"Arts Formation" Arts and Cultures to decolonize digital transformation in the EU

Screenshot of website Arts Formation

The SIDE artistic collective, a member of the ALF network in Slovenia, participated in the Arts Formation artistic gathering tackling decoloniality in digital transformation in the European Union, which took place in June in Lesbos Island.

The Arts Formation is a research project exploring the intersection between arts, society, and technology. It aims to understand, analyze, and promote the ways in which the Arts can reinforce the social, cultural, economic, and political benefits of digital transformation.

In Lesbos Island, from 23 June to 1 July 2023, a group of artists and cultural workers met and collectively navigated the concept of decoloniality in digitalization. The SIDE collective mostly navigated the concept of digital empathy, freedom of speech, representation, and accessibility in digital transformation.

On 29 June, the participants collectively presented their various practices and techniques, reflecting digital transformation from a decolonial lens.

In addition to this recent gathering, last year within the Arts Formation program, the SIDE collective provided an online consultancy to create an online assembly that aims to:

1. Leveraging funds to support artists, beings, individuals, and communities facing marginalization.

2. Creating a self-sustained online community that creates alternative ways and means of funding.

3. Enabling a horizontal exchange between grassroots artists/ cultural workers/ researchers, and activists with practices and ideas that uses art and creative industries to combat marginalization, exploitation, and injustice in digitalization.


The Arts Formation program consists of different working packages. LATRA organization based in Lesbos Island manages the working package about “Arts for Social Change, Participatory Art and Artivism.” Within the framework of this working package, LATRA organization hosted and implemented the following activities in-person in Lesbos Island:


1.       Art residency occurred in three cycles in June 2022. Three residences happened in three cycles. Artists, researchers, and cultural workers working for social inclusion participated in artistic collective brainstorming on digitalization, participatory arts, and decoloniality.

2.       Residency in digital arts in April 2023, where artists from different backgrounds worked on projects that explored the connection between art and digital transformation.

3.         A recent final residency which took place in June 2023, the artists, curators, and researcher continued their individual and collective work exploring the connection between art and digital transformation while reflecting on Lesbos Island as a contextual socio-political-artistic space. 

The final conference and event of Arts Formation will take place in Brussels on 21 September 2023.

To learn more about this valuable program, its outcomes, outputs, and final event, visit its website here.