The aims of this project were: 1) To map the existing independent cultural spaces in Spain and compile information on their management, organisation and programme models; 2) To foster the exchange of experiences and promote cooperation among the independent cultural spaces that had been identified; and 3) To encourage international relations, specially with Trans Europe Halles and its members.
In September 2010 the participation in TEH Meeting 70 in Leipzig (Germany) of several Spanish independent cultural spaces was facilitated. From the beginning of 2011 all the project’s objectives were met and the mapping project was extended to Portugal, where - at the moment of writing these lines - more than 80 independent cultural spaces have been contacted.
However, 2010 was a bad year for independent cultural spaces in Spain. Some of them were forced to close because of economical difficulties: Nave Spacial (Sevilla), Otro Espacio (Valencia) and Espacio Abisal (Bilbao), for instance.
Others are endangered because of the reduction of culture budgets, affecting most of all the independent projects. An example of that is the Federation of Independent Artistic Agents of Madrid, composed of eleven organizations, to which the city hasn’t yet paid last year’s subsidies while its pharaonic public projects keep on increasing their activities and recruiting staff.
As any crisis offers opportunities for change, new paths of cooperation are opening in the independent Spanish panorama due to the precarious situation of these cultural spaces and the cynical lack of support from the public administration. Independent cultural spaces are beginning to take action and organise themselves. In fact, this little article opens a series of communication actions meant to disseminate the Manifesto for Independent Cultural Spaces (available in English
) and start a debate process around this kind of spaces in Spain and Portugal.
The Manifesto is signed and supported by Kunterbunt Cultura Independiente
, El Hervidero
(Gijón), Espacio Tangente
(Burgos), Off Limits
(Madrid), Ateneu Santboià
(Santboi de Llobregat, Barcelona) and Federación de Agentes Artísticos Independientes de Madrid
José Luis Rodriguez, Kunterbunt Cultura Independiente.