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:
- To identify and select the main issues to be further studied and discussed within each axis.
- To evaluate the practical connections between those issues and their relative importance with regards to the wider fields included in Cultural Base.
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:
- Michal Buchowski, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland
- Volker Kirchberg, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany
- Ramón Máiz, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain
- Emmanuel Negrier, University of Montpellier, France
- Nikos Papastergiadis, University of Melbourne, Australia
- 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:
- Santiago Arroyo, President FIBICC – Fundación Iberoamericana de las Industrias Culturales y Creativas (member of ENCACT – European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centers), Barcelona, Spain
- Luca Bergamo, Secretary General CAE – Culture Action Europe, Brussels, Belgium
- Ngaire Blackenberg, Partner Lord Consulting, Barcelona, Spain
- Francesc Casadesús, Director Mercat de les Flors, Barcelona, Spain
- Cornelia Dümcke, Director Culture Concepts, Berlin, Germany
- Lars Ebert, Senior Advisor “ELIA – The European League of Institutes of the Arts”, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Karol Frühauf, Res Artis (Director of Bridge Guard Art / Science Residence Centre), Bratislava, Slovakia
- Peter Inkei, Director Budapest Observatory, Budaörs, Hungary
- Gabriele Mazza, former Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France
- Eduard Miralles, President Interarts Foundation for international cultural cooperation, Barcelona, Spain
- Jordi Pascual, Coordinator Culture Committee UCLG – United Cities and Local Governments, Barcelona, Spain
- Mark O’Neill, Director Policy & Research Glasgow Life, Glasgow, Scotland
- Ferdinand Richard, Director Belle de Mai, Marseille, France
- 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:
- 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.
- Gerard Delanty and Jasper Chalcraft, University of Sussex, United Kingdom.
- Jean-Louis Fabiani and Nasser Suleiman Gabryel, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
- Philip Schlesinger, Centre for Cultural Policy Research, University of Glasgow, Scotland.
- Anna Triandafyllidou, Ruby Gropas and Sabrina Marchetti, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Italy.
- Dominique Poulot, Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France.
- 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:
- 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:
- Mercedes Giovinazzo, Interarts for CULTURAL MEMORY
- Rocío Nogales Muriel, University of Barcelona for CULTURAL INCLUSION
- Jordi Alomar Payeras, University of Barcelona for CULTURAL CREATIVITY
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 color coding of the various axes is maintained throughout the workshop documents mirroring the project visual identity in order to facilitate recognition and navigation.
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
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”
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.
TF2. Memory and identities
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)
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.
 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.
AXIS 2. CULTURAL INCLUSION
TF3. Inclusion and identities
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”
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
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”
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
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”
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
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?”
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.
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:
- 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?
- 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.
|AXIS 3. CULTURAL CREATIVITY
SS-1: Research and policy issues on cultural creativity
Chair: Arturo Rodríguez Morató, University of Barcelona
Mediator: Jordi Alomar Payeras, University of Barcelona
Academic assistant: Matías Zarlenga, University of Barcelona
Matías Zarlenga and Jordi Alomar Payeras reviewed the main points raised during the AS the previous day.
The discussion among Partners (P), Stakeholders (STH), Academic-Stakeholders (ASTH), and Advisory Board (AB) after the opening remarks focused on the following issues: (1) The difficulties in cooperation between academics and stakeholders; (2) The importance of creating a framework and common indicators to rethink the concept of creativity and its measurement.
- Difficulties in cooperation between academics and stakeholders (mainly practitioners) particularly with regard to their interests, objectives, terminology and methods to communicate their work.
AB1: In the UK, academics in the cultural field are under great pressure to create “impact”. This makes stakeholders essential. Many structural, artistic and creative issues arise when interacting with stakeholders, and we need to think about these. Main struggle as an academic is to build bridge between activists and the general public. All worried about impact in the UK – have to show that academics are having an impact. How do you create an interface/dialogue between academic and stakeholders? How do you overcome the structure, artistic, creative issues? More likely to work bottom up than top down.
STH8: As a consultant, understanding academic work and finding some practical application for it at a daily level is very difficult. It is quite inaccessible to non-academics, in terms of both access and understanding the terminology. Issue of communication is key. Mental effort to use frameworks, papers – very difficult to use – language, websites, glossary. In order to measure impact, there is a need to understand it/be able to access it.
P11: This point came up yesterday in his session: how to access findings. Academics, when publishing, address a particular audience, but there’s no good reason why rendering academic work into more accessible language shouldn’t be possible. Academic work needs to be accessible to all and practitioner demands for this are reasonable.
