Testing new models of collaboration in cultural relations
More than 400 policy representatives of 6 European Spaces of Culture project teams, cultural relation experts and practitioners gathered in a high-level conference on 1 June 2021 to discuss the future of EU cultural relations. The European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) organised the event.
The attendees discussed the way the European Spaces of Culture project contribution to delivering EU’s strategy for international cultural relations. Especially, how it is testing innovative collaboration models in cultural relations between European and local partner organisations in countries outside the EU.
The project has demonstrated the ability to encourage dialogue, build trust and understanding among the different actors of the international cultural relations field.
The importance of personal relationships in international cultural relations
Speakers of the conference highlighted the importance of personal relationships to improve international cultural relationships.
Themis Christophidou, Director General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, celebrated the project and underlined that the EU has the responsibility to continue exploring meaningful ways of engaging in international cultural relations with other parts of the world.
“We need dialogues, not lectures”
said Sabine Verheyen, Member of European Parliament and Chair of the Committee on Culture. The Chair noted that change would be more successful when it comes from people, rather than from governments.
The implemented European Spaces of Culture pilot projects have various objectives, such as changing the perception of arts as exclusive to a more accessible way of defining it for people in their day-to day life (Tibeb Be Adebabay, Ethiopia), or
calling the attention to dangerous effects of air pollution, by using the common language of visual arts (Nogoonbaatar Eco Art Festival, Mongolia).
The European Parliament initiated the European Spaces of Culture Project and the European Commission chose EUNIC for the implementation.