Culture, the City & the Commons was a meeting where 25 activists, researchers and artists gathered to debate, share and experiment with possible models of sustainability emerging from cultural practices of the commons with the goal of regenerating our cities, our democracies and the way in which we live together. The meeting took place in Seville from June 29th to July 1st, 2016.
The programme of the meeting was marked by the need to connect practices and organisations that are reclaiming spaces for a more just life in different parts of Europe. Starting with an adapted methodological design, three groups focused on researching one of the communities present at the table, addressing three fundamental aspects: organisation and formal rules that the community has established, the motivations and needs that justify the community’s existence and the threats and problems that it encounters. Each participant posed questions in relation to one of these aspects of the communities being studied and at the same time shared experiences from their own communities and organisations that were relevant to the development of the methodology. In the afternoons, public presentations were given on some of the present international projects: Montenoso (Spain), Cambiamo Messina dal basso (Italy), Marea atlántica (Spain), Solidarity Clinics (Greece) and Academia Cidadã (Portugal). Extensive audiovisual documentation was carried out throughout the course of these days.
This meeting brought together organisations and communities working in different geographic areas, but also people with different professions and knowledge, with the objective of creating a multidisciplinary meeting space that would allow everyone to take advantage of everyone’s knowledge and ways of doing things. ZEMOS98 took on the role of mediation to forge translocal connections between different practices in order to establish links and strategies that ensure the sustainability of these communities for longer periods of time.
The meeting Culture, the City & the Commons was made possible thanks to ZEMOS98’s participation in the Realise project, coordinated by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. The meeting received support from the International University of Andalucía and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain.