About the project
Pause / Play: Culture Under Pressure invites cultural practitioners (including, but not exclusive to: artists, curators, cultural managers and NGO staff) and digital experts (e.g. software engineers, game and 3D designers, web developers and researchers) to participate in an online mentoring programme from September to October 2022, followed by an offline forum iп Tbilisi from 7th to 14th of November 2022.
The project is aimed at integrating professionals who have currently relocated to Germany, Poland and Georgia due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and political repressions in Belarus. Also, the local communities in the afore-mentioned host countries are warmly welcome to take part, building a network of creative, cultural, and digital professionals, collaborating on future potential digital projects. Several mentors will lead the workshops and speak at the open discussion to encourage and support the participants.
Due to the pandemic, as well as recent political crises, many cultural professionals were forced to put their usual activities on pause for an indefinite period. However, the challenges of this time have also been a catalyst for new developments in digitalization. For example, there has been an increase in accessibility of digital tools and practices, beyond political borders, overcoming institutional hierarchies, and opening opportunities to build democratic structures based on equality and solidarity. Digitalization, therefore, provides new possibilities to work internationally within the arts- and culture scene. Culture Under Pressure will try to help build new collaboration between cultural practitioners and digital experts for interdisciplinary corporations.
The project will take place in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, because, in recent years, the city has become the centre of a significant wave of emigration and escape, from other-minded people from repressive political regimes. The diametric identity of Tbilisi, juxtaposed between Soviet history and ongoing Europeanisation, and hosting diverse art and cultural initiatives, provides a fitting environment for international exchange in a time of conflict and political pressure.