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Christina Tzekou

2019/20 Thessaloniki

Christina Tzekou lives in Thessaloniki, where she studied architecture and continued with an MA in Museology and Cultural Management.

Having worked closely with artists and art galleries as an exhibition designer and project coordinator, she has developed a deep sense of both conceptual and practical aspects of cultural planning. Moreover, she is co-director of FUTURES PAST: a cross-disciplinary design studio, creating conceptually motivated items that address notions of identity renegotiation, transcultural bonds and cultural reappropriation (themes that she is keenly interested to further investigate through her work as a cultural manager). Christina also has pedagogical experience, teaching architectural drawing to teenagers and art to children - this has strengthened her ability to communicate in a creative context, something she aims to expand via her own cultural initiative, Kottage.

Her participation in the START sociocultural program reflects her aim to gain valuable first-hand experience and skills, so as to realise her own project in an efficient, self-sustainable manner. Her vision is to create a community-focused cultural site operating as part of an international network, starting with her fellowship in Germany in 2019. Kottage is conceived as a pedagogical experiment grounded in experiencing creativity in common and the cross-nurturing of different perspectives.

Phase I

Capacity building in Germany

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Sep - Nov

Project Title

Kottage — Community Arts Centre

The Kottage Community Arts Centre is a community-focused cultural site, accessible to all. Its mission is the promotion of contemporary cultural expression, the practice of self-education and lifelong learning, the cultivation of international collaborations, as well as the interaction of the arts with other aspects of everyday life. Aiming to encourage the local cultural practice by operating with an open, modular structure, it consists a pedagogical experiment grounded in experiencing creativity in common.

Kottage will be based in Oreokastro, a small municipality in the periphery of the Thessaloniki regional unit. It is a multicultural community with a history linked with displacement, whose beginnings can be traced back to the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1922. In addition to that, a seriously underfunded Syrian Refugee Camp has been active near the area for the last couple of years, full of people with no access whatsoever to anything remotely related to culture. Kottage is a positive response to the location’s need of an active cultural initiative, focusing on the importance of knowledge, study and critical thinking — one that experiments with different approaches, frameworks and methodologies of art education, nurtures communal engagement and promotes intercultural exchange as a means to generate new ways of sharing as well as creating knowledge.

Host Institution


The Paul-Gustavus-Haus is a cultural heritage building within the inner city of Altenburg. Built 1905 as a factory for coffee-substitutes, it constitutes one of the few examples for the combination of living and working in the former residence town in the turn of the century. In 2009, a nonprofit association was founded with a clear mission: to preserve and gradually restore the long disused building, and to revitalize it by various cultural events. 2017, almost sixty members are voluntarily involved. The aim of the Förderverein Zukunftswerkstatt Paul-Gustavus-Haus e.V.

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