Incubator of Handicrafts, Social Cooperative and Cultural Production with Migrants and Refugees

Information and registration:


040 370 717 (Batavia Dalati)

In November 2018, Terra Vera Association started its 14-month project Akupara: The Incubator of Handicrafts, Social Cooperatives and Cultural Productions which is intended for immigrants and refugees. The project takes place in Maribor, Slovenia. The operation is co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union from the European Social Fund http://www.eu-skladi.si/. By connecting immigrants and refugees with prominent Slovene creators, we will promote methods of co-creation and exchange of skills that came to exist as a result to past and present migration. An atmosphere will be created allowing people with different cultural backgrounds to personally intermingle while strengthening the awareness in regard to the contribution that immigrants bring to the development of a society. In addition, certain competencies will be developed opening new scope and opportunities for these people in the labor market. One of objectives the project targets is the development of marketing design brand. The project will invite at least 45 immigrants and refugees to participate. Activities will be carried out in Maribor in partnership with CAAP, Nagib Association and Prostor Vmes with some other supportive networks.

Module 1: Developing prototypes of handcrafted artisan products

Immigrants and refugees bring new knowledge, talents and skills to new cultural environments. When given appropriate support, these people can bring about great contribution to society. Immigrants and refugees who came to Slovenia with experiences, knowledge, talents and who are willing and ambitious to work will be connected with recognized handcrafters and designers. Local mentors will embrace traditions that participants brought along from their native cultures while trying to develop these skills in a way that will be adaptable to the rhythm and trend of the new environment. This would enable participants to strengthen their competences in approaching the labor market in the local environment. Participants’ personal stories will become the inspiration for the articulation of products which will reflect the real migration image, thus offering an alternative to populist images created by mass media.

Fields of trainings:

Unique design of ceramics (40 hours)

Textile design (60 hours)

Furniture and interior design (80 hours)

Visual storytelling (40 hours)

Jewellery design (40 hours)

Module 2: Social Cooperatives

Through a variety of non-formal learning methods, participants will get informed about basic cooperatives’ practices and the key elements that differentiate them from capital companies. They will acquire the skills of transforming their values into elements of a business model-- cooperatives, while emphasising intercultural dialogue and the context of values in diverse environments. While detecting and analysing their own values, participants will acquire basic knowledge and skills in the field of cooperatives. At the same time, participants will establish a brand new cooperative, where they will be involved in the development of a socially innovative product, and the creation of a new cooperative society in a guided environment.

The cooperative module will include:

• Basic knowledge (12 hours)

• Simulation of the development of a new cooperative (16 hours)

• Establishing social economies within capitalism (12 hours)

• Digital fabrication (8 hours)

• Practical training in existing cooperatives (12 hours)

The module covers 60 hours

Modul 3: Cultural Production

Through trainings in cultural production, participants will get aware that crafted products are not just aesthetic objects, but an expressive medium for transforming messages, through which immigrants and refugees can form and articulate their own stories (and stories of meetings), thereby co-creating and controlling their own media and public image. Familiarization with the local cultural heritage while visiting cultural institutions and working with independent creators in the field of culture will serve as an inspiration for the creation of products. It is the way by which immigrants and refugees will be placed in new environment in which they will adopt new local cultural traditions through which they will gain new and different perspective, which they will express in their new creations. This model will bring about setting of “Living Room II”, as a conceptual exhibition attracting diverse audience. It will be a place established for creative meetings among immigrants, refugees and local artisans.

The module covers 60 hours