Looking for answers to some existential questions during the Cooltour site visit at our Transnational Meeting in Ostrava. Walking toward the Cooltour spread in Ostrava, we discover a familiar assortment of recycled industrial containers, fiberboard outdoor patio furniture, exposed concrete flooring, raw canvas drapery, etc., all signifying the new hipster-collective cultural joints sprouting up in cities all over Europe.
But then, Andrej Harmecko, the director of this former-brewery-turned-multi-disciplinary-contemporary-arts-centre, explains the raison d’être of this particular endeavor. As the first independent, artistic initiative in Ostrava, since 2011 Andrej and his team have intended to impact and, in turn, be impacted by their community. Ostrava is their home and they are deeply attached to its history and future.
The CoolTour organization creates projects with a driving energy to improve their city from all cultural points of view, not just the arts, but including education, grass-roots organizing, sustainable development bien sur, taking responsibility at a personal level…
For example, CoolTour installed 100 planters around the city and invited citizens to become responsible for them, nurturing, cleaning, caring for these public plantings as 100 personal initiatives.
Focusing on three areas of development, innovative programming, an artist residency program, and community projects, CoolTour seeks to revitalize Ostrava by the pertinence of their actions.
Committed to excellence and constantly questioning “Do we deserve to exist?,” Andrej and the CoolTour team are leaving nothing to chance.
Article written by Jasmine Juguet, Nantes