Informal Network of SEE Cultural Portals
1.1. Network of cultural portals: profile, management, members, funding
1.3 Objectives and aims
1.4. History: regional workshops
Networking: Why and how to joins us?
1. About inSEEcp
1.1. Network of cultural portals: profile, management, members, funding
The Informal Network of SEE Cultural Portals (inSEEcp) is a result of two regional workshops of cultural portals (Belgrade 2006 and 2007), organised by SEEcult.org with the support of the Goethe-Institute Belgrade, and is the first initiative of that kind in the countries of former Yugoslavia. Regarding the importance of digital culture and common problems, as well as fast development of web technology generally, the network is needed for joint on-line and off-line advocacy in culture in internet, enabling and strengthening free flow of information of diverse regional scenes, as well as for improving professional and technical skills by exchanging information and experiences, with the aim to support and promote quality culture production and to gain wide audience.
inSEEcp is at the moment the informal network with a horizontal management structure. In the process of formalization the network will be managed by working groups:
a) networking group dealing with common projects and further networking;
b) technological group dealing with web development;
c) cultural policy group dealing with counseling and advocacy;
d) fundraising group.
Each group is run by the coordinator, who informs and reports of the activities the whole network. The network itself is managed by the temporary director/head, who is voted for the chair with a 6 month mandate. During his/her presidency, the headoffice of the network is situated at the address of his organisation.
Members of informal network
inSEEcp is the initiative of KULporter.com (Bosnia and Hercegovina); Kulturpunkt.hr, Culturelink.hr, Culturenet.hr, Knjiga.hr, Teatar.hr (Croatia); Culture.in.mk (Macedonia); Artservis.org, Evrokultura.org, Radiostudent.si (Slovenia); SEEcult.org (Serbia). The participating countries are from the same former Yugoslavia region, with similar languages and cultural, social and political history. The members are representatitives of NGO organisations, as well of governmental institutions (Culturenet.hr is a portal of Croatian Ministry for Culture). All members are multidisciplinary working mostly in the field of arts and culture and are engaged to develop civil society in its local and national milieu. They have strong international connections and are members of different networks. The network is addressed to editorial teams of its members, cultural operators working in/with/from all cultural circles (state institutions, alternative non-profit centers, public spaces, NGOs, individuals, artists’ associations, enterprises, companies, foundations, governments, embassies, media, other portals etc.) in SEE region and Europe at whole.
New members are Pro-story.org (Montenegro) and Stacion.org (Kosovo), and in a process of joining are Montenegrina.net and Startmontenegro.com (Montenegro), Plagij.at (Macedonia), Creemaginet.com (Serbia)…
The network does not recieve any operating grant to co-finance expenditure associated with the permanent activities. Two unsuccessful aplications has been carried out in 2007 and 2008 at the European Cultural Foundation. However, the members of the network managed to get project based support for two alreday implemented regional workshops and another two planned in autumn and the end of 2008 in Belgrade (the Goethe Institute / Stability Pact for SEE) and the meeting in Ljubljana (Governement Comunication Office of the Republic of Slovenia).
Up to the end of the nineties, culture and art scene in former Yugoslavia was quite developed in comparison with other Eastern European countries. Nowadays the major deficiencies of the state cultural policy in most of the countries are non-transparency, non-defined criteria, considerably low state budget for arts and culture, with bad taxation policy (tax deduction) that does not stimulate sponsorship… In the period of transition from socialistic system to liberal economy the cultural state institutions, and especially, non-profit organizations and artists in most of the countries in region are generally in disadvantaged position. Also, there are some differences between IT capacity in countries in region, which are now, after war time during 90’s, in different phases of democratic transition process and postwar reconciliation, and also in different phases of the process of European integration, with Slovenia as an EU member.
1.3. Objectives and aims
Regarding the importance of digital culture and portals as a new kind of cultural infrastructure, inSEEcp network of cultural portals is needed as unique platform for joint on-line and off-line actions for advocacy in culture in internet, improving our professional and technical skills, make influence on decisions made by policymakers in the cultural sector, as well as for contributing for cross border cooperation, multiculturalism and other diversities in region, making regional culture and art more visible on European and global level and confirming its European identity.
inSEEcp wants to:
- Emphasis the importance of digital culture and portals as a new kind of cultural infrastructure. Improve the situation of digital culture in region (infrastructure, legal issues, cultural policy…).
- Improve cultural cross border cooperation within SEE and its neighbourhood countries, including connections of non-traditional partners.
- Affirm culturally deprived zones and express the diversity of region within Europe, as well as its European identity.
- Improve possibilities for art for social change, policy development and capacity building in culture.
- Build capacity for joint actions of the network, i.e. training and workshops (improving technical skills, exchanging experiences, establishing web tools…) and further online networking and operating in digital culture, i.e. web site/blog as a domain for regional network of cultural portals.
- Joint activities for advocacy in culture (collecting and presenting individual comments and experiences, reacting in public in certain circumstances regarding culture issues…).
- Involve artists and cultural experts in the innovative and dynamic process of information-share and new methods and forms of collaboration.·
- Bring new audience to our portals, as well as our network, as an example of structural cooperation in culture.
