Initiated by Ta(r)dino 6 Art Platform (TAP), a Baku-born independent art initiative with international outreach and TEH, a European network of independent cultural institutions, based in Lund, Sweden and funded by the Swedish Institute, the Cultural Accelerator project was finalized with an open air informal event. Taking place on July 14 in Baku’s Landmark Hotel Rooftop Rotunda the event titled ‘Independent Cultural Sector in Azerbaijan: Challenges and Opportunities’ brought together dozens of the programme participants and supporters.
The Swedish Ambassador Christian Kamill who was invited to the event as a keynote speaker, highlighted the proactive role of both TEH and Ta(r)dino 6 in independently developing a capacity building programme that benefitted cultural workers not only from Azerbaijan, but in many other countries. According to him, the programme that united 33 speakers from 24 countries and 4 continents and took part online in spring 2021 is a good illustration of the potential of the independent cultural sector to develop international programmes, apply and successfully receive a grant from the Swedish Institute to realize it and offer their free programme to anyone motivated and interested to attend. The Ambassador also noted high attendance among the Ministry of Culture and affiliated institutions’ employees and expressed his hope that the Cultural Accelerator continues establishing a safe space for dialogue between art workers both from the government and independent cultural sector.
Founder of Ta(r)dino 6, Asli Samadova, highlighted the importance of collaborations, mutual support and respect, an open dialogue and horizontal relations as the main principles of a healthy art eco-system. She described Ta(r)dino 6’s evolution from a self-organized nomadic platform to a registered non-profit non-governmental organization in Azerbaijan. The platform caught international attention several times: by presenting Turandokht. Radio Riddles sound installation (a tribute to Nizami Ganjavi’s legacy) in Venice and participation at Contemporary Istanbul fair – both in 2019 and becoming the only participant from CIS in 2020Solidarity project initiated by world famous German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans in 2020. The Cultural Accelerator, the most ambitious project of the platform to this date, allowed Ta(r)dino 6 to collaborate with international and local cultural experts and prominent art workers and reach out to wide audiences.
Evening followed by the ‘Open Mic’ section that invited cultural workers to share with the audience their projects, news, ideas and thoughts. Among the speakers were new media artist Shalala Salamzadeh, photographer Emin Mathers, gallerist Rustam Mammadzada, art educator Hayat Nasirova and contemporary dancer Lenay Seidalizade. The format allowed interaction, immediate feedback and even finding possible partners and sponsors for the project materialization.
Close to the end, Berlin based artist Tora Aghabayova handed a gift from Georgian artist Guram Tsibakhashvili who wanted to show his solidarity and support to Ta(r)dino 6 Art Platform by donating his work to their art collection.
The event concluded with a reception and music performance by artist Nazrin Mammadova whose artwork ‘Indigenous Endangered Local Biodiversity’ is presently displayed in Art on the Wall, a public art project in Kichik Qala 58 address in Icherisheher.
The one-year Cultural Accelerator project will be concluded with a digital publication titled ‘The Cultural Accelerator. Independent Cultural Sector in Azerbaijan: Challenges and Opportunities’ that will be ready in autumn 2021. The publication will be available in Azerbaijani and English languages and will be available to download from TEH website. The organisers have opened an online survey to collect feedback and proposals that will help the Cultural Accelerator team show the realistic situation of the independent cultural sector and suggest the development strategy and solutions to the stakeholders.
Organized in partnership with TEH, a European network of independent cultural institutions, and Supported by Swedish Institute (SI).