From 15-17 November, Culture Action Europe hosts the annual Beyond the Obvious Conference.
This year's theme is Belonging and Becoming: Culture, Heritage and our Future:
"We all long to belong. In a world that is rapidly changing, a sense of Belonging to communities, cultures, territories offers a much needed anchor and allows us to remain active players in our environments. Landscapes of belonging, however, are nuanced – we ‘belong’ and are perceived to belong in many different ways at many different scales. This enables us to engage in the active, perpetual process of Becoming citizens, societies and living up to our own potential. It allows us to envision new narratives and imagery that connect pasts, presents and futures.
While culture is a cohesive force, cultural divides are constructed to satisfy simplified political rhetoric. How can we, as artists and cultural operators, engaged citizens and policy makers, rationalists and visionaries, develop an inclusive belonging? What is the impact of civic participation on social cohesion? How can we on all levels - local, national and European - create an understanding of belonging based on diversity and inclusion?
Cultural operators from Europe and beyond will share their visions, as will academic thinkers and social innovators from urban and peri-urban contexts. We will discover new places for sharing thoughts and preparing joint actions. Just prior to the launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, this gathering will forge a coalition between urban political leaders and key representatives from all cultural sectors and will provide agenda-setting perspectives on cultural heritage (material, immaterial and digital) as asset, ambition and appropriation, connecting sustainability and social innovation in powerful and pragmatic messages."