Summer Reads 2015

Cover image from last year's Public Space is campaign (photos by Nicola Mullenger).

The summer months are a time for relaxation and reflection – a chance to explore new places and new ideas. With this in mind, we have compiled some recommended reading materials to accompany you on your journeys this summer – including articles and books from ECF’s own Library and some from our partners’ collections too. We hope you enjoy them.

ANNUAL REPORT - Let’s start with ECF’s 2014 Annual Report, which presents our vision and projects, figures and forecasts – offering clear and concise information about our highlights over the past year. You can read a summary online or download the full report (PDF).

REPORT/VIDEO - In June, we co-hosted the media showcase and debate RADICAL DEMOCRACY: Citizens from Poland, Spain, Turkey and the UK Reclaim their Cities. A full report from this event is available to download from our Library. We also invite you to read an article featuring this project in Al Jazeera – ‘Integrating activism into governance institutions’.

ESSAY - The idea of reclaiming our cities and the commons are themes that are central to ECF’s work. So we wanted to highlight an essay by Massimiliano Mollona exploring the “unprecedented experiment in political economy and participatory democracy” that is Teatro Valle Occupato, a collective that was awarded the ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture in 2014: read more.

ARTICLE - Long-time ECF advisor and friend Rana Zincir Celal was in Greece at the end of June for the Stavros Niarchos Foundation International Conference on Philanthropy and Sustainability in Athens and to visit the Thessaloniki Biennale. She shared her timely insights into the thriving efforts of these cities to include citizens in daily cultural life: Empowered by Culture: Examples from Greece by Rana Zincir Celal.

ECF’s work extends across Europe in the wider sense to include the Arab world, Ukraine, Turkey and more… We suggest two texts offering fascinating perspectives on some of these countries:

INTERVIEW - ECF Chair and Director of the Istanbul Foundation for the Arts (IKSV) Görgün Taner was interviewed by Barçın Yinanç for Hürriyet Daily Newsabout the role culture should play in Turkey and beyond: Culture shouldn’t be just a tool to attract tourists to Turkey. 

BOOK - 12 Impossibles: Stories by Rebellious Arab Writers – Translator Srpko Leštarić collects forbidden, censored or harshly criticised stories by contemporary Arab writers with nine of his stories describing the fate of the authors, their texts and the way he succeeded in acquiring them, all brought together in this publication 12 Impossibles.

Food for thought - snapped on the streets of Lyon by our online curator Canan Marasligil

And below are some of the most recent publications from ECF’s Library about the role of culture in Europe and its relationship to the world, cultural policies as well as migration. All highly recommended reads!

  • An interview with Raymond Georis (PDF) – In this interview, former ECF Director and Secretary General Raymond Georis reflects on ECF’s contribution to enabling an “open, democratic, creative and inclusive Europe” and the changing context of Europe’s place in the world, then and now. 
  • Europe: Closed Doors or Open Arms? The Culture Report/EUNIC Yearbook 2014/2015 – The latest European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) Yearbook discusses migration into Europe, inviting a string of renowned scholars, authors and writers, including Umberto Eco, Francis Fukuyama, Bassam Tibi, Zygmunt Baumann, Richard Sennett, Slavenka Drakulić, Claus Leggewie and Mely Kiyak, to share their views. 
  • No Culture, No Europe: On the Foundation of Politics by Pascal Gielen – This edited collection by Pascal Gielen brings together contributions by an interdisciplinary group of theorists and scientists who argue that the EU’s lack of focus on culture is the main cause of today’s political and economic crises.  
  • Developing Cultural Industries: Learning from the Palimpsest of Practice, CPRA 2012 (PDF) – Christiaan De Beukelaer was awarded the 2012 Cultural Policy Research Award (CPRA), which led to the publication of this thought-provoking book. Exploring the connection between culture and broader goals of human development, this research focuses on cultural and creative industries in developing countries. 

We wish you a wonderful and relaxing summer.