About the Project

Open institutions is a project focusing on how to reform existing and develop new types of cultural institutions that serve as meeting points opened to artists, citizens and civil society groups.

Context or what is it all about?

Public institutions still play a crucial role in the post Yugoslav cultural landscapes. Their role in the transitional societies of the region was trough last decades marked by representation of identities, as well as by structural dinamics that haven’t been reformed since the fall of socialism.

In oposition to these political projects, strong social and cultural countertendencies emerged that have created a parallel, dynamic domain of new social movements, new cultural and artistic practices.

Nowadays, after the need for strong identity – establishing and legitimation – providing roles of the cultural institutions has diminished, they went back to their old ways: assuming the central role in the cultural production and commanding almost all the infrastructural resources. Open institutions aims to challenge existing situation, by opening questions of crucial importance for all practicioners active in the cultural sector, but at the same time, opening the debate towards examining instututionalism in cultural and wider social context.

Activities or what do we do?

Open Institutions comprises several events – international conference Open Institutions: Institutional Imagination and Cultural Public Sphere in Zagreb (January 2011), workshop and public debate Open Institutions: In Search for New Models of Collaboration Between NGOs and Public Institutions in Ljubljana (February 2011), workshop and public debate in Skopje (April 2011) – a publication and this web site.

In all these formats Open Institutions attempts to reflect on the main question: how to develop a new type of cultural institutions, institutions functioning as intercultural meeting points opened to citizens and civil society groups, rather than closed, exclusivist places engaged in building national (or local) fixed identities?

For all those interested in institutional openness, this web site is meant to be a tool which provides background documents on institutional openness, resources for further reading, examples of good practice from all around Europe as well as documentation from the project events which suggest possible answers or directions of action.

Organizers, partners or who we are?

The project Open Institutions was initiated by Alliance Operation City (Zagreb), Asociacija (Ljubljana) and Kontrapunkt (Skopje). It will gather various actors in the cultural field, in order to create spaces and formats for gathering institutions, policymakers, experts, indepenedent artists and civil society organizations in discussion, reflection and sharing of ideas and knowledge on institutional openness.

Donors or who supports the project?

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