We envision a future where independent cultural spaces and their communities in urgency are self-reliant, both in rural and urban environments, even when political support is non-existent.
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Space of Urgency

We work in partnership with cultural initiatives, political agents, independent media, universities and local governments. We build trust through collaboration, and collectively create new ways of safeguarding independent cultural spaces and their communities.

Frei(T)räume / Envisioning Free Space Conference 2019

What do we do?

We support self-organized communities, space producers and cultural initiatives all over the world.  Our work involves the design and implementation of concepts, strategies and approaches to support communities we directly work with, and to create environments for exchange, network development and consensus building across multi-actor settings.

Within these fields we often perform community-based research, trust-building engagement, peer-to-peer exchange, sound-system interventions, spatial analysis, platform development, and community calls, as well as creating new digital media and online tools.

All this contributes to a growing set of tools, approaches and knowledge aimed to enable environments for community organization, counter contentious political-ideological narratives and guide policy and bureaucratic reform.

What is the need for Space of Urgency?

As a unifying metaphor – Space of Urgency draws immediate attention to the precarious position of independent cultural spaces. The Covid-19 global crisis, an expanding war, coupled with economic standstill and political polarisation threathens the very existence of social ecosystems where non-dominant youth culture, queer communities and other underrepresented groups reside. Within this current socio-political crisis, pre-existing issues such as lack of funding and resources, politically disabling environments, corporate takeovers, gentrification, commodification, social stigmatization and marginalization are only exacerbated.

To achieve our vision of free spaces in the next 5 years, we need to start by tackling the biggest obstacles in our way and ask ourselves:

How can we arm independent cultural spaces with knowledge and resources to become more self-reliant?

How can we better measure their social, cultural and economic impact?

How can we get independent spaces, municipal bodies and changemakers to build trust through real participation and foster knowledge exchange?

How can we reduce the gap between the real world and the systemic world of local governments when it comes to participatory citymaking?

How do we choose our projects?

We choose which projects we undertake according to several criteria:

  • It must involve, serve and prosper self-organized communities, independent cultural spaces and non-dominant groups.
  • The project offers us an opportunity to develop forward-thinking models, approaches and tools.
  • The project explicitly excludes any form of racism, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism and other forms of intolerance.
  • We also aim to take on projects that implement some form of systemic change either by building trust between diverse groups, informing policy reform or implementing new bureaucratic solutions.

Who do we work with?

  • We have worked with, and continue to work with a diverse spectrum of cultural initiatives, community groups, space producers and activists from around the world.
  • We routinely collaborate with media organizations, NGO’s, as well as academic and cultural institutions.
  • We also accept commission from, or work directly with governments and public authorities, depending on their motivations or if we see capacity to implement systemic change.

How are we funded?

Space of Urgency is a subsidiary project under our legal entity Kollektiv Spieltrieb e.V. – an association founded in 2017 in Berlin, Germany. Activities in the Netherlands may be carried out under the legal entity of stichting de Restauratie.

 

Space of Urgency is supported with an initial seed-funding by the Guerrilla Foundation.

We also receive funding for commissioned projects from non-profit organizations, governments and European foundations.

The Urgency
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