What is MitOst?

Darius Polok

Hello, my name is Darius Polok. I am from Berlin. I am managing an association called MitOst. The MitOst was founded in 1996 so about 16-17 years ago. The aim of The MitOst is to support the civil society activists, to support citizenship education and also on the other side to support a culture exchange within Europe. The MitOst means “with the Eastern or Central Eastern Europe” and this is also the geographic area where we are coming from. We started in 1996 with an exchange between Germany the German-speaking countries on the one side and the Central Eastern Europe and South Eastern Europe on the other side. Since two or three years we are also working with European neighboring countries like Turkey and the Arab countries.

In the division of cultural exchange we are supporting those cultural managers who are working internationally. We are still running a programme of The Robert Bosch Stiftung called Cultural Managers from Central and Eastern Europe. This was a nine years programme. It is an example for programmes funded by foundations where we are the implementing partner. In the same time we are supporting our members with grassroots projects. We are very strong in supporting very small-scale initiatives in small cities especially in Eastern and Central Europe. In Eastern Europe, Ukraine, Moldavia and in South Eastern Europe initiatives where members ask us to support the project and we take the money out of the membership fees that we have got from the participants and members. So we have projects with foundations as partners, our members with grassroots projects and the third are our own projects that we do realize with other funding like European Commission’s money for example. And one example for this is a project we did 2 years ago a two years project called European Accents. It was collaboration between artists from European Capital of Culture Pecs at that time and Essen Ruhr Area in Germany and Perm a city in Russia in Ural Mountains. We brought together 15 artists from each of these three cities to create a network between them. This is just an example for projects that we are also doing.

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Darius Polok

Darius Polok

Director of MitOst in Berlin, Germany

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