Monday, 10 March 2008

Founding the inSEEcp

The first Regional workshop of cultural portals, Belgrade 2006
Goethe-Institut Belgrade, Knez Mihailova 50


The inSEEcp was founded by representatives of SEEcult.org (Serbia); Culturenet.hr, Kulturpunkt.hr, Culturelink.hr and Knjiga.hr (Croatia); Radio Student, Artservis.org and Evrokultura.org (Slovenia); Culture.in.mk (Macedonia); Bosniaexpress.com (Bosnia). It was founded at the first workshop of regional cultural portals, held on November 27-29 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 at the workshop “Culture on the Internet / Networking Participants in the Cultural Domain in South-East Europe through Specialized Internet Portals” at the Goethe Institute Belgrade also 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.


Regarding the importance of the presence of culture on internet, common problems of cultural portals in region (cultural policy, IT development, finance…), sort of a gap in this field between our most of our countries and EU, as well as fast development of web technology generally, the participants of the first workshop concluded that inSEEcp network is needed for exchanging information and experiences, improving professional and technical skills, support and promote quality culture production in the region and also to bring new audience to our respective portals, especially because of the fact that, as for now, there isn’t such of regional platform for cultural portals in the former Yugoslavia region and wider, while cooperation in culture on institutional (state) level between the countries in the region is slow and overwhelmed with various administrative issues.


The participants of the workshop agreed to make an informal network and set out a joint founding manifesto regarding common mission and goals, as well as to continue networking through the Internet, organizing follow-up training and networking workshops and building resources for various joint on-line and off-line activities.


Among the goals which were set out at the workshop are: promoting inter-cultural exchange and transnational debate between the countries of former Yugoslavia, promoting European integration from the bottom up by means of civil society networks on the Internet, communicating the significance of culture for system change and democratization in the region, as well as communicating the current gulf between the significance of cultural portals in SEE region and their poor financial backing, and engaging in joint fund raising strategies.


Also was concluded that Internet fulfils a crucial role in culture in region in the midst of transition and European integration process, because it facilitates and promotes transnational debate and cultural exchange among like-minded people in neighboring countries and the EU as a whole. It also contributes to the internationalization of the regional culture and art scene, enabling also the reverse process - promotion of contemporary world trends in region.


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.


Among the participants of the round table were professor Milena Dragicevic Sesic from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, Belgrade Assistant Mayor Gorica Mojovic, Yugoslav Film Archive Museum director Dinko Tucakovic, Belgrade Dramatic Theatre director Nebojsa Bradic, editor of the daily Politika’s culture section Andjelka Cvijic and artist Zoran Popovic, and the aim was to affirm the significance of culture portals as the new media and platforms for comprehensive presentation of the regional culture and art scene, distinguishing the possibilities for networking them, for the purpose of internationalizing regional culture and art, as well as for promoting cooperation and networking between the participants in the culture and art domain.


The workshop and panel discussion triggered comprehensive coverage in Belgrade media, as well as on the culture and Internet related forums and blogs, and the German portal Signandsight.com, which was represented at the workshop by Gabriella G√∂nczy, in role of moderator, noted that “the workshop has shown that journalists, multiplicators and actors in the areas of culture and international communication have come much farther than politicians in the respective countries. With the networking possibilities of a cross-border medium like the Internet, this group shows much promise for promoting cultural dialogue between their countries and with the countries of the EU”.


Participants: Zlata Veselinovic (Bosniaexpress.com), Aleksandra Uzelac (Culturelink.hr), Dea Vidovic (Kulturpunkt.hr), Deborah Hustic (Culturenet.hr), Valerij Juresic (Knjiga.hr), Jasna Vrteva (Culture.in.mk), Marija Mojca Pungercar (Artservis.org), Petja Grafenauer (Radio Student), Dusan Dovc (Evrokultura.org), Vesna Milosavljevic and Mima Marjanovic (SEEcult.org), Jenni Winterhagen (N-ost.de).


(Text by: Vesna Milosavljevic, SEEcult.org)

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