In November, the “Decolonisation Non-Conference: Shaping Futures: Cultures in Dialogue for Decolonisation and Democracy” was held in Tbilisi, organised by the Danish Cultural Institute (DCI). The event was facilitated as a result of the collaboration between DCI and cultural organisations of Eastern Partnership countries, within the framework of the "New Democracy Fund" program. The "Cultural and Social Narratives Laboratory" team, along with other invited experts from Armenia, was among the participants of the conference dedicated to the intersections of culture and decolonisation. The conference aimed to establish a platform for discussions and the exchange of experiences on the topic of decolonisation. It provided a space for artists, cultural practitioners, and researchers from different countries to present the issues and challenges associated with colonialism and neo-colonialism within their respective contexts, as well as to share their experiences in addressing these issues. Discussing the hardships faced by societies and states within the context of a shared complex past and contemporary issues of colonisation, the participants exchanged insights, emphasising both similarities and differences, as well as various strategies, methods, and tools aimed at addressing the challenges posed by decolonisation and neo-colonialism.
In the context of the non-conference, participants delved into discussions, brainstorming sessions, and collaborative efforts, employing various methods to explore and analyse topics such as (de)colonial narratives and their dissemination, (de)colonialism and gender, (de)colonisation and environment, cultural heritage, language, and memory within the context of (de)colonisation, as well as the geopolitical relations and positioning of the countries in the region. After the discussions, participants moved on to developing conceptual solutions for the identified problems, followed by the presentations of project ideas.
The “Decolonisation Non-Conference: Shaping Futures: Cultures in Dialogue for Decolonisation and Democracy” not only offered Eastern Partnership countries an opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences on the topic but also functioned as a platform for artists, cultural practitioners, and researchers to forge new connections and nurture future collaborations, which aspire to contribute to the cultural dialogue, decolonisation, and democracy within the countries of the region.