Talking over a Common Ground by Makeshift Ensemble

31st January – 3rd February as part of Quarter Block Party


wednesday 1pm @ st.peters - parachute strategies

This talk will open a larger discussion about artistic ‘parachute strategies’ - interventions, one off events or remote practices, serving as an introduction to both the series of talks and the Common Ground research programme. How can the different rhythms and timelines of artists and locals, festivals and the organisations that are active year round come together? What are the benefits and challenges of urban acupuncture?

Dr. Niamh NicGhabhann - Course Director, MA Festive Arts at UL

Kathryn Maguire - artist

Siobhan Clancy - artist

thursday 1pm @ st.peters - do you know what i mean? on understanding what we understand about the local.

How do we articulate our feelings or needs about how we live in an urban space? How do we get these feelings and needs heard – and heeded? What modes of perceiving, knowing and articulating urban space can different art-forms contribute to understanding and shaping our urban environment – in particular body-based and non-verbal art-forms? Are they “useful”?  Can art and artists enrich urban quarters in need of renewal, or are we sowing the seeds of our destruction through enabling gentrification?

Eve Olney - ethnographer & artist

Dr. Ríonach Ní Néill - curator/choreographer  

Irene Murphy - artist / co-founder of the Artits Guesthouse

This discussion is the start of a research project by Quarter Block Party curators Ruairi Donovan and Eszter Némethi and choreographer Ríonach Ní Néill, which explores the use of body and dance-based practices to engage people in the perception and use of the Shandon area.

friday 5.30pm @ st.peters -   planning a street

Following the launch of Mad About Cork’s exhibition at St. Peters, this discussion will have a specific focus on the planning and development strategies of North Main Street and the role of artists and local activism within this process.

Dr. William Brady - Head of Department, UCC Planning Department

Erin O’Brien - Executive Planner, Cork City Council

Caoilian Sherlock - Festival Manager, Quarter Block Party/Office of Good Ideas


saturday 1pm @ st.peters  - talking from the outside

The Common Ground project brings together 20 artists, urbanists, youth and social workers in this talk, originating from six countries and already working with local communities. In the casual format of a ‘living library’, they will reflect on the role of the outsider, their own various practices and their first impressions on Cork’s Historic Spine.


 COMMON GROUND is a training and research project, bringing together artists and those active in the social fields to develop strategies, explore methodologies within the broader frame of socially engaged art. Over the course of a year, this project will allow the group to explore 'parachute strategies' - interventions, one off events or remote practices - in order to engage with local communities within the international and migratory contexts they often find themselves in.

The project, developed by six European partner organisations active on this field, will 'twin' North Main Street and Népszínház utca in Budapest, Hungary and will result in a publication of a book and a specific programme of events as part of QBP19.

COMMON GROUND - Call for applications by Makeshift Ensemble

Common Ground: training in socially engaged art tools

Common Ground, a training in socially engaged art tools is a 1-year long part-time programme comprising 3 residential and an online stage taking place in Budapest, Hungary, and Cork, Ireland, from February 2018 to February 2019 initiated by the Firestarter Network and developed by Makeshift Ensemble (IRL), Artemisszió Alapítvány (HUN) and Postmodernsquare (FIN). 


Common Ground is a training and research project focussing on approaches to working and engaging meaningfully with local communities of place within the internationalised, migratory professional practices of both international youth work and the arts. The project will “twin” two multi-cultural, inner city streets and communities in Cork and Budapest that will serve as the location as well as the subject of the training allowing to explore, through artistic tools, the questions: Who are your neighbours? Whose street is this anyway? How can you leave again? Bringing together participants from different backgrounds, the aim is to develop strategies and explore methodologies within the broader frame of socially engaged art with a specific focus on 'parachute strategies' to engage with local communities. By 'parachute strategies' we mean methods and practices that do not require long-term engagement with communities but work on the basis of interventions, one off events or remote practices that nonetheless provide meaningful connections and a real exchange. 
This training will join trainers and participants coming from different backgrounds to allow Common Ground to act as a platform for peer-learning, sharing of international practice and collaboration which will have multiple outcomes in methodology, projects and the professional development of the participants. 

What to expect?

The aim is to equip the participants with a broad understanding of tools and practices, develop their skills and awareness and allow them to learn by doing while also providing support, mentorship as well as skills-based workshops. Having the experience of working in two different countries on similar streets will also give the participants the opportunity to understand the international dimension of working locally. 
We firmly believe in peer learning and the power of joint thinking across sectors and disciplines. The participants will be invited to contribute their knowledge and expertise as well as receiving inputs from trainers, peers and invited guests. It is this learning and the questions raised, as well as the methods developed, that will form the backbone of the second half of the project and will culminate in the international seminar in Cork entitled How to finish? focussing on dissemination and knowledge sharing practices within the context of short-term international projects with young people taking place within local communities. The results of the activities will be the learning of the participants, development of new methods and potential projects on a local and European level, a book documenting the project and its outcomes, as well as public presentations, both in Cork and Budapest.

The training will have 4 segments:

1. Common Ground: Cork 30th Jan – 4th Feb 2018 a 4-day study visit in the context of the Quarter Block Party festival in Cork, Ireland, focussing on performative strategies and anthropological approach to public space. 
2. An online part-time training conducted via, a web-portal for community and social engaged arts projects in Europe that will take place in April/May 2018.
3. Common Ground: Budapest in August (exact dates tbc) an 8-day residential training in Budapest, Hungary taking place at Aurora and other locations along Nepszinhaz utca in Budapest. This training will have a specific focus on exploring video methods.
4. Common Ground: How to finish? 1st Feb – 5th Feb 2019 a return to disseminating the results and learning of the project in the form of presentations, performances and talks in collaboration with Quarter Block Party festival. This will also include the launch of the book.
Full participation in the four elements of Common Ground is mandatory!

Who should apply?

This training is aimed specifically for participants resident in Hungary, Ireland, Serbia, Finland, Greece and Portugal who work with young people under 30 and have a background in either socially engaged art, public art, urban design intervention, documentary film, participatory arts and/or social work, youth work, community organising, activism or cultural anthropology, and already have some professional experience in their fields and a genuine interest and openness to explore the intersection of art and the social in a cross-disciplinary environment.

What will it cost?

Successful applicants will be required to pay a €30 / training participation fee.
Travel, accommodation and meals during the training will be provided. Please note that we will only be able to reimburse travel up to a certain limit defined per country by the European Commission. The travel band applicable to your country will be provided. This limit will be communicated to successful applicants, if you require more information at this point do not hesitate to get in touch.
Common Ground is funded by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ programme. 

How to apply?

To apply, please, fill out the online application:

What happens after you apply?

After the deadline of 26TH DECEMBER 2017 a committee will read the application form and make the first selection. You will be informed by email if you are invited to the training. 
In case you are selected you will be invited to travel to Cork, Ireland, for the period of 30th January – 4th February; remember that participation in the online training is mandatory. (Tip: As there is limited time between the selection date and the training, be sure to prepare for your possible travel to Cork in good time.) 
More information: In case you have questions concerning the training or your application, don’t hesitate to contact Eszter Némethi at