ASTH5: He’s sceptical about the clean divide between academics and practitioners. As an empirical sociologist dealing with arts and urban development, he deals with people daily about the causes and consequences of their activity, and draws on theoretical ideas when doing so. On one hand, he sees it as necessary to talk to the practitioners and to incorporate their views. Looks at causes, consequences and then looks at the theoretical background. On the other hand, he can see the problems of translating work between various fields – happens across the board. This should be the objective of these meetings. Should not split to two groups but see relationship/linkages.
ASTH6: Academic and stakeholders (specially practitioners) don’t really disagree about terminology and understand each other fine, but diverge about how to use ideas. He tries to reconcile academic ideas, policy decisions and actors immersed in their own daily life on the ground in his work. One of the problems he often encounters s that policies seem to reinforce national structure, while people on the ground tend to connect up and work across national boundaries.
STH8 disagrees with ASTH5 and ASTH6. Most studies about policy-making decisions come from the media and not from academics. So communication between academics and stakeholders really does need to be improved.
P12 disagrees with STH8. Many academics are as precarious as artists. It’s not always possible to go back to the people your study, and not always possible for academics to play all roles.
ASTH3: Academics, stakeholders, and politicians – all have different ways of obtaining information. Politicians: ask cultural corporations struggle with academics because academics tend to have a larger scope of interests and to think more historically and less pragmatically. Professionals, like politicians, tend to read the media more and academics less. Academics should both do good research and try to disseminate their research on more popular platforms like social media.
STH5: The academic world is split between those who know how to communicate and those who do not. It’s perfectly possible to use the well-formulated academic work. The only problem is that academics don’t all have this skill. It’s also up to policy makers to have the skills to understand academic work.
STH8: Can we not all agree that there needs to be a common form of communication that bridges all worlds?
P9: Artists are way less comprehensible than most academics. The idea that academics live in an ivory tower is a canard that is too easily accepted.
P1: Obviously developing a dialogue between everyone is difficult. Academics are learning to improve on this. We need to reconcile disparate methodologies in academic work and then to create common dialogue, with a view to producing research agendas (and not policies), though academic work can of course be made relevant to practice. The first step needs to be to assess the state of existing knowledge, but letting stakeholders provide critical views at the outset allows for good conversation. This is the point of a workshop like the present one. First step it to look at what has been done, what knowledge has been generated on these issues. The intention was to open space for stakeholders to give their views.
P7: Academics are involved in teaching and this is very communicative. The problem academics confront is reconciling different disciplinary fields, and this affects their ability to communicate.
STH9: Academics seem to be too defensive. The idea that we need better communication for practical work should be taken more seriously. Academics and policy makers tend to share similar values: truth is significant, insight creates change, faith in Enlightenment progress, etc. For communication to improve we need to make these values explicit and render them simple enough. Engaging with theory is very important. In the papers – the underlying theories that are missing.
STH3: The Bauhaus idea of artist as communicator in modern world is very appealing. But in practice it is really difficult to secure, at least from his experience in the Netherlands. Also, the art world is split between condemning the neoliberal world and also assimilating neoliberal language in order to beat neoliberals at their own game. So we find things like artists developing their own indicators of success, like commercial success, which is very perplexing. What he would like to find personally is a language for people like him to beat artists at this game.
ASTH6: Going back to the issue of indicators, the challenge is to develop indicators that are derived from cultural values, instead of relying on things like economic indicators. But in doing this academics need to know what institutions and artists want to measure in the first place.
STH4: The academic debate lacks the theoretical background to reconcile hyper-fragmented discourses through general theory.
P15: Academics have struggled to create ways for assessing whether the sustainable development goals for 2020 have been met.
STH9: Health and well-being is something that tends to get neglected in discussions of culture that are more concerned with things like identity. Cultural activity can also create connections between people that are very valuable in terms of fostering valuable social connections.
STH4 agrees with STH9: The problem is that people look at things like economic indicators instead of human development.
- The importance of elaborating both a new framework and common indicators to rethink the concept of cultural creativity and its measurement beyond its direct economic applicability in terms of innovation.
P3: We might need to concentrate more on the issues of creativity in this discussion. We need to think about the specifics of artistic creativity, and creativity overall, in our time. Shouldn’t we better distinguish between innovation, which produces something new, and creativity? More specifically, innovation creates something new with a clear purpose. We should distinguish this from creativity, with the latter as something open-ended that develops against a certain historical context and under given conditions but possesses no immediate goals.
STH2: Politicians have to decide between fostering culture and creativity on the one hand, and on the other more practical political concerns. We need to keep this in mind.
ASTH6: Relating back to P3’s statement about issues of creation and innovation: the authority of artists as innovators or as creators has lost much of its appeal in contemporary society. So both functions of the artist need to be reconceptualised, e.g. creating empathy, curiosity, cosmopolitanism, etc. So academics need to find a way of expressing and measuring this.
