366 egun. Prentsaurrekoa



Tabakalera celebrates its first anniversary with over 640,000 visits

So far this year 2016, Tabakalera has received over 640,000 visitors.

At a joint press conference this morning, Ane Rodríguez Armendariz, cultural director of Tabakalera, José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Film festival, Joxean Fernández, director of the Filmoteca Vasca, Mikel Mendarte, director of Kutxa Kultur, Aizpea Goenaga, director of the Etxepare Basque Institute and Ainhoa Gonzalez, head of Zineuskadi, offered an appraisal of the first year of Tabakalera, the International Centre for Contemporary Culture.

In 2016, the full cultural project

“So far this year 2016, Tabakalera has received over 640,000 visitors; this is a very positive result and a sign that ever more local people are coming to the centre and getting involved in the activities here. The first year of any project is always a time for constant new challenges; although so many “firsts” have sometimes proved difficult, the team at the centre has faced up to the task with excitement and professionalism. We are now embarking on a new stage which will involve building on the relations we have established with local people and our partner agents”, said Ane Rodríguez Armendariz, cultural director of Tabakalera.

During 2016, all the component areas in Tabakalera's cultural project became fully active. On 18 March, we opened Ubik, the creation library, offering an essential space to all audiences. From the get-go, it has attracted great interest, with nearly 14,000 visits each month.

This year we also launched the Tabakalera Card and there are now 5,800 people holders; among other functions, they can borrow materials and reserve the services offered by Ubik. To date, the items most often borrowed are the audio-visual materials , followed by books and video games. The number of monthly requests in all categories has doubled since the creation library opened.

Even though its official roll-out was in May 2016, the Artists’ Space has hosted artists, producers, curators and other cultural agents since the centre opened. Thanks to the different residency calls held and projects in conjunction with other stakeholders, as well as to providing spaces for projects and other cross-cutting programmes, 68 artists have already worked in this space: 28 local, 25 international and 15 from the rest of the Spanish State.

One particularly important project has been Ikusmira Berriak, created out of a partnership between Tabakalera, the San Sebastian Film Festival and DSS2016EU (the European City of Culture programme), with support from the Basque Film Library and Donostia Kultura. Ikusmira Berriak is now in its second edition, with resident artists working in the Creators' Space and it has consolidated its position as an international programme of support for audio-visual creation.

This has also been a very important year for the cinema. Thanks to partnerships with institutions such as the Basque Film Library and Donostia Kultura, the Tabakalera screen offers a diverse schedule of screenings from Wednesday to Sunday, attracting an increasingly loyal following. Since the centre opened, over 230 films have been screened, with 12,600 spectators.

In 2016, Zabaltegi-Tabakalera became a competition section in Zinemaldia, the San Sebastian Film Festival, extending the festival to the centre’s screens throughout the year.

The mediation area continues to be one of the pillars of the Tabakalera cultural project, bringing cultural production and contemporary art to the general public, schools and associations, etc.

In 2016, it had a particular impact on work with the educational community. For example, a process was set up with local school Jakintza Ikastola, which involved developing a partnership between the school, families and local people. Altogether, 550 pupils from Jakintza Ikastola have taken part. The project is framed within “City, Education and Partnership Practices” and a new call for applications has now been launched for 2016-2017.

Another of the programmes developed by the mediation area is Kamaleoiak gara! which has been very well received amongst the public. It involves a series of activities for children and adults and a space to share knowledge and learn with a community made up of people of very different ages.

Through its Mañana Goodbye project, Tabakalera has continued to build ties with the history and memory of the building and the work of the cigarette makers who plied their trade here.

Another important space for connecting with different audiences has been Hirikilabs, the digital technology and culture laboratories organised by Tabakalera in collaboration with DSS2016EU. Through different lines of work and calls for applications, young people and adults are given an introduction to technology in all its diverse applications.

