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Newsbulletin #4

December 2012



News from organisations such as the Platform for Intercultural Europe tend to be about upcoming events and new initiatives. But as events are ‘all about the follow-up’ - about identifying the ‘take-aways’ and reflecting on the future of the new connections made -   it’s as legitimate to fill this bulletin with reports.

Europe is on fire – burning with rage about disadvantage and hatred of the Other, but also with passion for making intercultural connections and building cohesion. Read on about Northern Ireland and Slovenia as well as practice examples gathered in Turin. Read on about work on creating intercultural spaces in the EU.

Feedback welcome to or on our Facebook page. If you “like” it, following the Platform’s activities will become automatic.

Our next Newsbulletin will announce our forthcoming activities. You can find news from our members below. 

Sabine Frank,
Secretary General

Report on 6th Intercultural Practice Exchange: Navigating the journey from conflict to interculturalism - The role of the arts in Northern Ireland 

Belfast, 15/16th November 2012 

Belfast 1b  Belfast 2

Belfast 3  Belfast 4  Belfast 5

PIE logoACNI logo

PIE’s 6th Intercultural Practice  Exchange in collaboration with Arts Council Northern Ireland was dedicated to exploring the role of the arts in bearing witness to The Troubles, in being an antidote to despair, in offering alternatives to sectarian identities and in increasing social cohesion. The programme featured The Troubles Archive, the Re-Imaging Communities programme, and several examples of participatory and community arts from different arts domains. Policies for equality were examined with arts practitioners and politicians.
We had also wanted to know “how the experience of reconciliation between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland has affected the reception of newcomers in Northern Ireland.” With immigrants making up an estimated 4.4% (around 80 000 people) of the population of Northern Ireland, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has begun to unroll an Intercultural Arts Strategy (2011-2016), which seeks to increase the access and participation of minority ethnic communities in the arts.  Yet one conclusion of the event was that grappling with the ‘diversity of diversity’ is a field for more work: “‘interculturalism’ – to the extent that it is a policy concept in Northern Ireland, has until recently focused exclusively on addressing the segregation of the two white majority communities - Protestants and Catholics - through intercultural initiatives ... Those from minority ethnic and faith communities brought by migration in particular have tended to disappear into a statistical vortex.” 

Read more on the context of political events in Northern Ireland.

Read the full report on the event or the summary report.

Slovenian Protest Movement

Slovenia 1  Slovenia 2
Photo © Bucinel and Boljcovac

PIE’s previous Practice Exchange was held in Ljubljana. Slovenia has had its own dose of protests since. Some of our partners there want to bring to international attention that the protests have been “for the rule of law, the preservation of social services and an economic policy which serves the interest of the majority.” They are also concerned about the “contempt for Slovenia’s ethnic minorities”. Read their Letter to the international friends of Slovenia.

Report on Banlieues d'Europe conference in Turin: Cultural action against populist nationalism in Europe

21/23rd November 2012 

Visuel Banlieues d'EuropeThe venerable network Banlieues d’Europe held its 19th meeting in Turin last November to explore how cultural projects act against rising nationalism in Europe. Around 90 people from 11 countries, with strong representation from Italy and France, came together. Project examples – many to do with Roma inclusion - were on offer for exploration and discussion through a fair with project stands, parallel workshops and visit of projects in Turin. ‘Learn and connect’ was what the meeting encouraged participants to do; it was not about forging political alliances against populism, although the need for political change was urgently expressed by some such as Banlieues d’Europe’s President, Jean Hurstel, and Franco Bianchini, lecturer at Leeds University, who framed the event with their reflections on the ideological climate of our times.
PIE Secretary General, Sabine Frank, moderated a panel on “Roma communities, a symbol for Europe”, with speakers Mate Gaspar from the Open Society Foundation in Hungary and Márton Illés from the Independent Theatre in Hungary.

Read more.

2nd OMC expert group meeting - Cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue (Phase II)

Brussels, 11/12th December 2012

Logo European CouncilThe second meeting of national experts on cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue in the framework of the Open Method of Coordination was introduced with a keynote by Naseem Khan which provided ‘five pointers’ for work on interculturalism. Further inspiration was provided by presentations on the French Scientific Interest Group - Heritage Institutions and Intercultural Practices, on the Cultural Plan for Brussels, on a Slovenian municipal library project “Roma people invited to the library”, and the Austrian community arts centre Brunnenpassage. The experts then took a look at the ‘homework’ they had done since the last meeting: collecting good practice examples from their respective country. The delegates’ recounting of their experience with collecting examples revealed interesting differences between the countries in terms of the preoccupations of cultural policy-making and the political status of questions of interculturality. It transpired that the ‘good practice examples’ tend to be exceptional and that austerity measures are taking their toll.
An as yet inconclusive discussion ensued on the analytical framework to be used for the collation of policy and practice examples, and the method by which the group would arrive at recommendations.
A number of EU Member States were represented for the first time in this second round: Flemish-speaking Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Slovakia and Portugal – the latter two only appointed days before the meeting. The group will from now on also have a participant from accession country Croatia.
Under the motivating chairwomanship of Slovenian expert, Sonja Kralj-Bervar, the group displays energy to undertake a good piece of work together. Since group members communicate directly with each other in English and socialising possibilities were on offer, the group might gel. Yet national political constraints might yet come in the way of ambitious results.
Platform for Intercultural Europe participated actively in the deliberations, and its membership OMC working group will identify further input to the process.

