Emerging Communities: empowering communities across Europe

Open Cultural Center is collaborating with the ‘Emerging Communities’ project of the European Union, which brings together organizations from Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Serbia that are active in the fields of adult education, social engagement, empowerment, social inclusion, housing and communing.

The transnational and multidimensional approach of all the projects involved in this initiative enables a wider knowledge transfer and exchange of good practices among participating organizations while empowering communities and many other relevant stakeholders at local, regional, national and European levels. Inwole-Potsdam, Ethos, Communitism, GKP-Novi Sad, Italia che Cambia, Im Wandel-Berlin, and Open Cultural Center get together in this project to enable social engagement and citizen participation in relation to the development of sustainable communities, neighbourhood initiatives, and local spaces and networks.

For this project, members from OCC get the opportunity to visit the partner organisations and learn from each other. Last October, our team members from Barcelona Charlotte and Diana made a trip to Germany for the kick-off meeting, where they visited Projekthaus in Potsdam, just outside Berlin. They met the partners from other participating organisations and had many conversations about the work they are developing in different European countries. The Projekthaus itself is a community living project, where families, individuals and friends live together in three different houses. Over the years they have developed different ways of organising their co-living, and it was fascinating to hear from Petar who has been a member of the community for a long time. Besides the meetings, there was plenty of time to discover Berlin and Potsdam over the weekend, and Charlotte and Diana joined the other participants to visit Tempelhofer Feld, an old airport in Berlin that is now a huge park, and Potsdam Old Town.

More recently, during the last week of March of this year, OCC Spain members Joana and Serin travelled to Athens, where they were hosted by the partner organisation Communitism. Communitism is an open community of creative professionals located in the Athenian neighbourhood of Metaxourgio. They describe themselves as an art project aiming to motivate community structures into activating abandoned cultural heritage buildings in Athens.

During the meeting, the team members of Communitism showed the neighbourhood they are located in and explained the impact that gentrification has on cities such as Athens. They also showed their amazing building and explained how everything started. In addition, they shared how they developed their organisation and made an impact on their community. Next to the meetings with the partners, there was also time for Joana and Serin to do some sightseeing and explore the capital of Greece.

Here we share a little gallery of pictures of our trip to Athens!