The Compendium Association and our host, The National Institute for Cultural Research and Training, want to thank everyone for attending the International Cultural Policy Conference and the 5th General Assembly of the Compendium Association. In the following, we would like to reflect upon the inputs and thoughts exchanged during these two days and create a small outlook for the crises management of European cultural policy needed.
With the title “Culture & Cultural Policies in Times of Crises – Effects, Roles & Transitions” the conference started by culturally framing and conceptualizing three of the main crises affecting us today; the Ukraine war – representing a humanitarian and democratic crisis in Europe, the COVID-19 pandemic – disrupting and transforming social and economic systems around the world, and the climate crises – threatening everyone’s social and environmental future and well-being. We continued discussing the roles and means the cultural sector and its policies offer to the mediation of those crises. What role do democracy, cultural education and freedom of artistic expression play in crises management? Finally, members of the Compendium community and guests shared different methods and strategies to enhance change and modification.
In the discussions, one aspect inevitably became clear: our view of crises as something external – and thus avertable – to our individual and collective being is wrong. Crises should be seen as part of a structure driven by micro-crises and everyday crises, according to our Vice-Chair Adrian Debattista. One of these micro-crises concerns the processes of meaning-making. It becomes clear that our perceptions, subjectivities, credibilities and advocacy play an important role in addressing and mediating crises. “How do we determine which contexts are significant for crises and thus for ourselves? Whose view is prioritised, to what extent and for what reasons?” Culture, through its out-of-the-box thinking and approach, helps us to break down heterogeneous patterns of meaning and bring the unthinkable back into the discourse.
The question remains: How do we move on from here? What are the next steps?
There is no one way strategy to face the challenges occurred thought crisis. Europe’s countries, nations and societies are so diverse and constituted of different needs, values and perceptions. Accordingly, the solutions are quite different for everyone and request individual approaches and strategies.
Nevertheless, seen these preconditions, there are certain values, which can lead towards possible solutions, such as: openness, self-reflection, willingness to learn, willingness to see the benefits in differences and challenges. All these values can play an important role in improving or developing oneself, one’s society, their democracies, their cultural policy and place of belonging. Here culture and cultural policies can play an eminent role in recognising and disseminating these values.
The Compendium as a information and monitoring platform on cultural policies as well as its vital community stand for these values and see its task in continuing the provision of information regarding the various fields of cultural policies, enhance exchange knowledge, provide lessons-to-be-learned and good practice on a European level.
More information such as recordings, presentations and reports about the conference and the general assembly will follow in the coming days.
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