As a GALA partner, GeoAIR has been an active participant in the GALA general meetings, building collaborative relationships with other GALA partners across a wide geographical area.
GALA is a partnership between 19 cultural organisations that has enabled a collaborative investigation of the role of environmental sustainability for the arts and design sectors. In March 2015, the Green Art Lab Alliance (GALA) will be meeting for its third and final meeting in Glasgow.
CCS: What organisation do you represent in GALA and how did you find yourself involved?
Sophia Lapiashvili (SL): I’m representing GeoAIR (Georgia). Me and my partner Tamar Janashia were intensively involved in the project. GeoAIR participated in both components of the GALA project (the LAB and Workshop). In Spring and Summer we invited four international artist to Tbilisi for the GeoAIR residency to work with local artists together on the topic of environment and sustainability. The artists worked very closely with local context. As we implemented the project in the market space of Tbilisi, the local workers were also very much involved.
From 22nd-23rd January 2015 we organised the Green Laboratory: Culture and Environment conference/workshop which included participants from Julie’s Bicycle and Pollinaria (two other GALA project members).
CCS: What is the significance of GALA to you and how has the project contributed to your work?
SL: During the project I have met very interesting people and learned about many interesting projects and organizations. The GALA project created a very good network and I’m very thankful to be part of it. The working process for the project helped me to develop the ideas for my future projects. I wish to keep contact after the project is over and collaborate with GALA members again.
CCS: What is your favourite memory, moment, discussion or thought that you’ve taken from past GALA general meetings?
SL: The general meetings were very exciting to me- in Maastricht at the Jan van Eyck Academie meeting Lex ter Braak and getting to know the development of the academy, how they are dealing with art and environment. Also visiting Visby and the amazing landscapes of Gotland was an interesting experience for me, to see the positive attitude toward the sustainable environment, as it is not the case in Georgia. Also working with the whole GALA team was very positive and contributed a lot to my professional development. All project partners are so different, and this diversity makes the project successful and exciting.
CCS: What are your hopes for the final GALA general meeting in Glasgow this coming March?
SL: For the March meeting I hope to see all GALA participants in Glasgow and learn more about their projects, problems and have feedback from all partners. I also wish to have some ideas for future plans.
Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.
In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.
We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.
Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:
Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.
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