STH13: We need to talk not just about new models, but also to really understand what cultural creativity means. It’s an environment in which other ways of doing things emerges.
P9: We should have perhaps started with papers by the stakeholders. Academics may be poorly equipped to conceptualise contemporary ideas of creation. Stakeholders keep expressing a desire to go back to general theory and academics should take note of this.
P11: There seems to be a different way of talking about the legitimacy of culture emerging these days. So much of the debate about culture has been about what it is legitimate to recognise. This sphere has shrunk along with the growth of economic thinking and the commercialisation of everything.
STH10: About creativity and innovation: we are becoming too purpose-driven. E.g. impact research should not just be about advocacy but also about understanding things.
ASTH6: There seem to be two clear demands arising in this discussion: 1: clear indicators, and 2: more unified theory. This is paradoxical because academics are challenged by multiplicity or fragmentation. This debilitates judgement and makes it hard to integrate measurements into a unified and coherent narrative. The desire to get both right verges on being utopian.
STH2: Development and integration are too homogenising, and may reduce cultural diversity. So we need to formulate theory that lets us solve this problem and translate it into political terms.
STH9: He thinks they have spoken too little about accountability. How does this apply to people like publically funded artists? He also thinks that academics need to be more sensitive to demands for evidence, while recognising that this demand may be neoliberal. The solution may be to return to value-based indicators. In this way we can provide both critique and affirmation.
STH13: Many European member states have overly large sets of cultural policies. People tend to ignore other values that are non-cultural or to assimilate these to culture.
P13 returning to the theme of authoritativeness, accountability. etc.: The Justification for the value of creation and innovation in both the arts and the sciences is not invariably instrumental and economistic. E.g. there is a move to make funding like that of the European Research Council deliberately focus on the inherent value of research and not on its instrumental worth.
|AXIS 2. CULTURAL INCLUSION
SS-2: Research and policy issues on cultural inclusion
Chair: Anna Triandafyllidou, European University Institute
Mediator: Rocío Nogales Muriel, University of Barcelona
The dynamic of the discussion among Partners (P), Stakeholders (STH), Academic-Stakeholders (ASTH), and Advisory Board (AB) was structured according to three topics presented as questions:
Topic 1: What does it mean to be European to you? And, what is European culture?
Topic 2: Does European identity have the potential for minority inclusion?
Topic 3: For stakeholders, is European culture relevant for you in your daily work? For academics: Do you think European culture relevant for these stakeholders?
Participants of this Stakeholder Session were divided into different groups to allow a more in-depth discussion of the three abovementioned topics.
Discussion topic 1: What does it mean to be European to you? And, what is European culture?
AB1: She’s happy to be European. European culture is composed of many distinct cultural sources. European identity is a warm identity as a Post Second World War West German, which was always a complicated identity. European culture is a completely open concept.
STH10: He finds it more interesting to consider what non-Europeans think about European culture. There seems to be a performative part of Europe that either benefits or harms others. But he believes that openness and tolerance to those within Europe is its most characteristic feature.
STH9: He seldom encounters European identities among those he works with. In a EU festival – did not feel there was a sense of European identity.
P11: Class differentiation is very European. The migrant crisis has also dramatically brought questions about European identity to the fore.
ASTH2: European identity is very conflictual. The history of many conflicts and the knowledge of this may be all that underpin the European identity.
P8 and STH3: Accepting ambiguity is part of European identity. This entails valuing some things and not others.
STH2: Not all Europeans see things the same way. Youth in French suburbs like to separate themselves out from Europeans in a very deliberate way. They feel they belong to families and to global networks but they lack a national identity and also lack a European identity.
ASTH5: The further away from Europe, the more I felt like a European. At the same time – this is not a representative sample of Europeans in this room. Many have actually begun to vote for nationalist parties, drawn to the right.
Discussion topic 2: Does European identity have the potential for minority inclusion?
P7: We need to think of both “high” and “low” culture. European identity seems to be more about rights and what it means to be the bearer of rights.
ASTH6 and STH13: Europe as a positive ideal has something to do with its capacity to produce spaces of cultural intimacy. Even small European cities have the capacity to sustain a vibrant cultural life. There appears to be nothing on this scale on other continents. These civic spaces might be exclusionary in reality, but they are imagined as inclusionary. There are now darker experiences, like border management: Frontex is mapping the movements of migrants and security forces in real time. Global economic polarisation is now far more intense than in the past.
P13: We need to look back for more participatory and democratic forms of inclusion in history. We can look back into European history, and also beyond. And we need to look at material items of culture and not just idealisations. We need to determine items of cultural heritage (can recuperate some from the past and include new ones).
