Tandem Europe 2017

Published Tue 3 Oct 2017 - By Literature Wales
Literature Wales to forge new European cultural links with Tandem Europe


Literature Wales’ Community Participation Manager Louise Richards and Head of Programmes Elena Schmitz have been selected to represent Wales at the Tandem Europe Partner Forum which takes place at Sofia, Bulgaria in October 2017. They will join up to forty creatives and arts professionals from twenty-eight European Union member states, the Western Balkans, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland with the aim of seeking a partner to develop a year-long creative project exploring social innovation.

Tandem Europe is a cross-border learning and action programme which is built upon cross-cultural and cross-border partnerships. Together, partners design and test new ideas to tackle socio-economic challenges by realising a pilot project for their own local environment. As part of the project, each partner will spend a two week vocational visit to their partner organisation; becoming directly involved with their partner’s working environment, experiencing hands-on the culture. Literature Wales will join a growing community of cultural and social innovators who are deeply engaged in shaping a common European future, both transnationally and at grass roots level.

Tandem Europe is tailor-made for people who are committed to making social innovation possible throughout the EU. The programme stimulates strategic thinking and helps to create and sustain culturally innovative projects across sectors, disciplines and borders. It also, and explores creative and collaborative solutions for contemporary challenges in our societies.

Literature Wales strongly believes in the transformative power of participatory arts, and that literature in particular has crucial role to play in shaping social innovation and change. Elena Schmitz, Head of Programmes at Literature Wales says:

“We are looking forward to partnering with other European arts organisations, specifically to address community concerns and help develop greater cultural understanding and respect following the Brexit vote. We hope to find new joint solutions to combat ‘fake news’ designed to fracture, rather than foster, cohesive communities.”

In November 2016, Literature Wales worked in partnership with Head4Arts to host a visit to Wales for Pierluigi Vaccaneo, co-creator of TwLetteratura and Betwyll in Italy, which was the direct outcome of Head4Arts’ participation in the Tandem Europe project. The TwLetteratura workshops delivered by Literature Wales used the challenge of Twitter’s 140 characters limit to create exercises which engage participants with reading and reinvent their relationships with texts. For further information, visit:


About Tandem

Tandem is a cultural collaboration programme that strengthens civil society in Europe and its neighbouring regions. There are currently five Tandem programmes which focus on different regions and topics: Tandem Europe, Tandem C&P, Tandem Ukraine, Tandem Turkey and Tandem Shaml

Tandem Europe builds on a new strategic partnership between the Tandem core partners (ECF and MitOst), foundations from Italy (Fondazione Cariplo), Greece (Stavros Niarchos Foundation), Switzerland (Pro Helvetia) and Germany (Robert Bosch Stiftung), and NGOs from Portugal (4iS), Greece (COMM’ON) and Bulgaria (Ideas Factory).

The Tandem Programme was co-created by the European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam) and MitOst e.V. (Berlin) in 2011 and has so far supported collaborations between over 250 cultural managers coming from ca. 35 countries in wider Europe.