In the past two years, Doc Next Network has engaged a broad European community in its activities. Locally active in four countries across Europe and captured in a digital framework, hundreds of young media-makers, researchers, educators and arts, cultural programmers and policy makers are involved.
Doc Next Network strives for social justice and inclusive public opinion in Europe, through our common methodology that supports the ideas of access, free culture and expanded education in which (digital) media plays a crucial role. What started as local activities of four organisations, has now transformed into one European methodology and practice.
Despite a growing acknowledgement of the importance of media-literacy as a tool for progress, we feel the need to provide additional education to – at least – the formal educational systems in which media is playing a role (ranging from secondary schools to film academies and communications faculties for instance). We believe there is a lack of understanding of how digital media in this era is challenging old values and shaping new value systems.
Media in this D-I-Y era, in which technologies are accessible and sharing of information on the internet is common, has to be acknowledged, understood and regarded for its huge potential for the arts and creativity, for the public debate and opinion making, and for cultural studies and societal critique. Making young people media-skilled and media-critical is what is needed in our societies, to be able to represent another, alternative imagery of what living in Europe means. It will help build European citizenship.
- We provide space in locally rooted but internationally linked media labs where young creators develop media-craftmanship and media-criticism. These media labs are meant as safe spaces where people with different cultural backgrounds and media skills can share, learn and criticise. A space where creation goes hand in hand with reflection.
- We are building an archive of contemporary Europe with our media collection by young creators. This collection is accessible on Vimeo and on a resource space. This Doc Next Network media collection encompasses around 500 short documentaries and other media works of young Europeans. It is a live archive of contemporary Europe.
- We contribute to and engage others in the investigation and discussion of media in our societies. Our festivals, seminars and meetings are aimed at sharing and connecting sources of knowledge beyond borders and including different local perspectives: on D-I-Y culture in media as a tool for progress and self-representation; on trends in the contemporary creative media landscape; on how our practice in and ideas on non-formal, non-institutional – or, as we call it, ‘expanded education’ can be further developed.
Our network consists of strategic partnerships with 4 European independent cultural hub organisations:
- Association of Creative Initiatives “ę” (Warsaw, PL)
- British Film Institute (London, UK)
- MODE Istanbul (Istanbul, TR)
- Zemos98 (Seville, ES)
Doc Next Network’s hub partners operate within a local context with a transnational outreach. Throughout different projects and temporary partnerships, we have joined forces with many.
Doc Next is the core of the Youth & Media Programme of the European Cultural Foundation (ECF).
Menno Weijs (Secretary Doc Next Network)
European Cultural Foundation (ECF)
Jan van Goyenkade 5
1075 HN Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20 573 38 68
Web editor: Puck de Klerk.
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