Artistic projects involving the local community or the neighbourhood are perceived to be a very important mean to root independent cultural centres in the area where they operate and produce cultural activities and events. They can be a tool to improve the legitimacy of a cultural centre
or a collective operating in a given area, they can give a boost of energy and ideas and they can set in motion several useful and creative interactions between the artists and/or the cultural operators and the locals. Creating artistic and cultural projects able to involve the local communities can build the social cohesion and improve the relations between different parts of the local society. Art can also be used to celebrate and enhance the local character of a neighbourhood, which can be subsequently become interesting for visitors. If local inhabitants have the chance to work hands-on on an artistic project, this can create a sense of neighbourhood ownership and identification. Involving locals in the artistic process can open new perspectives on the artistic process itself and give the participants the chance to express their feelings and tell their stories. Neighbourhood projects can also be instrumental in making art more “democratic” and inhelping to solve some social conflicts or tensions, working against social exclusion.
Text written on the basis of discussions in Bordeaux on 28/10/2011 during the workshop on “Neighbourhood projects”
Coordination Trans Europe Halles and ARTfactories/AUtre(s)pARTs