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1.   Workshop rationale

The European Union is at yet another crossroad after the Brexit referendum’s results, the overall rise of the Far Right in several EU countries, and while another migrant and refugee flows crisis is still looming. Indeed the EU once more needs an Escape to the Future – it needs to creatively rethink what it is that holds us Europeans together, what sets us apart, how we are different from other continents, what is unique in our culture, and indeed how do we deal with our conflicts and diversity.

Coming up with new ideas on Europe’s identity and cultural heritage can indeed be a lever for social innovation which can improve quality of life, feelings of security and of trust across Europe, and may also boost economic activity.

This workshop is the last of a series of encounters between researchers, stakeholders and policy makers in the wider field of European cultural studies, organised under the auspices of the CulturalBase Platform. Building on our previous work, we propose here a set of topics which put forward priorities for future research and policy programmes. Our aim is to discuss this with cultural heritage managers/decision makers – people coming from both public and private organisations who make decisions and create synergies in this domain about projects, programmes and policies. At the same time we are involving in the discussion grassroots stakeholders: smaller organisations but also larger networks that work on the ground with heritage and the arts. The scope of the workshop is to engage in dialogue and build a new research and policy agenda for European cultural heritage and for European identity/ies.

The workshop is organized by the Global Governance Programme of the European University Institute, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies in the framework of the Cultural Base: Social Platform on Cultural Heritage and European Identities project, funded by Horizon 2020.

2.   Participants

Simona Bodo, ISMU Foundation – Initiatives and Studies on Multiethnicity

Jasper Chalcraft, Sussex University

Jill Cousins, Europeana Foundation

Carlo Cubero, Tallinn University

Gerard Delanty, Sussex University

Cornelia Dümcke, Culture Concepts

Lars Ebert, European League of Institutes of Arts (ELIA)

Mercedes Giovinazzo, Interarts

Elisa Grafulla Garrido, EUNIC

Marcus Haraldsson, Europe Grand Central

Vittorio Iervese, University of Modena

Péter Inkei, Budapest Cultural Observatory

Perla Innocenti, University of Northumbria and University of Glasgow

Višnja Kisic, Europa Nostra Serbia

Sabrina Marchetti, Ca’ Foscari University

Ulrike H. Meinhof, University of Southampton

Susana Pallarés, University of Barcelona

Dominique Poulot, University of Paris I

Arturo Rodríguez Morato, University of Barcelona

Philip Schlesinger, University of Glasgow

Isabelle Schwarz, European Cultural Foundation

John Sell, Europa Nostra, JPI

Isidora Stanković, University of Paris I

Grete Swensen, Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research

Tamás Szűcs, European University Institute

Anna Triandafyllidou, European University Institute

Aleksandra Uzelac, Institute for Development and International Relations

Sarah Whatley, Coventry University

Matías Zarlenga, University of Barcelona

Orit Kamir, Israeli Center for Human Dignity

3. Workshop dynamics and sessions

Introduction to the Cultural Base Platform

Documents html

Summary

Executive Summary

The Cultural Base Platform

Our Work

Main Findings

Challenges and Key Messages for the Future

Introduction

1.1. Cultural Base as social platform

1.2. Roadmap

1.3. Memory, inclusion and creativity. The three axes of Cultural Base

1.3.a. Cultural memory

1.3.b. Cultural inclusion

1.3.c. Cultural creativity

  1. Setting the Scene Per Axis

2.1. Cultural memory axis

2.1.a. Main conclusions from the state of the art review

2.1.b. Political context of cultural memory in Europe

2.2. Cultural inclusion axis

2.2.a. Main conclusions from the state of the art review

2.2.b. Political context of cultural inclusion in Europe

2.3. Cultural creativity axis

2.3.a. Main conclusions from the state of the art review

2.3.b. Political context of cultural creativity in Europe

  1. Some Challenges to Overcome

3.1 Challenges proposed by the academic stakeholders through the vision documents

3.1.a Cultural memory axis challenges

3.1.b Cultural inclusion axis challenges

3.1.c Cultural creativity axis challenges

3.2 Challenges identified by the stakeholders network

3.2.a Cultural Memory Axis

3.2.b Cultural Inclusion Axis

3.2.c Cultural Creativity Axis

  1. Envisioning the Future

4.1. Lines of action to develop

4.1.a Cultural memory axis

4.1.b Cultural inclusion axis

4.1.c Cultural creativity axis

  1. Conclusions
  2. Suggested Readings

6.1 Vision documents

6.2 Key policy documents

6.3 Scholarly works

 

Executive summary

The Cultural Base Platform

Cultural Base is a Social Platform funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme for the period May 2015-April 2017. Cultural Base aims to address the issue of heritage and European identities from both an analytical and a public policy perspective.

As a social platform, Cultural Base has sought to explore the new challenges and potential of culture as an area of public policy that can foster a sense of belonging and provide new avenues for social innovation and socio-economic development. The Cultural Base Platform has organised our thinking and consultations on these issues along three main axes: (1) Cultural memory – how to deal with a troubled past, how to elaborate uses of the past for understanding the present and planning the future; (2) Cultural inclusion – how culture is intertwined with feelings of belonging, what are relevant tensions, those ‘left behind’ or ‘outside’ dominant conceptions of identity and culture;  and, (3) Cultural creativity – how can culture be a basis for citizen expression, participation, and economic activity.

Our Work

The work of the Cultural Base Platform has been organised into three phases: reviewing relevant academic and policy debates; consulting with stakeholders; engaging in constructive dialogue with a view of identifying new topics and concerns that have hitherto been neglected in dominant policy approaches.

Main Findings

The Cultural Base project has highlighted a positive trend in research, policy, and practice dealing with issues of memory, identity, and creativity: there is an increasing concern about inclusiveness and self-reflexivity. Dominant cultural narratives are questioned at the local, national, and European levels. The economistic paradigm on cultural creativity and cultural expression is also questioned.

There is increasing awareness that dark and contested moments exist in both the shared European past and national histories, and that citizens and civil-society actors and institutions must be informed and empowered to participate in relevant debates and the (re)construction or (trans)formation of their cultural heritage. Policy documents published by the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and UNESCO attest to this positive trend towards an opening up and democratisation of cultural heritage policies. Culture is also increasingly seen as a transversal factor that can have a meaningful impact on socioeconomic development, employment, and growth both directly through the cultural and creative industries but also indirectly by creating more inclusive and more cohesive societies.

Challenges and Key Messages for the Future

Populist politicians often disparage critical engagement with the dark sides of our past—whether at the local, national or European level—as unpatriotic and blind to the ‘true’ historical facts. The media do not help foster such critical engagement either. Citizens need to be empowered through innovative on-site or online consultations to participate, particularly when the questions are local or national in nature and they feel directly affected (e.g. with regards to a local monument or the history of a specific area).

Youth, minorities, and women—and their organisations—often are bypassed by established networks of cooperation and exchange. There should be more cross-fertilisation between networks that specifically address migrants or minorities and networks that address cultural heritage and creativity more generally.

Digital technologies are not yet utilised to their full potential in bridging this divide and empowering weaker or newer or more remote organisations to participate in the core dialogue and activities.

The purely economistic paradigm of cultural expression and creativity must be overcome in order to see the full spectrum of possibilities offered by culture and heritage for creating new activities and jobs, as well as for making people feel happier, included, and creative.

Cultural rights and human rights policies and debates need to be further cross-fertilised. There is an urgent need to combat cultural hierarchies both within and outside Europe.

We need to earmark funds and programmes for innovative high-risk, high-gain projects We need initiatives that engage with issues that are important for the artists and their public, yet also economically viable and resilient.

 

1.     Introduction

1.1. Cultural Base as social platform

Cultural Base is a social platform funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme 2014-2015 “Europe in a changing world: inclusive, innovative and reflective societies”. Cultural Base aims to address the topic of heritage and European identities from both analytical and public policy perspectives.

As a social platform, Cultural Base explores the new challenges and potential of culture as an area of public policy that can foster a sense of belonging as well as provide new avenues for social innovation and socio-economic development. The Cultural Base Platform has organised our thinking and consultations on these issues along three main axes: (1) Cultural memory – how to deal with a troubled past, how to elaborate uses of the past for understanding the present and planning the future; (2) Cultural inclusion – how culture is intertwined with feelings of belonging, what are relevant tensions, those ‘left behind’ or ‘outside’ dominant conceptions of identity and culture;  and, (3) Cultural creativity – how can culture be a basis for citizen expression and participation as well as economic activity.

The work of the Cultural Base Platform has been organised into three phases: reviewing relevant academic and policy debates; consulting with stakeholders; engaging in constructive dialogue with a view to identifying new topics and concerns that have hitherto been neglected in dominant policy approaches.

1.2. Roadmap

Cultural Base has adopted a participative process; while initial topics for reflection were proposed by the consortium partners, non-academic stakeholders took centre stage in the second phase through both online and on-site consultations at the Platform’s workshops and conferences. Thus, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers have collaborated in developing a new research and policy agenda on culture’s role in Europe today.

Our work was developed during three main phases:

  • Summer 2015: The Consortium developed six Discussion Papers—both in long version for academic consultations and in short version for policy and stakeholder consultation—on the three axes of memory, identity, and creativity.
  • These papers were debated at the first Cultural Base Workshop in Barcelona (30 September-1 October 2015). The workshop opened with the papers’ presentation by Consortium members at the Academic Sessions. It then broke out into stakeholder sessions, where NGO and cultural foundation representatives or curators took the lead in commenting. The main points from each session were then reported back and discussed during the Concluding Sessions.

This Workshop established a solid and shared base for discussion and future work for all involved stakeholders. In particular, the workshop achieved two objectives in an atmosphere of mutual learning and participation: (1) to identify and select the main issues to be further studied and discussed within each axis; (2) to assess the more general concerns emerging from policy and academic documents vs the more specific experiences and challenges stakeholders face in their everyday work.

  • The project’s second phase focused on online consultations with a wider pool of stakeholders across Europe. On the basis of the main issues highlighted at the first workshop, the Consortium prepared short ‘Vision Documents’ identifying the main challenges for European culture and identity in terms of heritage and memory; concerning a feeling of belonging and inclusion/exclusion; and, with regards to cultural production and expression of creativity. These Vision Documents were put up for discussion through the Cultural Base Platform (www.culturalbase.eu) in early spring 2016 in the run-up to the Major Stakeholder Conference.
  • The Conference took place in Barcelona on 11-12 May 2016 under the theme “Co-creating Agendas for Culture in Europe. Memory, Inclusion, Creativity”. It brought together 80 participants, including researchers, practitioners and the Cultural Base Advisory Board members. The working sessions were organized in small groups (Working Teams) to provide for in-depth discussions among participants, led by a Team Leader from the Stakeholders’ network. These Working Sessions led to the selection of 12 Thematic Areas that became the basis for developing research agendas and policy recommendations.
  • Within the Thematic Areas—and after reviewing the existing research and policy programmes, both national and European—the Consortium produced a Draft Research and Policy Agendas document that was sent out for consultation with selected stakeholders.
  • The 2nd Cultural Base Policy Workshop was held in Florence on 1-2 December 2016 with mid-level stakeholders (cultural institutes, networks of stakeholders working on cultural issues, foundations) to discuss our draft research and policy agenda recommendations.
  • Further to these discussions, the Cultural Base Consortium organised a Policy Seminar in Brussels on 31 January 2017 entitled “Cultural heritage policies for a troubled Europe. Proposals from the Cultural Base Social Platform”. This seminar brought together EU policymakers and coordinators of relevant research projects to assess the immediate challenges for cultural policy in Europe. The debate focused on the main policy-oriented results of the Platform thus far and, most importantly, the recently adopted plan for celebrating 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage.
  • Following up on these consultations, the Cultural Base consortium has produced the final version of the Research and Policy Agendas as well as this Roadmap outlining the main points and conclusions of this two-year project.

This Roadmap documents the different steps outlined above. It also highlights the main points debated and the main conclusions reached.

1.3. Memory, inclusion, and creativity. The three axes of Cultural Base

The Cultural Base project understands that the role of culture has experienced a profound mutation through which both its position and role in social dynamics have been transformed since the second half of the last century. From having had a super-structural and autonomous position in the past, culture has become a central and structural aspect of contemporary societies.

Our work on the research and policies developed in this new cultural context was organized around the three main analytical axes of cultural memory, cultural inclusion, and cultural creativity which are privileged perspectives for identifying the most important challenges and opportunities linked to culture and heritage in Europe. The three axes that form the Cultural Base framework are included in the specific societal challenge “Europe in a changing world–inclusive, innovative and reflective societies”. Cultural heritage, creative expression, and diversity are the basic concepts for analysis; they provided lenses through which this heterogeneous and complex field can be approached.

Our analysis was structured through a two-stage targeting process: a first exploration of the general topic from the three main axes and a second period of in-depth examination. In this sense, our analytical objectives were organized around two categories of a different order, one broad and one targeted. The first we defined as Thematic Fields, delimited by the intersection between one axis and one of the basic components of the general topic (heritage or identities), and the second which we defined as Thematic Areas understood more specific issues.

1.3.a. Cultural memory

In the traditional view, heritage was seen either as the universal patrimony of humanity or as rooted in the memories of a specific people, generally a nation. The former is an inclusive understanding of heritage as the property of all peoples and the latter generally an exclusive one as the memory of national community.

Both views of heritage as something shared have been challenged by new understandings and practices of heritage related to the awakening of new memories and increased contestation around the nature of political community. Universalistic notions of the patrimony of humanity, for example, have been challenged by collective identities seeking the recognition of their specific claims to heritage—claims that are often underpinned by cultural rights, including heritage rights. Such developments do not fit into the pattern of national traditions of heritage since in many cases the groups in question are marginalised by the national culture, which has lost its integrative powers. These developments take place alongside new transnational dynamics whereby cultures become increasingly intertwined and consequently lose their claims to uniqueness. As a result, the analysis of cultural memory and the study of identity more broadly have been fundamentally transformed.

The Cultural Memory Axis seeks to understand the implications of such trends whereby both universalistic and national traditions of heritage are challenged by a new emphasis on marginalised and excluded memories seeking the recognition of their heritage.

There has also been a shift away from forgetting towards remembering that which has been forgotten. The desire to create new unitary memories is less prevalent, and amnesia is no longer a source of strength. While this shift is taking place on the level of national identities, it can be seen as particularly pertinent to the wider European cultural heritage. It raises the central question of whether European heritage should be seen in terms of remembering that which has been forgotten or whether it should be seen as the expression of a new kind of memory that might reconcile memory with history. New kinds of remembrance that are more receptive to critique may be more in tune with history’s critical function.

1.3.b. Cultural inclusion

Cultural inclusion is intertwined with the notion of European identity or identities in the plural. Indeed, the last two decades have witnessed a ‘Europeanization’ of identities in Europe. However, this Europeanization is not necessarily smooth. It signals the increased importance of the European dimension in transforming cultural and political identities at the national and regional levels. Such transformation, however, may also take place through denial of the European dimension or by contesting its meaning. European identity is more diluted than the concept of identity normally suggests, but it is also broader and thus involves more interpretations. The result is that there is more, not less, contestation of the meaning of Europe as well less clarity as to what it is.

European identity can be seen as an internal transformation of national identities rather than as an anti-national or external identity. Thus viewed, it is not a case of European versus national identities; rather, it is the Europeanization of national identities that is significant. Indeed, many national identities have found the means of advancing their interests within the project of European integration while also re-orienting their self-understanding.

European and national identities are important axes for inclusion and exclusion in Europe. National culture and national identities are themselves highly diverse and there are often greater internal differences within a given country than between countries. It is not the case of a coherent national identity resisting a dominant European identity any more than it is a matter of national identity being replaced by a new European identity. This is one of the more significant forms that post-national identity takes today. Rather than a supra-national identity, it is a self-understanding that recognises the relativity and plurality of the notion of the nation.

While officially the EU discourse on European identity and culture celebrates diversity in popular catchphrases like ‘Unity in Diversity’, how far should the notion of diversity be taken? If culture is only a matter of diversity, does this mean that it is no longer possible to speak of unity? Unity and diversity are mutually constitutive: unity can never be homogenous because it would exclude diversity, and diversity can never be so extreme that it would make unity impossible.

But diversity can itself give rise to new expressions of unity. This issue has very important implications for cultural policies at both the EU and national or local levels that need to reflect plurality and reconcile equality and difference. The Cultural Inclusion Axis has investigated the difficult nodes of the European ‘unity in diversity’ dimension, considering how notions of European identity and a European cultural heritage address and/or reflect socio-economic inequality, experiences of mobility, religious pluralism, post-colonial narratives, and urban complexity.

1.3.c. Cultural creativity

Cultural creativity, associated almost exclusively with the world of artistic and literary creation, has become a key concept for both citizenship and socio-economic inclusion. Academic literature, as well as reports and recommendations in public and cultural policies, use creativity as a key concept for understanding and promoting urban regeneration processes, economic development, and social inclusion. In this context, cultural creativity has been understood, instrumentally, as a prelude to innovation processes. Because of this, cultural creativity has been involved in a narrow narrative, almost exclusively associated with processes of economic development in urban contexts. Concepts such as creative economy, creative cities, and the creative class are a representative sample of this hegemonic discourse on cultural creativity.

There are alternative views, however, that have tended to be marginalized. The expedient subordination of culture to the creative economy has been challenged. Culture and creativity are central to processes of socialization, and how they are used from a policy point of view has major implications for diversity and integration. Most cultural work is precarious—a point that is lost in the dominant narrative. Moreover, it often involves collaboration in moral economies that co-exist with competitive economies but whose workings are obscured. Alternatives to creative economy thinking have been largely screened out of the debate.

The Cultural Creativity Axis reflects on the concept of creativity within the framework of a different narrative. New channels of cultural creativity that have an impact on both cultural production and cultural consumption are opened up by phenomena such as globalization and digitization; mobility, migration processes, cultural encounters, and the formation of identities; urban and social transformations; and, new forms of labour.

Our work within this framework, involves, to begin with, identifying and assessing institutional and practical frameworks of cultural creativity that effectively transcend or oppose the economistic paradigm. We seek alternative definitions and also examples of best practice, where cultural creativity has other purposes such as social inclusion of migrants, minorities, the elderly, or the unemployed.

The Creativity Axis also seeks to develop a discussion to identify the possible bases for an alternative view on the value of culture and creativity. In considering specific empirical cases, we address the new systems of valuation and evaluation of culture that seek to go beyond the economistic paradigm and which are currently emerging in different countries both within and outside Europe.

Finally, we discuss practical and conceptual aspects of cultural hybridization processes linked to cultural production or cultural expression in Europe. Hybridization processes have been scrutinized in some cases and fields, mostly in relation to popular music, but hardly at all in others. Mainstream research tends to ignore them, thus disregarding or misunderstanding the potential role of diversity in urban dynamics. Within this framework, we seek experiences, models, and policies (at the local, national or European level) that favour the proliferation of hybrid cultural expressions and their valorisation from which we can learn.

