Meeting of Latin-American artists' initiatives

december 2005 -

No less than 86 representatives of artists' initiatives and cultural organisations from Argentina plus another 22 from neighbouring Latin-American countries met in Buenos Aires as part of the Encuentro ("The Meeting") event. The meetings were held from 29 October to 5 November in the Goethe Institute and the Borges Cultural Centre.

They were organised by Trama, which is an Argentinean artists' initiative that is one of the initiatives organised by the RAIN Artists' Initiatives Network, a global network set up by former resident artists of the Rijksakademie academy for visual arts in Amsterdam.

Never before had so many Latin-American artists' initiatives met to share information and exchange experiences. They look at different collaboration options and developed survival strategies. Twelve guest speakers hosted debates about the best way to get social and artistic projects off the ground. Workshops looked at such issues as fund-raising, cultural management, virtual networks, the role of art in education, and collaboration between artists' initiatives and other types of organisations.

At the end of the wrap-up session, Claudia Fontes announced that she and some other artists who had been Trama artists from day one were now stepping down from its board, although they would continue to work for the organisation. Now that initiatives for artistic projects in Latin America are shooting up like mushrooms, Trama appears to have achieved what it set out to do, namely to get people thinking in terms of community. It was no surprise then that the get-together in Buenos Aires raised new issues, such as the limits of artistic autonomy versus greater consultation with the government.