Two of the four artists from Working the Tweed – Claire Pençak and Kate Foster – are attending the International Biodiversity and LEADER Conference. We will present the project to delegates from across the EU at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna on April 3rd.
This is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the innovative and diverse work that takes place on the rivers of the Tweed Catchment within an international context and to hear about and learn from other European projects exploring issues around biodiversity. We are delighted to have been selected and to be able to showcase the project activities more widely.
Our project is one of several approaches to the implementation of biodiversity projects into LEADER that will be presented and discussed, alongside other projects from Slovenia, Spain Germany France, Belgium, Poland, Austria and Ireland. The conference aims to provide expert insight into the current status of the LEADER approach at different levels with respect to the new financing period 2014-2020, and also information about important biodiversity topics of relevance to Local Action Groups and local development strategies. The organisers state that this will be an opportunity for an international exchange of ideas and experiences as well as for the promotion of best-practice examples from all over Europe. The aim of this conference is to encourage networking and the implementation of biodiversity-related LEADER projects.
Further information (in German) can be seen here and you can download this conference programme (in English) as a pdf:
Conference proceedings will be collated shortly after the meeting (we will post that link in due course). We will be summarising the project activities and some of the activities on the Tweed, using the poster below.
Involvement in the conference has been made possible by support from Scottish Borders LEADER and Creative Scotland. So thank you to both organisations.
Working the Tweed is delivered by arts organisation Tabula Rasa in partnership with environmental organisations Tweed Forum and Southern Uplands Partnership. The project to date has directly engaged with 1,350 people.
The lead artists are exploring the contemporary river culture of the Tweed Catchment through human and other influences, bringing to the surface some of the less-known worlds, maps, voices and languages of the Tweed. The project creates awareness of the river ways and helps us re-imagine our relationship to the rivers, considering our environmental responsibility as one of the species inhabiting it.
The themes of the Tweed Catchment Management Plan – e.g. Habitats and Species, River Works and Tourism – provided foci for a series of Riverside Meetings and public events, concluding with Catchment Conversations. We held Knowing Your River events at agricultural shows, had a project exhibition, celebrated the tunes of the river through Tweed Sessions and listening projects, inspired reflections on the ecological indicator species via drawing and performance, and documented our partners’ work through interviews and sound mapping.
Social media and a website create a wider community for the project nationally and internationally. The project has been summarised as a DVD, with reflection about collaborative practice and how arts practitioners can contribute to shaping the future of the catchment. We are seeking to continue the work through individual creative projects and community involvement.