 

2. Setting the scene per axis

2.1. Cultural memory axis

2.1.a. Main conclusions from the state of the art review

Even though in this axis cultural memory was analysed in relation to identity, on one hand, and heritage on the other, the state of the art review pointed out the indivisibility of the concepts of memory, heritage, and identity since every claim for identity seems to be about mobilizing memory, crystallized in tangible or intangible traces (heritage).

Several main points emerged from our review: the development and changes in the field of (cultural) memory studies; the problematization of transnational memories and a need to also perceive the past from the perspective of the defeated; and, the need to encounter Europe’s dark heritage.

During the last three decades there have been significant developments in the field of cultural memory studies that explore the (intentional) ways of making sense of the past through narratives in order to strengthen collective identities. Some of the main problems analysed are changes in the conception of memory, from the art of memory to those that are more instrumentally mediatized; passive memory and its activation; and the difference between communicative and cultural memory, as well as the transformation of the uses of memory as a foundation of national-belonging to memory’s democratization and the importance of individual memory. At the same time, some of these changes have impacted on personal identities.

A transnational methodology is particularly important for studying European memory, heritage, and identity; this flexible approach combines multidirectionality, hybridity and entanglement. Memories are multidirectional; they frame one another, and that multidirectionality demonstrates how entangled pasts are. Focusing on this nature of heritage leads us to consider relationships, transfers, and interactions, and this helps us recognise and study the degree to which hybridity becomes a part of identity-making in contemporary Europe. Hybrid cultures and identities are less dependent on cultural anchors. Thus one of the aims of a transnational approach to heritage is to identify hidden forms of hybridity, and in so doing, shift the moorings of cultural discourse in more critical, reflective and cosmopolitan directions.

The state of the art review drew attention to the fact that another important aspect for studies of European memory is to embrace the dark past, to deal with dissonant heritage or misuses of heritage and perceive memory equally from the point of view of the defeated. Thus, there is a duty to memorize and embrace the heritage of the slave trade, colonization and post-colonial exploitation, the Holocaust and Armenian and other genocides. Furthermore, this is linked to a need to approach collective cultural memory in relation to immigration and the inclusion of minorities in general—particularly, how to recognise and valorise past and present migrant communities and other minorities, as well as their heritage within any broader ‘European’ conceptions and identify memory institutions and actors that have developed successful approaches.

2.1.b. Political context of cultural memory in Europe

Recent decades have witnessed a variety of conceptual and policy developments at the European and international levels acknowledging the meaning that cultural heritage can bring to society as a whole.

The following conceptual shifts should be especially highlighted:

  • In the 1970s there was a conceptual transformation as regards cultural heritage from a conservation-led to a value-led approach.
  • During the 1990s, the principles of “sustainability” featured more prominently in policy documents on cultural heritage, and increasingly combined with the objective of “development”.
  • A growing recognition, not only across Europe but also in the rest of the world, of the all-inclusive nature of the historic environment, where tangible and intangible assets are no longer perceived as separate from one another.
  • The Faro Convention, adopted in 2005 by Council of Europe, contributed to the policy shift towards people and human values at the centre of a renewed understanding of cultural heritage.

The greater recognition of the importance of cultural heritage and the policy shift at the EU level became evident through a series of conferences, events, and far-reaching strategic policy documents adopted by the EU Council of Ministers and the Council of the European Union: Conclusions on Cultural Heritage as a Strategic Resource for a Sustainable Europe, adopted on 21 May 2014; Conclusions on Participatory Governance of Cultural Heritage, adopted on 25 November 2014; and the European Commission’s Communication Towards an Integrated Approach to Cultural Heritage for Europe, adopted on 22 July 2014.

Another important aspect of the Faro Convention that continued to be developed was the linking of heritage rights and human rights. Thus, rights relating to cultural heritage are perceived as inherent in the right to participate in cultural life, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; furthermore, individual and collective responsibility towards cultural heritage is recognized, and the conservation of cultural heritage, its sustainable use and links to human development and quality of life as goals, is emphasized. As to the right to a cultural life as a core element of human rights, a new report engages explicitly with these issues: in March 2017, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations published another “Report of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights”. Reiterating the content of previous reports by the current special rapporteur, Farida Shaheed, and her predecessor Karima Bennoune, it further emphasized the role and potential of cultural rights as crucial when combating fundamentalism and extremism—an aspect intrinsically linked to the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage and the trade in stolen artefacts.

Regarding policies related to museums as important heritage institutions, the perception of their agency has been especially transformed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s 2016 resolution on “The libraries and museums in Europe in times of change”. It emphasizes both the merging of museums and other public and cultural institutions as well as the public role of these institutions. The document advocates for member States to help these heritage institutions become financially resilient and maintain their community role. The rapporteur, Lady Eccles, gave particular focus to small and medium-sized institutions, and while she clearly had the UK in mind (major funding cuts precipitated an unprecedented closure of local libraries), the Draft Resolution recognised this as a shared European issue.

What is urgently needed is a vision of European cultural heritage that will enable different groups to insert themselves and articulate their counter-memories. For this to happen, heritage will have to cease to be a cultural comfort zone in which Europe only celebrates its achievements. It will need to move into and confront more directly the difficult and often traumatic legacies of history and the excluded and forgotten memories of many cultures, which also have claims to a European heritage.

One of the challenges for curators, educators, academics, creative artists and all those concerned with giving expression to European cultural heritage is apprehending the ways in which historical self-understandings have shifted and the ways in which culture both unites and divides.

The idea of heritage must be divested of singular notions of the past that were inventions of the modern national state. Such an alternative vision will require capturing the critical dimension of heritage as a way in which the present redefines itself in relation to the past in light of different and often conflicting accounts of the past. Working through cultural heritage is not then about confirming preconceived views about the past; it is also an uncomfortable learning process and a medium of reflexivity and re-interpretation.

2.2. Cultural inclusion axis

2.2.a. Main conclusions from the state of the art review

This axis investigated the links between identity, culture, and heritage to illuminate the interdependence and interaction between the local, national and European levels.

European identity is, like all collective identities, in the eye of the beholder. It is shaped by the socio-economic, national, subjective, and objective circumstances of the subject that expresses it. It can be enacted or simply expressed through discourses. It is one among many collective identities that people have, and is in constant evolution. There is no essence of a European identity that has always existed and that remains immutable. European identity is part of a multiple set of identity features that may form part of an individual’s identity, and its salience varies not only among individuals but in line with a given context and situation.

We understand European identity as deeply intertwined with national identity and reject the conflictual model in which national and European identities are understood to be in an antagonistic or zero-sum relationship. The question of whether European identity is primarily political or cultural can be answered only with reference to a specific historical moment. Thus, today European identity is predominantly cultural in character and not political. It goes hand in hand—sometimes in tension and other times in mutual support—with different national identities, but it is nowhere near supplanting them. Actually it is the cultural connotations that make European identity today compatible with strong national identities.

Our review of relevant academic and policy literature poses the question of whether European identity is essentially open to diversity and inclusive. Here, answers are more tentative. Dominant European identity narratives today turn diversity into a distinctive feature of European identity. While this view entails a risk of reifying sub-national and national identities and neglecting important processes of national and regional or ethnic identity transformations, it is also promising because it remains open to diversity. However, there is a risk here that European identity becomes an empty shell and completely loses its cultural vitality that it becomes too ‘thin’ to matter.

Last but not least, a more careful and critical inquiry shows that the type of diversity that can be incorporated into European identity is less open-ended than one would think. Minorities and immigrants, Muslims, and Roma have a hard time identifying as Europeans or being accepted as such. Indeed racism and ideas of ethnic superiority are strong historical elements that have in the past constituted European identity. Today, they are officially discredited yet often creep into the everyday encounters among Europeans as well as in political debates, especially those that centre around security.

Identity, not only national but also European, can best be understood as a dispositif: it is a device for social or political ends. Thus, rather than focusing on what European identity is, one should pay more attention to what European identity does. While European identity has not been inimical to national identities and actually has buttressed, indirectly, the development of regional national identities in places like Catalonia or Scotland (which saw in European identity a way to bypass the straitjackets of the multinational Spanish or British states), its effects on immigrant populations and ethnic minorities are ambivalent. While on one hand, European institutions like the European Union or the Council of Europe have taken a leading role in developing international law instruments for the protection of ‘old’ ethnic (mainly linguistic and cultural) minorities in the post-1989 period, the European identity construct has rather marginalized and excluded ‘new’ minorities like Muslims of different ethnic origins and particularly disadvantaged groups like the Roma.

2.2.b. Political context of cultural inclusion in Europe

Addressing the challenges of cultural and religious diversity in liberal democratic societies is arguably one of the pressing challenges of the 21st century for Europe. During the last 25 years, there have been intensive political and academic debates on the appropriate normative and policy framework for addressing cultural diversity in Europe. In terms of discourse, many politicians (including David Cameron, Angela Merkel, and Nicolas Sarkozy) and intellectuals have argued that the philosophy of multiculturalism has failed. In terms of policies, integration priorities have increasingly taken a civic assimilationist turn, emphasising a set of common civic and political values to which all migrants and ethnic minorities must adhere.

Instead of perpetuating the intellectual and policy debate on the death or resurrection of multiculturalism, work conducted under the Cultural Base project emphasises the different socio-economic and political context (compared to that of the 1980s and 1990s) within which cultural inclusion policies operate today. Despite positive signs of economic recovery in the last few years, Europe is still in crisis: turmoil in the Middle East, international terrorism, refugee and economic migration pressures in the Mediterranean, the Brexit negotiation, and rising populism mark this second decade of the new millennium. Important research within Migration Studies, Human Geography, Sociology, and Social Anthropology has charted new patterns of mobility and migration in the last 15 years and has identified a new paradigm of mobility without settlement, both in terms of migration patterns but also in terms of migration policies available to newcomers as conditions of naturalisation become more stringent and the loyalty of post-migration minorities is questioned.

Intra-EU mobility has also increased during the last 15 years, both prior to and after the 2004 and 2007 waves of EU enlargement. Non-EU migrants and ethnic minorities are confronted with more stringent conditions of naturalisation and required civic assimilation, while intra-EU migrants are neglected as populations that do not need to be supported as they are integrated de facto by the mere fact of being EU citizens.

These developments can have contrasting effects. On one hand they point to a challenging landscape of securitisation, fear, exclusion of minorities and migrants as well as the poor and more vulnerable segments of the population. On the other, policymakers, stakeholders, and civil society have been arguing for quite some time that answers to contemporary challenges do not lie simply in more economic growth or lower unemployment rates. Culture and identity can become driving forces for inclusion and social cohesion.

 

2.3. Cultural creativity axis

2.3.a. Main conclusions from the state of the art review

Currently, the dominant approach to understanding culture and creativity in the EU is to focus on its economic aspects. Within this framework, cultural creativity has functioned as a key concept for understanding and promoting urban regeneration processes and economic development in many European cities. The result has been the emergence of a narrative where creativity is understood within the economic framework and linked with innovation processes. Policies and interventions promoted under the economic framework of cultural creativity have several social, political, and territorial limitations that have been identified by numerous scholars.

Economic limitation: Economic reductionism is the main shortcoming and limitation of this kind of narrative. In this sense, creativity is only discussed in the context of socio-economic interactions, leaving out other frameworks of (non-economic) interaction and creativity. Some analysts point out that social and cultural creativity and diversity is understood and valued only as an input for innovation, economic development, and the competition between cities in this context.

Social limitation: The treatment of workers involved in this type of economic interaction is also reductionist. While many scholars within the economistic paradigm of cultural creativity understand and promote diversity from a broad perspective—ranging from ethno-linguistic factors, national origin, vocational and sexual orientation as a key element of creativity, innovation and economic growth—it excludes social origin in its approach. Therefore, diversity is reduced to people with “talent” belonging to the so-called creative class, which means highly-qualified workers from the middle and upper middle classes. Within this kind of hegemonic narrative, creativity is also understood as an “individual” talent, and not as a social and collective process.

Territorial limitation: This kind of narrative tends to focus and promote policies almost exclusively in urban city centres, omitting suburban and rural areas. Secondly, the analysis and recommendations under the umbrella of creative cities also tend to promote urban regeneration processes linked to cultural consumption from a strictly economic point of view. The economistic paradigm also creates a picture of the space of creativity as a bounded and restricted realm of specialists focused on commodified cultural products and the gifted creators that produce them, where a strict barrier separates those creators from consumers who are essentially passive and where there is a radical hierarchization of places, cultural institutions, and cultural creators.

Political limitation: Finally, several of the cultural policies within the economistic narrative of cultural creativity, especially those related to urban-regeneration processes and economic development, result from a top-down logic that places the definition of the project, and a good proportion of its development, in the upper levels of government, with little effective participation of the local community.

Disconnecting cultural creativity from economic and business innovation narratives could help understand and promote alternative socio-cultural practices. Indeed, cultural creativity could function as a key element of active citizenship promoting integration and inclusion among different cultures from inside and outside Europe. A non-restrictive conception of creativity would imply defining new value frameworks and policies beyond the economic paradigm. If we understand cultural creativity as an ideal space of intercultural exchange and we interpret these processes in terms of cultural hybridisation and cultural inclusion, cultural creativity could contribute towards creating a more diverse and inclusive Europe.

2.3.b. Political context of cultural  creativity in Europe

At present, the dominant approach in the European Commission to valuing culture is to focus on its economic impact in terms of employment, turnover, and business formation with a particular eye on the balance of international trade—a tendency enhanced by the continuing financial crisis. This is also the approach taken by many member States. Although this type of quantification has its uses, inevitably there is much that it fails to capture. Those working in the sector know the limitations of this dominant approach but there is a political imperative—at every level—to comply with the demand to account for public expenditure on culture, as it is headline claims about the creative economy that carry the greatest political weight. In the past decade, as well-evidenced by work undertaken for the European Commission and European Parliament, there has been a drive to develop indicators to demonstrate the value of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs).

A landmark example is work undertaken for the Commission by the Brussels-based consultancy KEA, which has continued to undertake numerous projects in a similar vein. KEA’s 2009 report The Impact of Culture on Creativity report sought “to have a better understanding of the influence of culture on creativity, a motor of economic and social innovation”. It argued that “productivity gains at manufacturing level are no longer sufficient to establish a competitive advantage” thus what was needed was “culture-based creativity”—the kind of thinking beyond production that has made Apple such a global force in design  or shaped Virgin’s renown for adding to the “experience” of long-haul aviation. The argument is intended to insert creativity into innovation policy, to “[b]rand Europe as the place to create” along with establishing new programmes, institutions and regulatory frameworks to support “creative and cultural collaboration”.

By 2010, the “growth path for the creative economy” was part of the Commission’s working framework, as emphasised by Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou. The European Commission Green Paper published in 2010 set out how CCIs can contribute to economic development and rehearsed the conventional wisdom about their nature and role. The Green Paper outlined steps taken to develop a European Agenda for Culture and the Culture Programme (2007-2013). It pointed forward to what has since become a strategic concern with the “digital economy”. While the creative policy turn has not produced uniformity of thinking inside the EU, it has had an impact on how culture is viewed in policymaking circles. National differences also persist about what to include and exclude, in line with the weight of the diverse institutional development of individual member States. Categorization of creative industries is linked to measurement, which is of growing importance for the global governance of the creative economy.

Since 2012, the question of how to measure CCI activity and impact has been firmly on the EU agenda. KEA was commissioned to create a scale for benchmarking or set of indicators with a view to measuring policies focused on local economic development through the Creative and Cultural Industries. The European Parliament has taken the same approach, suggesting a shift of budgetary resources to culture, thus underlining the latter’s potential to support economic development and social inclusion.

The quest to measure culture’s economic impact is played out both at the member State and EU levels—and indeed globally. The EU Culture Ministers adopted the 2015-2018 Work Plan for Culture in 2014. It recalls the contribution of the cultural and creative sectors to economic, social and regional development. In the case of the UN, for instance, there has now been a series of three Creative Economy Reports.

The creative economy is one of the priorities set forth by the Council Work Plan for Culture. This priority focuses attention on key topics such as the role of public policies in promoting the cultural and creative crossovers as catalysts of innovation, economic sustainability, and social inclusion. In particular, it proposes to explore and encourage synergies between the cultural and creative sectors and other sectors on the wider economy and society such as education, and social care.

There are no public policies involving social inclusion or active citizenship through cultural creativity. Nevertheless there are several examples of such community-based projects: Utrecht’s Stut Theatre, Rotterdam’s Wijtheater and the International Community Arts Festival (in the Netherlands); Ballhaus Naunynstrasse in Berlin; the Copenhagen Music Theatre. Naturally such ground-breaking practices also testify to the challenges of moulding together cultural expression with local social issues as shown by Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed methodology.

Several projects have addressed the educational dimension of CCIs. Interesting examples are offered by Apropa Cultura in Catalonia, a social and educational program targeting people who cannot access cultural activities in equal conditions, or area-specific programs like the Diamond Project (Dialoguing Museums for a New Cultural Democracy), which brought together a group of scientific museums and research centres committed to providing learning opportunities for adults through the use of ICT and storytelling.

Under a new paradigm of citizen participation and co-production, a generation of cultural institutions has emerged that are reshaping the idea of institutional spaces for creativity. Examples include La Friche La Belle de Mai in Marseille, public programs in Spain like Fàbriques de Creació de Barcelona in Catalonia, and Fábricas de Creación in the Basque Country or Matadero Madrid.

Other interesting initiatives addressing cultural creativity and diversity include the Italian “social theatres” like Teatro delle Albe in Ravenna and Teatro Nascosto in Volterra, or The Global Music Academy in Berlin. The latter is a private music school that works in areas with a high proportion of immigrants and uses a holistic approach to develop musical capacities, training musicians, musicologists, producers, and cultural managers in the styles and practices of different music cultures around the world. Finally, the recently-inaugurated House of European History in Brussels represents how a critical view can promote a diverse curatorial approach.

3. Some challenges to overcome

3.1 Challenges proposed by the academic stakeholders through the vision documents

3.1.a Cultural memory axis challenges

Challenge 1: Is it possible for European societies—and Europe more generally—to create a transnational form of heritage that reflects transnational and entangled memories and identities? How can we prevent new and more inclusive narratives from themselves becoming hegemonic?

Challenge 2: Can work on ‘difficult heritage’—the shared dark pasts of a Europe divided by conflict, racism, and other horrors—be useful for the future of European identity? How can we reconcile a conception of heritage that expresses the positive legacy of the past as well as the dark side of history? How can collective memories be enriched by the complexities of historical research without a loss of identity for the collectivity?

Challenge 3: Should European institutions put human rights-based approaches at the core of how they manage, teach, and represent heritage? Do ‘rights’ approaches risk reigniting divisions based on ideas of ‘ownership’ of the remnants of the past? Do they also validate culturalism and, more generally, singular perspectives of the past that might be exclusionary?

Challenge 4: European heritage places and practices are increasingly repackaged for tourism. How does tourism change public understandings of, and access to, heritage? Do national and regional branding and place-making strategies oversimplify heritage and change how it is represented and understood? How is participation in heritage—as a worker, consumer, and a citizen—shaped by tourism?

3.1.b Cultural inclusion axis challenges

Consultation with stakeholders conducted within the Cultural Base project has identified the following challenges.

