The Košice Interface 2013 is a project which won the city the title of European Capital of Culture for the year 2013. This title is shared with the French city of Marseille. For the realization of the winning project the non-profit association Košice 2013 has been founded. The Košice Interface 2013 project focuses on long-term city transformation through culture. It is aimed at building the missing cultural infrastructure in the city, the developement of creative industry, support of community development along with civil participation. The Košice Interface 2013 project has two key projects: The Barracks/Culture Park and SPOTs. The aim of the SPOTs project is the decentralization of culture from the city centre to its suburban areas and outer parts.
THE SPOTS PROJECT SUPPORTS:
• community development and civil participation which includes building and support of formal and informal groups of residents, and their participation in their community development and public matters;
• innovative projects from the field of social and community art, aiming to realize art projects in various communities, and support creative cooperation of artists with residents, institutions, community and social workers;
• creating and transforming public spaces, such as pedestrian underpasses, parks, playgrounds, places where suburban people often meet, reconstruction of heat exchanger stations and transformation of their surroundings;
• non-formal education and development of volunteering, with an aim to develop a solid volunteering base, to create conditions for intercultural exchange of experience and educating cultural operators and institutions.
CULTURAL POINTS OF SUBURBS
The authors of the original idea of the SPOTs project were inspired by old and unused buildings located in the suburban areas, which are objects of heat exchanger stations. They were built in the 1960s and 1970s and originally served for heat redistribution for flats in the residential complex. An outdated technology of exchanger stations is currently being substituted by new technologies with much lower demands for space. The convenient location of exchanger stations enables their active involvement in the process of revitalization of suburban areas with panel blocks of flats, development of civil participation, improvement of intergenerational dialogue, improvement of public space and inclusion of marginalized groups.
The aim of the investment part of the SPOTs project is a reconstruction of unused heat exchanger buildings with an aim to support the development of cultural and social potential in the large suburban areas. Exchangers will support the process of decentralization of culture from the city centre to its suburban areas and outer parts. They will also help to complete the missing modern cultural infrastructure and new public services for suburban residents. The result of the process will be 7 multifunctional cultural spaces that will make an impact on the quality of cultural production and also the quality of coexistence in the city.
Exchanger stations will become centres of community life development and public participation, multifunctional cultural space, supporting the community and social art in the suburbs and city districts. They will create conditions for attracting wider audiences, along with the creation of new works of art and personal improvement of residents through the participation on creative activities.
Exchanger stations will serve as a versatile, social and cultural space with the possibility of support for artistic creation by providing equipped workshops, theatre performances, concerts, exhibitions, films and also organization of club activities, workshops, discussions and planning meetings with residents.
All the reconstructed buildings will be linked to the cultural centre Barracks/Culture Park and so will establish an interconnected cultural network with the possibility of involvement of all the cultural points in common activities.
The SPOTs project activities, as defined in the programs and sub-programs, will be implemented through the pilot projects of the SPOTs team and through projects that other partners within the frame of grants for Košice 2013 will implement.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
COMMUNITY PROJECTS SUB-PROGRAM: contains projects carried out by residents, club activities, workshops, discussions and other activities supporting civil participation.
- The Suburb Parade /2009/ – a group of active residents of Terasa prepared sport tournaments in minifootball, dodgeball and floorball. There has been a competition for the most beautiful pavement painting and the best cake. Together, they have celebrated The Neighbours‘ day. Creative workshops and theatre performances also took place during this event.
- Thematic creative workshops /2009–2011/ are carried out by the SPOTs team in collaboration with primary schools and professional artists. Children, young people and pedagogues learn about different art techniques as well as creating small works of art that are now decorating various school spaces.
ART PROJECTS IN COMMUNITIES SUB-PROGRAM: supports the long-term stays of artists, art activities take place directly in communities with the aim to reflect suburban life and bring art closer to the residents.
- The living room /2010/ – designers from KEKS Design/ Creative Lab civic association gave the furniture that has been donated by residents of Terasa a “second chance”. One of the most interesting pieces is a sofa, typical symbol of a living room. A broken armchair serves as a part of an atypicaly shaped bookshelf. You can still see all the pieces of furniture that create a pleasant living room atmosphere for all its visitors at the exchanger station Obrody.
- This is also my home /2010/ – first residential art project prepared by Theater company Pôtoň in collaboration with the SPOTs team. During their two-week stay they prepared a performance together with a visual installation using the collected material and stories from the suburb. The performance shows what makes us feel at home and how we can create the feeling of home at the exchanger Obrody.
VOLUNTEERING AND YOUTH SUB-PROGRAM: helps to develop the volunteering sector for the Košice Interface 2013 project.
- European Voluntary Service /2010/ – enables young people to spend 6-12 months in different organizations in Europe with the aim to gain intercultural skills, experience and to help local organizations in their development.
- Voluntary web platform /2012/ – formation of a common on-line tool that identifies the needs in the area of volunteering and enables the non-profit organization Košice 2013 to form a system of ambassadors in communities.
SUBURBAN AREAS PROGRAM
NEW CITY CULTURES SUB-PROGRAM: links new genres and subcultures specific for suburban environment.
- The Graffiti U-meeting /2009/ – during the “Use the city” festival, graffiti artists revitalized one of the pedestrian underpasses in the city.
- The Centre of city sports /2011/ – a place in the suburban area where sport activities will take place, e.g. skateboard, in-line skating, parkour…
REVIVE THE SUBURB SUB-PROGRAM: supports activities aimed at discovering interesting places at suburban areas, developing new visions for their use and transformation.
- Let’s paint the facades /2011/ – cooperation of artists with residents in aesthetic changes to unused grey spaces, house facades and panel blocks of flats.
- Košice games /2011/ – a city competition in which teams complete given tasks with the aim of learning more about the town and discovering new interesting places.
SOCIAL ART SUB-PROGRAM: supports activities aimed at public sensitization, collaboration of artists with residents in disadvantaged communities and the improvement of new methods in social and community work.
- Journey into the unknown /2010–2011/ – a project whereby we highlight the lives of refugees, the homeless, prisoners, and Romany communities to the public. The public can learn about the work of non-governmental organizations, institutions and artists who work with these groups through board discussion, live library and documentary films.
- The point of view /2010/ – series of theatrical performances from the community and documentary theatre.
INTERGENERATIONAL DIALOGUE SUB-PROGRAM: enables seniors and young people to exchange experience and develop new skills through cultural projects.
- Picture of two generations /2010/ – cooperation between young people and seniors in making visual presentations and one-minute films with the focus to get to know one another.
- Knitted graffiti /2010/ – cooperation of different generations in making knitted works in public spaces with an aim to exchange skills and learn about new forms of cultural expressions.
ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE TOWN SUB-PROGRAM: paves the way for decentralising culture from the centre of the city to its small city districts.
- Touring theatre /2010/ – a series of theatrical performances taking place in smaller city districts.