Hello everyone. I've been reading MS for about half a year on and off,
and this is my first post.
I've been thinking about ways of making Vilnius a more creative city
for quite a while, a "knowledge capital", if you like. In a few days,
we're launching a social network (not primarily to this end), however,
it is active people that are hardest to come by in Lithuania. The only
resource we have is a network of grassroots activists, clubbed around
the eminent closure and conversion to luxury flats of "Lietuva", the
biggest arthouse cinema in Central Europe.
The city's mayor, meanwhile, supports centralizing art (making flats
of all of about 12 city's independent arthouse cinemas and giving a
100 seat hall in return at a centralized art incubator), construction
in the Old Town (no response to UNESCO's protests - it's a World
Heritage Site). I haven't met a single artist who was happy with the
situation. The central government is spending 100m litas (about 30m
euros) to 'rebuild' a royal palace, although nobody knows how exactly
it looked when it was still intact. Meanwhile, some independent
theatres perform in unheated attics. To summarize - lots of PR and
corruption, no substance, little civil society, little activism.
I was thinking if an independent, competing project could be developed
before it's too late. Vilnius will be the European Capital of Culture
in 2009. Would anyone be willing to share any thoughts or knowledge
with me, especially on the topics of art incubators and creative class?
Bala - thanks for occasionally feeding my hobby for feminism and all