Challenge 1: European identity discourses were invented as political discourses to legitimise the EU and a united Europe as a political and economic construct. They have an instrumental legitimacy. There is a need to reorient these discourses and consider their cultural and political legitimacy as such.

Challenge 2: European culture is often hijacked by: high-level cultural institutions that receive national and European funding to promote official programmes of identity-building and national culture display; ‘mobile Europeans’ who speak languages and travel and usually come from the educated, urban, middle classes, thus neglecting those at the margins; or populists who presume authenticity for the national cultures and hence deny the potential of a European culture and identity that recognises and incorporates plurality without losing its power for unity.

Challenge 3: European culture and identity are tainted by global power relations and related political and cultural/religious hierarchies. It is very difficult to undo these, particularly in a global context that is rife with violence, civil wars, and international terrorism, and where local integration problems are sometimes short-circuited by global inequalities and hierarchies that may  be responsible for producing the foreign fighter phenomenon.

Challenge 4: Cultural and religious diversity issues are inextricably related with socioeconomic inequalities as well as discrimination in the labour market and in public space. Terrorism fuels this vicious circle of suspicion and discrimination, threatening social cohesion and security at home and abroad.

3.1.c Cultural creativity axis challenges

Challenge 1: Are there alternative ways of thinking about the role of culture and creativity in the EU? Identifying examples of new scenarios, dynamics, and good practices oriented less towards economistic goals and more towards social and cultural engagement would be a good starting point. Some of these artistic practices are open to the challenges of diversity at the local level. How can we learn from their experience? How can we value and measure the impact of such projects?

Challenge 2: How to create a normative consensus to understand and promote cultural practices that connect the creative forces of a society with more democratic purposes such as social and cultural inclusion? Is it possible to define a new cultural creativity narrative? On what grounds should this be based? How can the roles of creators and mediators be redefined in the context of such a new paradigm of creativity?

Challenge 3: How to reinforce the European cosmopolitanism tradition as a cultural and institutional basis favourable for intercultural exchange and hybridisation processes through cultural creativity?

Challenge 4: How to elaborate new public policies of cultural creativity oriented towards promoting intercultural exchange and community engagement? Public grants and subsidies are mostly goal-oriented and short-term, hindering creative processes and proposals that go beyond annual budget cycles. Bottom-up transnational processes from the civil society of cultural creativity are not widespread, isolating them and leading them to operate in tenuous conditions. Is it possible to define new public and cultural policies that encourage cultural creativity in terms of cultural exchanges, community and local engagement? What guidelines and objectives should be followed? What examples of existing policies should be considered as a reference? What types of mechanisms of recognition, support, and legitimation would be necessary for sustaining a new dynamic of creativity beyond the market?

3.2 Challenges identified by the stakeholders network

3.2.a Cultural Memory Axis

In discussions with academic and other stakeholders the following suggestions have been made:

Citizens should not just be given access to heritage or just participate in it, they should also be given the tools to critically deal with heritage. Focusing on this aspect may help society deal better with the contestations around heritage since individuals will be empowered to become critical consumers and makers of heritage and thus may be cautious in overly focusing on shared narratives and silencing dissonance or ‘dark’ moments of the past. The same is true for practitioners and policymakers who need to come to terms with the fact that the victims of one narrative are the perpetrators of another. The key challenge is thus to avoid perpetuating hegemonic cultural narratives at the institutional level.

The broader challenge identified by a number of stakeholders is countering the optimism in policy and institutional discourse about the transformative potential of heritage with raw pragmatism: we need to recognise the inherent difficulties in all heritage-making and equip Europe’s citizens to engage fully but also critically with the past.

The other major point made was that the sustainable management of heritage requires that it is truly accessible to all. This aspect needs to be taken into account with regards to the upcoming European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Another key challenge noted was the ineffectiveness of international heritage and human rights instruments to empower communities in dealing with the challenges they face. These challenges included populist narratives and ideological appropriations of the past. For example: lack of funding for grassroots heritage actors; disagreement between heritage professionals and communities; the continued marginalisation of minorities and community groups from the spaces and tools to shape heritage representations; lack of collaboration—and the institutional funding necessary to favour it—between stakeholders. Concern was also expressed about the international canonisation of heritage (e.g. the EHL and UNESCO’s World Heritage), noting the problematic social dynamics it creates.

Last but not least, stakeholders participating in the Cultural Base Platform raised doubts about the inclusiveness and diversity of the Platform membership itself. Indeed more efforts should and can be made to involve people of ethnic minority backgrounds.

3.2.b Cultural inclusion axis

Consultations with stakeholders in the Cultural Base project point to two directions for future research and policy development:

Re-invent European identity as an inclusive concept

Acknowledge inequalities and stratifications and seek to undo them through critical research and policy initiatives from below: empowerment of civil society and constructive dialogue that is both horizontal (across sectors among the same type of actors), and vertical (among European, international, national, and regional stakeholders).

Valorise ‘marginal’ cultural heritage

Study and bring to the surface the heritage of those whose voices are not usually heard: ethnic minorities, migrant populations, urban poor, religious minorities, youth, women.

Translate research findings into categories of practice

Several practitioners involved in our workshops and online platform have noted the disconnect between elaborate frameworks analysing the functions of national and European identity and the everyday challenges faced by artists, curators, local authorities, and national or European policymakers in producing ideas, slogans,  and programmes that resonate with the average citizen (who is not a social science expert).

 Engage with stakeholders outside the main European practitioners’ networks

There is also often a disconnect between the better-established stakeholders at the national and local levels who are linked through European and other international and local-to-local networks (often supported by EU funds) and smaller stakeholders or recently-established organisations which are inadvertently excluded. Such exclusion often stems from the lack of structural funding at the local or national level, as a result of language issues (lack of good English or French/German), among other things. Digital technologies contribute towards bridging this gap but more must and can be done to pluralise the EU and make European networks more inclusive.

3.2.c Cultural creativity axis

As noted above, the process of inquiry led by the Cultural Base consortium partners was complemented by dialogue and debate with the other members of the social platform. In order to sustain this dialogue, a set of topics was proposed and creativity was linked with phenomena such as digitization, cultural remakes, cultural encounters, social innovation, new cultural practices, co-creation, citizen participation, new governance in cultural institutions, and economic changes. This was a fruitful dialogue and inputs from practitioners and policymakers contributed to defining “the lines of action to develop” in relation to the topics included in the research agenda.

Challenges identified by the stakeholders’ network in the creativity axes are:

New ‘place’ for cultural creativity in society

The dominant approach to creativity currently focuses on its economic aspects. Are there alternative ways of thinking and acting about the role of creativity in the EU? How can we argue for the rationality of public purposes in culture when the creative economy has been promoted as market-driven?

On one hand, understanding and modifying social practices considered “creative” requires locating the agents, institutions, and contexts that have the legitimacy to do so. That is, not only looking at how, but also finding the roles and positions of decision-makers. How can public and private (cultural) institutions, social and other networks provide spaces in which innovative thinking can flourish?

On the other hand, there is a lot of work to be done from an empirical point of view in order to describe which kind of creative/artistic practices are taken for granted. In this regard, case studies and an interdisciplinary framework, with professionals and academics working together, could be a good combination against preconceived notions of creativity emanating from business schools.

New approaches to the value of culture beyond the traditional economist narrative

The on-going crisis has accelerated the need for rethinking the economic model and has changed the value of culture for society. The crisis has also helped identify some of the values and directions in which we should move.

There is an increasing tendency, across sectors, to take into account the social consequences of economic activity. Nevertheless, culture’s economic value is better understood than its social value. Many things are happening in the boundaries between society and economy. Cultural and creative industries do have an impact in economy, but the dynamic generated for creative industries has become dysfunctional. Cultural and creative industries’ use of creativity is specific, but the concept of creativity is a broad concept. The limitations of the economistic perspective of creativity are not resolved by divorcing cultural practice from the economy but by finding a vision of the economy that suits culture.

New cultural governance and the emergence of new forms of scientific and artistic production

New commons have a strong feeling of sharing. They work on the basis of accessibility, common management, and peer-to-peer mentoring. They also promote the reappropriation of public spaces through participation. This allows people to contribute by making both the participation process and the technologies and tools accessible. Communities are thus built through knowledge-sharing, and citizens become part of collective practices in cultural production, enjoyment, and tuition.

New commons are agents of change. Their cultural practices are conceived as a specific way to converse with people by engaging in the social practice of a community. Their values and philosophy improve and sustain cultural exchanges and cultural participation. Due to their bottom-up nature, they are able to identify emerging needs and develop appropriate responses in tune with social and cultural realities.

New role of policymakers in the cultural and creative practices

The emergence of new and alternative forms of artistic production and cultural participation are a challenge for policymakers. What is the role of the policymakers in this type of cultural and creative practice? Should cultural institutions be conceived as a device to be used by community?

Questioning the cultural production models and helping institutions evolve by working with communities and grassroots organizations is the only way to change cultural values, cultural production systems, and cultural practices.

Cultural policy can make the difference by adopting a bottom-up logic and relying on knowledge-sharing community practices. The development of participation strategies through cultural creation processes conceives cultural institutions as open laboratories. If we want to think of cultural institutions as a device to be used by a community, cultural policies shouldn’t have as a goal the production of goods; instead, they should tend towards making cultural processes (productive and reproductive) possible.

4. Envisioning the future

4.1. Lines of action to develop

4.1.a Cultural memory axis

Memory is a huge field, with many institutional and community actors. The challenges identified above are closely connected to other issues highlighted in the suggestions under the inclusion and creativity axes. Nevertheless, we propose that we need to:

Explore all sides of memory

The complications of positive and negative pasts cannot be ignored: European societies and communities should be enabled to work with difficult histories. The processes and dynamics by which cultural encounters take place at the local level must be researched so that the potential of transnational heritage for European cultural diplomacy can also be explored.

Include communities and reinvigorate participation

Cultural memory is diminished and challenged by the twin difficulties of social exclusion and indifference to exploring certain pasts. To break this negative symbiosis we need to map heritage practice: how is heritage actually organised across Europe? Which communities are involved in the making of heritage and which communities remain excluded from this process? In what ways are communities genuinely involved with heritage-making processes and how does it impact on their lives, both materially and in terms of identity? At the same time, how do heritage-making experts and institutions seek out, foster, and administer community involvement in heritage? Which strategies are used, where, with what impacts (or lack of impacts) on communities, and how widely shared are they?

Help digital heritage serve non-commercial and educational uses of the past

Little of the promise of the digital realm as a phenomenon that would democratise and open access to heritage as a social resource has been realised. Instead, the digital divide has amalgamated existing and new forms of exclusion. However, more explicitly social uses of heritage through digital technologies do exist and new communities of practice are emerging around these, as well as new kinds of solidarity. Not only do we need to know more about the factors that make such digital heritage resources useful, there is a need to support educational and non-commercial uses thus helping to create a more diverse digital landscape oriented to social uses.

Understand the potential of heritage rights

The Council of Europe created a powerful framework for viewing heritage as a human right in its 2005 Faro Convention. However, will cultural heritage become more cohesive, participatory, and diverse when framed in human rights discourse? Could rights practice change what counts as cultural heritage and how heritage is experienced and embraced? Access to heritage may be radically transformed by digital technologies and thus also intellectual property rights, but we do not yet know how ‘heritage rights’ will shape, and be shaped by, our increasingly fractious society. We need to understand if ‘heritage rights’ might be problematic when they appear to clarify issues of legal ‘ownership’ and yet might reinforce ethnos-based identities. Heritage policies are currently being shaped by heritage rights, and we need to model their unintended consequences. We can begin this work by investigating current uses and abuses of heritage rights and determining which legal instruments best support an inclusive understanding of heritage.

4.1.b Cultural inclusion axis

There are several ways in which the challenges outlined earlier can be addressed:

Use a start-up approach

The power of new technologies should not be neglected as vehicles for inclusion as they allow citizens to have their voices heard, create their own networks, mobilise and form networks, and express themselves. Here, an important element is crowdfunding for new forms of cultural expression as well as for new groups of citizens for debates and dialogue that are not top-down or managed by governments but which can spring from local initiatives. Also, thanks to the potential of communication technologies, such local initiatives can acquire a transnational character linking people and localities across countries and allowing them to network and exchange. Research and policy initiatives should look for inclusion-focused cultural start-ups, privileging those that have a translocal/transregional dimension.

Combat cultural hierarchies both within and outside Europe

Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the contrast and confrontation between an essentialised ‘West’ and even more essentialised ‘Islam’ has acquired a global dimension. Symbolically, politically, and militarily this confrontation has continued to grow, gaining strength after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and particularly after 9/11. In the absence of the Soviet threat, the West has found in Islam and Muslims a contemporary ‘Other’ against which to affirm the superiority of its cultural and political model. At the same time, disenchanted and/or marginalized youth—both within Europe and in Arab, African, and Asian countries—have found in extremist interpretations of religion and in religiously-contextualized terrorist violence a way to express their frustration, disenfranchisement, and struggle for change. It is important to fund research and policy initiatives that combat stereotypes and perceived global hierarchies of ‘developed’ and ‘backward’ religions/societies/models of governance, and invite stakeholders to reflect critically and engage with one another, for instance promoting programmes for dialogue and exchange with countries outside Europe and North America such as India, Indonesia, but also Latin American countries like Brazil, Argentina, or Chile.

 

Earmark programmes and funds for high-risk, high-gain projects/initiatives

Reserve funds for research and cultural policy initiatives that are high risk (may turn into nothing) but also high gain (if successful they are particularly innovative with a strong unifying potential).

4.1.c Cultural creativity axis

 Main topics to pursue

Firstly, the current emphasis on the creative economy in policy thinking has led to culture’s economization. There are distinctive approaches to the question of value and the difficulty, in most cases, of escaping economic rationality. A new framework is needed for the cultural policy debate that seeks to identify the possible bases for alternative views of the value of culture and creativity.

Secondly, distinguishing cultural creativity from economic innovation helps us understand and promote the social conditions of people: seeking better models of social participation and organization; promoting the emergence of new and alternative forms of scientific and artistic production; establishing more sustainable relationships with our natural, social, and cultural environment.

Thirdly, cultural creativity could be considered an ideal arena for intercultural exchange, giving way to cultural hybridisation processes. However, in contrast to the traditional countries of immigration, in Europe artistic and cultural hybrid cultural forms have not gained great prominence in the public sphere or in the market, nor have they been significantly promoted, socially or politically. Thus, despite its strategic importance as a basis for cultural creativity with the potential to prevent social conflict, cultural hybridisation has not been analysed thoroughly enough at the European level.

Key Messages

Conceptualize cultural creativity beyond the economic framework. Reconsider the frameworks for creativity in the new paradigm; create common indicators to rethink the concept of creativity and its measurement; initiate a debate on models or prototypes that are relevant to measure cultural creativity oriented towards social engagement, intercultural exchange, and inclusion goals at the European level.

Create a new mapping of cultural creativity. Seek and highlight relevant opportunities at the local level to develop a mapping of local examples and best practices of cultural creativity from a plural and inclusive point of view and pay more attention to creativity processes in peripheral or non-urban areas highlight the special challenges they face and opportunities they offer.

Develop further bases of legitimation of cultural and creative industries beyond the economic sphere. Valorise the new role of cultural creators and organisations and further support horizontal networks among cultural creators and organizations from different countries and socio-economic milieus.

 

5. Conclusions

The Cultural Base project has highlighted a positive trend in research, policy, and practice dealing with issues of memory, identity, and creativity: there is an increasing concern about inclusiveness and self-reflexivity. Dominant cultural narratives are questioned at the local, national, and European levels. The economistic paradigm on cultural creativity and cultural expression is also drawn into question.

There is an increasing awareness that there are dark and contested moments in the shared European past and in national histories, and that citizens and civil-society actors and institutions have to be informed and empowered to participate in relevant debates and in the (re)construction or (trans)formation of their cultural heritage.

Policy documents published by the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and UNESCO testify to this positive trend and to an opening up and democratisation of cultural heritage policies. Culture is also increasingly seen as a transversal factor that can have an important positive impact to socioeconomic development, employment, and growth, both directly through the cultural and creative industries but also indirectly through creating more inclusive and more cohesive societies.

Even if the overall trend is positive and encouraging, our dialogue with stakeholders has highlighted a number of challenges that need to be addressed:

  • Critical engagement with the dark sides of our past whether at the local, national, or European level is often attacked by populist politicians as unpatriotic and blind to the ‘true’ historical facts. The media do not help either in such critical engagement.
  • Citizens need to be empowered through innovative on-site or on-line consultations to participate, particularly when the questions are local or national in nature and they feel directly touched (e.g. with regard to a local monument or the history of a specific part of the country).
  • Youth, minorities, and women and their organisations often are left out of well-established networks of cooperation and exchange. There should be more cross-fertilisation between the networks that specifically address migrants or minorities and those that address cultural heritage and creativity more generally.
  • The full potential of digital technologies is not yet used to bridge this divide and empower weaker, new, or remote organisations to be part of the core dialogue and activities.
  • There is a need to overcome the purely economistic paradigm on cultural expression and creativity and see culture and heritage in their full potential for both creating new activities and jobs but also through making people feel happier, included and creative.

 

6. Suggested Readings

6.1 Vision Documents

Chalcraft, J. (2016) Negotiating Heritage Rights Vision Document (cultural memory axis)

Delanty, G. (2016) Entangled Memories and the European Cultural Heritage: challenges & scenarios for research Vision Document (cultural memory axis)

Fabiani, J-L. (2016) Forms and and Levels of Participation of Citizens and Civil Society in Debates on European Identity and its inclusionary/ exclusionary aspects and the role that cultural heritage plays within this Vision Document (cultural inclusion axis)

Fabiani, J-L. (2016) The European Migration Cultural Heritage Vision Document (cultural inclusion axis)

Kouki, H. (2016) Instrumentalizing European Cultural Heritage: exclusionary challenges & suggestions for inclusion Vision Document (cultural inclusion axis)

Poulot, D. (2016) Uses of Heritage Vision Document (cultural memory axis)

Rodríguez Morató, A., N. Papastergiadis, F. Richard (2016) Cultural hybridization in Europe Vision Document (cultural creativity axis)

Schlesinger P. (2016) Cultural Creativity and Value Vision Document (cultural creativity axis)

Schlesinger, P., A. Uzelac
, C. Waelde (2016) The Digital Single Market Vision Document (cultural creativity axis)

Stankovic, I. (2016) Valuing Heritage as Learning and Entertaining Resources Vision Document (cultural memory axis)

Triandafyllidou, A. (2016) The Role of Religion and Secularism in Defining European Identity and Culture: challenges, scenarios and ways forward of the document Vision Document (cultural inclusion axis)

Zarlenga M. (2016) New Frameworks of Cultural Creativity Vision Document (cultural creativity axis)

 

6.2 Key Policy Documents

Advisory Group on Societal Challenge 6 (2014) Resilient Europe: Societal Challenge 6: Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective societies, Recommendations to the European Commission

Council of Europe (2016) Council Of Europe Framework Convention On The Value Of Cultural Heritage For Society – The Faro Action Plan 2016-17, Secretariat Memorandum 
prepared by the
 Directorate of Democratic Governance Democratic Institutions and Governance Department

Council of Europe (2016) Draft European Cultural Heritage Strategy For The 21st Century, Secretariat Memorandum 
prepared by the
 Directorate of Democratic Governance Democratic Institutions and Governance Department

Edwards, L., Escande, A. (2015) MS21: White Paper European Cultural Commons, Europeana Milestone

European Commission (2015) Getting cultural heritage to work for Europe, Report of the Horizon 2020 Expert Group on Cultural Heritage

European Commission (2016) Horizon 2020: Societal Challenge 6 Europe in a changing world – Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies, Expert Advisory Group recommendations on 2018-2020 Work Programme

European Commission (2016) Proposal for a Decision Of The European Parliament And Of The Council on a European Year of Cultural Heritage

European Commission (2016) Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations, Joint Communication To The European Parliament And The Council

Horizon 2020 (2016) Towards the 2018-2020 Work Programme, Europe in changing world – Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies, External advice and societal engagement

 

6.3 Scholarly works

Delanty, G. (2017) The European Heritage: A critical interpretation. London: Routledge.

