The project From Complicated Past Towards Shared Futures is a collaboration between the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art in Riga, the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius (Lithuanian National Museum of Art), OFF-Biennale in Budapest, Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz, and Malmö Art Museum. The project seeks to explore and communicate the entanglements of past and present, and is searching for new ways how art and culture can raise awareness of these issues for the wider public and influence.
The main goal of the project is to understand the difficult pasts of different times and origins through activities organized by artists, art scientists, curators, education professionals and other specialists, as well as to share experiences on the development of educational programs while trying to involve more diverse audiences. In order for the central topics of the project to reach the widest possible audience, various types and scales of activities are implemented during the project - exhibitions and their public programs, regular internal meetings, as well as public workshops, discussions and symposiums. The newly acquired information during all project activities is being collected and published on the online platform of the project.
Complex relationship between contemporary artistic, cultural and socio-political environments and the 20th century has been an important part of the recent work of the partners. To extend the scope of the local and national activities, all of them have engaged in shaping a collaborative project to reach a wider international audience and to strengthen their capacity of cross-disciplinary working methods and transnational mobility and together search for and share novel and best working art mediation strategies.
The overall goal of the project is to strengthen the European integrity and values, as well as to prevent the possible rise of hostility and discrimination towards under-represented groups of the current European society by revealing and communicating the difficult pasts and seeking meaningful ways for shaping the futures through international and transdisciplinar art and collaboration project. At the centre of the project are the uneasy relations between past and present, their entangled nature in the 20th century and the consequences that difficult past has left to contemporary realities in Europe. The project explores and communicates these entanglements of past and present, and seeks for new approaches on how art and culture can raise awareness on these issues for wider public, and influence current realities.
In order for the central topics of the project to reach the widest possible audience, various types and scales of activities are implemented during the project - exhibitions, public and internal workshops and discussions, as well as an online platform for publishing original content. The project is based on creative co-productions and transdisciplinary collaborations between professionals from the fields of art and media, education, activism, memory studies etc. The participants of the project are sharing their competences and together are developing unconventional perspectives dealing with difficult past and present.
— To promote transnational mobility of cultural professionals and artists from five European countries - Latvia, Sweden, Hungary, Poland and Lithuania enhancing their contacts, networks and creative collaborations.
— To develop accessibility of the audiences and extend them both nationally and internationally augmenting the usual audiences and general public with the inclusion of new audiences coming from different fields usually not directly connected with arts;
— To address and communicate the topics of complex yet unspoken or silenced pasts and presents of participating countries through a collaborative and transdisciplinar contemporary exhibitions and public programs;
— To disseminate and exploit the results of the project in order to deliver the quality content created by the consortium to the widest possible audiences.
Within the framework of the project, looking at the central topics of the project from different angles, all involved institutions organize contemporary art exhibitions gathering contemporary artists from all Europe: RomaMoMA in Budapest - a contemporary art project initiating a forum for collaborative reflection on a future Roma Museum of Contemporary Art, Difficult Pasts. Connected Worlds - series of two exhibitions in Vilnius and Riga, Latvian collection exhibition in Malmo, Late style: The Avant-garde in Old Age exhibition in Lodz.
All partner institutions are developing a variety of educational programs and projects that promote the values of an inclusive society. The main projects involving different audiences include the art mediation programs for people of different ages, promotion of the accessibility of cultural activities for people with special needs, physical and mental illnesses, public discussions and workshops on current topics, curated programs for foreigners for easier integration into the local societies, art therapy classes, etc.
Facing the seemingly unprecedent rise of right-wing movements, hostility and discrimination towards ethnic and sexual minorities, migrants, asylum seekers and homeless people in the current Europe, in fact, there can be noticed frightening similarities with the 20th-century past that is still often neglected or silenced. There is an urgent need to find ways to address and communicate both past and present violence in order to fight against it in contemporary society. The project will explore and communicate the entanglements of past and present, and will seek for new approaches on how art and culture can raise awareness on these issues for wider public, and influence current realities.