Screenprint team Jelle, Eva. Photo by Jadranka Lackovic Creative Embassies for Building Collectively Tandem Fryslân participants Wytse Dijkstra (Leeuwarden) and Ivana Lucic (Rijeka) have spent their collaborative year working on Creative Embassies. Learn more about what they did and where the future will bring their project. Viljana Babic & Mathijs Mathijs Smit in the Stadsoase. Photo by Marc Henri Queré Creative Embassies is about exchange. The exchange of ideas and ways of working. Exchange of cultures, habits and people – between Leeuwarden and Rijeka. With Creative Embassies, two cities that bear many similarities, but on the other hand are totally different, are brought together. You could describe both cities as “underdog cities”. Both have their own strong identity in comparison to the rest of the country and they wouldn’t be the first choice when someone would pick a city for a city trip. Although, both cities share the title of European Capital of Culture: Leeuwarden in 2018, Rijeka in 2020. The Creative Embassies are a bridge to work on a strong connection between the two cities. Screenprint work in progress. Photo by Jadranka Lackovic The past year was about pioneering, experimenting and celebrating the connection. The Creative Embassy of Rijka got its home in the Stadsoase in Leeuwarden. A trendy Biergarten in the city centre and a project from Podium Asteriks. Grafitti Artist Vladimir Tomic and DJ/Producer Viljana Babic flew over as the Creative Ambassadors of Rijeka and teamed up with local artists and musicians to work collectively in the Biergarten in Leeuwarden. Together with the Leeuwarden based artist collective SELF Collective, Vladimir worked on different works to give more and more colour to the Stadsoase, and with other local graffiti artists, he worked on a big piece for public space. Viljana teamed up with Mathijs Smit, a young, talented DJ from Leeuwarden. Day and night, they worked on a back2back DJ set which they performed in the Stadsoase. The other way around, screenprint artist Jelle van Gosliga represented the Creative scene of Leeuwarden in Rijeka and carried on Windowlicker in the Cultural Capital of 2020. Windowlicker is a vertical screenprint project from the screenprint collective Cowboy Killers and artist Stefan Hoffman. The artists print their work on windows of buildings in the city centre of Leeuwarden. The project looks for the tension and dialogue happening between art and design. They encourage experiment and work on a positive and exciting appearance of the city centre. Rijeka shares similar challenges when it comes to vacant buildings in the city. This was the reason for the Creative Embassies to transfer the project to the Croatian city. The exchange brought a fresh, positive view towards this challenge from artists and inhabitants from Rijeka. Stadoase. Photo by Marc Henri Queré In the future, Creative Embassies will continue… It’s a gigantic opportunity to keep on building on a strong connection between the two cities. The collaboration could even turn out to be the link between two “sister cities.” The next step is to create a permanent exchange. A collaboration which is “not more than natural”. And who knows, maybe Creative Embassies will get its own life and pop up in other cities across Europe, or even the world… It could become an international network interlinking specific creative scenes. To get to know different cultures, and each other.