Fabiani, J-L. (2014) “Cultural Governance and the Crisis of Financial Capitalism”, Culture Unbound, vol. 6, p. 211-221.

Fabiani, J-L. (2015) “Changes in the Public Sphere (1983-2013)”, Eurozine, March 2014, http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2014-06-11-fabiani-tr.html (translated into, Russian,  and Turkish, French version published in Esprit, 3, mars-avril, 165-177).

MacDonald, S. (2013) Memorylands: Heritage and Identity in Europe Today. London: Routledge.

Pakier, M. and B. Strath (eds) (2010). A European Memory: Contested Histories & Politics of Remembrance. Oxford: Berghahn.

Poulot, D. (2012) “Museum Studies” in Matthew Rampley, Charlotte Schoell-Glass, Andrea Pinotti, Kitty Zijlmans, Hubert Locher, Thierry Lenain (eds) Art History and Visual Studies in Europe. A Critical Guide, Leiden, Brill, p. 197-215.

Poulot, D. (2015) “The Changing roles of art museums” in Peter Aronsson and Gabriella Elgenius (eds), National Museums and Nation-building in Europe 1750-2010. Mobilization and Legitimacy, Continuity and Change. London: Routledge, p. 87-119.

Poulot, D. (2014) Mobilization and Legitimacy, Continuity and Change. London:  Routledge, p. 87-119.

Poulot, D. (2017) “The French Museology”, Discussing Heritage and Museums. Crossing Paths of France and Serbia, Sirogojno, Open Air Museum, p. 15-39.

Rampley, Matthew, Charlotte Schoell-Glass, Andrea Pinotti, Kitty Zilhmans, Hubert Locher and Thierry Lenain (eds) (2012) Art History and Visual Studies in Europe: A Critical Guide. Leiden: Brill, pp. 197-215.

Rodríguez Morató, A. (2012) ‘The Culture Society: A Heuristic for Analysing Cultural Change in the Global Society’ in Arnaud Sales, Sociology Today: Social Transformations in a Globalizing World, London, Sage, 2012, pp.316 – 338.

Schlesinger P. (forthcom ing) “The creative economy: reflections on the European case” in C. Waelde and A. Brown (eds.) The Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and the Creative Industries. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Schlesinger, P. (2017) “The creative economy: invention of a global orthodoxy”, Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research 30(1) 2017: 73-90 DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13511610.2016.1201651

Schlesinger, P., M. Selfe and E. Munro (2015) Curators of cultural enterprise: a critical analysis of a creative business intermediary. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp.134. ISBN 978-1-137-47887-0.

Triandafyllidou, A. and R. Gropas (2015) What is Europe. London: Palgrave.

Zarlenga, M.I., J. Rius Ulldemolins, and 333A. Rodríguez Morató (2016) “Cultural clusters and social interaction dynamics: The case of Barcelona”, European Urban and Regional Studies, 23 (3): 422 – 440.DOI: 10.1177/0969776413514592

Proposta1
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“CulturalBase. Social Platform on Cultural Heritage and European Identities” has now reached its final stage. With the publication of the “Roadmap for Cultural Heritage and European Identities through Cultural Memory, Cultural Inclusion and Cultural Creativity” the Consortium finalises the CulturalBase project which has run from May 2015 to May 2017. The Roadmap documents the different steps of the project, highlights the main points debated and the main conclusions reached through a participative process. Indeed, while initial topics for reflection were proposed by the consortium partners, non-academic stakeholders took centre stage in the second phase through both online and on-site consultations at the Platform’s workshops and conferences. Thus, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers have collaborated in developing a new research and policy agenda on culture’s role in Europe today as proposed in the present Roadmap.

The CulturalBase website, a repository of all the documentation produced during the project’s lifetime, will continue to be online to serve those interested in the topics and issues tackled by the project and, in September, a further last document will be published on this website with a proposal for future perspectives.

ROADMAP FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE AND EUROPEAN IDENTITIES: download pdf.

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Introduction

Since the second half of the last century, culture has experienced a profound mutation, through which its position and role in social dynamics have been transformed to constitute an essential basis of today’s society. Cultural digitization and globalization have radically altered the cultural ecosystem and intensified the relationship between cultural identity, cultural heritage and cultural expression. This transformation has occurred both within the professional cultural sector as well as in society as a whole.

The CulturalBase. Social Platform on Cultural Heritage and European Identities project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, aims to identify and analyse the main current debates and controversies as regards culture, in particular in relation to cultural heritage and European identities from a double standpoint, namely, an analytical as well as a public policy perspective. To carry out this work, three axes have been prioritised: cultural memory, cultural inclusion and cultural creativity.

During the implementation of CulturalBase, the European Commission proposed 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH). This policy brief aims at making connections between the challenges, trends, and the priority areas for action identified by CulturalBase and those identified by the EYCH. This policy brief is based on the analysis and the recommendations drawn from studies, debates and synthetic documents within the CulturalBase project that relate to the aims and projected achievements of the Year.

Evidence and Analysis

Conceptual context

CulturalBase achieved its main objective through a double process of, on the one hand, inquiry promoted by the consortium partners and, on the other, of dialogue and debate with all the stakeholders of the social platform. Each was divided into three phases: (1) Revision of the research literature and related policies in six fundamental thematic fields to identify the most relevant thematic areas for research and policy development; (2) elaboration and discussion with stakeholders of general overviews on the thematic areas, their main challenges and key issues for research and policy intervention; and (3) development of a shared view within the social platform on the best way to address such issues and the elaboration of corresponding research agendas and roadmaps for action.

Dialogue between the members of the platform dealt with the following questions:

  1. Cultural memory: how to deal with a troubled past; how to elaborate uses of the past to understand the present and plan the future; how to negotiate heritage rights.
  2. Cultural inclusion: how culture is intertwined with feelings of belonging; how cultural heritage has been instrumentalized in the political realm to include or exclude specific groups in society; what are the existing tensions, and who are those “left behind” or “outside” of dominant conceptions of identity and culture.
  3. Cultural creativity: how can culture be a basis for citizen expression, participation as well as economic activity; how does the Digital Single Market affect cultural heritage and collective identities; what are the most conducive frameworks for creativity and cultural hybridization.

With respect to cultural memory several points emerged from the process: the problematization of transnational memories and the necessity to also perceive the past from the perspective of the defeated; and, to encounter Europe’s dark heritage. In addition, there is a need to embrace cultural memory in relation to inmigration and the inclusion of minorities.

Culture unites and divides. There is a need for a vision of European cultural heritage that empowers different groups to insert themselves in society and explain their counter-memories. For this to happen, heritage should cease to be a cultural comfort zone in which Europe just celebrates its achievements.

Regarding cultural inclusion, some of the main questions that have arisen from the process are related to European identity, unity and diversity.

There is no essence of a European identity that has always existed and that stays immutable. Today European identity is principally cultural in character, the cultural connotation that makes European identity compatible with national identities.

Dominant European identity narratives convert diversity into a characteristic feature of European identity. Nevertheless, if European identity becomes too thin to matter there is a risk that it becomes an empty shell.

Usually European identity has been understood as a device for social or political ends. What is the kind of diversity that can be incorporated into European identity? Our review of relevant academic and policy literature posed this question because there are groups and communities that have a hard time identifying as Europeans or being accepted as such.

Thirdly and relating to cultural creativity, the dominant approach to understanding culture and creativity in the EU focuses on its economic aspects. The result has been a concept of creativity as market-driven and developed through economic innovation processes. Such a concept of creativity suffers from social, political, and territorial limitations. The answer to tackle these limitations is not divorcing cultural practice from the economy but exploring alternative visions of creativity that suit cultural values, and enable sustainable development and social inclusion.

A crucial dimension of social inclusion concerns immigrants and ethnically diverse social groups. Their involvement in creative practices and their participation in the professional cultural sector are important both for reinforcing the social integration of those groups and fostering creativity in society at large.

Additionally, another idea considers new emergent forms of artistic production and cultural participation, which promote a new form of cultural governance.  They adopt a bottom-up logic and promote cultural creativity in terms of cultural exchange and community engagement.

Policy context: The European Year of Cultural Heritage

Heritage enjoys high priority in the European Union. The privileged position of heritage is reflected in a series of relevant EU documents, from the 2007 European Agenda for Culture to all successive European Council Work Plans for Culture, including the current plan for the period 2015-2018. Furthermore, in 2014 three top level EU documents dealt with cultural heritage from various angles: Council conclusions on cultural heritage as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe, Council conclusions on participatory governance of cultural heritage, and a Communication from the European Commission about an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe.

Primarily, despite the standard designation of a European Year that focuses on cultural heritage (i.e. of humanity at large), it seems this will in fact be a year dedicated to European history, values and identity, and 2018 will be used to highlight symbolic events for Europe’s history. To what extent “European” is limited to the EU, and also how the heritage of “third countries” in Europe is going to be treated, are all questions tackled during the different phases of preparation and implementation.

With regard to the content of cultural heritage, one of the main aims of the initiative is to broaden its realm from the classical core of protection and restoration of monuments, and to go beyond the collections of tangible objects (including intangible and digital heritage), to ultimately encompass resources from the past in a variety of forms and aspects. These comprise traditions, as well as transmitted knowledge and expressions of human creativity. A mapping displayed on the Commission site reveals the breadth and scope of the concept.

The recurring summary of the rationale behind the Year assumes that the contribution of cultural heritage to economic growth and social cohesion in Europe is insufficiently known and often undervalued.

Beyond its instrumental power, the initiative focuses on the symbolic values of cultural heritage. This begins with recalling the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War One. By highlighting and celebrating the thousand faces of European cultural heritage the Year hopes to bolster pride in our common legacy and contribute to shaping a shared European identity.

In a more proactive manner, the Year is expected to promote cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and social cohesion; to highlight and strengthen cultural heritage’s economic role and its contribution to local and regional development.

Tourism and external relations are key areas to further explore and unleash the potential in European cultural heritage. The former is little specified, other than connecting to UNESCO’s World Heritage sites and routes (it would be a mistake to forget the cultural routes of the Council of Europe), while the latter—the use of cultural heritage in EU external relations—pins its hope on managing conflict prevention and post-conflict reconciliation.

Indeed, current challenges facing European cultural heritage are also taken into account in the planning of the Year. These include: “decreasing public budgets; declining participation in traditional cultural activities; increasing environmental and physical pressures on heritage sites; transforming value chains and expectations as a result of the digital shift; and the illegal trafficking of cultural artefacts”.[1]

 Programming

The Year will be coordinated by the European Commission, to support and complement the respective efforts of Member States. Active participation of civil society is envisaged, which hopefully will not be limited to the sector, to cultural heritage organisations including transnational networks.

Reaching beyond the sector is considered a fundamental condition also inside the EU institutions. Several directorate-generals of the Commission are reported to be involved in this project, which will contribute with their expertise, points of view, special interests and resources.

The bulk of the programme is likely to be the oral exchanges of ideas: conferences, information and promotion campaigns, and related events. Also, a variety of other projects may get financial support in the framework of Creative Europe. The Cultural Heritage Days, one of the best established European cultural initiatives, lend themselves to become the climax of the programme of the Year.

It is to be hoped that the events in the programme will also deliver: they will contribute to improved or additional legislation, launch new programmes or catalyse lagging proceedings. Among the latter, the upgrading of statistics for heritage can be mentioned, with Eurostat in the centre.

 Challenges and risks

The greatest risk is if the Year is hijacked by national agendas of memory politics. It would be hugely counterproductive if the initiative fuelled the current centrifugal tendencies in Europe. It will require determination, diplomatic skills and tactics on the part of the Commission, to prevent that under the guise of subsidiarity the Year is misused for populist nationalism.

The wave of retrograde populism should be countered with similarly effective means. Efforts to foster a new European narrative have in the eyes of the majority of citizens been no match against nationalist or other kind of populist rhetoric. Do we now need successful pro-European populists,[2] able to proudly communicate Europeanism with a loud and clear voice?

The programme of the Year threatens to become uneven by inserting partial or ad hoc issues at the expense of the overarching agenda. For instance, the doubtless vital challenge of the illegal trade of cultural artefacts needs to be formulated in a broader context. That broader context is one where heritage has to face its many problematic and negative associations; Europe has dark legacies running throughout its pasts, from slavery, religious wars, ethnic cleansing, the atrocities committed by totalitarian regimes, and huge class inequalities. Working on these together will be difficult, but is one way to avoid nationalistic simplifications of shared dark pasts.

Policy Implications and Recommendations

  1. Less PR, more facts and novel communication

Memories of earlier thematic years often evoke deep unease because of the disjuncture between rhetoric and reality. Celebrating common heritage is a legitimate objective of the Year, but talking business, accumulating and sharing evidence and knowledge are at least as important. The European Year offers an opportunity to counter the wave of nationalist populism and bolster European pride with similarly effective means. Efforts to exploit our cultural heritage to produce powerful appeal to citizens should build on the successes of earlier attempts whilst remaining wary of their possible misappropriation.

We recommend that beyond the celebratory aspects of the Year impact should be sought through concrete actions and by brave and innovative means of communicating European values. Such actions might include funding risky but potentially high gain projects by actors normally marginalised from institutional funding.

  1. Integration of immigrant heritages in practices of contemporary creation

The European Year of Cultural Heritage will promote the role of European cultural heritage as a pivotal component of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. In an increasingly diverse Europe which confronts a crucial challenge of integrating immigrant populations, the incorporation of immigrant heritages in contemporary creative practices is a good way to promote intercultural dialogue and a cosmopolitan cultural integration of those populations. The European Year of Cultural Heritage could also offer suitable opportunities involving origin and destination countries involved in transnational heritage fairs and exchanges.

We recommend developing an exchange programme for experiences and good practices at the local level that promote the integration of immigrant heritages in practices of contemporary creation.

  1. Protect against commercial and ideological exploitation

Traditional heritage institutions like museums, monuments, buildings and archives still dominate representations of the past in Europe. In many cases these also reflect the narratives of the majority cultures in each member state, perpetuating ideas of cultural homogeneity that reduce the complexities of Europe’s pasts. Gentrification and the uncontrolled commercial exploitation of heritage perpetuates inequalities and enables exclusionary ideologies. Priority should be given to protecting forgotten or repressed heritages from commercial and ideological exploitation.

We recommend that special care be taken to equally protect tangible and intangible heritage that is endangered by economic development and ideological exploitation, and to make heritage a tool of empowerment for communities in need of recognition, for example in museums of migration, sites of consciousness, and centres of interpretation.

  1. Participatory governance of cultural heritage

With its Council conclusion the EU made a strong statement about the participatory governance of cultural heritage. A related structured dialogue action has served as a form of follow-up. This momentum should be carried on both at the conceptual level and in the practice of shared participatory governance in the field.

We recommend to continue developing the concept of the participatory governance of cultural heritage and to identify, study and highlight exemplary practices.

  1. Researcher–stakeholder collaboration

One of the aims of the European Year of Cultural Heritage is to promote research and innovation on cultural heritage and, at the same time, to facilitate the uptake and exploitation of research and innovation results by stakeholders. There is a need to foster collaboration between research and stakeholders in this field, to pool expertise and resources to provide evidence, complementarities, and to widen audiences.

We recommend organizing a conference fostering researcher-stakeholder collaboration in the field of cultural heritage sometime during the Year.

Research Parameters


CulturalBase documents
used for this Policy brief include:

Cultural Base Consortium, A ROADMAP FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE AND EUROPEAN IDENTITIES THROUGH CULTURAL MEMORY, CULTURAL INCLUSION AND CULTURAL CREATIVITY, May 2017

The literature and on-line resources quoted in the brief.

[1] data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-11856-2016-INIT/en/pdf

[2] neweurope.eu/article/the-sixth-scenario/

 

MikeGnuckx
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The European Commission’s proposal to designate 2018 as the European of Cultural Heritage, is a clear demonstration that cultural heritage plays an important role in the building of a European identity and the strengthening of cohesion at a time when cultural diversity is increasing in European societies.

This policy brief, the fourth and last of the series, aims at making connections between the challenges, trends, and the priority areas for action identified by CulturalBase and those identified by the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH).

This document is based on the analysis and the recommendations drawn from studies, debates and synthetic documents within the CulturalBase project that relate to the aims and expected achievements and results of the Year. Click here to access the document on 2018 EYCH.

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Introduction

Since the second half of the last century, culture has experienced a profound mutation, through which its position and role in social dynamics have been transformed to constitute an essential basis of today’s society. Cultural digitization and globalization have radically altered the cultural ecosystem and intensified the relationship between cultural identity, cultural heritage and cultural expression. This transformation has occurred both within the professional cultural sector as well as in society as a whole.

The CulturalBase. Social Platform on Cultural Heritage and European Identities project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, aims to identify and analyse the main current debates and controversies as regards culture, in particular in relation to cultural heritage and European identities from a double standpoint, namely, an analytical as well as a public policy perspective. To carry out this work, three axes have been prioritised: cultural memory, cultural inclusion and cultural creativity.

The present policy brief addresses the Cultural inclusion axis, i.e. the way in which museums have traditionally functioned as spaces that tend to work against contemporary social and political concerns for cultural diversity and inclusion, and how these often highly conservative institutions may still have the potential to disengage the heritage they preserve and interpret from its often “essentialised” association with the notions of identity and inheritance. Museums are not the only institutions entrusted with preserving and interpreting material and immaterial heritage, but have a unique power to construct and endorse dominant social and cultural narratives. The key issues, principles and practices explored in this brief as well as the suggested recommendations are relevant to other institutional contexts (e.g. libraries, archives, historical sites) which aim to create shared (physical and virtual) spaces where meaningful interaction takes place and all participants, recognised as being equal, are offered genuine opportunities for self-representation and collaborative meaning-making.

Evidence and analysis

“Fortress Heritage”?

Many European museums were founded in order to represent and validate national, local or group identities, as well as to celebrate mainstream values, through the heritage they preserve. This “historical” mission still largely underlies the narrative and messages conveyed by museums across Europe.

