Rosalie Post, co-founder of Namla: Namla is participating in AnthroArt — Action for People and Planet! (2023–2024)

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Namla, and our colleagues Ambigrama (Portugal) and Antropedia (Romania), have received a grant from the European Commission: Creative Europe Programme, to spend the next two years working on bringing anthropological insights closer to the general public. In this article you will read what the project is all about, and what we will be doing within the project.

The AnthroArt project has two goals: to create an international platform where anthropological academic work is explained in short texts and podcasts; and to intervene in the public space with good solutions stemming from academic insights, through art. The first goal is purely digital and aimed at all of Europe; the second is localized in the three countries where the partners are located, Romania, Portugal and the Netherlands.

The two-year project revolves around three themes: the first year’s focus is on Social Inclusion, the second on Sustainability, and the overarching theme is “the Social Self”. What we mean by the latter is that we want to provide insights to the public about the relationship of ourselves to the social world around us, which is what much anthropological work revolves around.

Why do we do this?

We think it is unfortunate that much academic work that people work hard on for years is not read or taught outside the university. So we are asking academics (initially in the three countries, but we are happy to be referred to colleagues) if they would be willing to distill their thick book or long thesis into a short, manageable text. What insights can be found in their work that (we) citizens can do something with? The texts that the academics create will then be recorded as podcasts. We are asking artists to create beautiful illustrations to accompany the texts and podcasts, for the website.

Are you an anthropologist, and have you researched something about social inclusion, the social self, or sustainability? And does it appeal to you if a broader audience can learn from your insights? We’d love to connect with you!

Namla itself specializes in conducting bootcamps where participants turn research into solutions and interventions. So within this project, that will also be our main focus. There will be 4 bootcamps per year: one in Bucharest (Romania), one in Coimbra (Portugal), one in Amsterdam (Netherlands), and a fourth, digital. What is new for us in this project is that we are looking for a mix of participants, not only researchers, but also artists. We start with the insights from the texts and podcasts, do additional (action/practical) research, and at the same time make art about it. Furthermore, we are planning a mural in Bucharest, an exhibition in Portugal, local conferences in both countries, and we have an additional idea as Namla for concrete additions in Amsterdam….

Are you or do you know an anthropologist, social scientist, artist, designer, journalist, or related, who would be interested in joining a bootcamp where you will be challenged to create interventions and effect in the world around you? You can sign up in advance for this mailing list, and we’ll email you when registrations open for a specific bootcamp. No obligation, of course.

The first concrete action of this project is to launch the website, seeded with the first articles and podcasts, which as we speak are being translated from Romanian into English. Want to follow what the project will do? Then you can sign up for updates here (max. 1x per month).

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