Festival Libraries and Commons in South Eastern Europe Festival

Goethe Commons © David Jacob I CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Thu, 30.06.2022

9:00 - 17:30


Since 2019, the libraries of the Goethe-Instituts in Southeast Europe have been dealing with the topic of the commons, trying to shed light on it under the following questions: What are the commons? What is commoning? And how can the Goethe-Institute support the commons movement?

The festival "Libraries as Commons in Southeast Europe" is at the same time a review of the past two years and a look into the future of libraries as possible spaces for commoning. The program consists of a series of lectures and workshops in which participants can approach the topic of commons from different perspectives. 


09.00-09.30                Registration, coffee
09.30-10.00                Welcome, opening
10.00-11.00                Dimitris Soudias: Imagining the Commoning Library: What is it for?
                                   And what is it against?  

11.00-12.00                Emmanouil Levedianos: Urban Commons in practice. Ways of empowering
                                   local communities for co-producing the city

12.00-12.30                Coffee Break
12.30-13.30                Iva Čukić: How to achieve libraries as commons?
12.30-12.30                Mario Hibert: Reimagining Commons for the Postdigital Age 
13.30-14.30                Mariana Harjevschi, Claudia Șerbănuță: Chișinau on Commons with the
                                   help of librarians

14.30-15.30                Lunch and Coffee Break
15.30-16.30                Katarina Kostadinović: Commonig trough Art /
                                   Society of joint Responsibility

16.30-17.30                Orkut Murat Yılmaz: Open Geospatial Data for Public Good

With this event we partly answer the question how the Goethe-Institute can support the commons movement: by bringing the commons participants together and serving as a platform for discussion of your ideas and practices, by creating physical, digital and mental spaces for commoning. The libraries of the Goethe-Instituts in Greece, Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Turkey did this by carrying out projects, initiatives, events and actions on the topic of commons and commoning with local partners.

The Goethe-Institute Athens initiated for example a collective, self-organized translation based on the practice of the commons of the book "Free, fair and alive. The insurgent power of the commons" by Silke Helfrich and David Bollier, and supported with partners a collective project of several commoning actors in piloting a toolkit for interventions and events in public space.

The Goethe-Institute in Belgrade dealt with the question of what the concept of commons means in art: What do the processes of commoning in art looks like? Can art become a vital force in the process of commoning and act in a forward-looking way? Does this change artistic practice, and if so, how?

In Bucharest, the Goethe-Institute organized edit-a-thons in collaboration with the local Wikipedia community, and in 2020 was a co-organizer of the Occupy Library conference, where it worked with the Wikimedia Foundation to design a conference program that also addressed free access to knowledge and free software.

In Istanbul, the Goethe-Institute organized a series of cultural workshops with various local partners in 2021, covering topics such as the importance of data quality and data cleansing in Covid-19, open licenses to combat the pandemic, providing health information to the public during the pandemic, and free cartography, open data culture in cartography, and free and open source geospatial tools.

The Goethe-Institute in Zagreb promoted conversations and discussions about the concept of commons in library spaces. As a result, the publication Evolution of Libraries as Commons was produced, as well as a series of (video) interviews conducted by the librarians participating in the project in their local communities with people actively engaged in the topic of commons.