STH10: European identity can be used for both inclusion and exclusion. Depends on political culture. Identification is really constructed through mobilising various aspects of history. E.g. inclusion in some societies happens against the background of exclusionary history.
STH4: Europe can be seen as the first attempt to create peace outside of the process of conquest. Is the EU project able to be open to diversity? The moment it becomes an identity, this can then be challenged.
STH3: No one referred to the Holocaust. Here the exclusion led to extinction. Now we are Europeans we are interested in overcoming the past. If we discuss the painful narratives from the past this may lead to a positive discussion of where we are today and would like to be.
P12, closing remarks: Race, ethnicity, religion, etc. has strangely been neglected in the conversation here. More focused on border control, migration shows the shift in the debate today.
Discussion topic 3: For stakeholders: Is European culture relevant for you in your daily work? For academics: Do you think European culture is relevant for these stakeholders?
STH5 and P9: European culture is relevant. Europe has a major mandate for making cultural interventions into heritage as part of the project or constructing a unified Europe from the 1950s onwards. Civil society and non-governmental institutions encouraged networks for cultural intervention in the 1970s and 1980s. There has also been a lot of state intervention at multiple administrative levels. There has also been a lot of support for cultural initiatives like the Erasmus Programme.
STH1: There is not yet a cultural centre that can counter-balance nationalism in other parts of the world. At least not legally. So the existence of this in Europe seems positive.
STH8 and AB1: They considered how mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion function in daily practice of cultural inclusion. They decided these were: Language; Who gets funding; What is the staff makeup; What access is there to education in schools; Outreach by public institutions; Visitor access and accountability backed up by data; Networks: how often do we network with others; Engagement with the media.
STH14: Working internationally is part of his daily work, so European culture is relevant for him.
STH2: People can create their own cultural systems quite easily. The real question is under what conditions this is accepted by those in power. He fears that equal dignity is easily compromised through attempts at cultural integration that try to bring in disadvantaged groups. The issue of who is allowed to be an artist and who not has a complex politics attached to it.
P12, closing remarks: How do you bring European culture to marginalised groups without undermining minority groups? Political issue: Who is worthy for being an artist?
SS-3: Research and policy issues on cultural memory
Chairs: Gerard Delanty and Jasper Chalcraft, University of Sussex
Mediator: Mercedes Giovinazzo, Interarts
Jasper Chalcraft offered an overview of the paper he and Gerard Delanty delivered in the Academic Session. They argued that the emphasis on the transnationalisation of heritage was to try to discern where the main shifts occur, because “heritagisation” is a big part of what is happening both at the level of government and among modern citizens. They are also interested in the dark side of heritage. He posed a general question to all Partners (P), Academics Stakeholders (ASTH), Advisory Board (AB) and Stakeholders (STH) present in the session: Is it good to look for common ground in conflict situations through appeal to neutral forms of heritage (e.g. Bruce Lee)? Then all participants were asked to form into discussion groups and to discuss three questions:
Question 1: Does heritage today only have a dark side?
Question 2: What kind of narratives of history should be encouraged?
Question 3: Does “unity in diversity” mean anything to you?
Question 1: Does heritage today only have a dark side?
Group 1, consensus view: Heritage is necessarily damaging when its imposed, otherwise it is not necessarily harmful.
Group 2, consensus view: They considered monuments, and agreed that they could both help and harm, depending on how they were used in any given historical context.
P10: Bruce Lee clubs became very valuable in reconciling disparate groups in transition in Middle Eastern societies.
P7: Do memories need to be a focus today? How can the past be commemorated?
P11: Making history official at one point can always be reversed at some point.
ASTH1: He briefly explained his research on the reframing of Portuguese history to project a new image of unified history, in the interests of fortifying political regimes. This is one way of looking at the dark side of all national identities, though this does not mean there is not also an aspect of such identities that can be progressive.
STH8: Memory and heritage, national identity, etc. is so ambivalent, so debating these things in such general terms seems non useful. Should we concede that heritage only has a dark side? Do we then do away with it? All heritage has been funded by someone at some stage and has a particular heritage behind it. Where does the question take us to?
ASTH1 responding to STH8: Creating a dialogue of cultures between the former colonial powers and the colonised is a novel and potentially very useful undertaking, so he does see some use in this. Policy makers have the responsibility to take into account what history/heritage has when taking decisions on national days/monuments etc.
STH3: Growing up in Germany gave him the dark side of every part of the history. Gives him a different perspective when he looks at nationalism etc. in Netherlands. Talking about the dark side of culture is full of potential and is often missing in heritage work.
STH8: What possibilities does this offer us?
ASTH1: The potential here is great. It allows us to bring out dark histories that are still concealed (e.g. Stop doing immigration museums and start opening migration museums).
