Collaborative network for local cultural production and trans-local dissemination

May 2009 - October 2010

RHYZOM will map emerging cultural productions related to local contexts (ie. eco-cultures, minorities’ skills and alternative economies, traditional practices and cultures of resilience, rural/urban exchanges), aiming to reinforcing them through an European interdisciplinary network which constitutes a cultural collaborative platform for reciprocal empowerment and trans-local dissemination.

RHYZOM will initiate:
• a dialogue between rural and urban contexts, peripheries and centers, minor and major cultures, material and immaterial cultural forms located in different regions in Europe. This dialogue will give visibility to local cultural productions and help building their capacity to promoting themselves within large scale communication networks. The project will offer the occasion to evaluate the possibility of such a dialogue to inform future policy in the matter.

• a collaborative platform for cultural production based on shared social and ecological concerns, which will allow participants from different local contexts to work together beyond (and within) disciplinary differences, contradictions and contextual specifications. The platform will develop urgently needed models to trigger the development of cultural infrastructures for the neglected peripheries.

• a sustainable trans-local cultural dissemination through creative networks which allow reciprocal empowerment and active participation of users in processes of production and diffusion and reinforce local strengths while contributing to wider European dynamics.

RHYZOM is based on the existing network of AAA and PEPRAV (European Platform for Alternative Practice and Research on the City, a EC funded Culture 2000 project initiated in 2006 by AAA with some of the same partners as RHYZOMs). This platform offers competencies in identifying and promoting original cultural production, and is now internationally recognized for its qualitative organization and dissemination. The platform involves architects, artists, cultural workers, curators, sociologists, researchers and a number of users involved in local cultural projects. RHYZOM will create conditions to extend this partnership to other emerging local networks (rural art, resilient culture, handcrafts, oral cultures).

a. Mapping and analysis of cultural initiatives and micro-networks that develop local dynamics and activities which resist to the global homogenization effects.
Cross thematic field trips will allow collection of information in situ for a collective database. This phase will give visibility to cultural phenomena situated at the ‘European institutional-periphery’ by involvement of partners from France, UK, Germany, Turkey, Croatia, Ireland, Romania and Moldavia. Our partners include persons who live and work between two countries and two cultures. This aspect will contribute to the inclusion of the project in other diasporic, migrant and transnational cultural networks.

Field trips (May - September 2009) :
1- urban/rural exchanges / local economy / minor cultures - Paris banlieue (FR)
org. by aaa + Platform Garanti CAC, publicworks, Agency, PS²
2- collective spaces, institutions and cultural infrastructures - Istanbul peripheries (TR)
org. by Platform Garanti CAC + aaa, publicworks, Agency, PS²
3- rural feminine cultures – Höfen, Stolzenhagen, Siebenlinden villages (DE)
org. by publicworks + aaa, Agency, PS² + ISPARA, Park Fiction,, My Villages
4- rural art and cultural infrastructures - Cumbria, Startford, Totnes, (UK)
org. by publicworks, aaa, Agency + Platform Garanti CAC
5- resilient territories / local economy– Brezoi, Valea lui Stan (RO, MD)
org. by aaa + publicworks, Agency, PS² + FCLD
6- conflict areas and alternative cultures– Belfast (UK - Northern Ireland), Leitrim (IR)
org. by PS² + aaa, Agency, Platform Garanti CAC + The Dock

b. Activation of a collaborative platform for cultural production and implementation of trans-local cultural exchanges.
A number of Immersive workshops will constitute the framework for strengthening existing local initiatives and initiating exchange involving participants from other disciplines and contexts.
These workshops will be accompanied by educational workshops with students from different Universities (Sheffield, Istanbul, Belfast, Bucharest, etc) involved in defining contextual issues and protocols for collaborative work and dissemination.
The immersive workshops will be rooted in local dynamics and create sustainable exchanges between local actors, members of local communities and academics, providing a multidisciplinary expertise and opportunities for effective collaborative work on common issues at the intersection of different cultures and contexts.

Immersive workshops (1October 2009- March 2010) :
1- collective space and new institutional practices – Istanbul (organizers TR, FR, UK)
org. by Platform Garanti + publicworks, PS²
2- eco-strategies in urban/rural areas– Paris suburbs (organizers FR+UK)
org. by aaa + publicworks, Platform Garanti, Agency, PS²
3- rural cultural contexts – farms, handcraft associations, villages (organizers FR, UK / IR/ DE)
by publicworks + Agency, aaa
4- alternative cultural initiatives – Belfast (organisers FR, UK /IR)
org. by PS² + publicworks, Agency, Platform Garanti, aaa

c. Diffusion in situ
Exhibitions in progress, will use mobile devices for shared knowledge to intervene in different cultural critical contexts, in order to sustain their networks and activities.
A multiplicity of processes of trans-local dissemination will provide enhanced visibility and credibility to local production (which is often marginalizes) and reach a public concerned with cultural and environmental sustainability. This phase will involve all partners, in order to ensure dissemination in Europe's most diverse contexts.

Exhibitions in progress (April- September 2010) :
1- collective space and new institutional practices – Istanbul (organizers TR, FR, UK)
org. by Platform Garanti + publicworks, aaa, PS²
2- eco-strategies in urban/rural areas – Paris banlieue (organizers FR+UK)
org. by aaa + publicworks, Platform Garanti, PS²
3- rural cultural contexts – farms, handcraft associations, villages (organizers UK / IR/ DE)
org. by publicworks + aaa, Agency, PS²

The project results will be disseminated through several media -paper, dvd, web, etc.- and will become accessible to multiple users through publications and web-specialised networks:

aaa will realize an interactive archive (as DVD) accessible to a large audience (students, partners, researchers, professionals).

Agency will realize a Fanzine widely reproducible and diffused in the Sheffield academic world and wider.

Plateform Garanti CAC will edit a publication related the events in the frame of «Istanbul European Culture capital 2010».

Publicworks will realize a fanzine widely reproducible and diffused in their local network (London) and wider in rural cultural communities where they intervene.

PS² will publish individual outcomes of its participants and a collective newspaper (free), widely distributed in their local network (Belfast) and wider in rural cultural communities where they intervene.