I, Culture Contemporary Craft Workshops in Copenhagen. Photo: Studio Panato
The I, CULTURE Contemporary Crafts Project finale in December brought together volunteers from across the globe at the Den Frie Centre for Contemporary Art in Copenhagen. The final square of the global quilt at the Danish edition was also the start of discussion for the future of the I, CULTURE initiative
The first day of the final installment of the project in Copenhagen brought together the most engaged volunteer participants of the I, CULTURE Crafts project from 11 capitals: Warsaw, London, Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Berlin, Kiev, Minsk, Moscow, Tokyo and Beijing. Over the past six months artist and fashion designer Monika Jakubiak led 260 volunteers in 12 world capitals to explore the role played by crafts and practical manual skills in our contemporary civilisation. The theme is a universal one, common in all of the culturally diverse countries, yet participants looked into the function and role played by craft from a local perspective.
The Danish installement completed the global I, CULTURE quilt with the last square containing the upper halves of the letters "U" and "L". The workshop groups also created fish-themed banners, meant to be a gift for Japan to show support for the country in the wake of the recent earthquake.
The I, CULTURE finale in Copenhagen went beyond the framework of sewing and tailoring activities. By placing strong emphasis on the international community that was built over the past six months, the meeting wa das essentially a discussion and summary of the entire project. The meeting was an opportunity to address the issues raised by results of locally conducted research. Volunteersalso had an opportunity to plan ways of continuing the Polish-led initiative.
The project was initially launched in Warsaw in May 2011, aimed at creating an awareness of each person's relationship and active engagement in culture. The I, CULTURE Contemporary Craft Workshop series, which were also supervised by Jakubiak, made up an international sewing project. Over 300 hours, the residents of 12 capitals – Berlin, Brussels, Kiev, Copehnhagen, London, Madrid, Minsk, Moscow, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo and Warsaw – used up more than 4 million square centimeters of black canvas, 600 square meters of coloured cloth, 2 kilometers of thread, 500 buttons and participated in creating an informal social movement around the I, CULTURE Crafts project.
A small team travelled over 30,000 kilometers to deliver supplies all over Europe and the two Asian capitals - a total of 115 tons of materials. They packed and unpacked the entire set eight times during the journey, having a great deal of fun and learning about the traditions of handiwork and craftsmanship all over the world. Over the 6-month term of the Polish Presidency, participants from the 12 different cities not only took up workshops in sewing but also created each individual symbolic square of a puzzle, spelling out the "I, CULTURE" logo.
I, CULTURE Crafts teaser
Date: 9-11th of December, 2011, Open workshops 10th of December 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. and 11th of December 2 p.m. – 3.30 p.m.
Venue: Den Frie Centre for Contemporary Art, Oslo Plads 1, Copenhagen
Organised by: Adam Mickiewicz Institute
I, CULTURE is a Flagship Project of the Polish Presidency of the EU Council. For more information, see: I, CULTURE