Fabrica, UK (Lead Partner) was established as an artist-led initiative in the mid-1990’s and has become known for commissioning large-scale site-specific installations on human themes that appeal to a broad audience. Artist residencies and a wide range of public events always accompany each exhibition. Fabrica targets audiences who are not usually gallery-goers via dedicated activity and via strategic partnerships with the City Council, social care and youth organisations. Fabrica has long-standing programming partnerships with Brighton Festival, Brighton Photo Biennial (BPB) and Brighton Digital Festival (and with Brighton Science Festival, SICK and Cine City festivals) which enhance its capacity to reach new audiences. Since 2006 its partnership with BPB (the UK’s largest photography festival) has enabled ethical and socio-political questions to be explored through lens-based works by artists of international renown including Alfredo Jaar and Thomas Hirschhorn. Identity and the relationship of the individual to the group are recurrent ideas in Fabrica’s programme. Understanding Territoriality offers new perspectives to this familiar thematic and the opportunity to engage new audiences both in the arts and politics. Fabrica is fascinated by the subject of territoriality and of exploring it within a local, British and European frame within the current political climate.
Netwerk, Belgium was established in 1981 as the independent socio-cultural Netwerk Centre. Since 2006 it has operated as a centre for contemporary visual art, providing a platform for emerging and established artists from Belgium and abroad. Its programme comprises thematically curated group exhibitions interspersed with 2-3 person shows, artist residencies and discursive events, supported by a music, film and performance programme. Exploring cultural, social and political issues with artists, other professionals from the arts and non-arts sectors and a broader public is one of Netwerk’s principal goals. Netwerk has produced exhibitions with a socio-political dimension, such as Radical Autonomy: New Worlds of Nothing (2011) that have questioned the current role, function and position of art in society. This continues to be a theme in the upcoming programme (2014-2017) and Netwerk will deepen its thinking and knowledge of it through Understanding Territoriality by adopting a co-curated approach to its project activities with the partners. Netwerk’s audience development programme is rooted in the local context of Aalst, a city in transition affected by the influx of non-EU newcomers (African, Middle East and non-EU countries in Eastern Europe). In Understanding Territoriality Netwerk will focus on engaging with this socially marginalised demographic via partnerships with local organisations.
Otvorena Soba, Macedonia was founded in 2010 and has quickly established itself on the international circuit as a champion of excellence and innovation in design and architecture. It initiated and produces 2 major projects each year. Skopje Design Week (SDW) is an annual 6-day international design fair. In 2013 SDW hosted 520 exhibitors from across Europe and delivered 45 workshops, lectures and professional presentations. The Ministry of Pleasure is an annual exhibition of new Macedonian product, graphic and fashion design. In 2013 it toured to Serbia, Bulgaria and Croatia (see ministryofpleasure.net). Understanding Territoriality will help Otvorena Soba in achieving its aim to increase the quality and international profile of Macedonian design and enables it to explore the necessity and possibility of new, locally distinctive design competing in the global marketplace with the relevant players. Understanding Territoriality also positions design as an intellectually driven and politically connected discipline, alongside other arts practices which is useful for strengthening the creative sector as a whole, within the Balkans and further afield.
Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Italy positions art as a free-thinking and revolutionary process able to challenge the prevailing conventions in thinking and practice, political power structures and the market place. An element of Cittadellarte’s programme includes fostering a supportive global network of small-scale artistic and cultural practices for social change and democratic innovation (geographiesofchange.net). Cittadellarte’s international residency programme that has supported over 250 artists, curators, scholars, social entrepreneurs and thinkers from since 1999. Its legacy is the creation of lasting art-based initiatives such as: Bait al Karama, a Cooking School for Women in Nablus, Palestine, El puent lab, an interdisciplinary collective dealing with the urban challenges of Medellin, Spain (el puent lab), do-good goods, Douala, Cameroon, a fashion design atelier transforming useless aid-provided clothes into revenue-making fashion collections and arts centres for social inclusion based on the ‘social kitchen’ idea in Harare, Zimbabwe and Kyoto, Japan. Understanding Territoriality is consistent with its organizational mission, extends its international networks and directly supports its relationship with local small-scale artistic and cultural practices of social change and democratic innovation.