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In 2017 & 2018, LIKE is going through a [R]evolution
Wednesday 14 June 2017

What is this [R]evolution about?

This is not just about LIKE – but the whole European society, as well as each and everyone who, just like our members and partners, engages in favour of its construction. Culture puts societies into motion and our societies – national and European - it seems, have reached a dead-end. Can we come to terms with this fact ?

The former cycle of European construction – rapid, enthusiastic, workable – has left the room for doubts and hesitation. The European crisis has embodied in multiple forms – economic, social, political – and the crisis of the European ideal shows as more and more of us do not want to stick to it anymore. But this is only the epiphenomenon of a broader, more profound multi-scale crisis : at national, local and even individual levels, we are questioning our relations to others, to our governments, to our rules, to our values, to ourselves ; we are redefining our place, rôle and ambitions, with an urging and demanding sense of responsibility. In other words, LIKE [R]evolution is about cultural leadership applied to today's Europe : how can cultural actors lead change in this moving environment ? LIKE believes this primordial question has to be given some sort of an answer. To do so, the network of European cities and regions for culture – LIKE - has formulated 3 important hypotheses, defining work axes for 2017, and we will be calling for your contributions all throughout the year.

[R]evolution 2017

                   

              

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Solidary cultural cooperation in culture

LIKE believes cultural cooperation is key to build cohesion in Europe. However, cooperation has for now been restricted to alike entities, although European territories are inherently diverse in their size, capabilities and context. This corporatist vision of cooperation has direct consequences on European cohesion : knowledge has for now been created, shared and disseminated in very unequal patterns, triggering the increase of territorial inequalities rather than bridging the many gaps. To us, European cohesion cannot be achieved without the utmost important principle of European solidarity being introduced into cooperation, with a circular conception of the economy of knowledge and cooperation, enabling sustainability to be applied to the overall European society. How can these notions be applied to cultural cooperation in Europe ?

Multistakeholder governance of culture

LIKE believes in the importance of transparency and inclusion of stakeholders to bridge the gap between governments and governees. Societies have never been as educated as they currently are ; yet citizens still feel they are not being heard by their political representatives, be them local, national or European. This causes not only frustration from the populations, but this also leads to competencies, knowledge and expertise being lost in the process of policy-making. How can citizens take responsibility in their local, national or European environments if they are left out of the very processes that shape them, i.e. decision-making ? Empowerment, trust-building, meaning and impactful policy-making : these objectives are all the more important when considering culture in its social role and impact – a capital that enables or hinders access to jobs and social recognition.

Sustainable funding of culture

LIKE believes in the importance of culture ; and therefore, in the importance of it being sufficiently, intelligently funded. Although turning culture into a market has enabled regular financial influx into the sector, the consequences of it can be paralleled to any other liberal market : competition and entry barriers have raised, hindering small structures to reach visibility ; public money is rapidly disengaging from the sector, and cannot make up anymore for the mechanism of cultural darwinism that is currently taking place. But everywhere (in Europe and in other sectors) new economic models are developping, betting on the capacity of circular/local/publicly regulated business models to overcome the inherent limitations of the market economy. How is it possible to adapt these sustainable models to culture and cultural actors ?