“ECHO II: Traditions In Transition” (September 2020 – June 2022) is a European cultural project, in the context of which we invite artists living in North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece and Hungary, and working in the fields of painting, sculpture, graphic design, fashion design, craftwork and mural to create original artworks inspired by the following selected local traditions:
- The local traditions of the Prespa Lake (North Macedonia),
- The local traditions of the city of Sofia (Bulgaria),
- The local traditions related to the sea in Spetses island (Greece),
- The local traditions related to the life and community of Győr distillery’s workers (Hungary), and
- The local traditions of the Smolyan town (Bulgaria).
We perceive local traditions as dynamic and evolving processes that shape and are shaped by the lives of local communities. This means that we recognise traditions as constitutive elements of cultural identities, but we don’t consider them as ‘objects’ that need to remain unaltered and get protected via musealisation. In this light, we take a critical stance towards established but unfruitful perspectives that restrict innovation and creativity, and we hope ECHO II to be an opportunity:
- for artists to highlight and renew local traditions through contemporary artistic creation, and
- for the local communities to self-reflect, and hence, reconceptualise and revitalise their own traditions within the framework of European cultural heritage.