Panel 2/2: "Alternative culture places under crisis: resilience, renewal and challenges"

  • 31.05.24
  • Trans Europe Halles x Alter-Places

Alter-Places' first rendez-vous

Trans Europe Halles 97 conference will take place in Tartu (Estonia) on the theme ‘the art of survival’ and on that occasion, Alter-places is organising two hybrid panels coordinated by the Ukrainian partner Izyolatsia and the Canadian partner Long Winter / DIY Space Project. These panels will focus on alternative cultural places and projects, and particularly on the critical issues they face and the impact and changes they bring about.

Topics of the panel 2/2

In this critical session, we will focus on the survival and evolution of alternative cultural spaces, reflecting on how these communal hubs are adapting to the rapid changes and environmental, political, and social threats, often on the frontlines of change in the current climate. This hybrid session explores some of the specific challenges relevant to grassroots and community-driven cultural spaces in this moment: conflict and occupation, cultural oppression, issues of equity, physical displacement, economic instability, and lack of physical space. Cultural leaders join our discussion from spaces across the globe, sharing progressive approaches, creative strategies, and efficient tactics their communities have developed in the face of adversity. Together, we will explore some of the varied vulnerabilities and opportunities unique to alternative cultural spaces, and consider new framings of audience, care, and even “culture”, in the context of crisis.

This panel will be moderated by Amy Gottung and animated by following panellists :

1. Anna Karnaukh

2. Moroti George

3. Natassa Dourida (Communitism)

4. Iain Dace

Panellist 1 - Anna Karnaukh

Anna Karnaukh is specialised in designing and managing programmes for the development of the cultural and creative sector. She is the co-founder and director of creative agency, whose activities aim to strengthen Ukraine’s cultural and creative ecosystem. Currently she is a fellow of the Vidnova Lab programme focusing on prototyping solutions for the recovery of Ukraine, in which Anna’s theme is the cultural infrastructure at the local level. Vidnova Lab is a networking program concentrated on ecosystem mapping and prototyping of solutions dedicated to recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine.

Panellist 2 - Moroti George

Olumoroti Soji-George (Moroti George), is a MA candidate at SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts and a curator living in Vancouver. His research and curatorial practice revolves around envisioning accessible and community-centred art spaces, highlighting the stories of individuals in communities who shape and create new monumental environments. Moroti believes in using space to encapsulate agency and the lived experiences of individuals who are not only recognized, but valued and respected.

As director/curator at Gallery Gachet, Moroti fosters connections between the DTES, the Vancouver art scene, and the rest of Canada. Moroti aims to mentor early career and underrepresented artists, to support them in exhibition and to ground their work in a pedagogy that furthers their stories and shares their profound experiences through their art. Moroti’s socially engaged programming is a testament to Gachet’s mandate to find space in this city to make art accessible and strengthen community through compassion and activism.

Panellist 3 - Natassa Dourida

Natassa Dourida is a sociocultural engineer based in Athens. After receiving a degree in civil engineering (NTUA, 2008), she mastered in Restoration of Monuments (Msc Arch, NTUA, 2014).

Through a cultural management fellowship (Robert Bosch Stiftung, stART 2015), she developed the sociocultural project "Communitism" with the aim to motivate communities into reactivating abandoned heritage buildings in Athens. While coordinating the project, she developed her own artistic practice, conceptualizing and leading events meant as experiences to promote social reform, for which she and the Communi-team have been granted with Burning Man Art Grant (Europe was taken by a Bull, 2018). The project evolved into the start in 2018 of “Communitism”, an association reclaiming unutilised heritage buildings of Athens to be revived through creative commoning, by practising community and art, alternatives to existing structures emerge.

Panellist 4 - Iain Dace

Iain Dace is a British-Swedish citizen who currently serves as the chairman of the voluntary organisation NGBG which focuses on improving access to cultural resources, venues and networks for those without academic cultural backgrounds. Mr. Dace is a well known activist and community organiser in the Skåne region in Sweden. His interests are human rights, social justice, asylum and migration issues.

Moderator - Amy Gottung

Amy Gottung is a director, producer, consultant, fundraiser, and writer based in Canada. Bridging sectors and disciplines, her practice evades an easy identity, and encompasses a diverse, international roster of projects, clients, and collaborators.

As a media and cultural producer, Amy has led the creation and realization of custom XR work, non-fiction television and video, international festivals, art-tech hackathons, operas, and other trans-disciplinary forms.

As a consultant and fundraiser, Amy works with organizations in creative, social-purpose, and cross-sector contexts to build strategy, structures, and support. Recent projects include a collaboration with VibeLab, a global leader in night culture, on consultations to inform the City of Toronto’s night economy strategy.

From 2016-2020 Amy served as the Executive Director of Toronto’s singular “anarchic, circus-like” alt music and art series, Long Winter (Rolling Stone), founded in 2012. In three seasons, she helped to establish collective-based frameworks and a board of directors, introduced international collaborations with the co-production of a 2019 festival in Paris, France, tripled revenue and activity, and ushered the organization into annual operating funding streams.

Amy is the founder of several cross-sector interventions and international exchanges in support of alternative cultural scenes and spaces. Initiatives include a festival and research conference, co-presented by Long Winter (Toronto) and La Station Gare des Mines (Paris) in 2021, and the DIY Space Project: a multi-city research and advocacy program realized in partnership with Trans Europe Halles (a network of 100+ grassroots cultural centres) and leaders from government, real estate, and culture in Canada and Europe. She is an active partner in Alterplaces: a trans-disciplinary, trans-national research project focused on the sustainability of alternative cultural spaces, based out of the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, and funded by a grant from the European Union.

Amy was a co-creator and creative producer of A More Beautiful Journey, a custom augmented reality app that animated hundreds of kilometres of Toronto public transit line with original, spatialized music and sound from nearly 40 artists and ensembles. The interactive app was available free of charge to TTC riders and listeners around the world from September 2022 - June 2023.

Amy holds a SSHRC-funded M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B. Mus from McGill University. She has lived and worked in Toronto, New York, Montréal, Sagueney (QC), Zürich, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and British Columbia. She speaks English and (pretty good) French.

Amy collaborates and experiments with partners around the world.