Social Justice. Equality. Enterprise.

Freiraum - SpeakEasy 9th December Carlisle


Freiraum - Speak Easy


An afternoon of poetry and art between Carlisle and Thessaloniki


For several years, the ‘SpeakEasy’ event has been taking place once a month in a local Café in Carlisle. People from different generations and backgrounds regularly come together to present their own texts, poems, stories and music in a lively atmosphere.


On 9th December 2018, 1:30 – 6:30 Pm, the Freiraum SpeakEasy Afternoon will take place as a special event at the Brampton Road Campus of the University of Cumbria.


 Writers and poets of the monthly SpeakEasy event in Carlisle will collaborate with other local artists and present a live event to showcase Carlisle’s ‘Sphere of Freedom’.


In collaboration with AWAZ Cumbria and ArtBOX in Thessaloniki, the participants will contribute to an afternoon/evening, which is inspired by the core Freiraum questions of Carlisle and Thessaloniki: What is isolation? How can we overcome isolation?  What is freedom? What does European identity mean to you? The U.K. is geographically part of Europe. What issues are there behind people’s perceptions of being a European citizen today? Contributors will examine these themes in a wide range of ways and disciplines.


The SpeakEasy Afternoon will be structured in three sections, which includes short films, poetry, stories, music and a live crossover to an event by ArtBOX in Thessaloniki. 


Freiraum is a project of the Goethe-Institut in Europe in collaboration with 53 partners in culture, arts and civil society. About 40 European cities explore the question: What does freedom mean in present-day Europe? 

Freiraum in Carlisle

Freiraum (Spheres of Freedom) in Carlisle is a grassroots creative project developed and managed by AWAZ Cumbria that works with Cumbria based artists and groups to explore ideas of freedom and isolation in our society by using a range of creative arts practices to find answers to the question “how can we understand isolation and how can we overcome it?“. Freiraum in Carlisle is the result of a close collaboration between AWAZ Cumbria and our partners ArtBox in Thessaloniki, Greece and The Goethe-Institut (London/ Glasgow) that has initiated the Freiraum programme to assess the state of freedom in 42 cities across Europe’s.

We plan to have a public event and Arts exhibition in the streets and empty buildings of Carlisle in February 2019 to make the work accessible to everyone, exemplifying the inclusive nature of the project and the idea of free space. Utilising empty shops for creative exhibitions is an established method for making free to access temporary artwork. Such schemes can re-vitalise town centres, and bring positive attention to vacant retail premises that might otherwise be having a negative effect on the area.

Launch and Exhibition February 9th 2019

A launch and exhibition of artefacts, books, documentation and music that will showcase the projects that have happened in Carlisle and describe the wider Freiraum project.  This will serve as a one-day celebration for all those involved and provide some background for the general public about the work that will be on display around Carlisle for the next month.  This will take place in the Old Town Hall exhibition space which is a prominent well-known building in the centre of Carlisle at the front of the main precinct and public events area.

Carlisle Old Town Hall – Freiraum Carlisle exhibition launch venue

For further information please contact:


Dr Jane Dudman – Curator

Freiraum Carlisle



Aftab Khan – Development Manager

AWAZ Cumbria

Unit 20, Carlisle Enterprise Centre

James Street, Carlisle, CA2 5BB


Tel: 01228 511115 Mobile: 07530193935



Freiraum (Spheres of Freedom) is a programme by Goethe-Institut.The aim of the FREIRAUM project is to assess the state of freedom in Europe’s cities. What are the issues that come up when residents, sociologists and creative artists think about the concept of “freedom” in very local terms? What problems are observable in a city? By swapping questions across Europe, 42 Goethe-Instituts and their partners in the arts and civil society are developing creative answers – at a distance and with the aid of perspective that focuses on the concepts of Freedom in European cities, activating a network of 41 Goethe-Instituts and their partners from the fields of culture and civil society (


AWAZ Cumbria AWAZ Cumbria in Carlisle (UK) has developed Freiraum (Spheres of Freedom) in Carlisle by engaging local community groups, artists and activists, and is working in partnership with ArtBOX in Thessaloniki (Greece) Thessaloniki who has realised Freiraum in Thessaloniki through collaboration with the ARTECITYA and LABattoir projects.


We are empowering local voices through sharing information, knowledge and experience in finding answers to some of the most pressing challenges/questions.  In the first phase of the project (2017) the members of local communities identified following two questions for Carlisle and Thessaloniki:


Carlisle – How can we understand the isolation and how can we overcome it?


Thessaloniki – Could a new media exhibition about European identity become your freedom zone?


In the 2nd phase, nine artists Bryony Jarman-Pinto - visual art, Elinor Rook – storytelling, Jilly Jarman – music (Blue Jam), Dr Jane Dudman,  Linda Fitzgerald, Mark Gibbs (Carlisle Youth Zone), Nick Pemberton (late), Philip Hewitson and Sue Castle- Clark lead  a range of creative engagement activities in the urban and rural areas of Carlisle and adjoining rural areas as well across Carlisle and Thessaloniki.

The outcome of all these creative art activities from Carlisle and Thessaloniki will be showcased in Carlisle in February 2019 and in Berlin in March 2019.

Recent blogs

Friday, 9th October 2020
Friday, 13th December 2019