Furthermore, because of its close connection with the notion of “inheritance”, heritage seems to refer to something that is attained once and for all by birthright, rather than developed by individuals throughout their lifetime; a perception that has informed the views of many policy makers and museum professionals, but also underpinned broader public understandings of heritage.

In fact, supporting a view of the world which is predominantly based on identity fault lines is ultimately leading “us” to deny the right of “the others” to take part in the European way of life, not only in the economic and social, but also in the cultural sphere (“European cultural heritage as European property”, or in any case as a “privilege of the few”, see Kouki 2016). That is why, in François Matarasso’s words, “it is time that governments, agencies concerned with heritage, cultural bodies and artists, among others, began to rethink how heritage is imagined, defined and interpreted. Otherwise, and notwithstanding the rising calls for immigrants to “integrate” better or adopt largely unspecified European cultural values, it is difficult to see how to avoid, intentionally or unintentionally, creating divisions within society […] between those who belong and those who do not, those who can speak and those who cannot” (Matarasso 2004).

Rethinking heritage from a participatory, dialogical, intercultural perspective is an important pursuit, holding the potential to impact all European citizens, whether “old” or “new”. Museums as intercultural spaces can function not only to promote the cultural rights of migrant communities, but also to nurture in all individuals those attitudes, behaviours and skills (including cognitive mobility, the ability to question one’s own points of view and to challenge stereotypes, the awareness of one’s own multiple identities) which are indispensable in a world of increasing contact and interaction between culturally different views and practices.

In the light of these reflections, the key question is: in an increasingly “plural” Europe, how can museums become places where not only the understanding of heritage is deepened (which is all too often connected with concerns of enhancing “heritage literacy” and filling “cultural deficits”), but also where participative, cross-cultural and creative encounters can take place, and where new knowledge systems, relationships and interpretive communities can be initiated?

Museum policy approaches to address the growing diversity of European societies

In the past ten years, especially starting from the preparation of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue in 2008 (for which a survey was commissioned to the ERICarts Institute by the European Commission DG Education and Culture, see ERICarts 2008), countless surveys, reports, papers, guidelines, databases have been produced, and working groups / consultation platforms created, in order to explore the ways in which cultural institutions are addressing the growing diversity of European societies, and therefore to identify key challenges and implications for future work.

Based on this wealth of evidence, three prevailing policy approaches have been identified in the museum domain, which may be briefly described as follows:

  • encouraging an increased understanding and greater recognition of “other” cultures, which have traditionally been misrepresented or made invisible in European museums (“showcasing difference”); although this approach may take very different forms, what often distinguishes it is not so much a will to encourage attendance and participation on the part of migrant communities, as to promote a “knowledge-oriented multiculturalism” directed principally at an autochthonous audience;
  • integrating “new citizens” within mainstream culture, by helping them to learn more about a country’s history, language, values and traditions (“heritage literacy”); in the best of cases, these initiatives are rooted in communities’ needs and expectations, rather than driven by curatorial and institutional interests, or transitory political and social agendas; in the worst, they are informed by a patronising attitude;
  • promoting cultural self-awareness in migrant communities through “culturally specific” programming: alongside initiatives such as exhibitions and events drawing on “ethnographic” collections, intended to redress the under- or misrepresentation of specific minority groups, and developed in close cooperation with them (as opposed to the “showcasing difference” approach described above), there has been a growing interest in collections or programmes that reflect the cultural heterogeneity of a region or city’s population and those which explore topics (such as the history of immigration, colonialism and slavery) that enable diverse cultures to be represented.

The ERICarts survey found that these approaches, as different as they may be, often have some key features in common (ERICarts 2008, Bodo 2012):

  • they tend to be underlined by a static, essentialist notion of heritage, which is primarily seen as a “closed” system, a received patrimony to safeguard and transmit;
  • they generally avoid cross-cultural interaction, and build programmes/activities which are targeted either to “migrants” or to a “native” audience (in other words, also audiences are “essentialised”);
  • even where interaction between different groups is encouraged, the main aim is to promote mutual knowledge and respect, rather than to initiate new knowledge systems, relationships, interpretive communities;
  • they are generally reluctant to identify tensions and conflicts which may be dealt with in order to change attitudes and behaviours (quite predictably, it is much more reassuring for museums to exclusively embrace the rhetoric of “diversity as a richness”);
  • more in general, they conceive intercultural dialogue as a goal or pre-determined outcome, rather than as an interactive process which is ingrained in a museum’s practice.

These reflections are obviously not meant to suggest that the policy approaches outlined above are to be discredited or abandoned; on the contrary, they all have a vital role to play, from supporting a multicultural base, to compensating the past misrepresentation of “other” cultures in museums and other heritage institutions; from recognising museums as “social agents” addressing the issue of migrants’ and refugees’ cultural rights, to helping individuals and groups maintaining a vital link with tradition, whether it be in the form of “cultural specific programming”, migration museums or “migration heritage” interpretive practices.

What the ERICarts study rather wished to argue – and remains to date a crucial issue, whose potential is still largely untapped – is that these approaches would find a new, fuller legitimacy in so far as they are seen to be part of a process/journey which is ultimately aimed at allowing individuals to cross the boundaries of “belonging”, and to reshape cultural participation and self-representation on their own terms, rather than being pigeon-holed as “minority groups”.

The challenge, in other words, is to:

  • go beyond policies targeting individuals and groups according to their racial origin and ethnicity, working on identity as “the start rather than the end of the conversation” (Khan 2010) – or, in other words, addressing needs, not backgrounds;
  • facilitate new connections between people and objects, thereby generating new, inclusive meanings/narratives around collections – which means going beyond the static notion of “heritage”, and exploring new interpretation strategies and methodologies;
  • and (ultimately) reshape heritage as a shared space of social and cultural interaction, rather than as a mark of distinction.

Museums as “intercultural spaces”: exploring new paradigms

In the light of these reflections, it is not hard to see how substantial a change is required in most museums’ policies and working practices.

Drawing on the experience of ground-breaking practices in Italian museums – systematically documented in “Patrimonio e Intercultura”,[1] a platform launched in 2007 – there seem to be three key preconditions for reinterpreting heritage in a truly intercultural perspective, i.e. shifting the focus:

From heritage as “substance” (or conservation) …

a closed system, the “neutral remains of the past” (Matarasso 2004): static, consolidated, “of outstanding universal value” (UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1972) – an inheritance  to safeguard and transmit

… to heritage as “process” (or conversation)

a cultural wealth, both material and immaterial, that should not only be preserved and passed on to the next generation, but also renegotiated, reconstructed in its meanings, constantly questioned and rediscovered by individuals who breathe new life into it – a resource to trigger reflection, new insights, self-questioning, interaction, recognition, representation and self-representation, personal growth, community cohesion.

From the museum as a place of conservation …

the only authority entrusted with the interpretation of collections and with the preservation of their integrity, both physical and scientific

… to the museum as a place of interaction and collaborative meaning-making

an open, “relational” institution consulting and actively involving diverse audiences, encouraging multiple visions and interpretations, welcoming new voices and narratives.

From intercultural education as “didactic of difference” …

“the other” as an object of knowledge, “cultures” as static and self-contained organisms – emphasis on the knowledge of cultural diversities

… to intercultural education as a transformative practice

“the other” as an individual with whom to engage in a real relationship – emphasis on interaction, exchange, challenging one’s own cultural assumptions, initiating new knowledge systems and awareness.

This shift in focus is clearly visible in a number of experimental strands of practice which need not be understood as separate approaches – each one guided by its own rationale and methodology – but rather as virtuous practices intersecting, nurturing and cross-fertilising one another:

  • training and actively involving museum mediators with an immigrant background in the planning of narrative trails, collaborative exhibitions etc. with a view to exploring a more dialogical, multi-vocal interpretation of collections (both “European” and “extra-European”);
  • engaging mixed groups (“native” and with a migrant background) in the development of new narratives around collections through storytelling, theatre techniques and other unconventional mediation methodologies, starting from the premise that project participants can provide a significant contribution to the knowledge, understanding and interpretation of museum objects, and help overcome the museum’s self-referential language, often elitist and based on scientific expertise only;
  • promoting a gradual acquaintance between audiences and collections, by initiating a dialogue between museum objects and “objects of affection”, and creating a shared heritage of stories and life experiences of individuals (not only project participants, but also museum staff, educators and mediators) with different cultural and social backgrounds;
  • encouraging the symbolic adoption of museum objects as a means of building new bridges, creating a new “resonance”, revealing unexpected links between artefacts and people;
  • promoting the interaction between project participants and contemporary artists in order to develop new perspectives on the notions of heritage or identity, and to experiment with unconventional interpretation and relational methodologies, mediated through contemporary art languages.

All of these experimental strands share a commitment to encourage individuals (whether they be museum operators, mediators with a migrant background or “simple” project participants) to choose the heritage/objects with which they want to engage in a dialogue without necessarily having to wear the “uniform of culture”, and therefore to explore heritage – its contemporary value and relevance – from unusual perspectives, acknowledge its different layers of meaning, appreciate its potential “resonance” with personal life experiences (rather than just “cultural backgrounds”).

[1] “Patrimonio e Intercultura”/“Heritage and Interculture” is an online resource promoted by Milan-based Fondazione ISMU – Initiatives and Studies on Multiethnicity. Over the years, it has become a unique observatory of heritage education projects in an intercultural perspective, with no parallel in other European countries. Along with the website, and in close connection with it, the “Heritage and Interculture” programme also includes training courses, publications and toolkits, seminars and conferences, joint planning and running of intercultural projects in partnership with museum institutions.

Policy Implications and Recommendations

Based on the analysis presented so far, a series of recommendations are provided aimed at a range of policy-makers at European, national, regional and local levels.

  1. Greater focus should be placed on exploring those strategies and programmes which, at least in the past decade, have  been aimed at creating “shared spaces” (see experimental strands of practice above) where individuals are finally allowed to cross the boundaries of belonging and are offered genuine opportunities for self-representation and collaborative meaning-making. Such strategies and programmes are, in fact, far less visible and investigated than the more “traditional” policy approaches to promoting cultural inclusion for the increasingly diverse population living in Europe; and yet, they have shown a tremendous potential in terms of creating a more dialogical understanding of heritage, as well as more cohesive and diverse interpretive communities.

1.a. We recommend the development and maintenance of a European online facility (website) for the systematic gathering, archiving, sharing and disseminating of innovative intercultural museum practices across EU Member States; this would be not only a first step towards sharing expertise and knowledge at a European level, avoid fragmentation and duplication of projects, stimulate new initiatives; it could provide a shared framework for reporting on such practices, which would strengthen our understanding of what works in specific contexts, and enable more realistic assessments and appropriate comparisons between policies and programmes across Europe.

1.b. This online facility should place a particular emphasis on the evaluation of such strategies and programmes, not only to reflect on what works, what does not work, what are the short/medium/long term impacts of such practices, and to expand their scope and transferability, but also as a strategic asset for policy: more specific and longitudinal research designs are needed to gather the sorts of “hard” evidence politicians and policymakers require.

  1. More in general, greater focus should be placed on research, information sharing and evaluation of existing policies, practices and tools: “the majority […] remain unknown to most citizens, including experts and academics in countries across the EU”, whereas “we need to make the most of existing and finished projects and find new ways to link them and disseminate their findings” (CulturalBase Consortium 2016).

We recommend to single out projects/programmes which have proved to be particularly effective in developing tools for museums (and other heritage institutions) to manage institutional progression and change in dealing with diverse audiences,[1] and identify possible funding resources to provide support for “spin-offs” of these projects, so that they may be tested, implemented and “owned” by as wide a range of institutions as possible.

  1. The genuine inclusion of “migrant” community voices in interpretation and display (collective empowerment) is a complex and time-consuming process, which has not only cultural, but also political, social and financial implications: if policy makers want to avoid tokenism when referring to the importance of involving diaspora organisations[2] in developing more inclusive and dialogical understandings of heritage, there is a clear issue of representation and recognition which needs to be addressed: “empowerment for a disempowered community means demanding power in the arena where you are invited to act” (Lagerkvist 2006).

We recommend to support accreditation schemes/procedures allowing diaspora organisations to be fully recognised as strategic partners in heritage interpretation strategies and programmes (in the framework of EU-funded projects in particular).

  1. A greater and more systematic effort should be placed on the recognition and validation of migrants’ skills and talents in heritage interpretation (individual empowerment). Experience has shown that when they are not merely involved as “guides” for their respective communities, but recognised as “new interpreters” to all effects of the museum’s heritage, mediators with a migrant background are key in the promotion of different levels of accessibility and inclusion, by fostering a new familiarity between the museum and “new citizens”, by encouraging the participation of “native” non-visitors (with particular reference to youths), by promoting in regular museum-goers new ways of looking at the collections, and ultimately by going beyond policies targeting individuals and groups according to their “ethnicity”.

More in general, the recognition and validation of migrants’ skills and talents should be reflected in staff diversity at all levels (and in all areas of work) of the organisation. Over the years, several surveys have clearly pointed out that diversity in programming and audiences hinges on diversity of staff and governance, but the resulting policy recommendations mostly remained unanswered.

We recommend to establish a legal framework allowing to employ more professionals with a migrant background in museums and other heritage institutions (e.g. acknowledging their role as “key interpreters” of collections). Funding is also needed to support on-going training and long-term involvement of these new professional figures in building the institution’s intercultural competence and leading to systemic change in the way it is perceived by stakeholders. Finally, the support of schemes/programmes for diversifying governance in museums (and other heritage institutions)[3] is strongly recommended, so that a range of different competencies and skills are actually tapped, applied, brought into dialogue and implemented in audience development and cultural participation strategies and programming.

  1. When it comes to European heritage and identity/ies, academic research and policy agendas often seem to keep travelling on parallel paths, without ever really meeting. But ideally, a research agenda on issues like the ones we are addressing in this policy brief should be highly functional to policymaking. When talking about cultural heritage policies in a “troubled Europe” (CulturalBase Consortium, January 2017), we are referring not only to the challenges posed by the so-called “refugee crisis” currently affecting many EU Member States, but also to the failure of many museums to acknowledge the growing diversity of the societies in which they are immersed (by way of example, the increase of migrants being awarded citizenship status in different national contexts, pointing to a gradual shift “from workers to population”,[4] should have clear implications in terms of how cultural participation of this still largely under-represented “audience” is encouraged), let alone address it.

We recommend the creation of permanent (rather than project-based) platforms and mechanisms of consultation and mutual feedback between academics, researchers, policy makers and practitioners (community of research and community of practice).

[1] A relevant example is the benchmarking tool for diversity management in cultural institutions developed in the framework of the “Brokering Migrants’ Cultural Participation” project (funded by the DG Home Affairs of the European Commission, “MCP Broker” may be seen as a continuation of the work on Access to Culture and on Intercultural Dialogue under the Open Method of Coordination), tracking the potential journey of a cultural institution from a basic level where MCP is an imposed agenda, to an advanced level where the cultural institution fully reflects society’s diversity and promotes full-fledged cross-cultural interaction.

[2] See for example the experience of the READ-ME network (Réseau européen des Associations de Diasporas & Musées d’Ethnographie), which was discontinued due to the difficulty in many partner countries to recognise diaspora associations as fully-fledged partners.

[3] An independent initiative running in the Netherlands since 2000, Atana, comprises “the recruitment and training of new board members for cultural institutions and non-profit institutions, in close cooperation with those organisations. Atana focuses on people with a double cultural background; people who are at home in the Netherlands, but are also rooted in one of the many other cultures situated in this country. People with skills that are needed in boards, such as knowledge of finance, law, marketing & communication, management, and arts and the networks that come along with relevant working experience”.

[4] Fondazione Ismu, Ventunesimo rapporto sulle migrazioni 2015, FrancoAngeli, Milan, 2015.

Research Parameters

Bodo S., “Museums as intercultural spaces”, in R. Sandell, E. Nightingale (eds.), Museums, Equality and Social Justice, Routledge, London and New York, 2012: pp. 181-191.

CulturalBase Consortium, Cultural heritage policies for a troubled Europe. Proposals from the CulturalBase social platform, January 2017.

CulturalBase Consortium, Rethinking Research and Policy Agendas on Cultural Heritage and European Identities, November 2016.

ERICarts Institute, Sharing Diversity. National Approaches to Intercultural Dialogue in Europe, Study for the European Commission, DG Education and Culture, March 2008; see in particular the challenge paper by Bodo S., From “heritage education with intercultural goals” to “intercultural heritage education”: conceptual framework and policy approaches in museums across Europe.

Fabiani J. L., The European Migration Cultural Heritage, CulturalBase Vision Document (Cultural Inclusion Axis), March 2016.

Khan N., The Artist as Translator, paper delivered at the seminar “Super Diversity – Who Participates Now? Discussion on the phenomenon of ‘super diversity’ in the visual arts”, Institute of International Visual Arts, London, 2 February 2010.

Kouki H., Instrumentalizing European Cultural Heritage: exclusionary challenges & suggestions for inclusion, CulturalBase Vision Document (Cultural Inclusion Axis), April 2016.

Lagerkvist C., “Empowerment and anger. Learning how to share ownership of the museum”, in Museum & Society, July 2006, 4(2): pp. 52-68.

Matarasso F., History defaced. Heritage creation in contemporary Europe, paper delivered at the international conference “When culture makes the difference. The heritage, arts and media in multicultural society” (Genoa, 19-21 November 2004).

OMC (Open Method of Coordination) group of EU Member States’ experts, Report on the role of public arts and cultural institutions in the promotion of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, January 2014.

Visions of Culture – Structured dialogue between the European Commission and the cultural sector, Brainstorming Report Promoting intercultural dialogue  and bringing communities together through culture in shared public spaces, March 2016.

Web sources:

Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe: see Country profiles with chapters devoted to “Cultural diversity and inclusion policies” (4.2.4)  and “Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes” (4.2.7), and the section “Culture & Democracy themes”,

Museums and Migration blog

The Incluseum blog

Brokering Migrants’ Cultural Participation” project website

NEMO – Network of European Museum Organisations’ Reading corner on Intercultural Dialogue

Museum & Society on-line journal

The experimental strands of practice described in the chapter “Museums as ‘intercultural spaces’: exploring new paradigms” of this brief may be exemplified by model case studies documented in the “Patrimonio e Intercultura” website (all project descriptions are in English):

Museum mediators as “new interpreters” of the museum’s heritage

Brera: another story, Brera National Picture Gallery, Milan

Twelve storytellers in search of an author, Gallery of Contemporary and Modern Art, Bergamo

Engaging diverse groups through storytelling

Plural Stories, Guatelli Museum, Ozzano Taro (Parma)

DIAMOND – The museums as a space for dialogue and collaborative meaning-making, City Museum of Zoology, Rome

Promoting a dialogue between museum objects and “objects of affection”

TAM TAM – Tutti al Museo (The Museum for All), Museum of Peoples and Cultures, Milan

Encouraging the symbolic adoption of museum objects

[S]oggetti migranti – Migrant subjects/objects, “Luigi Pigorini” National Prehistoric Ethnographic Museum, Rome

In someone else’s shoes, City Museum of Natural History and Archaeology, Montebelluna

Promoting a synergy with contemporary artists in order to develop new perspectives on the notions of heritage or identity

A Vision of My Own and City Telling, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin

The art of making difference, Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the University of Turin

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Introduction

Since the second half of the last century, culture has experienced a profound mutation, through which its position and role in social dynamics have been transformed to constitute an essential basis of today’s society. Cultural digitization and globalization have radically altered the cultural ecosystem and intensified the relationship between cultural identity, cultural heritage and cultural expression. This transformation has occurred both within the professional cultural sector as well as in society as a whole.