STH8: She agrees. History is always reframed in the present, but where does this lead us? Also, we need initiatives to expand the reach of heritage to come from outside of Europe. Heritage does not change, but our relationship with heritage changes. The lens changes depending on the period of time, the political relationship at the time – how does this impact heritage?
Question 2: What kind of narratives of history should be encouraged?
STH10: Histories of the disappeared in places like Poland should be recovered.
P14: Museums are part of political life, and libraries, bookshops, etc. are part of economic life. These complexities make it really hard to create general histories.
P7: No historian would want to move away from national narratives. There is too much uncertainty in European history. How is the construction of EU identity then possible without this narrative?
EU representative: Heritagisation needs to be quite critical, which does not follow the critical side. Heritage started as a counter narrative of official narrative, it was a democratic approach. Today we can see that the heritage discourse is becoming omnipresent. This is why Truth Commissions mentioned here are interesting. It would be impossible to have a common EU narrative, but perhaps we can create a very plural conception of history.
ASTH2: Multi-perspective history is necessary. What kind of narratives of history should be discouraged? This would be a good question to ask.
STH5: It’s often easier to agree on what not to include in heritage than to agree on what we in fact should include.
STH2: There is an economic dimension to what historical narratives get told. Over the next 50 years or so we are likely to encounter major contestation over what sorts of histories are disseminated through things like social media
Question 3: Does “unity in diversity” mean anything to you?
P7 (chair): Elaborating on the academic background of the question, accepting the importance of diversity is very common these days, but how do we deal with unity? Is unity to be sacrificed for diversity? If we accept the importance of diversity, what does this mean for unity? Has unity been discredited altogether?
P10: Unity in diversity means flexibility.
STH1: Unity in diversity can be the type of slogan that is used to justify a narrative created by those who won that is then used in order to oppress those who lost. For instance, in Spain, the “Valle de los Caídos” was presented as a monument for reconciliation. This type of thing could easily be presented as a monument to unity in diversity.
P11: He dislikes the slogan, because it conceals all sorts of fundamental problems, like the diverse reasons for secession that have existed over the course of Europe’s history, asymmetrical borders, etc. When Europe is viewed from outside, diversity, incoherence, a lack of political will and of instruments for implementing political decisions all stand out, and a slogan like “unity in diversity” conceals all these things.
STH13: Her group thought that bureaucracy and technocracy in European states constitute a sort of political invisible hand that often gets ignored.
ASTH6 (in the same group, and elaborating on the same point as STH13): The slogan means that component parts are represented in the whole. In principle, this is fully compatible with a commitment to democracy. In practice, however, technocratic forms of decision-making determine from the outset what is possible to do within this nominally democratic framework.
STH11: The museum space that he works in is perpetually used to deconstruct claims to unity.
AB1: elaborating on the same point as STH11, it is possible to see the museum space as the continuing space for debate of the issue of diversity and unity. Reconstruct and de-construct unity moments.
STH4 referring back to the statements by STH13 and ASTH6 about democracy and technocracy: The argument about technocracy, which is very commonly made, seems to him to misrepresent what actually happens within the European Commission. The decisions it makes are indeed reflections of political pressures. Technocracy only becomes a real issue when there is an absence of political pressure. So the problem is, in the first instance, one of the vibrancy of democracy and the real problem is not technocracy but rather the lack of political pressure which allows technocracy to become an issue.
The workshop ended with three consecutive Conclusive Sessions (CS) whose twofold goal was to address the research-policy articulation with respect to each thematic axis, and to identify crucial Thematic Areas to continue the work in the second phase of the Project. These sessions were divided into 15-minute presentations and discussions by Axis Leaders, Practitioners and Policy Stakeholders, and Advisory Board members. Each Axis Leader summarised the reports on the different questions and topics from the corresponding thematic perspective, highlighting main research themes and policy programs within it, and accordingly making a proposal for selecting some crucially important Thematic Areas for research. The ultimate goal was to select 12 of those themes that will constitute the Thematic Areas on which Cultural Base will concentrate in the next phase of the project. Mediators summarized discussions from the corresponding stakeholder session highlighting main research themes from the perspective of practitioners.
Advisory Board members acted as discussants contrasting and evaluating both academic and non-academic views. There was time for structured discussion with the rest of participants in the form of short interventions by other stakeholders and general discussion.
Objective: Selection and prioritization of the issues raised in the AS and SS.
Participants: Partners, Academic Stakeholders, Stakeholders, Mediators, academic assistants and Advisory Board members.
Roles: Partners who are Axis Leaders present a synthesis of academic research approaches; Mediators present a summary of the issues and assessments made by the Stakeholders; Advisory Board members contrast and assess the academic and non-academic visions.
