The initiative of Translocal Solidarity Networks was launched on the day four of the Chobi Mela 'Shunno' a special edition. It has dedicated one day to the theme 'Solidarity'.
This network will function as a participatory and self-critical hub for socially committed artists and cultural organisations across South Asia, said a press release.
The partner consortium consists of Chobi Mela and Goethe-Institut offices across South Asia – including Bangladesh, Kolkata, Chennai, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Chobi Mela's Festival Director and Curator Tanzim Wahab, and Goethe-Institut Bangladesh's Director Dr Kirsten Hackenbroch presented the concept of Translocal Solidarity Networks.
They shared that the idea took shape, while observing how socially engaged artists and cultural organisations frequently face challenges regarding the environment they work and structures they operate in.
The initiative is looking into creating support structures for vulnerable cultural organisations and practitioners in South Asia.
"The project aspires to form a starting point for developing collective measures to address concerns of civil society, cultural institutions and socially committed artists," said Kirsten Hackenbroch.
Wahab and Hackenbroch emphasised the importance of safe spaces and the creation of tailor-made forums to foster discourse. Further, the multilingualism of the region and its cultural scenes were mentioned as important factors.
Translocal Solidarity Networks strives to offer an open hub for people to join and claim their presence. An online platform will allow artist collectives, cultural policy makers, and art professionals to locate themselves and get involved. The platform will include comprehensive archives, free manuals, and guidelines.
On the topics protection, equality, solidarity, and navigating in volatile environments, workshops and webinars will be facilitated.
Translocal Solidarity Networks is a new, self-critical initiative that thrives to transform into a dynamic movement of knowledge production for critical and socially motivated artist projects and inclusive cultural leadership.