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Reflecting Group Lab Athen

An initiative of the Robert Bosch Cultural Managers Network

A project by Silke Wittig, Loukas Bartatilas, and Christine Rahn in cooperation with Öngün Eryılmaz, Virág Major, and Anastasia Marukhina

October 2016, Athens, Greece

With a focus on the public space and civil society, in autumn 2016 the Reflecting Group will dive into the contemporary art und culture scene of Athens in the form of a lab. The research and network trip is also a working meeting to develop a cooperation project.

Not only since the financial crisis, the internal and European political developments, the intensification of the crisis in summer 2015, and the debate about refugees, Athens is in the focus of public and medial interest. Taking Greece as an example, questions about the European economic and austerity policy, the fundamental premises oft he European Union, direct democracy, and solidarity among the member states are being discussed. Moreover, the preparations for documenta 14 set in motion a much noted critical discourse and learning process beyond the event itself, focusing on the Greek capital as the central event location for the current transformation processes and the historical movements in Europe and in our globalized world.

In regards to a future cooperation project in Athens, we would like to experience how these current developments influence the artistic work, the civil society and the cultural policy discourse on-site, and in what way the — in this matter — highly charged orientation of the documenta can already open new perspectives, fulfill expectations and heighten the international attention to the situation in Athens and Greece.

We would like to discuss these issues and talk about already existing local initiatives and strategies with significant curators, artists, cultural producers and multipliers and we would like get to know the work and practice of both established art and culture institutions, initiatives, and actors of the independent scene. In addition to visits and talks we intended to include targeted and thematic workshops in the program, which will be created in close cooperation with local actors and which will include representatives of the Greek scene as invited participants.

pictures: Loukas Bartatilas