- Broaden partnership in other countries in region.
1.4. History: regional workshops
First acquaintance of the editors of cultural portals, members of inSEEcp, took place in Dubrovnik, on the occasion of Second International Round Table Cultural Portals: A New Era of Cooperation, organized by Culturemondo.org in October 2006. The meeting offered a unique opportunity for cultural portal experts to enhance their working practices, to recognize emerging trends and to exchange experience.
The Informal Network of South-East European Cultural Portals - inSEEcp was later on founded in November 2006 in Belgrade as the result of the first regional meeting and workshop of the representatives of key cultural portals from the region of former Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Serbia). The workshop Culture on the Internet / Networking Participants in the Cultural Domain in South-East Europe through Specialized Internet Portals, was followed with the second workshop in December 2007, also in Belgrade, and other various activities of the founding members, including the inSEEcp’s blog as a joint platform for further various on-line and off-line actions for advocacy in culture on internet and cross-border cooperation, as well as for broadening the network.
Regional workshop of cultural portals No.1, Belgrade 2006
The first workshop of regional cultural portals, held on November 27-29, 2006 in Belgrade, and organized by Belgrade based SEEcult.org portal for the SEE culture, with the support of the Goethe Institute Belgrade. Among the participants was N-ost.de portal and, as moderator, representative of Germany's major independent online cultural magazine Perlentaucher.de and its English service Signandsight.com. As part of the workshop also was held a panel discussion on the theme Significance of Culture Portals, which brought together representatives of state institutions, cultural institutions, the university, artist groups and artists, media, net-activists and other professionals from culture portal’s target groups, as well as public.
Regional workshop of cultural portals No.2, Belgrade 2007
The second workshop of cultural portals from the SEE region was held on December 3-4, 2007 in Magacin Culture Centre in Belgrade, organized again by SEEcult.org with the support of the Goethe-Institut Belgrade, and bringing together the most active members of the inSEEcp in order to assess the results of joint activities and plan the agenda for 2008. Among the participants, beside the representatives of the inSEEcp’s members (Culturenet.hr, Kulturpunkt.hr (Croatia); Artservis.org, Evrokultura.org (Slovenia); SEEcult.org (Serbia), was also Anja Seeliger, founding member of Parlentaucher.de and Signandsight.com. Reviewing joint activities between two workshops, participants from region agreed on network’s name inSEEcp, discussed about drafts of possible joint projects and possibilities to apply on several open calls due to need to find basic financial resources for further activities. The conclusions were presented at the panel discussion on the theme Culture policy and Internet - SEE region and Europe, moderated by the Goethe-Institute Belgrade’s director Jutta Gehrig. All participants presented situation in their countries, which again attracted significant interest of public, as well as print, electronic and Internet media.2. Activities 2008
inSEEcp blog (www.inseecp.blogspot.com, www.inseecp.wordpress.com)
A communication tool for network’s members and web presentation for public with editorial articles on common themes (cultural policy, web 2.0, cultural portals vs. commercial/tabloid web media, language question, cultural tourism…), testimonials of selected intellectuals from the region regarding importance of culture in Internet and special columns (art residency, art market…).
Re-Network!, Ljubljana, 12 June 2008
International conference on networking in the cultural sector and stimulating transnational cooperation and free flow of information aims to to find out how “old” and “new” cultural networks manage the problem of free flow of information especially if relevant to transnational cooperation. Among the participants Vesna Milosavljević (SEEcult.org, inSEEcp) for the first time presented inSEEcp in front of the international audience.
inSEEcp meeting, Ljubljana, 12–13 June 2008
The meeting in Ljubljana was focused on a process of network's formalization and building capacity for presenting diversity of SEE culture through the regional network of cultural portals
inSEEcp workshop No.3, Belgrade, October 2008
The possibilities of web 2.0 for inSEEcp's members and possibilities of joint projects, further networking and cooperation with inSEEcp’s members.
inSEEcp Conference, Belgrade, December 2008
A regional panel discussions on cultural policy and Internet, importance of web 2.0 development and possibilities of improving cooperation on regional and European level.
inSEEcp plans to:
- Improve organizational and structural capacities of inSEEcp (rotating coordination of activities, projects and fundraising).
- Look for new potential inSEEcp’s members from participating countries and from the rest of region (Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania…).
4. Networking: Why and how to join?
inSEEcp is trying to improve cooperation between cultural portals in SEE, due to a fact that there is a lack of free flow of information relevant for the cultural sector in former Yugoslavia, despite the fact that all portals in region have similar activities, aims and target groups. At the same time, all cultural portals in region need further optimization toward new possibilities that are enabled by web 2.0 development.
Members will improve its professional skills through offline activities (workshops, panel discussions and joint activities) and online collaboration, which also contributes to the internationalization of the diverse regional cultural and art scene, enabling also the reverse process - promotion of contemporary world trends in the region.
Mapping of potential members is carried out by already participating members and is at the moment formed as informal invitation, addressed to relevant national cultural portals. No membership fee is required, an interest and a willingness to participate at the joint activities are more than welcome.