The CulturalBase. Social Platform on Cultural Heritage and European Identities project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, aims to identify and analyse the main current debates and controversies as regards culture, in particular in relation to cultural heritage and European identities from a double standpoint, namely, an analytical as well as a public policy perspective. To carry out this work, three axes have been prioritised: cultural memory, cultural inclusion and cultural creativity.

This policy brief addresses the Cultural memory axis and, more specifically, the issue of heritage rights and culture. It summarises the conceptual and policy context, identifies key issues and challenges, and raises open questions, particularly with regard to the specific focus on heritage rights and culture within the Cultural memory axis. Finally, the brief offers a series of recommendations, which can contribute to the understanding of the different dimensions of recent memory theories and discourses as well as related policy strategies particularly in the cultural heritage sector in Europe.

Evidence and analysis

This brief has several policy implications since cultural heritage is concerned in particular with heritage rights “which carry with them many of the ambiguities of human rights”[1].

However, given recent societal developments as for example in post-conflict societies, a crucial question is what kind of challenges exist and which questions must be raised when a cultural rights approach, in general, and a heritage rights approach, in particular, become part of both heritage policies and practice.

In other words, can the heritage rights dimension open up the debate to other directions and conclusions? What are the most challenging questions to be answered?

The conceptual and policy context

The current debate on heritage rights is embedded in a specific conceptual and policy context. The past few decades have witnessed a variety of conceptual and policy developments at both European and international levels which have acknowledged the meaning that cultural heritage can bring to society as a whole[2]:

  • In the 1970s there was a conceptual transformation as regards cultural heritage from a conservation-led to a value-led approach.
  • During the 1990s, the principles of “sustainability” started to be included more prominently in policy documents on cultural heritage, increasingly combined with the objective of “development“[3].
  • More recently, a growing recognition, not only across Europe but also in the rest of the world, of the all-inclusive nature of the historic environment, where tangible and intangible assets are no longer perceived as separate from one another.
  • The Council of Europe Faro Convention[4], contributed to the policy shift towards people and human values in the centre of a renewed understanding of cultural heritage.

The greater recognition of the importance of cultural heritage and the policy shift at the EU level became evident through a series of conferences, events and of far-reaching strategic policy documents adopted by the EU Council of Ministers and the Council of the European Union[5].

Faro Convention

The principles and spirit of the Faro Convention play a particular role for the issue discussed in this brief as the Convention has linked together heritage rights and human rights.

The Convention’s Preamble states: “Recognising that every person has a right to engage with the cultural heritage of their choice, while respecting the rights and freedoms of others, as an aspect of the right freely to participate in cultural life enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and guaranteed by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)”.

“The Parties … agree to:

  1. recognise that rights relating to cultural heritage are inherent in the right to participate in cultural life, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
  2. recognise individual and collective responsibility towards cultural heritage;
  3. emphasise that the conservation of cultural heritage and its sustainable use have human development and quality of life as their goal.

Article 4, Rights and responsibilities relating to cultural heritage, states:

“The Parties recognise that:

  1. everyone, alone or collectively, has the right to benefit from the cultural heritage and to contribute towards its enrichment;
  2. everyone, alone or collectively, has the responsibility to respect the cultural heritage of others as much as their own heritage, and consequently the common heritage of Europe;
  3. exercise of the right to cultural heritage may be subject only to those restrictions which are necessary in a democratic society for the protection of the public interest and the rights and freedoms of others.“

United Nations 2017 “Report of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights

As to the right to a cultural life as a core part of human rights, a recent new report engages explicitly with these issues[6]. In March 2017, the United Nations‘ Human Rights Council published a “Report of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights“[7].

On 3 March 2017, the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Karima Bennoune, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva: “This is a wake-up call for our times. We face a global avalanche of hate in the form of rising fundamentalism and extremism around the world. This must be tackled with urgency, using a human rights approach. Culture and cultural rights are critical components of this response”.

In the section “A human rights approach to fundamentalism and extremism“ it is stressed that “Cultural rights are a critical component of the human rights approach and the defence of these rights today requires tackling fundamentalism and extremism. Policies that combat discrimination in the right to take part in cultural life or promote freedom of artistic expression, scientific freedom and education in accordance with international human rights norms are core aspects of combating fundamentalism and extremism“. (Nr. 20, page 6.)

Furthermore, that “Arts, education, science and culture are among the best ways to fight fundamentalism and extremism. They are not luxuries, but critical to creating alternatives, making space for peaceful contestation, promoting inclusion and protecting youth from radicalization“. (Nr. 22page 6.)

The report concludes: “Cultural rights, understood as fully integrated within the human rights system, are critical counterweights to fundamentalism and extremism; they call for free self-determination of individuals, respect for cultural diversity, universality and equality“. (Nr. 95, page 20.)

Challenges and questions

Both the human rights as well as the cultural rights approach, particularly for their relevance as regards access to and participation in culture, are of crucial importance for all three axes of the CulturalBase project: Memory, Inclusion and Creativity.

The research undertaken within the Cultural memory axis has identified various dimensions of the current heritage practice: i.a. different uses of heritage, from reshaping local communities to branding strategies[8]; educational aspects of heritage as learning and entertaining resources[9], or the overarching question of how heritage rights are negotiated[10].

As regards a human rights approach to cultural heritage, this policy brief has identified the following four main challenges[11]:

Challenge 1: Culture is increasingly “owned” by groups who use heritage to assert their identity.

Challenge 2: European institutions put human rights-based approaches at the core of how they manage, teach and represent heritages.

Challenge 3: Ideologically-motivated destruction of cultural heritage increases.

Challenge 4: Should Europe promote heritage sites linked to human rights issues?

One overarching questions still remains, namely if a focus on heritage rights can open discussion and foster a more ethical and empathetic heritage sector, and citizenship.

[1] Chalcraft, Jasper (2016): Negotiation Heritage Rights, Vision Document (cultural memory axis), p.2.

[2] CHCfE (2015): Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe, page 10/11.

[3] Hangzhou Declaration (2013): Placing Culture at the Heart of Sustainable Development Policies. UNESCO International Conference.

[4] Council of Europe (2005): Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society

[5] Council of the European Union (2014a): Conclusions on Cultural Heritage as a Strategic Resource for a Sustainable Europe, adopted on 21 May 2014; Council of the European Union (2014b): Conclusions on Participatory Governance of Cultural Heritage, adopted on 25 November 2014); European Commission (2014): Communication Towards an Integrated Approach to Cultural Heritage for Europe, adopted on 22 July 2014.

[6] This report follows a 2016 report and the work of Ms. Bennoune’s predecessor Farida

Shaheed, in particular her 2011 report Access to Cultural Heritage as a Human Right.

[7] United Nations, Human Rights Council (2017): Report of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights. Special Rapporteur: Karima Bennoune.

[8] Dominique Poulot: “Uses of Heritage” (March 2016)

[9] Isidora Stanković: “Valuing Heritage as Learning and Entertaining Resources” (March 2016)

[10] Jasper Chalcraft: “Negotiating Heritage Rights” (March 2016)

[11] Jasper Chalcraft: “Negotiating Heritage Rights” (March 2016)

Policy Implications and Recommendations

Based on the analysis presented so far, a series of recommendations are provided aimed at a range of policy-makers at European, national, regional and local levels.

  1. CulturalBase has demonstrated that “cultural memory“, in all of its diverse dimensions, is a critical factor in understanding the current Cultural Heritage (CH) discourse in Europe, and beyond. Memory must be treated as a fundamental part of Europe’s past and present and as an important factor in understanding, interpreting and communicating today’s cultural heritage. A promising direction for future research is to consider European cultural heritage as an entangled mosaic of histories, to compare the ways in which different memories intersect with each other and to map such intersections spatially and temporally.

We recommend supporting projects that address and promote a broader historical understanding and greater knowledge of issues related to Cultural memory strategies and practices in different communities in Europe. Such projects should, whenever possible, include other world regions whose heritage is intertwined with that of Europe[1].

  1. CulturalBase has discussed and supported a pluralised concept of European cultural heritage which can be seen as an expression of a more globally connected world. This actually raises the issue of the role of European cultural heritage in international relations (cultural diplomacy).

We recommend further research on the role of European cultural heritage in international relations. This research should analyse the openness of European heritage to decentralised and subaltern readings and the engagement of academic and policy communities into inter-cultural dialogue platforms for the elaboration of entangled, often painful and conflictual, memories and identities[2].

  1. In their current understanding and practice, “heritage rights” are concerned with different research disciplines which usually operate in single, hardly connected spheres. Questions raised in the CulturalBase Cultural memory axis substantiate that the issue of “heritage rights” should be addressed through interdisciplinary approaches rather than through single fields of research. Relevant research disciplines which should be brought together in interdisciplinary teams and projects include socio-economic science and humanities as well as technical and legal sciences.

We recommend to support interdisciplinary research that addresses both the technical-legal aspects of applying heritage rights as well as their broader social impacts[3].

  1. “Heritage rights” pose interesting but complex questions. The “rights” perspective sheds light on the conflicting aspects of heritage with regard to communities’ memories and the shaping of social identities. Although the “rights” paradigm is recognised as problematic by some (for example, issues of legal “ownership” and reinforcing ethnos-based identities), it increasingly orientates practice and is being written into legal instruments which shape heritage policies. The digital shift and intellectual property rights specifically challenge the heritage rights debate and practice.

We recommend to encourage projects and platforms that develop tools (such as handbooks, roadmaps, toolkits) so that individuals, communities and heritage activists can discuss heritage rights in relation with their social identities and use these in constructive ways[4].

  1. Community engagement is a relevant issue in current heritage practices in Europe. How communities co-operate and how they are incorporated or are excluded, is crucial to understanding the impacts of heritage-making on contemporary societies. This is particularly relevant where policy makers push heritage as a tool of development, income generation and a focal point for social cohesion.

5.1. We recommend more explorative research and mapping of heritage practices on how communities participate in heritage-making and on how various kinds of memory work in different kinds of communities are established, such as in the case of migrants and refugees, or, the heritage of slavery.

5.2. We recommend focused research on what methods might actually strengthen community and grassroots organisation thus addressing the need for participatory approaches to cultural heritage from a different and complementary angle.

  1. The digital challenge for cultural heritage practice in Europe is evident. Much of the promise of the digital as a phenomenon that can democratise and open access to heritage as a social resource has not been realised. Instead, the digital divide has amalgamated existing and new forms of exclusion. However, more explicit social uses of heritage through digital technologies do exist, and new communities of practice are emerging around these, as well as new kinds of solidarity. Not only do we need to know more about the factors that make such digital heritage resources useful, there is a need to support educational and non-commercial uses, helping to create a more diverse digital landscape oriented to social uses.

We recommend further research on the current use and exploitation of digital heritage resources and on how organisations, activists and networks working with digital heritage resources could be supported more effectively. Relevant research issues in this context include structural and process-oriented approaches facilitating the use of digital heritage resources, barriers to access to these resources as well as methods for safeguarding against various forms of commercial or ideological appropriation. [5] 

[1] Cultural Base (2016): “Rethinking Research and Policy Agendas on Cultural Heritage and European Identities”, p. 2.

[2] Cultural Base (2016): “Rethinking Research and Policy Agendas on Cultural Heritage and European Identities”, p. 3.

[3] Cultural Base (2016): “Rethinking Research and Policy Agendas on Cultural Heritage and European Identities”, p. 6.

[4] Cultural Base (2016): “Rethinking Research and Policy Agendas on Cultural Heritage and European Identities”, p. 7.

[5] Cultural Base (2016): “Rethinking Research and Policy Agendas on Cultural Heritage and European Identities”, pp. 5/6.

Research Parameters

CulturalBase documents used for this Policy brief include:

  • Jasper Chalcraft: “Negotiating Heritage Rights” (March 2016)
  • Dominique Poulot: “Uses of Heritage” (March 2016)
  • Isidora Stanković: “Valuing Heritage as Learning and Entertaining Resources” (March 2016)
  • CulturalBase Workshop Report “Which Museums for the (European) Heritage of the 21st Century” (Paris, 17 January 2017)
  • Draft agenda proposal “Rethinking Research and Policy Agendas on Cultural Heritage and European Identities” (November 2016) during the workshop held in Florence in December 2016

Other documents:

United Nations, Human Rights Council (2017): Report of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights. Special Rapporteur: Karima Bennoune.

Council of Europe (2005): Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society.

CHCFE Consortium (2015): Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe. Published on behalf of the CHCfE Consortium by the International Cultural Centre, Krakow. June 2015.

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Introduction

Since the second half of the last century, culture has experienced a profound mutation, through which its position and role in social dynamics have been transformed to constitute an essential basis of today’s society. Cultural digitization and globalization have radically altered the cultural ecosystem and intensified the relationship between cultural identity, cultural heritage and cultural expression. This transformation has occurred both within the professional cultural sector as well as in society as a whole.

The CulturalBase. Social Platform on Cultural Heritage and European Identities project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, aims to identify and analyse the main current debates and controversies as regards culture, in particular in relation to cultural heritage and European identities from a double standpoint, namely, an analytical as well as a public policy perspective. To carry out this work, three axes have been prioritised: cultural memory, cultural inclusion and cultural creativity.

This policy brief focuses on how the changes brought about by digitisation impact culture and the ways heritage is being communicated today, culture’s position and role in the social dynamics of today’s society and how the Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy may affect this role. The brief summarises the work carried out within the Cultural creativity axis of the CulturalBase project that reflected on the concept of creativity within the context of European societies. It will identify key issues, challenges, questions and the resulting implications for policy makers as well as cultural professionals.

Evidence and analysis

Digital culture – more than just creative economy

“Culture is a memory, collective memory, dependent on communication for its creation, extension, evolution and preservation”.  (Foresta, Mergier, Serexhe, 1995)

Culture, communication and information are closely related concepts: through communication our society constantly recreates itself and redefines its collective reality.[1] The right to obtain and share knowledge and the right to create and re-create are central to survival of any culture. The knowledge embedded in our cultural memory, has always been communicated and preserved through our cultural communication structures; the communication technologies represent an important element that enable and facilitate the processes of creating, sharing and preserving our cultural memory. Information is a non-rival good, which is not “spent” in communication with others, but is sustained and “preserved”.

The widespread use of digital technologies has visible impacts on different aspects of our culture. These changes do not happen due to some inner technological logic, the concrete change depends on how society accepts it, to which uses it puts it and how it regulates it.

Since the “creative economy” has become a main focus of EU policies for culture, the cultural sector continuously questions the aims that should be achieved by regulating digital culture. What public policies ensure that society can make the best of digitization in the cultural sector? On the one hand, the Council of Europe considers that “digitisation must be accompanied by enlightened cultural policies, if opportunities for access and participation, individual and collective creativity are to be fully used”[2]. On the other hand, the EU policies that provide regulatory frameworks for the development of digital culture mostly focus on the creative economy and on providing opportunities to business sector and consumers. Consequently, the issue of policies for creative economy in Europe and how they navigate the tensions between culture and economy represents a challenge that impacts the entire cultural sector, including heritage institutions and citizens who practice and communicate culture in the digital context, as their digital practices in the cultural heritage domain have impact on issues of identity and belonging.

Digital Single Market – will there be a room for culture and not just creative economy?

As cultural production is becoming more digital, the influence of national political governance seems to be decreasing. Today, complex regulatory frameworks regulate our economic, social and cultural activities and digital context is regulated mostly outside the purview of cultural policies. As the changes brought about by digitisation knows no borders and convergence processes cut across global and national levels, this makes regulation awkward. In the situation of convergence, how can we regulate content that comes from channels that are considered as ‘light broadcasting’?  How can we differentiate ‘communication’ and ‘unofficial broadcasting’ in the context of digital networks? What should be regulated and what left free? Nowadays European countries face similar challenges in their attempt to regulate digital culture, and they need to address diverse issues outside of the remit of cultural policies, such as: technological convergence; internationalization and integration of online markets; harmonization and coordination of policies within the EU; and, from the point of view of cultural policies, a challenge related to the prevalence of market logics at the expense of approaches emphasizing the variety of values at stake in the cultural sector.

DSM with its focus on digital and data economy and its technical discourse seems to be a barrier to fully understand its full implications for culture and particularly in the cultural heritage community. Nevertheless, the fact that it has become both a political imperative and an instrument structuring the EU, DSM represents a major implicit policy for culture: its implications for cultural trade bring questions related to our collective identity[3] with unintended cultural side-effects. In this logic, the consequences of the these changes will effect both the cultural and creative sectors as well as the cultural heritage sector and thus merit a better understanding.

Among its objectives, the Europe 2020 strategy includes developing a digital single market in order to generate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe. The DSM[4] remit is high quality digital service throughout the EU. Aiming at creating a single EU regulatory space, its main focus is on: creating the adequate conditions and a levelled playfield for digital networks and innovative services to flourish; ensuring that consumers and businesses have better access to digital goods and services across Europe; and maximising the growth potential of the digital economy. As digital and creative economy are interlinked, the EU priorities concerning DSM include also the development of a creative economy. This represents a complex framework within which the development of online services and opening up of cultural content should be looked at. The opening up of access to cultural content is expected to contribute towards a vibrant European digital single market and Europeana, the EU flagship cultural project, is expected to bring benefits to EU society through smart use of ICT and revealing information that promotes cultural diversity, creative content and accessibility of European cultural heritage online. Whereas, the DSM emphasises the business side of cultural content provision and considers that an enhanced use of digital technologies can improve citizens’ access to information and culture and improve their job opportunities, end-users’ practices and participatory culture are left out of its focus. Indeed, issues related to cultural diversity are seen in a simplistic way – from the distribution point of view where more content can reach more people – and the market is only a key mechanism to this end.

In the context of current EU reality that faces regulatory fragmentation and fragmented markets in the content sector where rights have to be negotiated with 28 countries, simplifying such reality may represent a significant step forward for the cultural sector, providing that balance is stricken between the market logic and cultural values. From the point of view of the cultural researchers and professionals participating in the CulturalBase project, the Digital Single Market is understood as an attempt to implicitly reconfigure a cultural space in Europe, as the EU can be described as a set of territories with their particular cultural identities. DSM has a relevance on how we manage cultural life on those territories. This “involves addressing significant tensions between the territorial principle and the supranational market principle[5]. The changes that DSM envisions will have major impacts on the business models in the cultural sector and the cultural sector has numerous questions regarding this major implicit cultural policy.

Who benefits from the proposed reforms? Is it about Trans-Atlantic product trade and big aggregators of content? Which stakeholders will benefit? Will the interests of larger and smaller EU countries in any future reforms be balanced? How DSM affects cultural and heritage sector that should preserve and enable to citizens access to culture and its knowledge resources? What place will be left to cultural policies in regulating cultural space at national and EU levels when we know that digitisation and use of digital technologies has had visible impacts on cultural sector services and business models?

