Round-table discussion on greater cultural collaboration within Europe
On 27 February, Flanders Arts Institute will hold a round-table discussion on cultural and artistic collaboration within Europe, with a special focus on Eastern Europe and the Balkans, including a presentation of our publication Another Europe by editors Philipp Dietachmair and Milica Ilic.
As a social and cultural project, Europe is going through a profound crisis. Nation states are turning in on themselves. The added value to society of international solidarity and collaboration is being challenged more than ever. For the arts especially, the crisis is an urgent one.
European cultural policy – which in recent years has mainly resembled an economic project – currently offers no attractive alternative to the rapidly rising cultural populism. The integration into the European Union of new member states with different histories and socio-economic realities is happening less smoothly than expected.
How can artists and organisations from Flanders and Brussels react in these turbulent times to this crisis in European thought? Artists and organisations from Flanders and Brussels do not usually work so frequently with players from the Balkans or countries bordering the Union. Our market logic is pushing us towards other regions and continents. And yet, in the changing zeitgeist, it is more than ever imperative to seek to connect with the South and with the East. Not only to better understand the turbulent social, cultural and political developments within Europe, but also because in the very active socially involved artistic landscape in these regions, over the past 15 years, interesting and innovative answers are being developed in response to questions with which artists and organisations in Flanders and Brussels increasingly have to struggle.
How can we collaborate differently within a changing Europe? From what set of values do you start out? From what vision on mutual solidarity? What processes do you set up to understand one another’s context and to be open to artists and places that receive less attention internationally? What financial mechanisms can support this approach? How can cultural diplomacy build bridges and stand under the sign of exchange (and not only of promotion and nation branding)?
Marta Keil (East European Performing Arts Platform) and Nevenka Koprivšek (Bunker, Slovenia) will share their first-hand experience about the current political developments in Eastern Europe (in particular Poland) and in the Balkans region. Proceeding from its activities and with regard to recent developments, Péter Inkei (The Budapest Observatory) will expound a number of objectives of the regional observatory for culture in East-Central Europe. In addition to this, Philipp Dietachmair (European Culture Foundation) and Milica Ilic (ONDA) will offer their point of view on this issue. Both have a lot of experience with exchange projects that bet on prospection, capacity building, organisation development and intercultural collaboration. They will throw light on Another Europe, a publication that provides an overview of 15 years of ECF projects in the EU’s neighbouring countries.
This round-table discussion is intended for artists, organisations and policymakers with an interest in these countries and regions.
Contributors to the round table are:
- Philipp Dietachmair, European Culture Foundation (Amsterdam), Programme manager, Tandem Cultural Managers Exchange, Research & Development
- Milica Ilic, Office national de diffusion artistique – ONDA (Paris), International adviser
- Nevenka Koprivšek, Founder and artistic director of Bunker (Ljubljana), and one of the founders of the Balkan Express Network
- Marta Keil, Performing arts curator (Warsaw)
- Péter Inkei, The Budapest Observatory (Regional Observatory on Culture in East-Central Europe) (Budapest)
Participation is free, but registration is compulsory via the online registration form. We invite participants to share beforehand their experiences, the projects that they have already organised and their plans and ideas for collaboration; this can be done during registration. These issues can then be addressed during the round-table discussion.