Dynamic: Axis Leaders present a synthesis of academic research approaches; then Mediators present a summary of the research issues from the Stakeholders perspective; and lastly, Advisory Board members act as discussants. A general discussion ensues.
Inputs: Documents with the assessment of the issues raised (academic and non-academic).
Output: Synthetic revision per axis
CS1. Current challenges in cultural memory research
Chair: Peter Wagner, ICREA-University of Barcelona
Academic keynote speaker: Gerard Delanty, University of Sussex
Practitioners’ mediator: Mercedes Giovinazzo, Interarts
Gerard Delanty summarised the reports on the different questions and topics from the AS and SS related with Memory. He highlighted the following six important themes:
(1) Transnational perspective on heritage, following on from a transnational view of history itself.
(2) What happens when we look at heritage as already transnational.
(3) Looking at heritage and identities as cosmopolitan.
(4) Identity involves narratives, and so too does heritage. So can heritage be discussed in terms of new narratives?
(5) Problem of unity and diversity: Diversity seems to have become far more important than unity.
(6) We now need to identify whether additional perspectives can be formed and challenges identified.
Gerard Delanty also pointed out some questions that appear in the previous debates like:
(1) Whether heritage can also be understood as having a dark side. This seems important if we want to understand heritage as inclusive.
(2) Having multiple narratives of European history. It is easier to agree on what not to include than what does need inclusion.
(3) Transnational history.
(4) Rothberg’s great book “Multi-directional Memory” is very important: holocaust, slavery and Stalinism all considered important, and he’s interested in the way they can be thought of together.
(5) Heritage rites (or rights to recover one’s own history): how can these be negotiated?
After that, there was time for structured discussion with the rest of participants in the form of short interventions by other stakeholders and a general discussion.
STH3: He would appreciate some more explanation of the difference between transnational memories and the inclusion of narratives.
ASTH6: He would like to speak more about the challenges of multiplicities and the formation of a common public sphere. How do we create public spaces and monuments etc., that are inclusive, without expunging other minority histories? Today monuments are increasingly spaces where multiple people from different perspectives engage. Memory, space and monuments have to be rethought.
ASTH6: Perhaps the unity that we have lost sight of comes from the craving to be together and the desire to make sense of shared history, rather than any consensus view of history as expressed in a specific narrative.
SHT13: Heritage has a strong economic dimension. How does the heritage industry deal with these economic issues? She believes not enough has been said about this.
P8: Commercialisation of sites of pain, like Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, is really a key problem that needs to be engaged with more.
P11: Questions of power need to be engaged. There are contending claims that need to be resolved.
STH5: He is very comfortable with the summing-up this morning. But something that hasn’t been mentioned enough is the relationship between religion and how it is tied up with memory and identity. The Council of Europe, when working with diversity in practical ways, was dealing with religion. The main issue was how to create a basic level of literacy about religion in a comparative sense, using the classroom as a sheltered environment in which to do so. He proposes as a useful research question: to explore the transformational potential of the approach being developed here for producing greater understanding in the religious dimension.
ASTH5: What is the level of analysis that people need to work with when doing research? He like the concept “collective memory”, but do we explore this at the level of nations, diasporas, cities, religions, etc. – or all of the above?
STH4: He thinks the discussion has tended to conflate heritage and memory. He wants to know how heritage is used to forge memory. This leads us to think about whose memories we are looking at. We need to ask what relationship we as individuals and groups have with memories.
P7, responding to STH4: Heritage and memory do indeed need to be separated. Heritage transcends specific memories. Memories are selectively incorporated into history.
P3 (here he is filling people in on Bo Stråth’s contribution, as Bo had to cancel his trip at the last minute): Things that have been put on the table include: Contextualisation; transformations in our understanding of heritage and memory as something always in flux. People tend to forget that memory points toward a problem for living together as a collective/community/polity. The problem is that if we focus on the above problems then we find a tension. Many of the debates about memory arise in Europe. The basic assumption was that the dissolutions were of nations and that the result would be a European memory. But this seems to have been mistaken. Seems there are threats to identity that impede the smooth Europeanisation of cultural memory. The problem is not just incorporating difficult memories, but also diversity. The solution so far appears to have been to seize on anodyne cultural references. There also seems to be a move toward abstraction.
STH9: People seem to be paying too little attention to how the nation has failed to disappear as predicted, how cities create attachments, and how things like digital communities are emerging.
STH10, responding to STH13 earlier point about commercialisation: We should distinguish between the economic aspect of culture on the one hand, which is more neutral, and its commercialisation, which is more problematic.
ASTH5: He hasn’t witnessed the commercialisation of heritage in Germany. He sees many curators deliberately avoiding this. There seems to be more of a discussion about history.
