26 October 2017
Culture Resource’s team took part in organizing the final meeting of the fourth round of Tandem Shaml program which was held in Odessa, Ukraine from 23 to 27 September and it was unique in its design as it actually occasioned the joint final meeting for three Tandem programs: Tandem Shaml, Tandem Turkey and Tandem Ukraine.
Around 140 participants from the Arab region and beyond attended the event, including the participants from this round, former Tandem alumni, the programme’s big team and representatives from its international funding partners. The schedule for this five-day event included separate internal meetings for each programme, so that each of the programmes’ participants could evaluate their experiences and receive support for the completion of their reports. These sessions were followed by a Network Day, bringing together participants from the three programmes plus partners, trainers and the programme team. In addition, there were Exchange Days in which this round’s participants offered workshops inspired by the partnership projects they completed in the course of the past year. This was a new approach to presenting the outputs of the projects and to sharing acquired knowledge and expertise.
Commenting on the event, Culture Resource Managing Director Helena Nassif said, “Tandem Shaml is a unique experience that makes it possible to build cross-border and interdisciplinary partnerships between people involved in arts and culture. It also supports the development of human relations unbound by the purely organizational sphere, in that these relations depend on acquired mutual trust and in the potentials of creativity.” She added, “What caught my attention was the participants’ evaluation which underscored the fact that coming together does not mean homogeneity and that Tandem Shaml’s attention to the process of the work gave them the time to develop projects from within as opposed to cloning them from standardised patterns and models. This renewed their confidence in donor organisations as entities that are truly concerned with the cultural act as a creative act.”
Tandem Shaml Program Manager Reem Khattab described the Final Meeting as “a practical example of the essence of the program in its greater context, which is a meeting of a huge multinational team committed to developing a modern approach to cultural management methodology and networking between change makers around the world.” She added, “It was interesting to get to know the many experiences of the participants of the three programs, the subjects they chose and the ways they handled them. As diverse as the experiences were, they all sought to address common global challenges by means of unique and different languages, arts and means of expression.”