Press Release

Written by Willem Roose - 15/04/2019

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Young artists from Bruges, Rotterdam, Brighton and Skopje join forces to break down socio-cultural barriers in every guest city

● On The Point is a transnational learning trajectory hosted by partners Het Entrepot (Bruges), MAMA (Rotterdam), Fabrica (Brighton) and Public Room (Skopje).
● Each partner selected a team of young artists to work on challenges formulated by each guest city.
● The 24 artists gathered for the first time in Bruges during the Urban Art Festival to co-create art that addresses Bruges’ challenge.
● More info on www.onthepoint.eu

It’s often challenging for cultural organisations to build up relationships with audiences that truly reflect our contemporary society’s diversity. Invisible social and geographical barriers make it difficult for certain groups of individuals to feel connected to the contemporary art, design and creative practices our cultural institutions offer.

Through On The Point, four European cultural organisations have joined forces to face that socio-cultural challenge by recruiting an international group of 24 young artists that will travel, meet up and artistically work on local challenges in the partners’ home cities. They will leave their footprint in every city by co-creating artworks that establish connections with new, harder-to-reach audiences.

“That sounds very ambitious, and it is”, says coordinator of On The Point Willem Roose, “but the first time we put the artists from our different countries together, a great creative energy arose that pushed us beyond expectations.”

The first meet-up in Bruges: small city, big creativity?

From 6-8 April 2019, the international group of young artists gathered for the first time during the Urban Art Festival in Bruges. Their challenge? To think and work with the struggles smaller cities have to retain young creatives and not lose them to bigger surrounding cities.

Willem Roose: “Bruges is a great culturally vibrant city – look at the millions of tourists the city hosts every year. But there’s work to be done to make it an attractive and lively place for young, contemporary artists. That’s why we need the insights from young creatives from all over Europe.”

“It’s interesting to see how different disciplines and approaches from people from different places merge. Working on Bruges’ challenge in such a short time was as intense as beneficial”, says Alice Gompels from Brighton’s young creative team.

By working on the Bruges’ challenge, participants discovered similar problems and solutions to their own cities. Sarafina Van Ast (participant from the Rotterdam group): “These kinds of projects are important for young artists because you learn from other countries. This helps to contextualise your own practice.”

Jakob Vandenbroucke: “I’m inspired by small practical examples from other organisations and artists that I can implement in my own practice and context.”

Next stop: Skopje

On The Point is about more than just separate 3-day workshops. It’s a transnational learning experience in which the creative group is encouraged to set up more long-term interactions with each other. The next workshop will be during the Design Week in Skopje, Macedonia.

“We’re looking forward to have the international team over to collaborate on an artwork that we can present during the Design Week”, says head of Public Room Aleksandar Velinovski.
“The case in Bruges gives me ideas about how to change my own city, about how to make Skopje more open for the younger generation”, Vasil Kajchevski adds.

“I think this project proves the value of transnational exchange of skills, knowledge and experiences. Young artists have a way of exploring contemporary societal issues in a fresh and unique way. In these turbulent European times, it’s never been more important to bring together people from different contexts and places to reflect on the challenges we face today”, Willem Roose concludes.

Follow the young creative network at: www.onthepoint.eu

On The Point is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union

The partners

● Het Entrepot – Bruges, Belgium – www.hetentrepot.be
● MAMA – Rotterdam, The Netherlands – www.showroommama.nl
● Public Room – Skopje, Macedonia – www.publicroom.org
● Fabrica – Brighton, UK – www.fabrica.org.uk

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