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Wrocław 2016 Office, Unit of Urban and Rural Sociology and Unit of Sociology of Culture and Civilization at Institute of Sociology University of Wroclaw, Municipality of Wroclaw in cooperation with Polish Sociological Association (Section of Urban Sociology and Wroclaw branch) would like to invite academics and researchers to participate in an international conference “City and Culture”, chich is going to be held from the 20th until the 22nd of September 2017.

The conference will take place in Wrocław - the city which hosted the European Capital of Culture 2016. This event was a unique opportunity for creators, organizers and researchers of culture to scrutinize the processes affecting the local field of culture and cultural production. Although it was Wroclaw that won the title of the European Capital of Culture in 2016, the bidding processes highlighted the importance of cultural policies in urban development - the topic which has been widely discussed in all candidate cities. Recent years have also yielded many interesting academic analyses on culture prepared in Gdansk, Poznan and Warsaw by experts in sociology and cultural studies.

Juxtaposition of the two concepts which lay at the core of the conference - city and culture - is based on a firm conviction that culture has the function of creating cityness and a city has the function of creating culture. Although the specificity of urban culture can be debatable, the fact that cityness becomes visible through the cultural life of the a city is indisputable. Cultural life in / of a city is a form of socializing inhabitants and a way of creating values in public sphere. Culture is the basic asset and a set of values of a city which interconnect various aspects of its inhabitants’ life.

Programme of the conference will include:

- three open panel discussions related to multidimensional urban culture, it’s influence on the development of urban cultural politics and, among others, the „ECoC effect” as well as methodology of contemporary urban culture’s research;

- six workshops for cultural professionals mostly focused on urban environment and the influence of cultural practitioners on the shape of the city, especially in the context of infrastructure and community engaged projects;

- a series of study visits dedicated to the most active and important cultural initiatives and organisations in Wrocław, with a special focus on revitalisation vs. gentrification issues happening in our city (case studies of Nadodrze and Przedmieście Oławskie districts);

- a series of guided tours rooted in two of the most socially engaded programmes of Wrocław 2016 Office: „microGRANTS ECoC 2016” and „Neighbouring” (continuation of „Wrocław – Backyard Door” programme), in which we give the voice to local activists and habitants of districts of Wrocław;

- art  scene, located in the Ruska 46 backyard – a hub of initiatives and organisations active in the fields of arts and culture.

Barbara (Świdnicka Street 8B) is a space, which name is channeling the legendary milk bar in the heart of Wrocław. Currently it is an open space for work, creation, worshops and debates but also a library, bistro and infopoint of Wrocław 2016 Office. Barbara is also a pet and child friendly space for meetings with friends and family. The reconstructed columns in a distinctive chessboard pattern, the original interior design and wide open windows attract people looking for a friendly place in the city center.

RUSKA 46 (entrance both from Saint Anthony Street 26 and from Ruska Street 46) is is a multi-layered project, thanks to which one of the backyards between Ruska and Saint Anthony streets became a space of creative activity and a platform of interaction with art. Ruska 46 is therefore a place of work and mediation jointly created by independent artists and activists, curators and cultural managers associated with local institutions and the NGO sector. Ruska 46 is also a place of artistic and cultural events, a recognizable and open space, visited not only by people interested in culture and art, but also by locals and tourists. It is a unique cultural center of a unique nature.


The aim of the conference "City and Culture" is not only to create a platform for discussions about urban culture or to put some light on the process of evaluating the European Capital of Culture for the inhabitants of Wroclaw. It is primarily a workshop programme for representatives of the arts, culture and education. Our goal is to support the development of cultural professionals by preparing them to respond to the needs of their audience, contributing to culturally-oriented spaces and counteracting the instrumentation of grassroot initiatives.


We’ll open the registration proces with the beginning of September, after announcing the full programme of the conference. Links to the online forms will be available on the website in the "Registration for workshops" tab.



‘Researching the relationship between the cultural initiatives operators and their audiences’ / Magdalena Ochał, Michał Kocikowski / Kolektyw Badawczy [The Research Colletive]


WHEN? Thursday, 21.09.2017

WHERE? Barbara, Świdnicka Street 8b, Wrocław

SCHEDULE? 15:00 – 17:30

FOR WHOM? For everyone who’s interested in creating cultural offer for the inhabitants.


The workshop called ‘Researching the relationship between the cultural initiatives operators and their audiences’ looks at the various methods and research tools used to investigate one-off as well as long-term cultural activities. The different research strategies will be presented, based on chosen case studies: the exploratory-evaluative research of the ‘Lato w mieście’ (Summer in the city) project in the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, the participatory design process at the premises of the III Jordanowski Garden in Warsaw, the research on the audience of the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, and the public consultations related to the development of the historic areas for cultural use in the Praga district in Warsaw. Together with the participants of the workshops, we want to proceed through all the steps of the research process, discussing the issues of choosing the research sample and research tools, performing fieldwork, as well as confronting the outcomes of the research with the cultural operators’ own ideas.


Workshop leaders:


The creators of the workshops are founders of Kolektyw Badawczy (the Research Collective), a group of sociologists, anthropologists and ethnologists who evaluate projects, diagnose cultural requirements, and conduct research of audiences. In the past, they worked together with institutions such as the Public Information Bulletin of the Capital City of Warsaw, the Masovia Institute of Culture, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, the Museum of History of Polish Jews POLIN, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, and the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra.


