Coordinator of Art in Rural European Areas
WHATS GOING ON OUT THERE?
I worked for the last 20 years with art projects in the North of the Netherlands. I was chairman and international project leader for the Peergroup. We noticed that we were one of the few theater companies (we made also documentaries, books, food / travelling restaurants, villages meetings etc) who worked in the surroundings where we were based. For one of the projects we builded a castle of straw and got know in the country for this landmark attracted lots of visitors.
The idea / starting point we developed was “dig where you stand”. We got connected with farmers organisations, rural development workers, consumers, policy makers, the minatory etc etc: all people who live, work in the country side or influence life and work with there decisions.
Later I started so called Rural Forums where the works of artists was shown and issues were discussed with the different stake holders / people from all the different sectors. A hell of a job but it works! I still have the plan to organise the CPH Rural Forum; an international meeting about how our food production and climate changes relate to each other. My contact in danish radio is interested.
We – some 30 – 50 IETM members and others- are building a network of artists and organisations /companies who work in rural areas / who are interested in the rural issues.
We all work in contemporary arts. We have formed three smal groups: 1) developing arguments to strengthen the advocacy for our work, 2) people who rum ‘ cultural / art hub in the countryside 3) data – which is now developed into a publication.
The next IETM-meeting we will proceed the forming of this group. And next spring in Tromsø we hope to have a final structure.