29.12.2012 - 01.07.2015
«Close Stranger: promoting mutual understanding between population of Gdansk, Kaliningrad and Klaipeda through facilitation of exchange in the field of contemporary arts and culture» is a major project aimed at promoting collaborative work of Lithuanian, Polish and Russian institutions involved in contemporary arts and culture, and facilitating a greater understanding between the population of Gdansk, Kaliningrad and Klaipeda through cultural participation.
The project is run by the Baltic Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (Kaliningrad, Russia), the Centre for Contemporary Arts «Laznia» (Gdansk, Poland) and Klaipeda Culture Communication Centre (Klaipeda, Lithuania). It is designed for a two-year period, from January 2013 to December 2014.
The project is to launch a wide range of activities targeted at both the local communities and a large trans-border network of professionals such as contemporary artists, photographers, musicians, curators, art and cultural managers etc. A total of 11 exchange exhibitions to display the most interesting contemporary art practices are planned to be held in Gdansk, Kaliningrad and Klaipeda throughout the duration of the project.
Alongside this widely used approach to cultural exchange, the project will employ a number of other mechanisms for enhancing large-scale production- and process-based cooperation in the region.
The first main component “Close Stranger: rethinking the region through contemporary arts” will serve a platform for interdisciplinary professional exchange on the issues of regional identity, interdependencies and connections, which will be used by Lithuanian, Polish and Russian artists and curators. Their views and ideas about their neighbours’ territories will be shared and communicated to wide audiences in Gdansk, Kaliningrad and Klaipeda during an art expedition, art residences, festivals “Sound Around” and the exhibition “Close Stranger” as well as in an artistic guide “Art-Guide: Gdansk-Kaliningrad-Klaipeda”.
The second component “Transformation of public spaces in Gdansk, Kaliningrad, Klaipeda: architecture, art, community” will help facilitate an exchange of experience in developing public art and involve creation of public art works, organization of study trips and publication of a catalogue “The City In Situ: Public Art in Gdansk, Kaliningrad, Klaipeda”.
The third component “Exchange of experience in education and community development programmes between the project partners” will envisage a number of study visits and joint workshops for art education professionals aimed at developing and testing educational programmes for local audiences.
The “Close Stranger” project is implemented in the framework of the Lithuania-Poland-Russia ENPI Cross-Border Co-operation Programme 2007-2013. The main objective of the Programme financed from the funds of the European Union and the Russian Federation is to strengthen cooperation between Lithuania, Poland and Russia through enhanced bilateral and trilateral relations.
The total cost of the “Close Stranger” project is 873,620.59 Euro. The Programme’s contribution to the project equals to 768,786.12 Euro (88%). The involved institutions provide co-financing in the amount of 104,834.47 Euro (12%).
On the whole, the project is expected to result in increased collaboration among the leading cultural institutions and professionals in Gdansk, Kaliningrad and Klaipeda as well as an improved access to contemporary arts for the population of these cities. The project is committed to bringing together over 80 professionals from the three countries and organizing 25 trilateral and 55 bilateral events dedicated to promoting Lithuanian, Polish and Russian contemporary arts to as wide an audience as possible. Over 140 works will be exhibited for the general public in new locations, and 54 works will be created during art residences planned within the project. Nine educational programmes will be developed and offered for visitors of the exhibitions, which will be also accompanied by the production of catalogues. A total number of publications – six exhibition catalogues, a catalogue of public art works and an art guide – will reach 8,500 copies. An online database containing over 150 entries in 4 languages (English, Lithuanian, Polish and Russian) and featuring the contemporary arts and culture scene in Gdansk, Kaliningrad and Klaipeda will be created. All these activities are targeted at gaining a better understanding of our near neighbours and creating additional relationships in local communities across boundaries.
The Lithuania-Poland-Russia European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013 aims at promoting economic and social development on both sides of the EU-Russian border, addressing common challenges and problems, and promoting people to people cooperation. Under the Programme, legal non-profit entities from the Lithuanian and Polish border regions, and the entire Kaliningrad oblast implement joint projects co-financed by the EU and the Russian Federation.
The European Union is made up of 27 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union under the Lithuania-Poland-Russia ENPI Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Baltic Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.