Invoking the importance of independent self-organized carriers of culture for societies and transnational exchange, the collection of contributions by artists, curators and citizens from around the world explores formats and methods of soft power apart from the common strategies of culture, politics, and economy. They all share a common interest in spaces between art, social practice, activism, and arts education. Soft Power […] takes a closer look at the current relationship between civic cultural initiatives, noninstitutional, and nonprofit associations, subcultural work, artistic production, flexible solutions, and the common good.
In five chapters, we ask questions like »How relevant to society is the work of the independent art scene beyond big institutions?«, »Do art spaces and artistic initiatives have social and political power?«. Care Swap searches for ways of dealing with the precarious state of nonprofit initiatives and asks for alternative, flexible, nomadic, ephemeral formats of organizing cultural exchange. How can caring for alternative communities look like under constantly shifting conditions? Strategies of Self-organization focuses on self-organized structures and administrative work processes of independent cultural initiatives, curators, artists who devotedly organize festivals and run spaces make processes visible, transparent. Sharing Skills is a chapter that works as a passionate reminder for the specific skills, DIY knowledge and the necessity of learning from and supporting each other to become independent. Form as a Common Ground focuses on transnationally occurring icons and images within different traditions to question the authenticity of culture and overcome national borders. The last chapter, Becoming The Other, opens the discourse on the relationship between the individual and the society, of the self and the other, engaging, exploring, decomposing, and reconsidering new forms of togetherness toward a potential future.
By mediating our own norms and values, we aim to highlight the added value of social togetherness and address the need to strengthen independent self-organized carriers of culture.