Proposal abstract

Following the Assembly of the Commons and the Possible organized in Grenoble November 2022, a collaboration between Next Planning and Karşı Sanat has made possible to organize a workshop in the first half of 2023 to continue the exchanges in a municipalist framework as part of alliances with the commons and right-to-the-city movements.

The political context in Turkey in 2023 and the democratic victory of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (2019) are of great importance for the future of the municipalism. We wish to build a workshop gathering artists and activists to explore new municipalist imaginary. The aim is to share the international experiences of municipalism including the situation in Kurdistan.

This workshop aims to reappropriate the municipal institutions to build new narratives on trans-border cultural cooperation, to explore the relationship between alternative creative spaces and municipal institutions, the possible alternative economies, methods of getting larger the resources of alternative communities.

Who we are

This project is the result of the cooperation process between Next Planning, an organization based in La Villeneuve de Grenoble and Karşı Sanat (Counter-Art), an independent art space and cultural initiative based in Istanbul. In the past 22 years the initiative functions as a ‘hub’ for artists, academics, students and civil society members to come together and engage in critical discussions on political and social issues in Turkey. The aim is to help young intellectuals and artists to gain experience in collective production processes and become active and socially engaged citizens; To support the critical cultural production oppressed by the actual politics and economic crisis. Karşı Sanat produces exhibitions, workshops, pedagogical projects, videos and podcasts; Works with social movements, municipalities, universities to defend the freedom of speech in the country and in the larger geography. For this project, we will cooperate with several organizations based in Grenoble, Marseille and Istanbul.

What we want to do and how we will do it

Our starting point is the commoning practices that we have developed during the Assembly of the Commons and the Possible. Initiated by Karşı Sanat and Next Planning, we’ll associate other partners during preparatory meetings to reflect on the political, logistical and cultural dimensions. These workshops will aim to deepen the relationship between cultural alternative spaces and the reappropriating the municipal cultural institutions to build new narratives. Our starting point will be our own experiences in Grenoble, Marseille and Istanbul. The workshops will have different dimensions: explore commoning practices, artistic practices (paintings, videos, photos…) and conversations about municipalism in our different contexts. These three dimensions will be linked by interventions in the public space and cultural spaces. The workshop will pay particular attention to the political context in Europe and Turkey. We will work more particularly on the following themes : public space, migrations across borders, collective memory, common sensitivity and commoning practices. The outcomes of the workshop will be presented to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Municipality of Grenoble and Marseille as a report on the cultural policies of an internationalist, municipalist future. These workshops will support the process of a future « Assembly of Imaginary Communities 2024 » organized in Mardin, the historical city of Mesopotamia. This assembly will get larger the net work of the first workshop and include the experiences of the Middle East.

How much money do we need and what for?

Travel : 1200 euros Accommodation : 400 euros Communication : 500 euros Materials : 350 euros. Documentation : 200 euros Structure costs : 300 euros

Why / How does it contribute to /reflects the municipalism principles

This workshop wishes to gather a diversity of actors (inhabitants, artists, activists…) involved in movements in our respective cities with an international dimension, aiming at transforming institutional structures. We believe that the emergence of new municipal cultural policies to support autonomous and radical creatives spaces is a strategic issue for municipalist network. We need to explore and create new imaginaries to defend the principles of self-government and the autonomy of the local scale with the perspective for building internationalist futures.