Case study: Germinalia

by Kine Nordstokka on Wed, 2011-02-09 13:59
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Name: Germinalia AC
Website: www.germinalia.org
Location: Mexico
Date Founded: 2004
Mission: Create spaces conducive to innovation, education and culture

 

Background and aims

Germinalia is a civil society organisation dedicated to promote education and culture in Mexico. It was set up in 2004 by a group of young people from various disciplines with the common goal of creating spaces with the right conditions for creative problem solving and new learning and thinking.

The Innovation

These young people set out to change the conditions for cultural and educational spaces in Mexico City and Chiapas. Germinalia strives to enable learning that goes beyond the walls of the classroom and the standard curriculum offered by the Mexican schooling system. It also strives to bring arts and culture to the broader society and open up public spaces for dialogue and debate.

To achieve these aims Germinalia runs educational and cultural projects which promote innovation in social, environmental and cultural spheres. Its programmes are designed to encourage participation and campaigns in the civil society to improve the local community’s living conditions. Germinalia also conducts interdisciplinary research and studies on challenges in Mexico. The target groups are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in Mexico without access to good quality social or educational services.

Key Ingredients

Germinalia offers three projects, El Ignenio, Ciudad en Ruta and Esquina Bajan.

El Ignenio is the primary project branch of Germinalia. It is a centre of learning with thepurpose of developing creativity and problem solving abilities in young people. To do this El Ignenio organises workshops on a wide range of topics which are not traditionally offered in Mexican schools. Examples of workshop topics are music, literature, theatre, visual arts, science, sustainable architecture, dance, ecology and technology. In addition to gaining new skills, the creative learning process at the workshops strengthens the participants’ critical thinking skills and broadens their mind to new kinds of thinking. Creativity is encouraged as an essential tool for solving problems. In this way the participants discover their potential to transform their own development processes and environment.

Ciudad en Ruta is a free newsletter for the Metrobus commuters in Mexico City. Each issue covers topics about the history, research, architecture, design and daily life of the community around the Avenida de los Insurgentes.

Esquina Bajan is a project in Mexico City which is transforming the public transport into forums for open dialogue between art and citizenship. Esquina Bajan uses these public spaces for civic dialogues and brings culture to the people. While commuting the public are introduced to cultural expressions such as crafts, dance, sculpture, photography, printmaking, literature, music, painting and theatre. 

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