The central issue of DSM for the cultural sector is IPR reform that is trying to achieve harmonized copyright regime in the EU. As this will have implications for rights’ holders, intermediary institutions (such as heritage institutions) and end-users, a key question is – who will be advantaged and who will be disadvantaged? There is a visible divide among copyright stakeholders with, on the one hand, end-users and institutional users (e.g. libraries, archives, universities) in favour of a system based on openness, fairness and solidarity, and authors, collective management organizations, publishers and producers in favour of the current copyright rules, on the other. As stated in the Vision document “The Digital Single Market should strive to simplify existing regulations and also ensure that existing public cultural resources remain openly accessible to citizens, as the right to obtain and share knowledge and the right to create and re-create are central to survival of any culture. These arguments, of course, may come up against the resistance of rights holders.”[6]

For the cultural sector, aspects of particular importance within IPR reform include: exceptions to copyright rules relevant for the digitization of heritage institutions’ collections; and the remuneration for the use of copyright protected works for artists and cultural and creative industries.

Considering that the cultural sector is expected to be a catalyst for creativity and to contribute to EU economy and growth in jobs and, at the same time, preserve and enable citizens’ access to culture, it would be important that EU IPR regulation supports appropriate business models that provide for the digitization of collections’ holdings in the cultural public sector as well as support of users’ rights for use and reuse of digital heritage content. For the cultural heritage sector the important question is – how should IPR be conceptualised in the digital age that would ensure preserving robust public domain and users’ rights from analogue times? The existing system of copyright clearance is complicated and time consuming. Content belonging to the 20th century culture is either under copyright regime or falls in the category of the orphan works. The unclear status of significant part of 20th century’s heritage collections that have not yet entered into the public domain is an impediment for providing digital access to it. Such content is often not digital and frequently out of distribution in its analogue form. Its unclear status (orphan works) represents a barrier to mass digitisation projects or free reuse of such objects, if digitised. Re-balancing copyright requires at least some reform as demanded by end-users and institutional users, most importantly a more harmonized and flexible system of exceptions and limitations. The EU’s IPR reforms consider some exceptions and limitations for educational use. The CulturalBase stakeholders questioned whether these exceptions and limitations should be called users’ rights – as opposed to authors’ rights – to ensure a balance among different stakeholders.

Will microenterprises and artists benefit from the reforms?
For many cultural microenterprises IPR is not a system that they consider to be their main business model, as enforcing it via law suits is too expensive for them.

Will users’ rights and the free access to culture and sharing be preserved?
In considering providing access to cultural content to users, DSM emphasises the business side of cultural content provision, leaving users’ creative participatory practices out of its focus. The DSM focus is on providing “consumers” with better access to digital goods and services across Europe. This includes the issue of portability of content paid for in the country of origin that has been put forward with the aim of lifting geographic limits (geoblocking) to consumers and providing consumers more opportunities and choices.

Considering the DSM logic that favours the supranational market principle over the territorial principle, questions arise regarding the position of small countries in the EU’s DSM, as well as, the possibility to use cultural arguments supporting a special position of cultural products within the DSM. Will we still be able to argue for the special position of cultural products in the digital single market? Cultural commerce is different from “regular” commerce – selling cultural products (e.g. books) to other countries is not the same as selling other products (e.g. shoes), as there are different barriers for this, including, for example, the language barrier. Will small countries benefit? The cultural industries’ production capacities of the smaller EU Member States is fundamentally different than that of the larger EU Member States, thus, their ability to sustain national cultural production and contribute to European cultural diversity might be hindered if the logic of the DSM favouring only economic benefits prevails over the accepted principles of European cultural policies including national IPR regulation. It would be important to ensure that cultural policy makers participate as interlocutors in conversations about DSM reforms to question consequences the reforms have on national cultural sectors and introduce cultural discourse and argumentation that would go beyond economic issues and find strong arguments for broader view of culture – not just as a commodity but as a public good, as well.

The EU has not been involved in formulating its explicit common cultural policy, as this was considered politically inacceptable in the context of the implementation of the subsidiarity principle. However, other explicit public policies that the EU has developed have a concrete impact on the cultural sectors within both the EU and within Member States. Culture and digital culture are becoming closely interlinked. In the situation where cultural production is becoming more digital, DSM represents a major implicit policy for culture in the digital age. Thus, if we still hold on to the expectations that digitization will democratise and open access to heritage as a social resource, it is important to make room for cultural policies and cultural arguments when decisions are made about DSM, as today we cannot talk about culture as something separate from the digital environment that underpins it.

[1] Foresta, D. et al., The new space of communication, the interface with culture and artistic activities, Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 1995.

Uzelac, A. “How to understand digital culture: Digital culture – a resource for a knowledge society”, in: Digital Culture: The Changing Dynamics, ed. Aleksandra Uzelac, Biserka Cvjetičanin (Zagreb: IMO, 2008).

[2] coe.int/en/web/culture-and-heritage/culture-and-digitisation

[3] See CulturalBase Vision Document. The Digital Single Market

[4] A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe – COM(2015) 192 final

[5] See CulturalBase Vision Document. The Digital Single Market

[6] CulturalBase Vision Document. The Digital Single Market

Policy Implications and Recommendations

Based on the evidence and analysis presented above, some recommendations are provided aimed at a range of policy-makers at European, national, regional and local levels.

  1. Evidence-based policies are needed and they should be supported by systematic research and monitoring of issues and developments in digital culture. As DSM represents a major agenda of change for the cultural sector this merits that systematic research be undertaken in order to provide explanations and evidence for cultural policy makers when considering DSM reforms. Such monitoring should include developments coming from the EC and EP, as well as, responses to these deriving from stakeholder groups, lobbies and the wider policy community.

We recommend that related research include: researching the interests that are at play in this field; providing arguments for making culture a special case in the context of market that is not about culture; proposing alternative visions and alternative ways to disseminate non-commercial cultural content and proposing sustainable business models for survival of alternative players in the market; researching consequences of DSM on cultural diversity across territories. Cultural policy-makers should use such research results as a base for framing discourse that informs policy agendas; keep in focus public sphere dimension of digitisation; ensure that the proposed policy agendas foster creative communities and commons and not only commercial cultural content.

Expert discourse about DSM is a key barrier that prevents cultural professionals from understanding it and engaging with the process of ongoing reform. “Translation” into simple understandable arguments and language is needed to ensure that relevant questions are asked about a process and interests that come into the play.

  1. The main issue discerned within the proposed DSM reforms that affect the cultural sector relates to the tensions between the territorial principle (the cultural policies domain) and the supranational market principle (DSM logic). This, together with the tensions between values of culture and economy and the relationship between cultural and digital policy making, represents an obstacle for building better understanding and synergies between them.

We recommend that, in the elements of DSM that concern the creative economy and cultural issues, greater focus should be placed on striking a balance between culture and economy, as culture is not just a commodity, but equally a public good as well. It should be considered if a ‘level playing field’ – a concept that is about fairness based on playing by the same set of rules (market rules) –  promotes cultural diversity and enables the aspects of culture that are not about profit-making to prosper in the digital environment.

  1. To be able to address development of digital culture and heritage, and before changes envisioned by DSM take effect, cultural policy-makers should address the issue related to prevalence of a market logic at the expense of variety of cultural values, and set the goals they want to reach to be able to defend those goals in discussions concerning DSM reforms.

We recommend that a relevant cultural policy goal should ‘creating an enabling environment for digital culture and for empowering citizens, within which issues of long-term sustainability and viability of digital cultural services must be address.

Research Parameters

CulturalBase documents used for this Policy brief include:

Matías Zarlenga & Arturo Rodríguez Morató, “The Digital Single Market: Synthetic Report on Cultural Creativity”.

The literature and on-line resources quoted in the brief.

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One of the objectives of CulturalBase is to socialize the results of the activities carried out through the provision of short and focused documents intended for the wider public. To this end a series of 4 policy briefs addresses issues of particular relevance within each of the three project axes: cultural memory, cultural inclusion and cultural creativity. The policy briefs summarise the conceptual and policy context, identify key issues and challenges, and raise open questions. They also offer a series of recommendations, which can contribute to the understanding of the different dimensions of recent memory, inclusion and creativity theories and discourses as well as related policy strategies in the cultural sector in Europe.

The first three policy brief of the series are now available.

Please click here to access the Policy Briefs.

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Workshop rationale

Cultural Base is a social platform funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme 2014-2015 “Europe in a changing world: inclusive, innovative and reflective societies”. Cultural Base aims to address the topic of Heritage and European Identities from a double standpoint, namely, an analytical as well as a public policy perspective. It all began with the idea that since the second half of the last century, culture has experienced a profound mutation, through which its position and role in the social dynamics have been transformed. Culture now constitutes an essential basis of today’s society in a context of cultural digitization and globalization. The transformation of the entire cultural ecosystem has radically altered – and at the same time, intensified – the relationship between cultural identity, cultural heritage and cultural expression. This transformation has occurred both at the level of the professional cultural sector as well as in society as a whole.

As a Social Platform, Cultural Base aims at exploring the new challenges and the new potential of culture, where three pillars – cultural identity, cultural heritage and cultural expression – intertwine combining the knowledge stemming from academic and non-academic worlds. The work of the Cultural Base platform is conducted along three main axes: (1) Cultural memory, (2) Cultural inclusion, and (3) Cultural creativity.

These three axes aim to research debates relating to heritage in the institutions and practices of cultural memory; how the focus on diversity and inclusion impacts on the practices of memory institutions, including on stakeholders and networks; what this reconfiguration contributes to new or post-national oriented narratives about identity and European values; and how heritage, cultural diversity and creativity relate in the context of huge cultural transformations such as the ones represented by digitization and cultural globalization.

In the framework of the Cultural Base Social Platform, the goal of this first workshop is to establish a solid and shared base for discussion and future work on the part of all involved stakeholders.

Particularly, the workshop aims to achieve two objectives in an atmosphere of mutual learning and participation:

  1. To identify and select the main issues to be further studied and discussed within each axis.
  2. To evaluate the practical connections between those issues and their relative importance with regards to the wider fields included in Cultural Base.

Participants

There were six types of participants:

  • Academic stakeholders: A total of six academic stakeholders were invited to participate in the workshop. They contributed specific presentations on relevant issues in the form of Discussion Papers during the Academic Sessions. They were:
  1. Michal Buchowski, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland
  2. Volker Kirchberg, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany
  3. Ramón Máiz, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  4. Emmanuel Negrier, University of Montpellier, France
  5. Nikos Papastergiadis, University of Melbourne, Australia
  6. Augusto Santos Silva, University of Porto, Portugal
  • Practitioners and Policy Stakeholders: All non-academic Stakeholders involved in Cultural Base are encouraged to send their feedback about the Project as well as about the materials circulated in the framework of this workshop before and during the event. Seventeen representatives from the fields covered by the Project were selected among all Practitioners and Policy Stakeholders to participate in this first workshop with the aim to incorporate their views from the onset. Their contributions were crucial in order to inform the academic discussion with the experience and perceived priorities from field practitioners and citizens. They were asked to read the workshop materials in advance and comment them in the course of the various sessions. The workshop also offered the opportunity to collect information about possible new stakeholders in the framework of the planned call for enlarging the Social Platform. The practitioners and policy stakeholders participating in the workshop were:
  1. Santiago Arroyo, President FIBICC – Fundación Iberoamericana de las Industrias Culturales y Creativas (member of ENCACT – European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centers), Barcelona, Spain
  2. Luca Bergamo, Secretary General CAE – Culture Action Europe, Brussels, Belgium
  3. Ngaire Blackenberg, Partner Lord Consulting, Barcelona, Spain
  4. Francesc Casadesús, Director Mercat de les Flors, Barcelona, Spain
  5. Cornelia Dümcke, Director Culture Concepts, Berlin, Germany
  6. Lars Ebert, Senior Advisor “ELIA – The European League of Institutes of the Arts”, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  7. Karol Frühauf, Res Artis (Director of Bridge Guard Art / Science Residence Centre), Bratislava, Slovakia
  8. Peter Inkei, Director Budapest Observatory, Budaörs, Hungary
  9. Gabriele Mazza, former Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France
  10. Eduard Miralles, President Interarts Foundation for international cultural cooperation, Barcelona, Spain
  11. Jordi Pascual, Coordinator Culture Committee UCLG – United Cities and Local Governments, Barcelona, Spain
  12. Mark O’Neill, Director Policy & Research Glasgow Life, Glasgow, Scotland
  13. Ferdinand Richard, Director Belle de Mai, Marseille, France
  14. Pepe Serra, Director MNAC – Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña, Barcelona, Spain
  • Partners: There are seven members in the Cultural Base formal consortium and they all participated in the event. In addition to actively contributing to the discussion, they prepared “Discussion papers” to get the discussion started. They were:
  1. Arturo Rodríguez Morató (Coordinator) and Matías I. Zarlenga, with the collaboration of Mariano Martín Zamorano, Rocio Nogales Muriel, Jordi Alomar Payeras, Peter Wagner, Aurea Mota and Juan Díez Medrano, University of Barcelona, Spain.
  2. Gerard Delanty and Jasper Chalcraft, University of Sussex, United Kingdom.
  3. Jean-Louis Fabiani and Nasser Suleiman Gabryel, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
  4. Philip Schlesinger, Centre for Cultural Policy Research, University of Glasgow, Scotland.
  5. Anna Triandafyllidou, Ruby Gropas and Sabrina Marchetti, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Italy.
  6. Dominique Poulot, Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France.
  7. Mercedes Giovinazzo, Interarts, Spain.
  • Advisory Board: Cultural Base has associated a group of experts to accompany the work of the Partners and the concrete project results. One member of the Advisory Board participated in the workshop and offered a specific contribution in the Conclusive Sessions:
  1. Ulrike Hanna Meinhof, Southampton University, United Kingdom.
  • Mediators: Three “mediators” carried out the dynamization of the Stakeholders Sessions. Their tasks were to: (1) act as rapporteurs of the contribution of the participating stakeholders in the different sessions; (2) incorporate the issues introduced by the Academic Stakeholders and Partners into the action areas assigned to Stakeholders; and (3) facilitate the discussion in the Stakeholders Sessions (SS). There was one Mediator per axis, namely:
  1. Mercedes Giovinazzo, Interarts for CULTURAL MEMORY
  2. Rocío Nogales Muriel, University of Barcelona for CULTURAL INCLUSION
  3. Jordi Alomar Payeras, University of Barcelona for CULTURAL CREATIVITY
  • European Commission:
  1. Zoltan Krasznai, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium

Workshop dynamics and sessions

The workshop enjoyed the support of the Spanish General Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE, www.fundacionsgae.org), which is a private entity devoted to the defence and collective management of the intellectual property rights of its over 100,000 members. The SGAE Foundation provided its facilities in central Barcelona at no cost for the workshop.

The program was divided into three types of sessions: the Academic Sessions (AS), the Stakeholders Sessions (SS) and the Conclusive Sessions (CS). Each build on the preliminary work carried out by the Partners and Academic Stakeholders articulated in the form of “Discussion Papers”.

The colour coding of the various axes is maintained throughout the workshop documents mirroring the project visual identity in order to facilitate recognition and navigation.

Academic Sessions

The Workshop began on Wednesday 30th of September with six Academic Sessions (AS), one per each Thematic Field, consisting of 90-minute sessions. These sessions were held in parallel per axis (see diagram below). In each of them one Partner made a keynote speech on a central question (30’) and one academic stakeholder was expected to present a short paper on another issue (15’). The idea for those short papers was that they could be complementary to the other presentations addressing important issues for the thematic field in question that were not covered by the assigned keynote speaker or giving a relevant different perspective on the same issue covered by her/him.

Objective: Identification of issues (academic and related to specific action areas).

Participants: Partners, Academic Stakeholders, Stakeholders, Mediators and Academic Assistants.

Roles: Axis Leader (implicit coordination of the session and, where appropriate, presentation of the proposal); other Partners (presentation of the proposal); Academic Stakeholders (presentation of their proposal); Mediator (presentation of the proposal/comments by the Stakeholders not present in the meeting, write down new proposals from Stakeholders present in the meeting, frame the issues raised by the Academics Stakeholders and the Partners within the practice areas of Stakeholders); Stakeholders (identify issues in the areas of practice and raise new issues not mentioned by academics); Academic Assistants (presentation of proposals and recording of academics’ reactions).

Dynamic: Partners and Academic Stakeholders present their papers and the Mediators open the discussion by presenting a summary of the reflective comments by the non-present Stakeholders (from the first question stated in the section below, 3.3) and then raise their specific visions (of question two), inviting the participating Stakeholders to make a contribution with regard to what has been presented and writing down through all contributions. The Academic Assistants note the academic feedback.

Inputs: Partner’s papers; Academic Stakeholders Discussion Papers; Stakeholders’ feedback.

Outputs: List of issues (academic and linked to specific practice/policy areas).

AXIS 1. CULTURAL MEMORY

TF1. Memory and heritage

Academic Presentation

Keynote speech by Jasper Chalcraft and Gerard Delanty, “Can Heritage be Transnationalised? The Implications of Transnationalism for Memory and Heritage in Europe and Beyond

Complementary contribution by Augusto Santos Silva, “Cultural heritage and democratic development: a view from Portugal

Discussion[1]:

A discussion among Partners (P), Stakeholders (STH) and Academic-Stakeholders (ASTH) took place after the academic presentation focusing on to the problem of unity and diversity in cultural heritage in the European context. As a general conclusion of this academic session, it came out that the idea of nations itself remains constitutively trans-national.

STH5: We should be less cautious about how we discuss common heritage, especially cultural heritage, because of its potentially positive social influence when used to positively emphasise shared contributions to history and promote reconciliation. E.g. Cyprus, where heritage can be used to promote reconciliation.

Relating back to Gerard Delanty and Jasper Chalcraft’s point about over-emphasis on diversity at the expense of unity, which unpicks the logical connection that has to exist between these two concepts, STH5 agreed that we need to think more about unity and diversity. Diversity has become too important, and is coupled with profound relativism. We’ve lost sight of how unity can be created or sustained through a common corpus of beliefs and worldviews.

P7: We have become too schematic in speaking of diversity as good and unity as bad, where no such necessary connection exists. Postcolonial and postmodern critiques tend to repeat these misleading assumptions.

STH10: It is good to know what was really expected as the outcome of this meeting, and what should stakeholders contribute?

P7, replying to STH10: The aim is to try to identify questions that have been insufficiently addressed in the literature, and to consider what this means for policy and practice. E.g. can we shift the discussion back to commonality instead of difference, and can we also raise complex issues like the holocaust?

STH2: Cultural diversity has often been used to exclude others. We stand to learn a lot from how migrants etc. build identities. By looking at them, we can better focus on the on-going process of formation of cultural identity, and how unity and diversity are in constant tension over time.

P7: We need to find a new language to speak about unity.

P8, speaking to STH2: Do we need to follow academics that emphasise the need to decentre the self?

STH2: Youth in Marseille tend to recognise global unity and the clan as key loci of identity, and don’t strongly identify with the nation and with Europe. This is important because it is an example of how identity is constantly in flux. Put bluntly: the idea of European identity seems bogus.

