2nd Brussels Debate of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue: Negotiating differences. A responsibility of artists and cultural institutions?

2nd April 2008,
Brussels, Belgium
- debate

Organiser: European Union

Brussels debate 1   Brussels debate 2

Photographer Ahmet Polat, and Jette Sandahl, Director of the City Museum Copenhagen, provided fascinating glimpses on their work and shared their thoughts on the pivotal role of the arts and culture in the context of increasingly diverse European societies. Their presentations were contrasted with the political viewpoints of Commissioner Jan Figel and MEP Claire Gibault. The debate focused on the responsibility of artists and cultural institutions in challenging multiple, overlapping, fragmenting, dividing, hybridizing, merging, and fusing elements of identity, and explored how they can facilitate spaces - physical and mental – for intercultural encounter, dialogue and learning.

The Civil Society Platform for Intercultural Dialogue (now Platform for Intercultural Europe), as well as the ECF and EFAH (now Culture Action Europe) were the content partner for this Commission sponsored event in the context of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008. With a series of altogether six, debates, the European Commission aimed to get media attention for Intercultural Dialogue related topics.

Some of the questions addressed were:
1. What role do artists and institutions have to play in intercultural dialogue and how can we prepare them better?
2. Is creativity really a form of social empowerment?
3. How can we create and sustain political and social conditions that foster authentic intercultural engagement?

Wrap up report of the debate

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