Reg Lab: Crossing the Line – Collaborative Perspectives on the Future of Culture

Kooperativa and the Association Independent Cultural Scene of Serbia are inviting you to an exploratory conference “Crossing the Line: Collaborative Perspectives on the Future of Culture”. This conference will facilitate conversations and discussions on collectively confronting and tackling the unresolved issues and unspoken challenges that have shaped the independent scene. It will take place in the Cultural Center Magacin in Belgrade from February 22nd to 24th, 2024. 

The program presents a step forward in dismantling the imaginary boundaries and crossing the lines that often obstruct meaningful dialogue and effective cooperation within the cultural landscape. During the three days, various participants from the region’s artistic, cultural and civic spheres will convene – from artists and cultural workers to funders, stakeholders and representatives of institutions. 

Set within the backdrop of a site-specific installation and exhibition illustrating the achievements and results of the REG LAB project, the conference aims to offer insightful discussions while serving as a live demonstration of the power of collaborative art and culture in the region. 

Starting on Thursday, February 22nd, with an introductory meeting and the opening of Kooperativa’s exhibition “Archives of Friendship – Poetics of Resistance”, we aim to set the stage for a series of dialogues, presentations, and artistic performances that delve deep into the current state and future potential of cultural collaboration. Each day is designed to foster open discussions, critical thinking, and creative exploration. The programs provide space for these processes, encouraging participation but without imposing completion. Constantly challenging and evolving, key topics will include the reevaluation of conventional project funding models and logic, the role of funders in independent scenes, and innovative approaches to cultural organization and collaboration.

On Friday and Saturday, we proceed with engaging forums, interactive sessions, and open discussions with topics ranging from confronting societal challenges through art to understanding the interplay between funders and cultural organizations and the emergence of new collaborative models in the cultural sector with a special focus on Kooperativa’s New Model of the Program Exchange and Cooperation. The conference culminates in a closing party, marking the end of a chapter while anticipating new dialogues, partnerships and opportunities for growth and transformation. 

We hope you will join an exploration of culture, collaboration, and creativity as we examine the experiences with and the shortcomings of the existing systems in culture and cross the line together to examine future possibilities.

The conference marks the finalization of the 3-year collaborative project “Regional Lab: New Culture Spaces and Networks as Drivers of an Innovative and Sustainable Bottom-up Development of Regional Collaboration (REG.Lab)”, co-financed by EU through the “Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance” (IPA II) program, which provided a dynamic platform for collaboration, experimentation, peer-to-peer exchange and co-creation between the organizations on the independent cultural scene in Southeast Europe. 

REG.LAB je projekt usmjeren izgradnji kapaciteta i vještina umjetnika i kulturnih radnika za regionalno i međunarodno djelovanje. Proizlazi iz postojećih iskustava i suradnji te nastavlja razvijati regionalnu i europsku razmjenu, stvarajući dinamične programe umjetničke razmjene između kulturnih centara i proizvodeći znanja o novim participativnim modelima djelovanja temeljenima na dokazima. Projekt provodi konzorcij sastavljen od partnerskih organizacija iz šest zemalja Jugoistočne Europe – predvođen je Kooperativom – Regionalnom platformom za kulturu i projektnim partnerima: Anibar (Kosovo), Društvo Asociacija (Slovenija), NKSS from (Srbija), Jadro Association | Јадро Асоцијација | Jadro Asociacioni (Sjeverna Makedonija), Operacija grad (Hrvatska) i OKC Abrašević (Bosna i Hercegovina).