P7: Commercialisation can be a form of inclusion.
STH10, clarifying his former point: He’s thinking more about popular culture than about museums and the like.
P8: UN has been very involved in heritage rights
STH8: She thinks that there is more talk of “cultural rights” than of heritage rights.
STH9: He would envision as a good output of all this discussion a set of briefing notes about key topics: current debates on heritage rites, issues to take into account when commissioning historical monuments, etc. Something like a four-page summary of key issues and references to further sources of information would be very useful.
STH4: He’s all for discussing cultural rights in terms of human rights, because this is how the wider discussion is framed.
P15, responding to STH4: SDGs refer to heritage. Culture is not much discussed, and more needs to be done to link this up with human rights.
STH9: She agrees that we need something like the four-page briefing. This is part of the larger problem of reconciling theory and practice.
STH5: We need to think not only about to the right to this or that, but also rights to have no heritage and live existentially in the present.
|AXIS 2. CULTURAL INCLUSION
CS2. Current challenges in cultural inclusion research
Chair: Juan Díez Medrano, Universidad Carlos III
Academic keynote speaker: Anna Triandafyllidou, European University Institute
Practitioners’ mediator: Rocío Nogales Muriel, University of Barcelona
Discussant: Ulrike Hanna Meinhof, Southampton University
Anna Triandafyllidou highlighted the following questions to open the Concluding Session:
(1) Can we say we’ve reached a situation in which the European identity has become a point of reference for other forms of identity?
(2) Do we risk missing the transformative power of the European identity as a binding force by reifying national identities?
(3) If we think about Europe as a transcultural set of processes instead of an assemblage of cultural blocs then, what consequences does this have?
Rocío Nogales Muriel summarised the results of previous debates as important questions to be addressed:
(1) What is the role of European culture in the construction of European identity.
(2) How can a new bottom-up dynamic be supported from a policy level?
(3) How does migration fit into EU identity?
(4) What are the new dynamics? How can we draw new maps so that new claims can be made? In the process of formation of a EU identity, how is inequality in social and political terms legitimated and who benefits from it?
(5) “Symbolic crisis in Europe” How do the cultural policies effect the construction of EU identity? Could EU identity serve as a legitimacy device?
(6) Empowerment – a complex issue – needs to be taken on. Passing on of powers – someone loses power. Technology creates a new space for empowerment, it opens a line of empowerment.
(7) How can a cultural public sphere be constructed? Who is influencing the decisions that are taking place at the EU level?
Ulricke Hanna Meinhof pointed out two interacting topics to carry forward:
(1) Europen borders are constantly being created and recreated, through the removal of borders, but we also see the appearance of new forms of division, e.g. through ethnic enclavism. This is all tied up with cultural processes, and we need to give these connections more thought.
(2) How do we assess inequality? Is culture divided by class, or do we need to begin talking about taste cultures etc., and thinking about cultural capital? If we speak of transcultural capital rather than cultural capital, and understand transcultural capital as something carried by migrants and immigrants (e.g. through language, music etc.), then how does this translate into economic capital?
She also offered a suggestion for organizing the next conference. Institutionalisation makes collaboration between academics and stakeholders become quite hard, could have discussion papers by duos – participants/academics (creates a debate structure prior to the conference, rather than debating on the spot).
STH8 gave some question to the panel for further elaboration of themes: (1) Who identifies with Europe? How is this identification expressed? (2) What are the instruments of inclusion and exclusion in culture and how can they be influenced? (3) What about the political economy of culture?
STH9: Concept of European values – concern with the British prime minister talking about British values. How are universal human rights realised in distinct ways within Europe and within European cultural institutions (Sen, Human capabilities). Question about the ethics of judging what is good and bad culture. Fear of non-European minorities is that they do not subscribe to the core values that make EU society work.
ASTH6: He has been very impressed by the Silent university – a collective of artists. They have used the Tate etc. as a platform for public engagement by migrants who are not credited for their qualifications. University creates dialogue for these people, where they can exchange services, to activate these skills informally, to stimulate a discussion about qualification recognition, the transfer or skills and knowledge. This can stimulate public debate about recognition and values, and different initiatives like this can link up and have a beneficial social effect. Transnational capital could perhaps be a good way of thinking about initiatives like this.
ASTH3: When working with refugees, or with people developing libraries, he found that such people feel they are constantly improvising. They lack a shared European identity. They tend to want practical help from researchers and not to be concerned with any theory of European identity. There is not a theoretical framework they can work with. EU identity is far away from the general public. A move from theoretical approaches to conceptual framework is needed.
P5: It is our responsibility to identify future trends, think long-term, that will be relevant further down the line. Theorisation of these issues is meant to have a long-term benefit, so it’s not always of immediate practical use.
