Our story

How to do artistic and cultural work that is socially engaged, responds to 21st century challenges, and at the same time meets the deep seated need for individual and collective wellbeing? In the Culture Squad we wish to discover new ways, and walk the talk.

An open network, we act as a high speed mobile division which amplifies local grassroots initiatives into a bigger conversation and collaboration taking place on our Edgeryders forum. Connectivity and technology help us accelerate learning, share knowledge, discover opportunities for interesting projects and generate meaningful work for our members.

Projects are initiated and led by those who show initiative and curiosity for how digital technology can expand the scope of their work and their international networks. We come from community theater, punk art, spoken poetry, game design, or cultural policy and participatory event making, to:

  • launch deep conversations on important questions and problems local communities have
  • produce co-created community festivals
  • use play and game design as a tool for social cohesion and social change
  • support and train cities/ organisations and local groups to build thriving communities using a mix of online and offline methodologies.
  • do new things in radically open ways.
Members
Robert (Bob) Palmer
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I work internationally on a wide range of cultural projects in the areas of cultural policy and strategy, organisational development, festivals and events, issues related to cultural resilience, innovation, cultural rights and the cultural development of cities. I was formerly the Director of Culture and Cultural and National Heritage for the Council of Europe based in Strasbourg, France (2006-2013).
I was the Director of two European Capitals of Culture (Glasgow and Brussels), published a report for the European Commission evaluating European Capitals of Culture, was the Chair of the European Jury that selects European Capitals of Culture, and advised many cities that have received the ECoC designation, including the most recent Leeuwarden (2018), Matera (2019), Plovdiv (2019) and Galway (2020).

Hot topics for me (and Edgeryders): how culture and creativity can change lives; new processes of co-creation and co-curation; cities as incubators of artistic invention; creativity in bureaucracy; re-inventing cultural institutions and structures. Not interested in: raising money for other people to do their work.

Marina Batinic
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Marina is a freelance project manager based in Brussels and the research coordinator at Edgeryders. She holds M.A. degrees in Art History and English; Mediterranean Arts and in Cultural Heritage Management from Croatia, France and Spain. She has been involved in cultural projects at the international level for more than five years and in 2017 she co-founded Culture Hub Croatia - Platform for Education, Creativity and Development through Culture with the aim to contribute to local Croatian communities through collaborative projects transmitting knowledge and expertise from the rest of Europe, promoting art practices for social change and empowering young creative professionals. Marina believes in the power of communities of practice and the participatory approach for challenging the existing power relations and creating the future that we imagine and actively shape together as an environment in which ideas, projects and people with different backgrounds nurture and inspire each other.
As a part of the Culture Squad, would be happy to initiate new research projects related to arts and culture.

Matteo Uguzzoni
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I’m an architect (urban planner) and a game designer.
Since 2009 i’m exploring real-life game as a media to create social change (right now we operate under the name of Urban Games Factory)

Among games that we’ve designed and produced there is CriticalCity Upload (2010 > 2015), an urban transformation game that involved more then 13.000 player around Italy, or Codice Indaco an immersive and interactive experience in an abandoned lab. I’m the host of a podcast called “the Playcast" - a podcast about Immersive Theater, Real Life games and everything in between.

I’m currently the Game designer in residence at the MICA Game Lab (Baltimore, US) and the coordinator of the Nomadic branch of Trust in Play, the European School for Urban Game design, proudly a project of the Culture Squad :slight_smile:

Hugi Asgeirsson
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Co-creator of participatory events. Coder of tools for creative communities.
Art lover. Occasional nature-dweller. Data-devouring analyst. Graph-enthusiast.
And I like to make decentralised communities tick and tock.
Born in Iceland, raised in Sweden, lived in China. Based in Stockholm.

Natalia Skoczylas
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Natalia Skoczylas’ cultural hats include years of work behind the scenes in cultural collectives, institutions and organisations. She has been part of Tektura’s (squat) organizing group in Lublin, for which she organized movie screenings, workshops, exhibitions, and concerts.

She has been selected by the curators to create one of the works that will be exhibited at the Biennale of Design “Common Knowledge” in Ljubljana 2019. She is curating Future Lab art festival of utopias/dystopias in Berlin in autumn 2019, and building strategic relationships for Artist Run Alliance network.

She has recently curated and produced the European section of the Museum of Music Instruments in Batu, Indonesia. She’s a freelance cultural journalist with over a decade of experience in Polish and international media, focusing mostly on alternative music, but also architecture, film, contemporary literature and other arts.

She has also worked for international film festivals Rozstaje Europy and Watch Docs (communication) and CODES festival in Lublin several times, where she did everything from communication, to translation for national media to liaison work with visiting artists.

She organized and designed urban games (JTTEOTN in Ljubljana, which brought 1000 people to the streets, and Discovarrubias, which I made with two Spanish friends for the festival IFAC in Covarrubias in 2014), worked in the office of Biennale of Design in Ljubljana in 2013/2014, taking care of the communication with visiting artists, and helped with other tasks at the Museum of Architecture and Design, which hosted me for half a year.

For Edgeryders, she has coordinated and co-produced three of the previous festivals - LOTE4, LOTE5 and OpenVillage, as well as various workshops and events in Nepal and Greece.

Noemi Salantiu
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Digital storyteller, expert online collaborator and a co-founder of Edgeryders. In the past eight years she has shaped Edgeryders into a sustainable community organisation where all projects actively involve members and focus on fulfilling their aspirations for personal and professional development. Most edgeryders community events have her print as a soft people organiser aka cat herding. She has worked for innovation in Culture, Development, Social & Civic activism, trying to infuse community and participation in the cities agendas, and building bridges. The Culture Squad is where she wants to do more production work and less consultancy.

Alex Levene
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Alex is a poet, creative producer and artistic programmer from the UK. He works across performance and theatrical arts. An independent theatre producer specialising in artistic and business development for emerging performance artists in the UK, he manages the artist and community partnership program for a venue in Bedford, UK. As an artist he is drawn to the performance and development of ritual; within personal and public spaces and on a personal and public level.

Selection of relevant artistic experience:
Arts Coordinator - The Place Bedford, UK (2009-2014).
Developing the artistic program of professional theatre from scratch.

Project and Venue Manager - C Venues Edinburgh (2014-17).
Pre-festival set up, and development of performance spaces from scratch for Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the largest performing arts festival in the world.

Associate Producer - Turnpike Productions. (2019)
Artistic and business development for a stable of 12 theatre companies based in the UK. Supporting the development and presentation of new works of contemporary theatre, in the UK, Europe and around the world.

Project lead for Econ Sci-Fi (Edgeryders 2018).
Developing a new format for engaging with economics and the future of governance through speculative fiction. In partnership with UNDP Istanbul.

Associate Producer - Programming & Partnerships - The Place Bedford (2016-present)

With the support of:

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