June 16, 2022

Mutual Affinities: Learning Lab with Creative Scotland and Counterpoints Arts

Image: Kit Braybrooke: ‘Digital cultures for regeneration? Mutual aid and resistance in the Anthropocene’ 

The Mutual Affinities Learning Lab presents us with tools for sharing a diversity of experiences and the means to look beyond national borders. Open, accessible, and egalitarian peer-learning is no longer a luxury or a far-off ideal: it is now an outright necessity. Mutual Affinities creates an ideal platform for sharing new perspectives and the opportunity to engage in inclusive, progressive dialogue about the future we hope to realise together. It is an initiative of paramount importance in the context of post-pandemic development for artists and cultural actors and as a space for meaningful exchange and learning. 

Abdullah AlKafri, Executive Director, Ettijahat – Independent Culture (Beirut/Brussels) 

We’re half-way through the Mutual Affinities Learning Lab programme, having de-camped from the digital to the ‘real’ space of Deveron Projects in Huntly, Scotland. It’s been a jammed packed period with contributions throughout from a brilliant group of artists and arts and community organisations across Scotland together with visiting facilitators popping in and out. 

Curated as conversations between facilitators, we’ve covered a range of topics, including: how to create international networks and platforms with Elham Khattab (Out of the Circle) and Nike Jonah (PACE); the challenges and opportunities of place-based work in an age of (dis)placement with Abdullah AlKafri (Ettijahat-Independent Culture) and Sally Watkins (b-side Festival); socially engaged practice and the politics of neighbourhoods with Isabel Lima (The Gresham Wooden Horse) and Dominic Czechowski (International Curator and Researcher). 

The above image captures a unique session with Kit Braybrooke (Habitat Unit at Technische Universität, Berlin), walking us through the history of the ‘commons’ and the role of digital and material cultures in arts-led regeneration work. 

We look forward to finally landing in Aberdeenshire, to find out first-hand about the wonderful work of Deveron Projects, with its clear mission of ‘The Town is the Venue’. This final gathering will see us participate in a mix of gardening, food and other workshops led by artists and with a presentation by its Director, Natalia Polombo.

You can see the full Mutual Affinities Learning Programme by clicking on the download link below: 

The Mutual Affinities Learning Lab is supported by Creative Scotland.