The final report of phase I (inclusive and accessible culture) of the OMC group is now available in full as well as executive summaries in English, French and German 

News from our European Members

Our membership has grown by ten organisations since our annual meeting in June 2012. Members have the benefit of exchange amongst themselves through a PIE members’ Facebook group. 
To see who PIE's current members are or to become a member, please go to our membership page.

Banlieues d’Europe 

"Visions of (In)tolerance in Europe Today" - European conference
24/25th Janvier 2013 - Maison des Passages, Lyon, France

Logo Banlieues d'EuropeBanlieues d’Europe organised a conference within the framework of the EU-financed project – “ACCEPT PLURALISM" - Tolerance, Pluralism and Social Cohesion: Responding to the Challenges of the 21st Century in Europe”. 15 universities, research centres and non-governmental organisations from across the European Union and Turkey are part of it.
“ACCEPT PLURALISM” is about tolerance and acceptance of ethnic, religious and cultural diversity in contemporary Europe. The main findings of the research undertaken across Europe in relation to tolerance and intolerance practices in school and in political life were presented. -
Contact : Charlotte Bohl, project developer:

European Festivals Association (EFA)    

New EFA publication: Inside/Insight Festivals.  9 Festival Directors - 9 Stories 

EFA book coverLogo EFA

The fifth volume in the EFA BOOKS series published by the European Festivals Association is a first: it is co-produced with CultureLink Singapore, a multi-dimensional arts management and consulting agency.
In “Inside/Insight Festivals” nine renowned festival directors from all over the world share their insights into festival making in the past decades and invite on a journey of artistic and thought-provoking encounters around the globe.

It is available in the EFA eShop.

European Music Council (EMC)

"Re>>generating Europe through Music"
3rd European Forum on Music in Glasgow, Scotland - 18/21st April 2013 

EFM posterLogo EMC jpgThe EMC organises its 3rd European Forum on Music “Re>>generating Europe through Music” in cooperation with the Scottish Music Centre and Creative Scotland. The Forum will be hosted from 18 to 21 April 2013 in the UNESCO City of Music Glasgow. The city’s particular history of regeneration through music and culture will be reflected in the main conference topics:
- Europe and the western socio-economic model is in crisis– what role can music play?
- Glasgow as example, starting with the 1991 European Capital of Culture that marked the start for Glasgow’s regeneration through culture.

The conference will take place in the Grand Central Hotel. Registration is open now!
Register and find more information available at or contact the EMC´s office

News from our national Members

Border Crossings - UK  

Consumed – a new intercultural performance – 20th February – 23rd March 2013 

BC posterBorders Crossings logoBorder Crossings has been working with Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre, China, to create a new theatre piece, in both English and Chinese, which will tour the UK this spring. The production is aimed at both the Chinese community and wider audiences, and deals with language and intercultural understanding. Venues include Tara Arts, Rich Mix, Albany, Chelsea Theatre and Chickenshed (all in London), as well as theatres in Birmingham, Brighton, Colchester, Crawley, Leeds and Luton.

There is an extensive programme of youth and community work, plus a one-day festival of Chinese culture at Chickenshed on March 23.

CGIL Roma e Lazio - Italy  

3rd Immigration Conference of CGIL Roma e Lazio - 16th December 2012 

CGIL logoThe 3rd Regional Conference of CGIL Roma e Lazio on migration issues gathered trade unionists and shop stewards active in the Rome and Latium region to elaborate trade union and political practice.
The presence of migrant workers on the local labour market was looked at as an opportunity for intercultural and trade union enrichment.
Specific policies about migration must, at last, be integrated into the solving of problems such as: finding ways out of the crisis, the defence of the public welfare state, labour and citizenship rights bargaining, and equal opportunities strategies. The perception of migrant work must change from that of a problem to that of a source of development for the country.
The conference was articulated around a morning of workshops on specific themes followed by an afternoon plenary debate, concluded by Piero Soldini, responsible of migration issues at CGIL’s national level. - Maria Mora

The European Foundation Society and Education (EFSE) - Spain  

Took part in the Second World Conference on the Right to Education - Brussels 8/10th November 2012

Organisers : European Association for Education Law and Policy (ELA), University of Antwerp and College of Europe

EFSE logoThe plenary thematic session on ‘Language in Education, Migration and Integration in Society’ by Ben Vermeulen (Council of State, Free University Amsterdam - Netherlands) was of particular pertinence. Prof. Vermeulen analysed the “reversal” of citizenship concepts in the Dutch context, as a result of which social-psychological citizenship more than before has become a precondition for acquiring legal or formal citizenship. It was discussed how this reversal of citizenship concepts has influenced laws and policies with regard to immigration, integration, naturalisation and education.

Seminar Papers:
- Linguistic Rights in Education
- Parental Rights in Education and on Religion in Education and Respect for Parental Convictions in Education
- Governance of (Higher) Education
- Peace, Tolerance, Holocaust Education and Intercultural Dialogue and on Creating a Safe Educational Environment
- Poverty and the Broad School Concept

More information about the Conference and seminar papers are available here.


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