Common grounds, common future - Ideas in dialogue


Searching for innovative dialogue projects
between Austria and Romania


Perhaps there is a silver lining to current global challenges threatening to the core our social well-being.

Perhaps the level of disruptiveness we are experiencing today is also a key to unlocking future possibilities, not only for ourselves as individuals seeking companionship, but for entire sectors that have been weakend or that have suspended their routines entirely.

Instead of succumbing to fear and uncertainty, we need to imagine and enact new ways of being and working together to safeguard not only the goal of cohesive societies, the basis our European identity, but also the promise of arts and culture to nurture and enact this common goal.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also as a form of an empowering excercise in social responsibility, we need new territories for arts and culture just as much as we need to imagine and implement new ways of working and of ensuring our livelihoods.

Bilateral partnership for culture and society

The Austrian Cultural Forum in Bucharest invites submissions from established and emerging artists, researchers and artist groups from Austria from a wide range of sectors and connecting fields, including but not limited to: visual, audio, performative, and digital arts, multi- and trans-media projects, social and community art projects, literature, etc.

The purpose of the call is to create a pool of innovative and daring bilateral collaborative projects in the framework of the cultural programme of Timișoara European Capital of Culture 2023 cultural programme.

The selected project proposals will be implemented in different venues across Romania starting in 2021, and up to and including 2023.

They will also be integrated in the final #newTogether project documentation targeting political representatives at national and European levels. Another outcome we expect from this process is to foster lasting collaborations and connections between Austrian and Romanian cultural partners and actors in the field of new technologies, which can further prove their resilience beyond the 2023 milestone.

Irina-Halina Cornișteanu,
project curator

#newTogether is call for action and a platform on which those who feel they can make a positive change are able to find like-minded persons to work with.
Clever ideas need more than expression: they need to be put into practice.


December 9, 2020 -
February 28, 2021

The call for collaborative ideas is open. Austrian artists and researchers or artists and researchers residing in Austria can submit projects by the deadline.

March 1,

Evaluation of project proposals for this call is undertaken by a committee appointed by the ACF team. The evaluation criteria are detailed here.

March 15,

With the artist’s permission, the selected proposals will enter the project gallery of this website, which presents the repertoire of actions of the entire #newTogether project.

September, 2021 -
December, 2023

Offline project implementation in Romania in the framework of the Timișoara ECoC 2023.

The jury of the #newTogether Open Call

Oana Cristea-Grigorescu

  • performing arts critic
  • cultural manager
  • journalist with Radio Romania

Suzana Dan

  • visual artist
  • cultural manager
  • manager Rezidența BRD Scena9

Diana Marincu

  • curator
  • art critic
  • artistic director of the Art Encounters Foundation

Ovidiu Dajbog-Miron

  • Program Director for Timișoara 2023 - European Capital of Culture

Thomas Kloiber

  • director of the Austrian Cultural Forum Bucharest


Only Austrian artists and artists residing in Austria are eligible.
One Romanian partner (e.g. artist, institution etc.) is compulsory.
When submitting the proposal, please also consider a budget range for your project. Tentatively, this can be between EUR 1,000 and EUR 5,000 per project.
Co-financing your project is only mandatory for ideas that exceed EUR 5,000 but is highly encouraged and constitutes an advantage in the pre-evaluation process.

Please attach at least one image to illustrate the project idea, as selected proposals will be made public in an online gallery. There is no limit to the number of pages, images or videos allowed for the files you should send with WeTransfer.
There is no application fee.

For additional details, please refer to the General terms and conditions for joint projects with the Austrian Cultural Forum.


What type of content is important when looking for social cohesion success models – for a "new Together"?
Naming success models is just the beginning. What is even more important is to consider the concrete content of an initiative aimed at strengthening social cohesion.
The criteria are formulated as questions and are detailed below:


Is the initiative open to people who think differently, have a different culture, a different religion, ethnicity or different skin color?
In our society, more and more milieus and groups initiate dialogue only among themselves – the conversation with "others" is little sought after. Lack of contact and conversation with another group can easily lead to aggression and violence. Diversity creates new spaces of experience where practices and attitudes can expand.


Is the culture of conversation open to different viewpoints? Is the art of listening practiced?
Actively listening to "the other" and resonating with them enhances the quality of our relationships.


Are commonalities being discovered / explored?
When it comes to coexistence with other religions and cultures, differences are often more emphasized than the common ground. The latter is often forgotten. Consider, for example, that the three monotheistic religions give the same answers to the basic questions of our lives.


Are other opinions, experiences, cultures, religions and ethnicities respected, when outspoken? Does this strengthen empathy?
People often talk more about one another than they do with each other. Projects designed and implemented at local level are particularly effective at overcoming this.


Can positive (conflict) solutions be experienced with others?
When conflicts are avoided, exploring and testing solutions become missed opportunities. On the other hand, a positive culture of conflicts, in which we accept to navigate conflicts and to search for solutions together, strengthens trust and confidence.


Does culture pay attention to non-discrimination, fairness and solidarity?
A culture of mutual respect and, in addition, a willingness to live in mutual support is a central concern of a "new Together".


Is there a sense of belonging in which the other's otherness is also accepted?
Some would say that the second-deepest need people have is the need for belonging (security would come first). Achieving a sense of belonging is an essential step for less isolation and loneliness.


Is the initiative trying to strengthen responsibility towards the environment?
A "new Together" considers not just the human element of our environment. Initiatives that put this at the center and try to find a balance between nature and human are the heroes of tomorrow.

Certainly, it is not necessary for a project to meet all the criteria.
But the observance of some criteria can enhance the quality to our coexistence - our #newTogether.