Uniting Through Art: Celebrating the Winners of the European Community Award “Co-create & Comprehend”
Jan 17, 2024

Latitudo Workshop Labaro MCY2023 © Paola Farfaglio Courtesy Latitudo Art Projects

In a vibrant celebration of culture and collaboration, the European Community Award “Co-create & Comprehend” proudly honours local communities that have joined hands with artists to share their unique stories and cultural heritage. During the “Magic Carpets” partners meeting in January 2024, this award recognized the essence of co-creation, awarding five exemplary partnerships between local communities and artists with a 5000 Euro award fund.

Mrs. Neringa Kulik, project manager of “MagiC Carpets”, remarked, “Each year, the “Magic Carpets” partners nominate and award local communities that have dedicated their time and energy to collaborate with artists, to share their stories and inspire new artworks presented in public spaces. Each of the awarded communities are unique in their own way, fostering local customs and traditions, which highlight different cultures that exist in different European countries. From traditional embroidery techniques to scientific achievements, I believe that each community makes an important contribution in creating the European identity. I hope that the European Community Award “Co-create & Comprehend” will provide communities with an opportunity to continue their involvement in cultural activities.”

These remarkable communities and their collaborative projects have demonstrated the transformative power of art and culture in fostering connections, preserving traditions, and inspiring positive change within their local contexts.
The “Magic Carpets” platform, co-funded by the European Union, is a testament to Europe’s rich cultural tapestry, uniting 21 cultural organisations across the continent. It stands as a beacon of cultural accessibility, activism, and participation, celebrating the deep connections formed between communities and artists.

Unveiling the Awarded Communities:

A Celestial Connection: Tartu Observatory of the University of Tartu / Estonian Space Centre (nominated by Tartu 2024)

Nominated by Tartu 2024, the collaboration between the Tartu Observatory and the Estonian Space Centre transcends the realms of science and art. Their project “Celestial Bodies – Navigating Between Scientific Knowledge and Indigenous Wisdom” is an interdisciplinary achievement. It brought together artists and scientists in a captivating journey of discovery, blending the rigor of space research with the fluidity of artistic interpretation. The Observatory, a hub for young scientists and a partner in international networks, became a fertile ground for creativity, inspiring a series of performances, installations, and films that delved into the mysteries of the cosmos and

Observatooriumi katusel
Observatooriumi katusel

Revitalizing Community Through Art: The Magic Labaro Moms (nominated by Latitudo)

Labaro, known as a “15-minute city” near Rome, faced challenges typical of many urban areas—lack of cultural and educational activities for its vibrant community. “We Are All Enea” project, developed in collaboration with Latitudo, aimed to change this narrative. This bustling neighbourhood, with its diverse population, recognized the importance of creating cultural content and fostering a culturally active life. The project sought to transform Labaro into a vibrant cultural hub, where the local community could gather, learn, and share experiences.

The “We Are All Enea” project, led by Filippo Riniolo and Julia Jenewein for Magic Carpets Italy 2023, revolved around the figure of Aeneas, the legendary founder of Rome. In this venture, the Latitudo Art Projects team, embodying the Gods of Mount Olympus, and numerous enthusiastic young travellers, joined the artists to reimagine Rome’s mythological origins. The project journeyed through five neighbourhoods – Labaro, Spinaceto, Corviale, Tufello, Trullo – blending fun, creativity, and a touch of madness to celebrate cultural and social integration.


Stitching Stories of Strength: Adjarian handmade embroideries by Mzevinar (nominated by Tbilisi Photo Festival)

In the remote and isolated mountainous region of Adjara, Georgia, the “Adjarian handmade embroideries” project by Mzevinar Iremadze stood as an inspiring example of resilience. Despite physical challenges, Mzevinar played a pivotal role in establishing an independent atelier where local women gathered to create traditional embroideries. Through the collaborative project “Women’s Stories from Ghorjomi”, led by a Georgian artist Nini Khuroshvili, the narratives of these women—spanning different generations—came to life: they have not only revived a dying art form but also provided a platform for the women to voice their stories and contribute economically to their families. Their stories painted a vivid picture of the strength, perseverance, and creativity thriving within this conservative Muslim community.

Harmonizing History and Modernity: The choir of St Cecilija and the children’s choir “Slavuji” (nominated by Lab 852)

Championed by LAB852, the choirs of St. Cecilija and “Slavuji” represent a harmonious blend of tradition and contemporary expression. The project “Imagining Gardens”, set in the quaint lanes of Jelsa, Croatia, transformed the town into a living stage where history sings through the voices of local choirs. The choirs, led by opera singer Slavko Reljić, brought to life the rich liturgical and paraliturgical traditions of the island of Hvar. Their involvement in the UNESCO-listed procession “Za križen” and their diverse backgrounds in various professions added layers of depth to the project. The children’s choir “Slavuji”, with their youthful energy and exploration of traditional island tunes, further enriched the tapestry of this unique operatic production.

Chronicles of Craft and Consciousness: Community of Small local businesses of Novo Naselje – Watchmakers (nominated by Novo Kulturno Naselje)

Novo Naselje, a vibrant community in Novi Sad, Serbia, faced the challenge of preserving traditional crafts in the face of modernization. The community of small local businesses within Novo Naselje, including skilled watchmakers Ivan and Albert, took a stand for sustainability and responsible consumption. The project, “Do You Feel the Passage of Time?”, created in collaboration with a Serbian artist Tamara Kostrešević, emphasized the importance of preserving and repairing old watches, rather than replacing them. This thoughtful project went beyond ordinary service provision, encouraging conversations about sustainability and responsible consumption in a world increasingly dominated by consumer culture. The watchmaker workshop emerged as a catalyst for change, redefining our relationship with time and possessions.

 Weaving Europe’s Cultural Fabric

These awarded communities and their artistic collaborations represent the core values of the European Community Award “Co-create & Comprehend”. They are not just artistic endeavours but vital chapters in the cultural narrative of Europe, fostering understanding and diversity. As we honour these communities, we celebrate their contributions to a more connected and culturally rich European continent, paving the way for future artistic partnerships that transcend boundaries, build connections, and enrich our lives.

The European Community Award “Co-create & Comprehend” boasts a history, dating back to its inaugural presentation in 2018. This award has consistently recognized communities that utilize art and culture as powerful tools for fostering meaningful connections and inspiring positive change.