Facing climate crisis, a burnt-out system of ecological networks, broken habitat connections, and lost cultural and language diversity on a planet battered by atrocities, human beings are in survival mode. Bringing justice, plentitude, conviviality, and liveliness to all will be of primary concern for decades to come, as a tremendous test within the history of humankind. This calls for a culture and practice of resistance on the every day. This paragraph announced the topic of the first discussion at DokuTalks, with moderator: Defne Koryürek, and panelists: Ares Shporta, Sevil Baştürk, Levon Bagış and Jeton Jagxhiu.
As these panelists faced the question of how new practices can be created to face the current crisis, they brought examples from their daily work, either in the creation of public cultural spaces and common spaces for the community, but also the experiences from their research work in the field.
Ares Shporta from the Lumbardhi Foundation has revealed his experience, not so pleasant and easy, with the Lumbardhi cinema in Prizren, a story that has contained daily rebellion to protect this cultural asset from destruction and privatization, all the way until creation of a public cultural space that serves the community. "The most difficult task was to articulate the mission", says Shporta, as he explains that Lumbardhi has been a contested heritage, but that the mobilization of the community that has treated it as part of the collective memory has caused it to be preserved and put in service to citizens and local and international artists.
The panelist Sevil Baştürk brought to the participants the experiences related to the movements for the protection of green spaces in Gezi and Roma Bostan in Istanbul, which have brought with them the activism of the community against urban alienation. According to her, the activism in this direction has shown that new practices of handling public spaces can be created, changing the ecosystem of neighborhoods. "It depends on us, on what kind of cities we want to live in in the future, and are we ready to make decisions together, but also to resist together", she declares, expressing her belief that the above mentioned two examples are hopeful for this.
As a result of the engagement, Lumbardhi with its program "Lumbardhi Public Again" is amongst the winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards for 2022.
“The impact the “Lumbardhi Public Again” initiative has had on its local community is of very high quality and is notable for the way in which it has influenced cultural heritage policies and attitudes in the wider region. The creative engagement of young people in the activities is commendable and makes evident the multiple values of heritage sites to the sustainable economic and social development of cities,” stressed the Awards’ Jury.
Lumbardhi Public Again: European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2022 local ceremony will take place on Sunday in Kino Bahçe.

Photo Credits: Elmedina Arapi