Hablarenarte: Cultural politics for, by, with children
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Cultural policies for/by/with children require the coordination of public authorities and their institutions with civil society and independent agents, therefore Hablarenarte aims to support the creation of permanent and stable channels that guarantee the active participation of children in culture.

Description of the tool

Para, por, con, hablarenarte's project defends the importance of building non-adultcentric participation and decision mechanisms within the cultural spaces. As part of the Cultural Creative Spaces and Cities project, hablarenarte developed research and carried out a series of cultural activities focused on building participation and decision-making mechanisms within the cultural and educational spaces for, by, with children. In collaboration with the local partners: Medialab Prado, Intermediae Madrid and the Madrid City Council's Sub-directorate of Innovation, they explored tools to strengthen the dialogue between cultural institutions and the children's community: mechanisms that promote effective participatory processes involving citizens, public schools, cultural institutions and artistic groups. A transversal intervention that builds on pre-existing knowledge in the context, connects local institutions, community initiatives, experts and children's communities. The project's activities are tools to create channels of mutual listening and participation to create cultural spaces for, by, with children, and through this, advocating for an intergenerational diversity.

Steps of application

At the heart of a new generation of cultural policy, co-creation should be placed to unleash new cultural forces, capture the narratives of children's accounts and foster an inter-generational dialogue on equal footing. The para, por, con project's starting point is a long-running investigation into children's place in the cultural sphere. It aims to support creating permanent and stable channels that guarantee children's active participation in culture. In order to do so, they train cultural agents to listen to children, understand their needs and co-design projects, create channels of communication between institutions and children, and share the knowledge of those who work on this issue. Training // Ferocious love (Amor feroz) or how to co-create contemporary art projects with children and young people Focusing on specific examples of art projects created with children, teenagers and young adults through participatory and socially-embedded methodologies, this workshop with artist Mikhail Karikis aimed to equip project-participants with specialist knowledge, share practical experience, give theoretical prompts and activate critical thinking on commissioning, considering the impact of art projects that engage young people. Through exercises and group activities they reflected on class, race and the socio-economic contexts in which the specific art projects examined have been created. They also discussed acoustic ecology, techno-dystopian legacies and childhood activism, climate anxiety, eco-conflict and environmental degradation, defiant adolescence, youth aspirations, spatial justice, sonic agency and activist imaginary, youth music subculture and political love. The workshop involved artists, managers, educators, curators, researchers and anyone else interested in working with children following a mutual learning methodology. Experiences // Cultural policies and childhood: a video-essay In the city of Madrid, there are valuable examples of projects and initiatives working towards a transformation of the role of children in cultural and educational spaces. Departing from the consideration of political subjects with rights, those movements foster children's active involvement in participatory processes and decision-making. With this purpose, in a video-essay they carried out a series of interviews with researchers, heads of institutions and people linked to citizen initiatives based in Madrid that deal with this issue from different perspectives. Also, they listened to the voices of the children themselves, thus trying to understand their needs and expectations. This video-essay rescues, activates and puts value on the knowledge we find in the local context through the voice of a series of researchers, children, heads of institutions and people linked to local citizen initiatives that defend children's participation in cultural spaces. From these testimonies and together with a group of local and international agents, they have built a diagram of cultural policies that put childhood at its center, emerging from the collective imagination to promote these practices. Dialogue with institutions // Cultural policies and childhood. A round table The debate aimed to support the creation of permanent and stable channels that guarantee children's active participation in culture. The round table's focus was the promotion and implementation of children's advisory boards within cultural institutions. Different institutional representatives talked about their projects that involve children in their organisations and other professionals developing participatory methodologies with youngsters. Participation in the times of COVID-19 Hablarenarte aimed to analyse and extract proposals for cultural policies in the field of formal and non-formal education based on the active participation in the classrooms. They were working on a project that aimed to turn schools into citizen labs. These projects suffered an interruption due to COVID-19. Care and solidarity networks facing COVID-19 are spreading among families, neighbourhoods, and groups, generating mutual support and proposals to cushion the effects of lockdown and health and social crises. The construction of alliances and the strengthening of ties highlight the power of these forms of organisation. Experimenta EducaciĆ³n After the closure of schools and the initiation of containment measures, the development of participation strategies shifted from the classrooms to the online space. Thus, from "Experimenta EducaciĆ³n-Vallecas" (Medialab Prado, one of their partners), a new plan has been drawn using technological tools. With the support of resources and technical advice from the La Kalle association and the work of the mediation team, the ideation and construction sessions continue to be carried out online. MovilizaT-ED, educational communities of device reuse in times of emergency: With the mobilisation against the technological gap that affects the neighbourhood, a solidarity initiative for the reuse of disused phones and tablets was launched, and an alliance with taxi driver volunteers for delivery and entities such as guifi.net or red.es to cover the internet connection. Virtual hackathon: The project had a second layer of participation involving the neighbourhood fabric, proposing projects to be built collaboratively. It has been merged with the #VenceAlVirus Hackathon movement, an online meeting that aims to involve scientists, academics, innovative professionals and civil society to seek answers to the great challenges posed by COVID-19. https://paraporcon.es In English: http://www.hablarenarte.com/en/proyecto/id/ferocious-love-workshop-with-mikhail-karikis http://www.hablarenarte.com/en/proyecto/id/for-by-with-cultural-policies-and-childhood-a-round-table http://www.hablarenarte.com/en/proyecto/id/for-by-with-diagram-and-video-essay http://www.hablarenarte.com/en/proyecto/id/collective-participation-in-times-of-confinement https://escueladeatencionmutua.com


Hablarenarte (www.hablarenarte.com) is an independent platform for projects that works to support the creation, publicizing dissemination and promotion of contemporary culture. Among its areas of action, hablarenarte Promotes the curating of exhibitions and visual and performing arts events on both a national and international level. Conceives and develops programs for educational and mediation programs and cultural and social cooperation actions. Disseminates national contemporary creation through publications, audiovisual media and international networks of professional cooperation. Assesses and develops studies for public and private organisms and offers training courses in the area of cultural management. They work on creating more horizontal cultural policies, activating networks, connecting agents, finding and showcasing good practices of participation to propose them to institutions. As part of this mission, in particular, they work against the adultcentrism of cultural spaces and policies and work towards children's genuine participation.

Context of origin

Visual representation




hablarenarte (www.hablarenarte.com)