About the project
ECHO II is a European cultural project inviting artists who work in the fields of painting, sculpture, graphic design, fashion design, craftwork and mural to create original artworks inspired by the following selected local traditions:
- The local traditions related to the sea in Spetses island (Greece),
- The local traditions of the city of Sofia (Bulgaria),
- The local traditions of the Lake Prespa (Prespa region, North Macedonia),
- The life and community of Győr distillery’s workers as a local tradition of Győr (Torula-Győr, Hungary), and
- The local traditions of the Smolyan town (Bulgaria).
In the context of ECHO II, local traditions are perceived as dynamic and evolving processes that shape and are shaped by the lives of local communities. This means that traditions are recognised as constitutive elements of cultural identities, but are not considered as ‘objects’ that need to be retained unaltered and protected via musealisation. In this light, ECHO II takes a critical stance towards established but unfruitful perspectives that restrict innovation and creativity, and consists of an opportunity (a) for artists to highlight and renew local traditions through contemporary artistic creation, and (b) for the local communities to self-reflect, and hence, reconceptualise and revitalise their own traditions within the framework of European cultural heritage.
Inter Alia, in close cooperation with the non-profit organisations Sfera International, Open Space Foundation and Pro Progressione organises:
- five (5) art residencies in Spetses (Greece), Sofia (Bulgaria), Prespa Lake (North Macedonia), Győr (Hungary), and Smolyan (Bulgaria) in the context of which the artists-in-residence get in touch with experts and representatives from the local communities, explore the selected local traditions, and create their own original artworks; and
- five (5) local arts exhibitions in the above mentioned locations, in the context of which the artworks created during the art residences are exhibited and presented to local audiences.
With the guidance of PostScriptum, Inter Alia digitises and records the artistic creations, in order to offer an open access digital collection and repository on “Traditions in Transition”. PostScriptum is also responsible for the digital strategy of ECHO II, in order to maximise the digital footprint of the project, to bring wider audiences in contact with contemporary European artistic creations, and to empower the participant artists and other professionals from the cultural and creative sectors through webinars, in order for them to face the challenges of the digital shift and thrive in their sectors.
Balkans Beyond Borders will organise the final event of the project, the Gala of Curiosities, which will take place in the context of BBB Short Film Festival 2021, and will bring together professionals from the cultural and creative sectors from around Europe to discuss the issue of “Traditions in Transition”. In addition, GLAM Hack will design and offer two custom workshops for professionals and amateurs to learn and experiment on how to reuse and remix the open content of the ECHO II digital collection and repository for their own research, educational and creative purposes.
ECHO II is inspired by the pilot project ECHO: European Cultural Heritage Onstage (2018-19), which was implemented in the context of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.
ECHO focused on the Dark Cultural Heritage of the Balkans, and invited artists to create original artworks after exploring the events of World War I (Macedonian Front) and World War II (Novi Sad Raid) and their impact on the local communities of Bitola (North Macedonia) and Novi Sad (Serbia).
ECHO II: Traditions In Transition started on 1 September 2020 and will end on 20 June 2022.
If you want to learn more about ECHO II, you can:
- visit the ECHO II website: https://echo-ii.eu;
- contact Veroniki Krikoni (email@example.com), Nikos Pasamitros (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Revekka Kefalea (email@example.com).
ECHO II is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.