Thus, the 4th and 5th Hirikilabs Plaza calls, a process where anyone can propose projects to be developed with other people, have been held in 2016. Projects have included a micro-greenhouse for home use, an acoustic traffic light and a 3D brain.

Hirikilabs also continues to work with families, through lines such as Jolabs, where children and young people have a chance to develop projects related to technology and digital culture.

In the exhibition area, we have successfully achieved several aims in 2016.Thus, “Arenzana Imaz Intxausti Montón Peral” focused attention on artists trained locally with a significant track record behind them, while “Anarchivo sida” was an exhibition project out of which a complete parallel programme of activities has been generated around a theme that is still sensitive –and therefore important– today.

“The Day After”, by artist Maryam Jafri, marks the start of a programme of co-production of exhibitions at an international level. In this case, the show was developed in partnership with the Bétonsalon art and research centre in Paris and spawned a number of programmes related to post-colonialism, with various different historical interpretations being proposed.

Finally, the Yto Barrada exhibition was particularly relevant given the international appeal of the artist, who has exhibited individually for the first time in the Spanish State. It coincided with Barrada's shortlisting for the Marcel Duchamp prize 2016.

To date the exhibition hall at Tabakalera has received a total of 60,514 visits.

2016, a year for new synergies

The representatives of the various institutions in the Tabakalera ecosystem highlighted the importance of this first year in consolidating the centre’s position as a space for creating synergies.

“This first year in Tabakalera has been very exciting. For the team organising the film festival, it has given us a chance to interact with other professionals working in the audio-visual area and other artistic disciplines. The exchange of opinions and even passionate debate has helped us transform ourselves and move forward. In addition, the facilities Tabakalera has provided us with are a real luxury and enable us to work in better conditions”, said José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Film festival.

Aizpea Goenaga, director of the Etxepare Basque Institute, said “At the press conference a year ago, I remember I mentioned that Tabakalera would act as a space that would promote new lines of collaboration. Today I can confirm that this is the case: being part of the ecosystem fosters real cooperation with all its members. We continue to work with the Basque Film Library, the Film Festival and Kutxa. We have started up new projects with Tabakalera, DSS2016 and international cultural agents, including art residency exchanges that allow our artists to work abroad. And with this magnificent venue, we have also been able to host international literature, translation and dramatic arts programmes as well as top professional and institutional forums”.

Mikel Mendarte, director of Kutxa Kultur, added his voice to “the celebration of the success in terms of users and the transformation of the environment achieved by Tabakalera in its first year of existence, to which we at Kutxa have contributed with hard work and enthusiasm. This success will be rounded off when, with good coordination, we set up the ecosystem shared by the agents acting at the centre. The objectives that we had set for those months have been fulfilled and we are now implementing programmes including music and fashion, which will clearly help to breathe life into a project in which we firmly believe and about which we are very excited".

Joxean Fernández, the Basque Film Library director, stressed that "during this first year of existence, Tabakalera has allowed the Basque Film Library to take an unprecedented step in the 37 years it has been up and running: to embark on an ongoing film programme. It has also allowed us to improve our working conditions, better the services that we offer to the academic world and to the audiovisual industry and, of course, strengthen collaborations with the other institutions involved. Our assessment of this first year in Tabakalera is therefore very positive. Furthermore, the audience figures for our programme has been positive for 2016 so far: audience figures of an average of 84 per session for the 31 sessions organised in total, with a third being held in the Basque language or with Basque subtitles”.

Ainhoa Gonzalez, head of Zineuskadi, said that “the move has not conditioned our day-to-day work; indeed, it has reinforced our positioning strategy, integrating the Basque audio-visual industry into the Tabakalera ecosystem”.

Local citizens come to a cultural space, which also stands as a public meeting place. The opening of all the different spaces in the Taba café and the cultural offerings of the private initiatives located at the centre has encouraged visits from an increasingly diverse public.

At the end of the month, we will be opening Basque Living, a new space devoted to interior decoration, design and decoration. This is being promoted by Habic, the equipment, wood and design industry association of the Basque Country.

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