Stockholm

Stockholm is located on Sweden's south-central east coast, where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea. The city is sometimes called "Venice of the north" because of its beauty and proximity to water.

Stockholm's core of the present Old Town (Gamla Stan) was built on a central island from the mid-13th century onward. The city originally rose to prominence as a result of the Baltic trade of the Hanseatic League. Stockholm developed strong economic and cultural linkages with Lübeck, Hamburg, Gdańsk, Visby, Reval, and Riga during this time.

In 1634 Stockholm became the official capital of the Swedish empire.

In the later half of the 20th century Stockholm became a modern, technologically advanced, and ethnically diverse city. Many historical buildings were torn down during the modernist era, including substantial parts of the historical district of Klara, and replaced with modern architecture. However, in other parts of Stockholm, many "old" buildings, blocks and streets, built before the modernism and functionalism movements took off in Sweden survived this era of demolition. Throughout the century, many industries shifted away from work-intensive activities into more high-tech and service industry areas.

Between 1965 and 1974, the city expanded very quickly with the creation of additional suburban districts. Many of these areas have been criticized for being "concrete suburbs". The most common complaints are about the high crime rate and the high racial and social segregation in these areas. Politicians and business have recently initiated large urban renewal projects. The purpose is to transform suburban areas to “growth engines” and places where people want to move. Investments are made and the creation of a "living neighbourhood" mentions cultural activities and artists as important collaborators and they are offered different ways to participate in the initiative.

The city's waterways lead on and off the coast to the Stockholm archipelago - where you approximately find 30.000 islands and islets.

In the entire Stockholm metropolitan area, with it’s 26 municipalities, the population reaches more than 2 million inhabitants. In the city live approximately 850.000.

The Stockholmers cares a lot about the culture and the silhouettes around the water. The water helps to beautify many of the buildings in Stockholm: like the Stockholm Palace, the Stockholm City Hall etc. The municipality has appointed an official "board of beauty" called "Skönhetsrådet" to protect and preserve culture heritage and the beauty of the city.

In the City Centre of Stockholm, the water is so clean that you, with no doubt, can fish, go for a swim and then eat the fish you have caught, for dinner – and you can easily drink the water directly from the tabs at home.

MEMBER IN STOCKHOLM, Sweden

Intercult (IC) is an independent production and resource NGO based in Stockholm, Sweden – and one of the founders of River//Cities.

 

Operating in Sweden and Europe since 1996, Intercult initiates and leads collaborative culture projects and networks. Having an active interest in national and European cultural policy IC also participate in the development of intercultural and international project competence.

 

IC share experience through seminars, conferences, lectures and mentorship. Engaging in trans-border cultural projects, IC embraces the challenges of contemporary diversity, voices and expressions. IC works cross-disciplinary and trans-regionally, inviting artists from different disciplines and places to the projects and Basecamps at their venue. IC works with partners from all over Europe, Caucasus and Africa. With 20 projects in-house since 1996 IC has several direct experiences of managing EU and other international culture projects.

 

From the home base on the south side of Stockholm, IC interacts as a project-based platform, engaging with others on art management and cultural policy development. With artistic expression as a starting point, they focus on the value of intercultural competence aimed at artists, organisers, policymakers and sponsors – creating conditions for the exchange of ideas and models.

 

The role of culture as a factor for urban development in particular cities confronted with change, harbour cities, industrial areas, river division is an issue that has engaged Intercult for a long time. Some years ago IC developed: BLACK/NORTH SEAS – a 3,5 years multidisciplinary commissioning, producing and touring project linking Black Sea and North Seas artists. (Read more about the Black/North SEAS project: www.seas.se)

 

Two of the current projects are: CORNERS (www.intercult.se/corners) or Four Corners of Europe - a long term collaboration between culture organisations in Europe – to promote cultural exchange, collaboration and dissemination of culture in Europe’s smaller cities and suburban areas and ACCESS EUROPA - a platform that gathers members from the Swedish cultural sector aiming to increase their engagement in European projects and collaborations.

 

Intercult is a partner in a Grundtvig LLP project Rivers of Opportunities 2013-2015 and was also a partner in another Grundtvig funded project Culture for Waterfronts 2011-2013 www.intercult.se/culture-for-waterfronts

 

Read more about Intercult: www.intercult.se