Open City – towards the Intercultural community center

Rethinking innovations in culture, and readiness to operate within a wider socio-political context has directed the participants of independent culture to reflect on and advocate the model of the socio-cultural center. The purpose of these centers is to respond to the transdisciplinary and trans-sector culture needs, the organization of civil society, other fields of social action and the local community. In this sense, socio-cultural centers are, or may become, important places for citizens coming together and the active involvement of local communities in a variety of activities of civil society organizations and beyond.

In addition to providing more access to culture and creative activities, they are also areas in which social integration is achieved through development of various intercultural programs. Such programs are targeted at different minorities and increase their visibility in society, encourage their active involvement in the community and promote their rights. Socio-cultural centers can become a key part of social entrepreneurship and can strongly contribute to social inclusion and employment, as well as overall socio-economic development. These are also areas in which various forms of non-formal education programs, that encourage lifelong learning in different social groups, could be carried out.

The conference will critically examine the needs and problems of today’s cities, and how socio-cultural centers can contribute to reducing poverty, social exclusion and pollution, and how they encourage integration. We see integration as a two-way process involving new and old members of society existing in the same place at the same time. We will look at this contemporary phenomenon from a critical perspective and examples of good practices on the level of various experiences of EU countries, and thereby create specific suggestions, models and solutions. We are interested in this issue in the current context of city development that often encourages further privatization of urban spaces and utilities on the one hand, and the defense of common urban goods, the right of access to resources and participation in city management on the other hand.

We will present possible answers that civil society programs in partnership with local communities offer in terms of developing socio-cultural centers, and the importance of further development of partnerships between the public sector and civil society as examples of democratic management of common goods. We will map out opportunities for the development of such centers in the context of instruments of EU support in the form of rebuilding abandoned and unused locations, become familiar with examples of good practices from Europe, and hear about experiences of Croatian initiatives that advocate the development of socio-cultural centers in order to offer meaningful guidance for opening an Intercultural community center in Zagreb.

The conference is held on the second floor of a building without an elevator (former hospital in Vlaška 87), but if necessary, we will ensure help for every person that finds it difficult or impossible to get to the second floor.

If there is a need for any type of assistance and / or translation into sign language, we will try to provide it so make sure you include it when you register.

Participation in the conference is free, but registration is mandatory. You can register by emailing your name and surname along with the name of the organization or institution you represent by 10 October at zagrebotvorenigrad@gmail.com.