Port Journeys Network

In 2016 Michael Kress (Hamburg, DE) introduced me to the Port Journeys (PJ) Network and I became a member. CareX and HaViK are the partner-organizations from where I represent Groningen as a partner city and the Netherlands as partner country.

Introduction Port Journeys Network
With the globalization of the world’s economy and changes in economic spheres, there is a demand for cities to reconsider their traditional functions and reinvent themselves. It is in that setting that more and more metropolitan centers around the world are promoting community development with citizens and artists and creators at the core of their concepts.

As a platform for the promotion of community creation, this project’s pursuit is the autonomous development of creative inter-city exchange.

Zou-No-Hana-Terrace (Yokohama, JP) initiated the“ PORT JOURNEYS” in 2011, to build relations upon an axis of cross-cultural exchange, through the collaboration of world port municipalities engaged in creative community development, cultural facilities, and artists.

Yokohama’s Zou-No-Hana-Terrace has as its objective multi-dimensional and sustainable mutual exchange among artists, municipal administrators and cultural facility staff in each port city. Cities to be involved with this cultural exchange include Yokohama’s sister ports, port cities having partner relations with Yokohama, and other creative (port) cities.
source: portjourneys.net/about

Introduction of Groningen
Starting in the medieval period the city of Groningen has a long history as inland port and a important Hanseatic city. Today the city is the economic and cultural centrepoint of the Groningen province and the Northern Netherlands. The modern Groningen Seaports (Eemshaven and Delfzijl) are situated in the hinterlands of the city with a direct connection to the North Sea.

Groningen has a international focus on topics as energy, healthy aging, creative industries and sustainability. With several universities like R.U.G. and Hanze, the University Medical Centre Groningen UMCG and international institutes as the UN Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation (GCECA), the city is an international player on several areas. The city is known as being a small big city and a big small city, its size and profile make Groningen an interesting ‘metropolitan’ center within the PJ network.

Introduction of Groningen as a PJ-member in Hamburg 2016

Operating within the network
Since 2016 I was introduced to several PJ partners from all over the world, started up long turn relationships and organized exchanges, art and research projects mainly with partners in Germany, Japan, Taiwan, China and the USA.

Its my personal believe that the connections I make and maintain are only valuable when others can benefit from it as well. I therefor create opportunities for other artists and organizations. Several have benefit from the network and were able to do projects with associated PJ partners. Within the network I also function as an ‘ambassador’ of the city of Groningen and the Netherlands and as matchmaker in ‘global’ cultural and creative exchanges. I believe, in order of the cultural and economic progress of Groningen, its important to exchange within a diverse range of people, organizations and knowledge and represent the city on a international stage.

Annual PJ-meeting 2019 at Pier-2 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Each year one of the partner cities hosts the annual PJ meeting, its the perfect moment to present the local cultural scene and the city. One of my goals for the near future is to host the PJ meeting in Groningen. If you want to know more of the Port Journeys Network, please check the website or feel free to contact me.