AB1: Identity and identification are not always positive. There’s a huge amount of in-grouping and out-grouping, and self-contradiction, in empirical research, and theory needs to help us formulate a way of dealing with this.
|AXIS 3. CULTURAL CREATIVITY
CS 3. Current challenges in cultural creativity research
Chair: Mercedes Giovinazzo, Interarts
Academic keynote speaker: Arturo Rodríguez Morató, University of Barcelona
Practitioners’ mediator: Jordi Alomar Payeras, University of Barcelona
Discussant: Nikos Papastergiadis, University of Melbourne
Arturo Rodríguez Morató offered a quick summary of the papers presented during the Creativity Academic Stakeholder session. Firstly, he pointed out the main focus of the two first papers: the relationship between diversity and creativity, and multicultural relations and creativity. Secondly, he highlighted that the two second papers focused on the current hegemonic discourse on cultural creativity, which has an economic stance. Particularly, Volker Krichberg’s paper criticizes this paradigm at the urban level and argues for alternatives and a more sustainable paradigm.
Jordi Alomar Payeras, first summarised the mains topics of the Stakeholder Session’s discussion and pointed out the following conclusions on the need to:
(1) Develop further bases of legitimation and spheres (environments and processes) of action, beyond economic frameworks.
(2) Define cultural creativity indicators – however, are they understood by all actors?
(3) Understand the new role of cultural creators.
(4) Reconsider the frameworks for creativity on the new paradigm.
Finally, he formulated some questions to start with the general discussion:
(1) How can a non-economic cultural creativity be recognized and legitimized?
(2) How can cultural diversity fit into cultural creativity?
(3) How can cultural heritage be transformed by cultural creativity?
STH3: suggests two new terms – artistic research (there’s a lot of material already available on indicators, etc.) and cultural and creative industries.
P15: Questions whether it’s in the scope of this discussion to talk about cultural heritage industries. The Italian government recently decided that museums were essential services, like hospitals. It was the reaction of the government to a strike by Colosseum workers. Proposes the inclusion of workers in creative industries not just the artists.
STH8: The economic framework is useful in that it gives us a vocabulary that goes beyond artists, however, I’m concerned with point 3. I don’t think we can give a role to the artist.
P10: Think cultural creativity should take into account social class and power relationship. The role of states and politics in making of cultural creativity.
ASTH5: Creative Industries theory has been used again and again, relating it to the economy. We need to enlarge it beyond the economic. Artists are not autonomous. They are part of society and play a role in society. Think about roles and functions of artists as necessary.
From audience: Necessary to be more explicit about cultural rights. For some actors it is an opportunity and for others it is a danger. Be more specific on public participation. New social responsibility of artists and new responsibility of public.
P15: there is an issue of terminology “creativity” versus “innovation”. Research has to include other perspectives, methodologies. How does the work artists do affect other sectors?
P1: Social class and social groups should be taken into account as well as questions of power, conflict and tensions – there should be a large space for these considerations in a new view on creativity.
ASTH6: We are looking at the meeting of two worlds – academia and stakeholders. This leads to an interesting conflict over: the consensus on terminology; request for a new normative discourse; and the challenge of perspective (zoom in and out to produce a narrative and conceptual framework to incorporate values and evidence). Arturo’s concept of “hybridisation” is key and I’ll use it to address four topics. Hybridisation has been used in the past to talk about origins but we can also use it to talk about objects of creativity: Hybridisation as a meta concept:
(1) Territories: creativity is increasingly disperse and these sites are connected horizontally. We need to trace these horizontal networks.
(2) Participation: production, consumption and dissemination are not three separate stages. Hybridisation is useful for looking at the interconnectedness of production.
(3) Policies: cultural policies are hybridized as traditional boundaries of what art is change. There is a relocation of authority (due to neo-liberalism). There seems to be a lack of morals in the neoliberal model and a difficulty to have a moral discussion within this model.
(4) Economics: Re-think creativity beyond market and state support. It is need to generate a NEW NARRATIVE: normative with evidence.
4. Concluding remarks
It became obvious from the workshop discussions that the divide practitioner-academic continues to influence perceptions about the role of the other in the building of a European culture. This is why initiatives such as Cultural Base have an enormous impact in reducing this perceived gap. The challenge remains finding the right translation of academic language into a language that is relevant for practitioners (considering other obstacles such as different foci and timing) as well as the right translator-mediator figure.
This Deliverable 1.1. and the discussions it includes will be distilled in order to articulate the various Thematic Areas that structure future work within Cultural Base. Despite the enormous amount of viewpoints and information it contains, the existence of Axes will ensure that these opinions and facts are organized in a way that allows for further reflection, exchange and analysis.
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