Call for Applications

Shifting Baselines Activist Summer Camp 2016 of European Alternatives (August 23-27th 2016) – Schloss Wartin, near Berlin

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Application Deadline: June 12th 2016

Shifting baselines leaves open in what direction the shift happens. For us it means we need to work to shift Europe in a direction that we can define as forward, radically democratic, commons-based and catering the needs of all. We have the tools to solve today’s challenges if we frame them right. Otherwise we are fighting today’s problems, issues and wars with yesterday’s frameworks. We believe collaboration across our borders and disciplines, building and strengthening of our networks and tools is a way to both react to and propose shifting baselines.

After a first successful campus #FixEurope in October 2014, we, at European Alternatives would like to go forward fixing Europe, redefining and shifting practices, narratives and imaginaries for a more progressive, democratic and open transnational community. In the past years, we have edited a Manifesto for European democracy, equality and solidarity– a result of hundreds of citizens’ panels across Europe where individuals gave their opinions and inputs on what needs to change in today’s Europe. We have also been organising the Transeuropa Festival for seven years, and have run several transnational campaigns on fundamental rights and migrant rights, as well as the European Citizens Initiative on media reform. We have launched an innovative media channel, TalkReal, to bring progressive voices debate and inform Europeans on burning issues across the continent. We have run capacity building programs such as the Citizens Rights training to connect activists beyond their areas of work and create opportunities to cooperate across struggles, and beyond borders.

At this year’s Campus we propose to work on four main areas. These are areas we have worked on from several months to several years and in which we have gathered new and existing networks and expertise to strengthen our outputs. We will create a working environment during 3,5 intense days, outside of the city, allowing us to reach concrete results. This means putting together a mix of people that can tackle the challenges we gave ourselves and are rooted in practices and places to take on and continue the fruits of our work. The four works streams will become more defined and refined by the time we get to the summer with your inputs and the different participants profiles present. There will also be a timeline of events and actions following the Campus integrating the results into existing activities.

The four main workstreams defining the Campus programme are:

1 – Shifting narratives – Develop a transnational communication and media capacity that transcend national perspectives and brings a new light on the issues we are facing across the continent; What kind of strategy to mainstream progressive voices/narrative in the media? What kind of audience do we need to reach out to and how does this transnational media engage with people?

2 – Shifting institutions – Learn from citizens-led coalitions and new municipalism to demonstrate the power of active citizenship in building more equal and democratic communities; What are successful citizens initiatives able to reclaim democratic power over their lives? How do we support these initiatives to get their messages across and come to power? How do we ensure the transition is a success and reflects the change wanted by the people?

4 – Shifting imaginations –Bringing together those that see art as a form of political engagement, we want to explore the current social relevance of artivism through (digital) activism and the overlaps between art and scientific or socio-political fields in artistic and discursive ways. In 2013, we developed with a group of artists the radio ballet ‘ Air time’ and we have collaborated with the Cuban artist Tania Bruguera who has just founded the Hannah Arendt International Institute of Artivism (see interview here). How does artivism work as a form of protest? What do we make of the situationist do-it-yourself dream when we no longer need mass media to be heard if we are inventive enough? Can we develop a common idea that could lead towards the 2017 edition of Transeuropa Festival?

Participants’ profiles

When we tackle politics, art, technology and the media we strive for diversity in terms of gender, tech literacy and professional background as well as expertise. We bring a wild mix of people together to stimulate collaborative creativity. There will be people coming from grassroots experiences, political art practices, experts working in municipal processes, media makers, border-crossers and men and women of diverse skill sets, political orientations, passions and talents.

The Campus will take place from August 23rd to 26th at Schloss Wartin near Berlin. It will be followed by the Open assembly of European Alternatives as well as a public, festive closing event in the centre of Berlin on August 27th.

The language of the Campus will be English. We will provide reading material and preparation texts in time before the Campus and all workstreams will be facilitated by professional facilitators as well as some of the people of European Alternatives.

The venue of the Campus is at an old castle in a very beautiful natural setting, roughly 1,5 hours North of Berlin. There are lakes nearby and we will spend plenty of time outside in the gardens. The venue for the final day in Berlin will be announced shortly.

How to apply

Apply here for four days of hands-on project and ideas development, intense inputs, shared best practices and learnings, open debates and cheerful exchanges.

The deadline for applications is Sunday, June 12th, midnight and you will be expected to stay for the whole duration of the Campus at Schloss Wartin from August 23-26th and attend the public event in Berlin on August 27th.

For Mor Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Shifting Baselines Activist Summer Camp of European Alternatives

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