Regional Network for Cultural Diversity is project funded by the European Commission in the framework of the Civil Society and Media Programme 2018-2019, EuropeAid/162473/DH/ACT/Mulit, and has duration of 4 years starting from 01.09.2020 and will be completed by 31.08.2024.
The Project is implemented by Goethe-Institut Skopje together with the Partner organizations: Center for Balkan Cooperation – Loja (North Macedonia), Fondacioni InstitutiiLibritdheiPromocionit (Albania), Kalem Culture Association (Turkey), Association Krokodil (Serbia) and Qendra Multimedia (Kosovo).
The project – Regional Network for Cultural Diversity contributes to reconciliation and intercultural tolerance by opening new channels of communication for the independent cultural societies, offering them networking opportunities away from the political stage. In the Western Balkan countries, few mechanisms provide regional cultural communication. The project addresses this gap by offering networking opportunities that facilitate the exchange of experiences through joint projects, public events and campaigns. These promote diverse cultural initiatives and provide space for the presentation of the work of smaller grassroots initiatives in the regional arena.
The project aims to promote intercultural reading skills and democratic values through reading culture and the handling of supra-regional high-quality literary works. This includes the establishment and operation of a mobile library in 5 countries and the support of 10 regional literature festivals on the topic of intercultural exchange and reconciliation. Audiences in 5 countries will come into contact with works by authors and cultures of neighboring countries, which in several cases have entered into conflict earlier, and promote reading culture as an instrument for tolerance and reconciliation. Through literature, the reader is exposed to a wealth of cultural characteristics, but also personal conditions, aspirations and dilemmas, which enable him or her to identify with, relate to and empathize better with people of other cultural backgrounds, which helps to overcome social distance.
Along with 6 CSOs who are part of the project consortium, the action will increase the capacity of up to 90 cultural initiatives through sub-granting, training or networking support. CSO’s are critical to the success of this project, as they wield considerable influence in culture and society change. Additional target groups are regional agents of change, which in this case are artists, writers, translators, and other cultural operators. As many as 120 schools in the WB region and Turkey and over 100 libraries will be targeted with informational materials and their inclusion in various activities. Other beneficiaries include citizens of Kosovo, Serbia, North Macedonia, Turkey and Albania. Special focus will be put on youth. This accounts to more than 5.000 youth who will directly participate in activities, but also more than 500.000 who will be exposed to information stemming from activity implementation and promotion.
What make this project unique is the vision of building a unified platform for advocacy and awareness, raising on effective ways to introduce the cultural work between citizens of different countries in the Balkans, and the original and creative ways to open channels of communication between regional cultural actors, therefore significantly contributing the reconciliation between different countries, and their cultural exchange.