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali. This research study, based on art and design and conducted with artists, scientists and thinkers based on the African continent, is being captured in photography and film. Showing the images in travelling exhibitions gives room for further engagement with the local lens of the participating makers. Through a multi-channel platform, new relationship networks between different regions are stimulated.

Fill in the gap – Bureau LADA and Think Tanger

focus on community

Several projects have also been selected that focus on dynamics that relate to the idea of communality, including fellowship and the articulation of public spaces. Fill in the gap is a collaboration between Bureau LADA (Netherlands) and cultural platform Think Tanger (Morocco). This is their way of responding to the cultural, social and spatial fragmentation and deficiencies that have arisen due to the rapid growth of the city of Tangier. The aim of the project is to establish a mobile cultural hub in the periphery, combined with interactive and international cultural programming, in collaboration with young local associations and artists. In this way, they aim to respond to the changing cultural and urban dynamics. In the project ቤት (Bet), which means ‘home’ in Amharic, Dutch artist/designer Munir Mohamed, Ethiopian organization Addis Street Art led by Solomon Kifle, and architect/researcher Yasmin Bushra, together with the Addis Ababa University will conduct spatial research into the concept of ‘home’. In co-creation with displaced residents of Addis Ababa. The project is a response to the forced displacement of residents from the city centre to suburban blocks of flats where, in addition to losing a home, the sense of home, community and belonging is uprooted.

Grass-roots – VE-R and Africa Wood Grow

focus on material and immaterial heritage and indigenous knowledge

Research into material and immaterial heritage and indigenous knowledge is also central to some of the selected projects. Meaning is sought that aligns with the perceptions and practices of local communities. Unruly knowledge: towards epistemic restitution is the collaborative-research component of the multi-year artistic research project Sustaining the Otherwise, led by curators and researchers Selene Wendt and Amal Alhaag. By means of research forums and working groups for artists, thinkers, researchers and activists, the project focuses on the restitution of cultural heritage with the aim of encouraging pluriversal narratives, histories and perspectives and contributing to knowledge sharing and mutual exchange. This programme is curated and developed in collaboration with the curatorial collective Sustaining the Otherwise, the African Art Book Fair in Dakar, Senegal and the Lusaka Contemporary Art Centre in Lusaka, Zambia. VE-R’s project Grass-roots in collaboration with Africa Wood Grow seeks to develop sustainable landscape interventions, such as hedgerows and water facilities, based on local knowledge and community practices in the Tiva river basin in Kenya. With the project APE x NL: Hidden histories of slavery in the Cape (working title) New Urban Collective and The Black Archives, in collaboration with the Castle of Good Hope, Adrian van Wyck, Carine Zaayman, Nancy Jouwe and Farren van Wyk, aim to facilitate a dialogue between South African researchers, heritage institutions and artists on the hidden history of the Netherlands’ role in slavery in South Africa.

See more selected projects here.

assessment

All received applications were submitted to an independent advisory committee consisting of Ama van Dantzig, Arthur Steiner, Mike Emmerik and Zico Lopes. This committee considered and assessed the submitted proposals within the framework of the Fund’s Open Call Grant Scheme and on the basis of this open call’s three criteria:

  • relevance of the chosen topic;
  • planned approach;
  • structure of the collaboration.

numbers

A total budget of € 400,000 was available for the Open Call Resilient Communities / Inclusive Cities / Just Societies II. From the 37 applications assessed, 13 proposals were selected. This brings the percentage of applications being awarded grants to 35%. The maximum contribution per proposal was € 8,250. The assessment of the open call took the form of a tender: this means that, within the available budget, a number of proposals are prioritized over other submissions. Only projects with a positive assessment are supported.

Photo at the top: APE x NL: Hidden histories of slavery in the Cape