Magdalena Ochał – PhD in Sociology, student of History of Arts, member of the Polish Sociological Association and the Transdisciplinary Centre for Qualitative Research. She specialises in research of lifestyle and research for the public sector.


Michał Kocikowski – cultural anthropologist, a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Polish Culture at the University of Warsaw. He has cooperated with large research institutes as well as NGOs (Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, among others); a non-uncritical service design enthusiast.


Kolektyw Badawczy online: /



‘Creation of good spaces - the theory and practice of placemaking’ / Marta Trakul-Masłowska oraz Magda Kubecka / Jak działa miasto? [How does the city work?]


WHEN? Friday, 22.09.2017

WHERE? Ruska 46a, Wrocław

SCHEDULE? 15:00 – 18:30

FOR WHOM? For everyone who’s interested in methodology of designing and creating a cultural programme in a specific space or location in the city.


Why some places function well and attract crowds of people, whereas other places seem completely abandoned? Is it possible to study and evaluate places? How to arrange playgrounds, parks and squares to attract people and turn it into a welcoming meeting place? How is it done in the cities worldwide and how does placemaking render to practice ?


The workshop aims at organizing and expanding knowledge on public space. It combines the theory (conveyed in an interesting form) with the analysis of important projects from cities all around the world. It also offers a short and meaningful summary of space evaluation tools available.


The workshops consist of the following modules:

- Public space - understanding, definition, history

- How space works - examples, projects, experiences

- What is placemaking and what methods it proposes

- Exploring space in practice - examples of research tools


Workshop leaders:


Marta Trakul-Masłowska – a sociologist and graduate of political science at the University of Warsaw. A founder of Fundacja Na miejscu (On site Foundation) which implements placemaking projects in cooperation with self-government and business organizations. She is an expert in creating local partnerships targeted at spatial changes. Currently she is involved in a public space program in the Wola district in Warsaw, supporting Skanska company in construction work of the SPARK office building. One of the Foundation's partner organization is the very leader of placemaking - the New York-based Project for Public Spaces organization, whose philosophy she tiers to follow in her daily work. Marta is an advocate of self-organization and neighborhood and local cooperation. She is also a member of the urban food cooperative "Dobrze".


Magda Kubecka – a city researcher, culture manager, author of cultural and social programs. She is a graduate of cultural studies at the University of Warsaw and PhD student at the Institute of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Warsaw. As a scholarship holder of the Kosciuszko Foundation, she studied urban studies and conducted research at the Faculty of Sociology at the University of Chicago. She also completed her internship at the Metropolitan Planning Council in Chicago, in the placemaking department. In 2013, she joined an interdisciplinary team examining the city and public space under the direction of professor Terry N. Clark. For 4 years she has been cooperating with Fundacja Na miejscu (On site Foundation). She is a member of the DNA Miasta (City DNA) team within the Res Publica Foundation, for whom she coordinated the diagnosis process of cultural policy in Słupsk. She is also a member of the editorial board of the "Magazyn Miasta". For several years she co-authored a number of programs for Towarszystwo Inicjtyw Twórczych "ę" (the Association of Creative Initiatives "ę"). She was also a member of the associations' management board. Currently, within the framework of the Flying Culture Animators' network, she supports organizations, institutions and informal groups in undertaking local initiatives across Poland. For four years she worked for Fundacja Rozwoju Spełeczeństwa Informacyjnego (the Information Society Development Foundation) on the Program for the Development of Libraries across Poland. She also cooperates with Pracownia Miejska in Konin. She writes the blog "Miejski Instytut".


Jak działa miasto? online: /ła-miasto-1524330740934637



‘Users of culture: who are they? Introduction to audience research’ / Aleksandra Janus / Centrum Cyfrowe


WHEN? Friday, 22.09.2017

WHERE? Barbara, Świdnicka Street 8b, Wrocław

SCHEDULE? 15:00 – 17:30

FOR WHOM? For everyone who’s interested in creating cultural offer for the inhabitants.


Knowing your audience it’s crucial for the effectiveness of how your institution fulfil its public mission. The workshop with introduce participants with methods, tools and practical benefits of audience research. It will focus on how to gather and interpret data that an institution might already have, how to analyze them effectively, how to ask further questions and choose the right tool to receive valuable answer and how to manage a cooperation with an external research team or agency and evaluate their work. It is a workshop both for professionals who have already been doing such study and for the ones who are at the very beginning of the process.


The aim of the workshop is to provide participants with know-how and practical ideas that will help them to ask the right research question, to find and analyze data that will help them get to know the audiences of their institution better, to use DIY tools to gather more data they need, to be prepared to cooperate with various research teams and agencies and evaluate their work.


Workshop leader:


Aleksandra Janus – researcher and activist focused on bringing institutions closer to their audiences. She specialises in audience research and visitor studies, she promotes open models of sharing resources and participatory strategies in exhibition design and collecting. She is involved in numerous initiatives supporting these ideas in the GLAM sector. She is a co-founder of a research group Kierunek zwiedzania, curator of Laboratorium muzeum and a head of the Open Culture Lab at Centrum Cyfrowe. She was a speaker at i.a.: the MuseumNEXT conference (Barcelona 2012), (Cape Town 2012), Inclusive Museum Conference (Los Angeles 2014) and Museums and Their Publics at Sites of Conflicted History (Warsaw 2017).


Centrum Cyfrowe online: /

Registration for workshops will be open soon after the programme of the conference will be announced.



Katarzyna Zieliń

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