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European meeting: 'Art as a space of encounter' & 'Common walk'

25th & 26th May, 2023
Santiago de Compostela & Monte de Couso, Galicia, Spain
Two days seek to delve into the role of art as a generator of meeting spaces and analyze the role of society in the self-management of the territory.

The European project 'Art Living Lab for Sustainability', promoted by Concomitentes (Spain), de Nieuwe opdrachtgevers / les Nouveaux commanditaires (Belgium), la Société des Nouveaux commanditaires (France) and the University of Santiago de Compostela, holds its first public conference in Santiago de Compostela and Montes de Couso (Gondormar, Pontevedra).

The first day, Thursday 25th May, 2023, will reflect on the role of art as a producer of "objects", but also as a generator of meeting places and encounter. Throughout this session, the aim is to discuss the role of art and its commitment to the environment, underlining the need to re-weave a society-territory encounter. In addition to this objective, which constitutes one of the generals of the European project, this session seeks to reflect on how art strengthens the mechanisms so that communities can self-manage their territory. The next day, Friday 26th of May, Montes de Couso, self-managed by the residents and owners of the territory, will be visited. This place is where the participatory artistic process in Spain, ‘Land Commons’, is being developed.

Art as a space of encounter

The event will have an open conversation with the artist from the Concomitentes project Legacy Care: Carme Nogueira; Amanda Crabtree, mediation training expert and coordinator of the Société des Nouveaux commanditaires (France); Thérèse Legierse, curator and coordinator of de Nieuwe opdrachtgevers / les Nouveaux commanditaires (Belgium); and Fran Quiroga, transdisciplinary researcher and coordinator of Concomitentes (Spain). The rapporteurs will delve into the power of art to generate meeting places that facilitate citizen agency, underlining the impact beyond the production of an artistic work.


25th May 2023 at 5 pm.
Zone C, Rúa Preguntorio 1, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The talks will combine Galician and English.

Free access without registration.

Commons Walk

The 'Commons Walk' will take place through the Montes de Couso, headquarters of the Art Living Lab for Sustainability project in Spain, ‘Land Commons’, mediated by Natalia Balseiro. During the tour, different experts will share details about the history and community management of the neighboring forest in Galicia, (approximately 25% of the Galician territory is self-managed by its communities): Xosé Antón Araujo, president of the Montes de Couso community; Natalia Balseiro and David Soto, professor at the University of Santiago de Compostela.

At the end of the route, at 7 pm., in the bathing area of the mountain, Benito Burgos, Deputy Director General for Cultural Cooperation with the Autonomous Communities of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Spain and coordinator of the Culture and Ruralities program, will speak about the need to diversify the cultural offer in rural areas. After a community picnic, the meeting will end with a performance by the performer Petra Porter and then culminate the intense day in Charanga Vai de Baile.


Both the talk and the walk will be in English and Galician and there will be consecutive translation.

For this session it is necessary to register at info@concomitentes.org

Art Living Lab for Sustainability

The 'Art Living Lab for Sustainability' project, financed by the European Commission, has the challenge of addressing three community management mechanisms: the forest with 'Land Commons' (Monte Comunal de Couso, Galicia, Spain); the water with 'Water Commons' (Regional Natural Park of Upper Jura, France); and clay with 'Clay Commons' (Boom, Belgium).

In these three territories, participatory processes will be developed through a methodology based on mediation (Living Labs), which is used in the network of Nouveaux commanditaires projects. These three participatory processes will culminate in the definition of a citizen artistic commission that will inspire the work of an artist to respond, through an artistic proposal based on nature, to the environmental challenges identified in these three environments.