Virtueel: Prague Heritages – Engaged Art for Social Transformation

As part of the AMPS Conference in Prague, Astrid Huijgen and Zsuzsa Kravalik submitted a pre-recorded presentation on ForwArt.

What is the role of culture in establishing and enhancing sustainable communities? In 2019 the municipality of Tilburg with local artists and social services partners has initiated a large scale social transformation process within the neighbourhood of North Tilburg with the objective of creating a cultural ecosystem to help youth express the intrinsic culture inherent in them; to discover, develop, support and exhibit talent from the fringes of society. We would cover the notion of “Citizen space” from 3 different dimensions: 1) How institutions can facilitate the development of a safe and open space where cultural initia-tives can flourish. We would present the process of transforming non-safe urban squares to become the center of creative activities and how ongoing artistic activities are transforming these spaces 2) How local ownership of youth can be built up and in what cultural forms youth could express their relationship to the neighborhood. We would narrate the creation of videos, photobooks, art fairs, exhibitions and murals and analyze the processes which led to the openness in which cultural identities could be expressed 3) Based on the findings of the participative observation we would explain how culture benefits the lives and well being of young people due to participation in art activities.