P7, responding to STH2: It would be interesting to ask how much Ferdinand Richard’s argument (based on the French case) could be generalised.

P15: Augusto Santos Silva’s paper was interesting and it would be interesting to know how a similar argument could be applied to Spain. P16 suspected that the process of transformation of heritage is still incomplete. The idea of Europe in historical terms is different to the idea of Europe in political terms. The only example of super-national citizenship in a political project occurred for a brief time, under Roman Imperial rule. Aside from this Europe has always been rather fragmented along national lines.

Augusto Santos Silva (responding to P15): Yes, we still need to pursue the idea of how the political project of Europe can embrace persistent diversity, and we need to explore how cultural and historical background can be used to achieve this. This shared culture and history is a strength but may not be sufficient to the task. In practical terms, we need to subject generalisations to critical scrutiny, e.g. by critiquing Lusophony, or by critiquing the idea that the Portuguese colonial project was more benevolent than others. Another example: the Portuguese still speak as if they have a sort of monopoly on the language, while the real dynamism appears to be in Brazil.

P7: To approach a provisional conclusion: accepting the validity of a transnational perspective allows us to see that: first, Nations are connected; second, as a result of these connections, which is joined changes. This alters how we look at things, by allowing us to see that the national is itself constitutively trans-national.

[1] In order to guarantee privacy rights of participants in the discussion, anonymity is ensured by substituting their names with the acronym that corresponds to their category: Partners (P), Stakeholders (STH) and Academic-Stakeholders (ASTH) plus a number that uniquely identifies them.

 

TF2. Memory and identities

Academic Presentation

Keynote speech by Dominique Poulot, “Is the invention of memories necessary to identities?

Complementary contribution by Ramón Máiz, “Culture, identity and politics” (synopsis of the paper by Jasper Chalcraft)

Discussion

A discussion among Partners (P), Stakeholders (STH) and Academic-Stakeholders (ASTH) took place after the academic presentation of this thematic field focusing on the issue of identities and the narratives that configure them.

STH10: The difference between identity as a normative construct on the one hand, and the positivistic fact of a community from the perspective of an outsider on the other hand, creates a dilemma. So, most non-Europeans consider European identity to exist, even if some Europeans might question it.

P7: A central feature of identity is that it’s a narrative we tell about ourselves, but such narratives constantly change. Some want to scrap the concept of identity because it’s too confused and contested. But despite this, the idea is likely to return, even though when returning it might be called something else. Whatever we call it, it’s about how individuals or collectivities tell stories about themselves.

ASTH1: Identity should be the thing to be explained and not the explanation, although on the extreme right this is not how people think about identity.

P7: A fact about identity is that it isn’t always clear that it is totally constructed. We have to assume some sort of continuity, and narratives may provide this, even if the narrative is illusory.

P14: The conversion into heritage of nearly all features of national culture is very striking. The evolution of this since the Second World War or the 60s is worth considering because it appears historically novel.

STH5: Challenging accepted narratives according to experiences of minorities can be very distressing and release real political tensions throughout an entire society. Academics should be sensitive to this when, for example, parents and teachers teach history. Citizenship education is something that can be used to deal with this.

ASTH1: Sometimes we need to free ourselves from history. The burden of history can be too profound for a society to bear in some circumstances.

P15: Returning to themes of narrative discussed before: Some people these days speak about the importance of audience engagement in the construction of culture. We should also think about how heritage can be managed in a participatory fashion. These two lines of though should be better integrated.

P8: Also interesting to think about ethno-politics in settler societies, like Maoris in New Zealand, who have claimed cultural property and requested the return of articles from museums. But this could be extremely controversial in non-settler societies.

P15: Narratives can’t be exclusively claimed by institutions. They often belong to others.

 

AXIS 2. CULTURAL INCLUSION

TF3. Inclusion and identities

Academic Presentation

Keynote speech by Anna Triandafyllidou, “European Identity: What kind of diversity into what form of unity?”

Complementary contribution by Michal Buchowski, “Multiculturalism and tolerance: a view from central Europe”

Discussion

A discussion among Partners (P), Stakeholders (STH) and Academic-Stakeholders (ASTH) took place after the academic presentation of this thematic field focusing on the following issues: (1) The problem of cultural relativism in shaping identities; (2) The need to build a new framework to define identities from a pluralistic point of view; (3) The role of cultural symbols as cohesive elements in the definition of identities; (4) The role of artists in the definition of symbols that functions as integrating elements; (5) The need for cultural institutions to play an important role in promoting inclusive values.

P10: Cultural relativism in Europe – is it the death of EU identity? The role of EU is not to forget his/her identity: to keep history, and to refuse cultural relativism. This is part of a long debate: Religion, the role of the immigrants. What kind of transition does Europe have? Is European identity a bureaucratic identity?

P9: Dynamics (discussed in Anna’s paper) have led to many effects, such as the emergence of regional nationalism. Ideological dynamism is now pessimistic: the end of Europe. Anna wrote about the potential of a new frame. Emergence of multi-cultural discourse (Canada, other countries). It is important to state the importance of culture and symbols in new Europe. We should get rid of this feeling of guilt, as it does not work and is counterproductive. These new frames have been used by national identities: Catalans, Scottish – who want to take advantage of these new frames. Poland is similar to France: hostile to migrants / refugees: exist a crude vision of the other. France has an experience of migration: lives in a mutli-cultural society since 70/80 years: yet migration still very complex. It would be interesting to think how art can play a role in the definition of symbols.

ASTH3: Makes a comparison with Europe and the construction of nation states 100 years ago: there existed similar tensions. Maybe we can learn from history? Inequality in social and political terms: In which way was this legitimated? Who benefits from it? How are contradictions dealt with in the construction of nation states? In the 19th Century there were very strong tensions: Rich poor, socialism, capitalism. This could prove useful when thinking about today. Why do nation states try to homogenise societies? Is there a need for a uniform nation to legitimise democratic power? Citizens with full / non-full citizenship: Similar to the 19th Century : Who was allowed to vote – men/women? Who had the right to higher education? Full citizenship was not granted. Examples can be used to try to analyse today’s immigrant situation/minorities. The system used to hide this inequality. If we are successful in building a new EU identity we will solve some of the problems from nation states from 100 years ago. Each nation state: language, values, traditions, music, landscape, religious practices: traditions were clear. Culture was a useful tool for building this national identity. Today this is not a useful tool: artists are much more individualistic. What do EU people share? What classical cultural items do we use to identify ourselves?

STH3: We get stuck in distinction: Whether to approach from cultural / political angle. This can get problematic. Young people identify with Beyonce, this then becomes more complicated with Beethoven i.e. the higher up the scale, the lesser identification there is on a broader scale. Germany has a very distinct separation between culture and politics in the federation. Culture is a regional competency. There is still no model to show how this can work: Germany had a model for integration: this did not work. France, La cité: “Me as a citizen being the only one being looked at from the state”: la République. England: groups were identified that got their own autonomy: this did not work either. Therefore it is not sure that we can compare national integration/identity with European integration/identity as it failed everywhere. Instead we could look at democracy and representation between political and cultural realm. People do not feel represented anymore (pessimistic view mentioned earlier) but at the same time, there is a chance to see where the real change mechanisms are: bottom up: via institutions, NGOs, civil society. Currently the institutions that shape identity: e.g. Poland museum of the Jews – are still very nationalistic, similarly in Amsterdam: a lot of Dutch glory. These institutions should unify and not separate us, therefore there is an institutional failure. However, this is where the real change mechanism is (not at the political now popular culture level). There could be some policy/support formulated from this project. Two things for the agenda – democratic representation and the role of institutions.

ASTH4: Europeans look for core values, which can be promoted by institutions. There are many elements of popular culture that have not been mentioned that Europeanise people. E.g. the football league: people travel across Europe. Internal mobility, Erasmus students, Eurovision. Should try to distinguish between soft communication that goes on despite other debates that take place. There is always a relationship of power. Who is gaining, losing something in this process.

P5: The role of the elites: Intelligence in the building of EU identity. Should question how this is taking place and by whom (top-down). EU public sphere is monopolised. However, there are also new actors: Civil society, which now even has a role in the economic sphere via economic activities. A new type of artists and creators has emerged which are concerned in transformative powers of what they produce. It used to be more institutional before these new actors came along. Dividing and separating so clearly political and cultural identities is not possible whilst power still plays a role.

P12 question to P5: Artists and their transformative power: How does this relate to Europe? What should be added is that for many Europe is irrelevant, it is not a question.

STH 3: We should look at the roles of the elites. In the Netherlands, the elites did fail and do not represent the country. Otherness as such is not incorporated in the elites. Privilege is protected.

P5: Artists meet in a collective community, which does use the EU identity in a sort of instrumental way described in Anna’s paper, as a device to achieve something.

They use the other EU citizens as a contrast, they want to compare with what others are doing. They also refer to the supranational identity. National level is sometimes a lost level – lost too many battles at this level, therefore they look to the supranational.

ASTH3: Idea of who wins and who are the lobby groups? There is not a homogenous approach. Supranational level could be a common space for minority groups. There is instrumentalism, however, all groups are using this tool. Why do elites welcome this mobility and when? Who deals with the contradictions? What kind of local space / shared values do we want? What is the use of cultural identities today? In a globalised world? We share many labels of identity. There are not simple symmetric identities and we use them: in favour of self-interest, rational and irrational.

 

TF4. Inclusion and heritage

Academic Presentation

Keynote speech by Jean-Louis Fabiani and Nasser Suleiman Gabryel, “Can New Cultural Institutions and Policies Contribute to the Equalization of Conditions in Europe? Cultural legitimacy, heritage and identity politics”

Complementary contribution by Emmanuel Negrier and Lluis Bonet, “Participation in Arts & Heritage and Its Policy Implications. Preliminary Reflections

 

Discussion

A discussion among Partners (P), Stakeholders (STH) and Academic-Stakeholders (ASTH) developed after the academic presentation of this thematic field focused on the following issues: (1) Participation and empowerment of minorities / migrants; (2) European culture as an element of legitimacy; (3) The power relationship in the definition of cultural policies targeting a more active participation of citizens and minorities / migrants.

STH3: With regards to the first presentation which spoke of the multiple memories in a single society, and whom recognises whom, this can be linked directly to the question of participation. With regards to the second presentation: the question of empowerment is important as you do not pass on power, it has to be taken. There are a lot of museum initiatives in the Netherlands that want to work with communities – but these are often a window dressing. An event that divided the country in recent years: Black Peter tradition. One young black artist designed a t-shirt that said ‘Black Peter is Racism’ and was imprisoned. This started a debate that polarised the discussion. Many thought this was an innocent children’s event. If a community by itself tries to take power to challenge existing traditions this can lead to debate/ be challenged. Two weeks ago there was a state of the union where the king reads out the declaration of the government. The carriage that the king arrives in has scenes painted on it of the colonial past. When it comes to consciously deciding on what our commemoration looks like, the talk of participation is suddenly silent, because real participation means losing power.

P12 asks ASTH3: How does the research fit into European identity? Question to P9 – Do you see European identity as a legitimacy device?

P9 in response to P12’s question: Although there may have been a shift in the central authority being the legitimate authority, STH3’s comment shows that power still plays a role. How can a cultural public sphere be constructed? A new legitimate Europe would be a new type of legitimacy, in the form of a new type of authority. Empowerment means the de-empowerment of others (through the equalisation of conditions) – for the dominant this could be damaging, but for Europe this could be possible.

ASTH3: The aim of the paper is not European culture – but a reflection on how we build and analyse the strategies of Europe. Cultural policy is a European invention.  Politicians should think at local, regional, national level (taking into account the cultural paradigms mentioned in his paper). The levels of tension need to be taken into account: The local decisions taken benefit the local, the national benefits the national. In Europe – most of the decisions are influenced by European lobbies, which defend their own interests: We need to be aware of this for the cultural sector: who will be the influence at the EU level? Only the major corporations? Maybe some unions if they are strong enough to have a voice at the EU level, but never local groups and voices. If we want to defend diverse culture in Europe, we must defend this at the local level.

ASTH2: Participation tends to happen at a local level, this does not mean that it does not inform the state agents. Local level planning has extended to national museums. We should not create dichotomy that participation does not work, there are many different levels of state, and they do talk to each other. Technology creates a space (maybe not true citizen empowerment), but a line of dialogue, which goes between local, regional, national and EU levels. New circles of empowerment are created.

P10: What is the role of EU identity? Historical process after World War II and fall of Berlin Wall: Europe is organised with a middle-upper class model – for social security, democratisation of culture, schools. This model is historically limited for 40 years. The question for Europe identity actually emerged after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, globalisation and the destruction of social models. Popular classes became frightened by globalisation, there is no popular class uprising, did not see Europe as protective EU identity – before World War II (end of the 19th Century), European civilisation was talked about with a pessimistic point of view. After World War II many writers said that European civilisation was ‘immortal’. Question of EU identity came after the fall of wall as the model of the middle class had collapsed.

ASTH3: I want to highlight that the scheme of our paper does not work for all EU countries. E.g. Spain had a dictatorship until 1975. There is a need to talk inside Europe about the Western part of Euro centrism. What kind of examples are we explaining European situations? Germany weak in cultural policies (mainly England, France), does not build paradigms. P9 comments that Germany is strong at building institutions. And asks why cultural paradigms matter, if they do not work? It is important to open a discussion about internal biases.

P10: Muslims are like Roman barbarians. History of the decline of the Roman Empire and the role of Roman civilisation. The barbarians do not have the West as a model. Radicalisation is a process of legalisation outside of the West (another model). Muslims born in Europe: integration into society does not work, young people from this minority dream about Qatar, Saudi Arabia, not about Europe – this is a big challenge. In the same context in public discourse in Europe the talk is of Europe identity.

P9: Does not fully agree with P10’s point, as this is only the case for some minorities. Syrians for examples are currently going to Germany northern Europe. These new Islamist are closer to western technologies and are using this against the West. They are greater experts on new technologies for videos and spreading images, than on the Coran.

P10: Westernisation against the West: the key political ideology of Islam is that ‘Islam modernised modernity, not a modernised Islam’.

 

AXIS 3. CULTURAL CREATIVITY

TF5. Creativity and identities

Academic Presentation

Keynote by Arturo Rodríguez Morató and Matías I. Zarlenga, “How does cultural diversity contribute to cultural creativity in Europe?”

Complementary contribution by Nikos Papastergiadis, “Multicultural arts and cultural citizenship: a view from Australia”

 

Discussion

A discussion among Partners (P), Stakeholders (STH) and Academic-Stakeholders (ASTH) followed the academic presentation of this thematic. It revolved around these two main issues: (1) The need to conceptualize cultural creativity beyond the economic framework; (2) The importance to analyse cultural creativity processes in peripheral or non-urban areas taking into account the difficulties that situation creates with respect to connectivity.

STH13: Questioned what cultural creativity in Europe means today. She spoke about five dilemmas: innovation and creativity being accepted as a paradigm of progress (growing criticism of this); problems with definitions of cultural creativity; concept is lesser developed than others; how can public institutions provide spaces for radical creative thinking to flourish? Emphasis on processes – cultural creativity as an environment where creative processes can emerge.

ASTH6: Agrees that we need to be careful and take an active role in how concepts are defined. There is a tendency to measure things in terms of economic value. How can we develop ways to measure intangible value?

P13: Talks about breaking boarders in creativity (referring back to “radical creative thinking”) and potentially offending and being censured. What to do with this risk? Only some institutions can afford this risk. We need guidelines on what is offensive and what are the consequences.

Again language was referred to – the term “creativity” being interpreted in different ways depending on the person. Stretching of the term to cover new media such as gaming? The official EC definition of culture and creative sectors relates to goods and services not cultural practices.

STH6: Mentioned impact of migrants in rural areas.

P13: Mentioned potential for horizontal networks bypassing large cities and connecting smaller urban centers.

P11: Talked about connectivity limitations in rural areas or outside big urban centers and how creativity still tends to move towards larger cities like London. What do we miss by only focusing on urban areas?

TF6. Creativity and heritage

Academic Presentation

Keynote speech by Philip Schlesinger, “Creative Europe? Culture, economy and policy in the EU”

Complementary contribution by Volker Kirchberg, The (Un-)Sustainability of Creative Cities?

Discussion

A discussion among Partners (P), Stakeholders (STH) and Academic-Stakeholders (ASTH) followed the academic presentation of this thematic field with a focus on these issues: (1) Emphasise the need to generate new cultural indicators to measure and value the cultural heritage and also to better understand the place of ecology in the cultural creativity process; (2) The role of civil society in culture activities.

STH14: Talked about the importance of indicators for managing information and explaining to policy making institutions how culture can be a value. The importance of making partnerships with other sectors was also mentioned as being useful.

ASTH5: Discussed the role of civil society in culture (especially in the US cities like Detroit and Baltimore). Not necessarily translatable to Europe because the public sector funds culture and creativity in Europe, so they also have more say in defining it.

STH13: Talked about the need for a holistic understanding of heritage and for it to be seen as more of a process. We need to understand how to value heritage. The economic side is better understood than the social.

P11: Agreed Heritage is referred to in the papers in a theoretical way. Need to get a more lateral conversation going. Ecology concept – what does mapping ecology onto creativity mean? Is it dangerous to talk about this in EU at the moment?

ASTH5: Talked about museums as actors of social change.

Stakeholders Sessions

Three Practitioners and Policy Stakeholders Sessions (SS) – one per project axis – followed the six initial Academic Sessions. Each SS consisted of two-hours sessions each centred on the views and contributions of non-academic stakeholders. Mediators summarized any contribution received from Stakeholders via the website. The SS were co-chaired by axis leaders and Stakeholders mediators.

Stakeholders were invited to address and share with other participants the following two questions:

  1. What is your reaction to the issues included in the Discussion Papers and to what extent do you relate to those issues in your specific field?
  2. Can you identify other relevant issues existing in your field with regard to the Project axis in which you participate?

Objective: Assessment of issues raised in the AS.

Participants: Partners, Academic Stakeholders, Stakeholders, Mediators, and Academic Assistants.

Roles: Partners who are Axis Leaders coordinate the session together with the Mediators; Mediators (coordinate the session together with Axis Leaders; they include the issues raised by Stakeholders in the AS and facilitate the participation of Stakeholders); Academic Assistants address the issues raised by the academics in the AS; Stakeholders assess and select the issues they and the academics raised in the AS.

Dynamic: Axis Leaders and Mediators are co-chairs / the Academic Assistants present a schematic summary of issues raised by scholars in the AS / Mediators also schematically reformulate the issues introduced by Stakeholders in the AS and use it as a starting point for the Stakeholders’ assessment discussion. This discussion would be aimed, firstly, to the assessment of the connections among the various issues and secondly to their relative social and political importance. It would be structured as follows: firstly the two groups of Stakeholders (practitioners and policy-makers) take the floor with the facilitation of Mediators and second scholars take the floor facilitated by the Axis Leader.

Inputs: List of issues (academic and linked to specific areas of action).

Outputs: Two documents that capture the assessment of academic and non-academic issues raised.