The Initiator, the Artist, his Advocate and the Urbanist (IAAU)
Implementation Period: 2014 – 2015
Donor: Balkan Art Angle
Fund: 20,000 USD
Implemented in: Belgrade, Serbia, Skopje, FYR of Macedonia, and Tirana, Albania
Implemented by: Co-PLAN, (AL), Mikser (SR), KOR-CSD (FYR of Macedonia), URBEGO (DK), BLOK 74 (NL)
Many Balkan cities today witness the positive impact of the local self-organization networks when it comes to cultural, economical, social and spatial revitalization of the neglected (and sometimes vacant) inner-city urban neighborhoods. The typical “yes we can” culture is showing great vitality and creativity in the times of unclear urban policies and economical instability, but still the potentials of this energy are not being fully utilized, partly because of a lack of a strong platform to showcase local knowledge and offer support in finding the common ground with the institutions. In order to make the creative energy and cultural patterns of the self-organization visible, the project uses four key-perspectives (The Initiator, the Artist, his Advocate, and the Urbanist) to determine a course of action. Starting in three culturally distinctive neighborhoods of Belgrade, Tirana and Skopje, the project offers: Mapping of existing networks, stakeholder groups, and initiatives. Structured workshops for face-to-face meetings between local artists’ collectives, neighborhood activists, entrepreneurs, citizens, young (international) planning professionals of the URBEGO network and local professionals. Exhibitions as a part of relevant local cultural festivals (in Tirana, Belgrade, Skopje) as a way to promote and present the results of the workshops to the general public. Exchange of know-how and experiences among professionals during the participatory planning process, etc.