ECHO II is a European cultural project that aims to invite artists working 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 (Greece),
- The local traditions of the city of Sofia (Bulgaria),
- The local traditions of the Lake Prespa (Prespa region, Northern Macedonia), and
- The life and community of Győr distillery’s workers as a local tradition of Győr (Torula-Győr, Hungary).
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.
- four (4) art residencies in Spetses (Greece), Sofia (Bulgaria), Resen (North Macedonia) and Torula-Győr (Hungary), in the context of which the participant artists will get in touch with experts and representatives from the local communities, explore the selected local traditions, and create their own original artworks; and
- four (4) local arts exhibitions in the above mentioned locations, in the context of which the artworks created during the art residences will be exhibited and presented to local audiences.
With the guidance of PostScriptum, Inter Alia will digitise and record the artistic creations, in order to offer an open access digital collection and repository on “Traditions in Transition”. PostScriptum will also be 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 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 is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.