1. Who they are

Magacin Cultural Centre is a cultural and social centre and it is a resource managed by the community of users according to the commonly established rules. Magacin is not defined by a rigid programme or curatorial concept but nourishes and supports a wide range of contemporary creation programmes, as well as socially responsible initiatives that act in the public interest. Art organizations, associations, informal art groups and individuals (regardless of age), acting in accordance with the Magacin’s values and conditions of use can use Magacin’s resources not only for working and realizing their programmes in the field of contemporary art and culture but also for a wider range of social practices. Magacin is available to hundreds of users on a daily basis through the open calendar model, free of charge. The open calendar allows all potential users (no matter whether they have the status of regular or new and occasional users) to have the same rights and conditions to use the space. Although primarily oriented towards the independent and informal scene, Magacin is also open for cooperation with institutions. With the implementation of a previous FundAction Renew grant in 2018/2019, the resource of Magacin became even more functional and thus enabled additional individuals and associations to carry out their programmes but also new types of usages (coworking, more complex workshop etc.) which further increased the complexity of the invisible practices of running the space.

2. What they did

The structural change contributes to the preservation and improvement of the space, by having more people involved in the day to day tasks and also making the space more visible and significant. Nevertheless, it also brought challenges and revealed the weaknesses in some aspects of managing the space. For these reasons, the need to improve the model was perceived at the end of 2018, and in early 2019, through the help of a Rethink FundAction grant a working group was formed to design a new model of managing and using the space.

3. Learnings for the FundAction community

All the interested users of the space joined the working group and, with the aid of two experts, started a four-month-long work on improving the model. The work on the model implied a clear definition and a kind of formalization of the existing practices and structures, having been established organically for years, but it turned out they, in the form of unwritten rules, were too fragile in the situation of the sudden expansion of the collective. This resulted in a detailed written governance and organizational model which was adopted on the assembly of all users of Magacin culture centre and in a publication “Magacin – a model for a self-organized cultural centre” which focuses on the specific elements that make up this model and provides an insight into them, but also tries to put this way of managing and using resources in a wider context and enable the application of this knowledge and experience on other models based on similar or same ambitions.

The new model of Magacin and the publication were discussed at the focused conference “Make it till you make it” with guests from cultural centres from Moldova, Berlin, Dresden, Novi Sad and Pula – some of the participants were also members of FundAction where we had an open call for participation. The public panel “Building something out of something” included panellists that presented not only Magacin, but also the centres Rojc from Pula, Zentralwerk from Dresden, ZK/U from Berlin and the Trans Europa Halles network of cultural centres.


“Building something out of something” panel

Panel diskusija "Building Something out of Something"

24. 6. 2019. u Centralnom prostoru održana je panel diskusija "Building something out of something"Snimanje i montaža: Marko Pejović za Foto/Video tim MagacinaPanel Discussion: Irena Boljunčić Gracin (TEH / Centar Rojc, Croatia), Miodrag Kuč (ZKU, Berlin), Jan Bohme (Zentralwerk, Dresden), Ksenija Djurović (KC Magacin, Belgrade) / moderation: Iva Čukić.The panel “Building Something out of Something” presented several European spaces that operate outside the mainstream public or commercial sectors and create significant social or cultural value in the city. As we share the recognition that these spaces are often fragile from an economic and organisational viewpoint, the panel seeks to explore the underlying financial and governance models, and terms of access and use, with the ambition to learn from these experiences and explore some of the elements that can be applied in different contexts.Magacin Cultural Centre is a cultural and social centre and it is a resource managed by the community of users according to the commonly established rules. In the past few years, the number of regular users of Magacin has grown rapidly. The presence of a large number of active individuals and associations that carry out their programmes in Magacin contributes to the preservation and improvement of the space and making it more visible and significant.Nevertheless, this structural change has brought challenges and revealed the weaknesses in some aspects of managing the space. Therefore, the need to improve the model was perceived at the end of 2018, and in early 2019 a work group was formed to design a new model of managing and using the space. The aim was to develop some of the functional unwritten practices and structures into a functioning model of management and organization for everyone using the space. Here, we present a publication which gathers concrete elements of the new organisational structure, values, principles and conditions of use, management principles and the space capacities of Magacin. Hence, it represents the desire to share the experience gained through designing and improving of the common resource management model, and to provide a knowledge base for future practices.Trans Europe Halles (TEH) is a Europe-based network of cultural centres initiated by citizens and artists. TEH has been at the forefront of re-purposing Europe’s industrial buildings for arts, culture and activism since 1983. As of 2018, TEH has brought together 109 multidisciplinary cultural centres and other cultural organisations from across Europe. TEH’s mission is to strengthen the sustainable development of non-governmental cultural centres and encourage new initiatives by connecting, supporting and promoting them. They facilitate international cooperation, provide opportunities for learning and sharing, and promote the practice, impact and value of arts and culture.ZK/U seeks to develop projects, co-produce knowledge and share values created through exchanges. ZK/U does not offer a fixed set of ideas and principles for its fellows. Rather, individual projects and needs shape what could be described as a continuous formation. Instead of letting the ‘final product’ constrain the possible routes that a practice might take, ZK/U focuses on the processes that come from, and feed into, the particular contexts of the fellows’ practice, whether they be locally-defined situations or international discourses.ZENTRALWERK was established in 2005 and is a heterogeneous group of artists and art-related people who, acting as the cultural branch of the cooperative, have their main venue at Zentralwerk. The association’s members offer a variety of professional profiles, bundling their artistic potential in interdisciplinary projects. Taking the industrial history of the place as a reference, they see themselves as a cultural factory that is characterized by close and regular collaboration between the association’s members, by networking and exchange. This allows them to realize ambitious and socially valuable projects.ROJC Alliance (Pula, Croatia) is a unique gathering place for civil society organisations, encouraging their development under a common roof in a place of revived cultural heritage while also hosting numerous social events. Situated in an Austro-Hungarian structure dating back to the 1870s, today the centre is host to 108 associations from various fields (culture, sports, psychosocial care and health services, activities for children and young people, care for persons with special needs, environmental protection, technical culture, national minorities etc.). Thousands of Rojc inhabitants and their visitors pass through its painted hallways and stairways each week – bringing to life the “streets” of Rojc.This event was the opportunity to introduce to a wider audience several cultural and social centers and practices in various socio-economic circumstances, the new model for Magacin and the publication, both in English and Serbian, that brings together certain principles, values, and structures of this self-organized space.Supported by: Association Independent Cultural Scene of Serbia, FundAction, and Heinrich Boell Foundation.

Publiée par Magacin u Kraljevića Marka 4-8 sur Mercredi 10 juillet 2019


“Magacin – a model for a self-organized cultural centre”