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TEH Conference 85

From May 24 to 27 ZAWP will host the 85 Trans Europe Halles Conference under the title “Mientras Tanto. Space-time intruders”



In 1997, the cultural association Haceria Arteak renovated an old factory in the peninsula of Zorrozaurre in Bilbao, Spain. Since then, the organisation devotes its activity to artistic creation. In 2008, the association started the project ZAWP (Zorrotzaurre Art Work in Progress) to address the temporary situation caused by the municipality’s urban development plan of the peninsula, back then an almost abandoned post-industrial area.

Nowadays, ZAWP manages and supports seven buildings dedicated to artistic, creative and business activities. Through ZAWP, Haceria Arteak has brought into being an ecosystem full of possibilities in which the neighbours and the energetic, creative community working there are driving the urban revitalisation process. In spite of its efforts, ZAWP’s staff is now facing a new challenge: most of their buildings will be demolished in 2019.

TEH Conference 85 will focus on the transient nature of ZAWP and various similar projects from all over Europe, and how this characteristic affects the development of cultural and creative industries. The conference will offer panel discussions, workshops, training courses and an artistic programme focusing on the themes such as identity, persons, places and spaces.


Twenty years seem very little time in a city’s life and, nevertheless, twenty years are those that Bilbao needed to transform and resurface after the industrial decline. Twenty years are those that we have also needed to start facing the way of making a city from another perspective. A perspective in which photographs are not the before and after, but the continuum that is in itself the time and the actions that we carry out as it passes.

At ZAWP, we have chosen the Mientras Tanto as a workspace and philosophy, and this is how, through art and culture, we have worked in an area in transition (the Zorrozaurre peninsula) for 20 years. We want to share what we are learning. We want to learn from what others know. And we want to talk about the temporality that people live in, the cultural spaces as spaces of action, the artistic projects.

Because twenty years mean a lot in the life of a city and much more in the life of the projects and people that are in it, in the 85th Trans Europe Halles Conference, that will take place from 24 May to 27 May 2018 in Bilbao, we want to add value to “the Meanwhile” as the only real moment that exists: We are here, now and we are going to do something with what we have.


One day before the conference, on 23 May 2018, there will be a full-day of training on Business Models and Organisational Development within the framework of Factories of Imagination project, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.  Some TEH Members and experts will share their experiences with cultural organisations in need of developing practical and applicable solutions within their contexts.



Bilbao has been recognised as “Best European City 2018″ by the jury of “The Academy of Urbanism” after being evaluated not only according to urbanistic issues but also regarding environmental, social, innovation, governance, and identity terms.

Bilbao has always been an industrial city, dedicated mainly to the metal and maritime industry. Towards the end of the 20th century, as a result of the industrial restructuring, Bilbao had to make a radical change to its economy. After years of economic uncertainty, the city recovered its dynamic nature and became a service city, committed to environmental and urban regeneration.

The great symbol of this New Bilbao is the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, but many other factors have contributed to this regeneration and profound change. Over 25 years Bilbao has gradually been shedding its industrial skin and rehabilitating emblematic areas of the city; one of the lasts is Zorrotzaurre and Ribera de Deusto area, where ZAWP was born.

Travel and accommodation

You can find the information about how to travel to Bilbao and accommodation in Bilbao here. We highly recommend booking your hotels soon, since Bilbao is a popular tourist destination during the spring.

Early bird registration opens on end February 2018.
More information about the Conference is coming soon.



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