Mod.Strøm – an arts and culture project

Mod.Strøm were an innovative arts and culture project culminating in a Funen festival 8-17 September. The aim of the festival was to give centre stage to the creative potential of Funen and adjacent islands in the Region of Southern Denmark. During the festival event, more than 30 arts and culture projects will be curated in forgotten but appealing and intriguing locales.

Mod.Strøm Festival 8-17 September invited kids, teens and adults to experience a wide array of cultural sights and events; from fire-breathing dragons along the Assensbanen draisine railbike tracks, through a musical narrative devoted to shoes at the converted Polymeren shoe factory, to a musical drama installation featuring new-age circus, audio imagery and Russian choral music at Hesbjerg Castle. 33 projects was selected to form the arts and cultural backbone of the festival, which aimed to promote the creative potential of Funen and adjacent islands, and to spur debate on the region’s cultural and cultural heritage assets and values. Nineteen of the 33 projects were curated at venues identified by citizens as forgotten or in disuse but full of potential, while the remaining 14 projects were pop-up projects, scattered across the nine Funen municipalities participating in the festival. Common to the 33 arts & culture projects is their aspirational audience outreach, and not least their artistic diversity.

Lene Høsthaab, chair of the intermunicipal organising body, Kulturregion Fyn, is confident of the high potential of the Mod.Strøm festival:

“The aim of Mod.Strøm is to show how arts and culture can be used to revitalise forgotten or disused locations – that is, to catalyse change, but Mod.Strøm is just as much a showcase for the creativity and cultural innovation that exists on Funen. We received more than 100 applications from artists and cultural entities seeking to be part of Mod.Strøm, which I see as a great vote of confidence, and the hope is certainly for Mod.Strøm to kick-start new creative alliances to raise even more awareness of Funen as a vibrant and playful place at the heart of Denmark. In terms of prospective audiences I am thrilled by the diversity Mod.Strøm represents. There will be something to see and do for all age-groups, and in terms of active contributors, the range is also very wide, with projects led by professional artists and ordinary townspeople alike”.

The background to Mod.Strøm
Mod.Strøm was launched by Kulturregion Fyn in partnership with a range of arts & culture entities on Funen, including Kulturarv Fyn, the cultural heritage organisation. The project aims to showcase the creative potential of Funen and adjacent islands, and to stimulate debate on the region’s cultural and cultural heritage assets and values.

Mod.Strøm accomplishes this by bringing citizens, artists and arts & culture entities together in new partnerships that revitalise abandoned and disused sites and locales in the nine municipalities that make up Kulturregion Fyn, and by giving a voice to the stories, places and cultural initiatives that connect its communities past and present. By engaging citizens, artists and arts & culture entities in reinventing and revitalising abandoned and disused locations through arts & culture projects, the mission is to inspire new aspirations and visions for Funen and adjacent islands, in which creative partnerships serve to raise the profile of the Funen region and rebrand it as vibrant, playful and innovative.

The efforts to revive forgotten or disused sites and places will culminate in an arts & culture festival from 8 to 17 September 2017, while the debate and story of the cultural region’s positive values will be continued by Cultural Heritage Funen in a documentary series exploring abandoned islands, a book on forgotten or deserted sites, an art exhibition and a touring illustrator & narrator event. In this way, Mod.Strøm connects the past, present and future in the interests of promoting, rebranding and developing the cultural heritage and creative potential of Funen.

Region-wide Funen arts & culture festival
A centre for the Mod.Strøm festival has been designated in each municipality:

Langeland Municipality: The open-air theatre in Rudkøbing.
Ærø Municipality: “Høkeren” in Skovby.
Assens Municipality. Assensbanen (converted draisine railway).
City of Odense: Hesbjerg Castle.
Nyborg Municipality: Slipshavn peninsula and harbour.
Kerteminde Municipality: Muus Silo.
Svendborg Municipality. Hvidkilde Savværk (former sawmill).
Nordfyns Municipality: Historic German installations at Beldringe.
Faaborg-Midtfyn Municipality: Polymeren (cultural and social hub in a disused shoe factory).

By hosting arts and cultural events at these venues and locations, the project participants are exploring past community values and the opportunities for revitalising communities through cultural activities. Pop-up projects are being mounted in other overlooked or forgotten places in the municipalities. The pop-up projects are required to abide by Mod.Strøm’s basic premise – to stage or promote a site or locale that deserves a higher profile

What does Mod.Strøm mean?
The Danish name is a three-way play on words. The first part, Mod, means courage. We have the courage of our convictions in uniting many diverse actors in the project. We are making a bold move to embrace a multitude of cultural projects and perspectives, and to seek to create something that unites and inspires everyone. The second syllable, Strøm, denotes flow and motion. We are setting thoughts and creative energies in motion and transforming locations on Funen to revitalise them. Thirdly, the overall title Mod.Strøm, meaning counter-current, signals that the project dares to be different and challenge the mainstream.