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Unlearning Talks Webcast

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

16.00 GMT / 17.00 CEST / 18.00 EEST

Restoring and accelerating international collaboration in South Eastern Europe

Culture can be the vehicle for new conversations to ensure the collaborative development of the region. However, the challenges vary considerably from place to place, thus building resilient networks of collaboration that are operating beyond borders, is more complex than it seems. This discussion maps the characteristics that define a fruitful international collaboration and together with our five panelists we will present practical strategies that improve a network’s ability to catalyze growth in South Eastern Europe.

Featured Speakers

Kleri Bakoura, Institute of Entrepreneurship Development, Greece

Jonida Gashi, DebatikCenter of Contemporary Art, Albania

Michalis Karakatsanis, Cyprus Music Information Centre, Cyprus

Darius Polok, International Alumni Center, Germany

Valentin Schmehl, Other Music Academy, Germany


Moderator: Maria-Louiza Laopodi, Project Manager START 


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Kleri Bakoura

Institute of Entrepreneurship Development

Kleri grew up in Larissa, where she returned after completing two MA degrees and working in London for several years. She is a START fellow of the year 2018/19 where she implemented the project The Heritage of Taste, documenting cultural practices related to food and health through oral history interviews with the senior population of Larissa. She received support from the (UK) Heritage Lottery Fund for her oral history project ‘Greek and Greek Cypriot Gastronomy in London: an Ethnography’ that documents the culinary heritage of these London communities. She is currently working at the Institute of Entrepreneurship Development as the Projects Communication Manager. As IED focuses on the promotion of entrepreneurship for everyone, in this context, various resilient and sustainable models of entrepreneurship with a clear impact on society along with the best ways to communicate them to as wide an audience as possible, are being collaboratively examined.

Jonida Gashi

DebatikCenter of Contemporary Art

Jonida Gashi is a cultural theorist based in Tirana, Albania. She is currently working on a research project on the newsreels and documentary films of the Albanian communist show trials. Her research interests include contemporary art theory and criticism, the philosophy of time and theories of repetition, film theory and the history of cinema, and the artistic experience of post-socialism in contemporary Albania. She is one of the founders of DebatikCenter of Contemporary Art alongside Armando Lulaj and Pleurad Xhafa.

Michalis Karakatsanis

Cyprus Music Information Centre

Michalis studied Music and Arts Management in Athens and London and since 2009 is the Administrator of the Cyprus Music Information Centre, an organization with the mission to promote and encourage development, dissemination and appreciation of music of Cypriot music artists. He has taken an active role in a number of local and international projects such as the Cyprus Jazz & World Music Showcase Festival, Cyprus New Music Festival, Sustainable Careers in the Music Sector, and European Agenda for Music.His research interests include the legitimization discourses and future of cultural policies, and the political economy of the cultural and creative sectors. Michalis is elected to the boards of the European Music Council and the International Association of Music Information Centers, where he has been appointed as President since 2018. In parallel, Michalis is an active musician.

Darius Polok

International Alumni Center

Since 2017, Darius is CEO of iac Berlin, a Think & Do Tank for impact-oriented networks in philanthropy. The iac Berlin coordinates the Bosch Alumni Network, a global community of partners and friends of the Robert Bosch Foundation. The Connecting Networks Community brings together community builders from more than twenty European foundations. His professional path “naturally” led him from NGOs in the field of citizenship education and cultural exchange to systemic approaches in philanthropy. Darius strongly believes that networks matter and that they can be an asset when it comes to tackling complex challenges.

Valentin Schmehl

Other Music Academy

Valentin Schmehl is a performer, dance scholar and cultural activist. His sociocultural, interdisciplinary and intercultural projects interweave artistic, social and scientific practices. He works for the Other Music Academy in Weimar, East Germany, co-shaping the vision of a new form of social institution, an Empowerment Center. As performer and dancer he works internationally in interdisciplinary setting for stage and film, and teaches workshops on intimacy, improvisation and intersectional cultural histories.

Since 2019 he co-develops the Roundtable Funding Structures, a platform to share critique and thoughts on funding structures from inside cultural work.