Mentoring System

Young professionals expect to see “invisibilized” stories and knowledge find a place in the academic spaces of knowledge production, in the heritage spaces, in the public space, in the archives, or in performance venues. Nevertheless, they struggle to articulate these objectives of transforming the modes of production of knowledge with a professional environment that is still very hierarchical and conservative. Working environments are becoming more and more specialized, more and more competitive, more and more standardized.

Primary Needs

Translated toward the needs of (young) professionals, it addresses four primary needs:


      Confidence in one’s own knowledge and skills, that are connected to professional and personal trajectories; as well as the same confidence, and thus respect, for knowledge and skills of others.


      Fragility should be accepted and claimed to be able to adapt and adjust, but not as an individual in a neoliberal situation – rather by being with others, in specific situations, in reciprocal attention and mutual care.


      Networking is sometimes experienced as an inauthentic, almost hypocritical practice in the sector. There is room for alternative networking practices based on listening, the openness of professional communities, and a desire and curiosity for what we don’t know or haven’t experienced.


      More fraternity and sorority, help and cooperation, rather than competition. shared experiences, opinions, and emotions are considered part of professional relationships and solidarity between colleagues. Formalizing spaces in which these kinds of relationships can emerge while making room for informal interstices can help break isolation (often experienced by young professionals), create collective action, and legitimize shared difficulties, concerns, or “failures”.

To address these needs a mentoring support system will be launched in 2024:

  • An international mentoring program in order to bring together students, young professionals, academics, and more experienced professionals who would like to connect around questions of culture, power hierarchies, and dynamics, alternative forms of knowledge production and transmission, and issues of social transformation.
  • Collective co-development sessions to increase contacts in physical or digital spaces, during “peer to peer” sessions, propose short co-training on interdisciplinary topics to produce, transmit, and activate knowledge about professional situations.

Interested in participating?

If you want to participate in this mentoring program, please leave us a message in the form below with your name and address (mail or social network), your professional story, and your motivation to be part of the mentoring program as a mentee or as a mentor.

Within our Shakin project

We benchmarked incubators and platforms in Europe that develop support systems for so-called ethical and fair cultural projects. We identified 16 “platforms” from Germany, Netherlands, the UK, France, Serbia, Spain/Hungary/Finland, … and described activities, wordings, facilities, and profiles of the projects and beneficiaries… We particularly focused on semantics, paradigms, ambition, and purposes. The issue was to check how these types of services could fit and be adapted to cultural projects that are subaltern-oriented.

  • Guides/resources online
  • Coaching/mentoring by peers
  • Training (from short courses to Master degrees)
  • Professional networking and hubs
  • Residencies and coworking spaces
  • Café, gallery, conviviality
  • Design thinking and innovative thinking

The mentor’s guide: (Re)politization of cultural work
*French version included

Mentoring initiatives in Europe and type of services

Result oriented

Most of these incubators present themselves as platforms for Entrepreneurship. All the semantics are business and market oriented. The imagination of the start-up is clearly developed: competition (prize, “succeed or die”), products, customers, media, technology, prototype, decision-makers…

Creativity and innovation are the “magical words”, used without any preliminary definition. The collaborative work is also valued (“teampreneurs”) as a model of efficiency. Nevertheless transversality, interdisciplinarity, intersectoral are mentioned as keys of success.

Process oriented

A few platforms put forward social transformation, social significance, intercultural understanding, ethical approach. They mention commitment and political challenge. The semantics are social and artistic oriented. The semantic insists sometimes on complexity and mentions critical and controversial discussion.
Residencies are mentioned as refuge, free zone, no conventions, retreat to preserve artists from pressures, to devote time for research. Time must not be a constraint and there are no obligations for a delivery. Ecology is mentioned in its holistic significance (versus green economy). Collective production and cooperation are valued as well as multifocal learning processes. Solidarity and friendship are sometimes mentioned.

Interested in the mentorship program?

Please send us a message