On 17, 18 and 19 November, CHEC 22-23 listeners took part in the module on European and international cultural policy issues.
At the Italian Cultural Institute in Paris, director Diego Marani opened the morning on the challenges of building a European cultural diplomacy. Although culture is not a direct responsibility of the European Union, the 2016 Joint Communication reflects a desire for a common and strategic foreign cultural policy. Andrew Manning, Director of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), demonstrated the important role of this independent association in “regaining cultural understanding of international cooperation.” With a network of 520 members and 401 local partners, the structure is deployed in 78 countries, enabling European cultural cooperation to flourish through actions with variable geometry.
Following them, Yannick Faure, Head of Legal and International Affairs at the French Ministry of Culture, presented the Ministry’s strategic priorities internationally. Aurélie Latchimy, Deputy Director of European and International Affairs at the Ministry of Culture, completed by explaining Culture Urgence Ukraine, the multi-sectoral reception and support system deployed by the Ministry from the beginning of the war; and the initiation of a new cooperation with the African continent.
The afternoon was spent in the Salle de la Chapelle, in the Recollet Convent. Hosted by Fabien Gantois and Pierre Fabry, respectively president and director of the Ordre des architectes d'Île de France, the group benefited from a presentation of the partnership actions in Europe in favour of architectural quality.
Bruno Nassim Aboudrar, Professor of History and Theory of Art at the Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3 University, Co-Director of the Master in Geopolitics of Art and Culture and author of key works, gave a lecture on the wide variety of iconoclastic acts and vandalism perpetrated on works of art or insignia around the world.
Pascal Brunet, Director of Relais Culture Europe, called for a collective response, as Europe, to the new paradigms that are emerging before us. Relais Culture Europe is committed to preparing cultural operators through fine engineering and integrating digital and ecological transitions: changing the relationship to post-covid culture, neo-ppopulist polarizations, dialogue to be rebuilt at our borders, etc. Networking of actors is a key lever of action to build a democratic project with culture.
Then head to the Centre Pompidou Metz for a tour of the place and the very inspiring exhibition “Les portes du possible – art & science-fiction.” Chiara Parisi, director of the Centre Pompidou Metz; and Etienne Guépratte, President of the Society of Friends of the Centre Pompidou Metz and former CHEC auditor, Promotion Jeanne Laurent, recalled the specificities of the establishment.
Friday was a travelling day dedicated to the cross-border territory France/Luxembourg of the European Capital of Culture Esch-sur-Alzette.
Frédérique Neau-Dufour, coordinator for France for Esch 2022, first presented the Esch 2022 project and its coordination on the French side. In fact, this cross-border project covers several Luxembourg and French municipalities, Pro-South and Community of Communes Pays Haut Val d'Alzette (CCPHVA.)
The 2022 European Capital of Culture is therefore characterized by particular sociological issues and a steel history common to both countries. This common history and destiny motivated the implementation of this transnational project and called for, on the French side, special cooperation between the State and local authorities, as demonstrated by the speakers of the round table Claire Rannou, Deputy Director for Democratization and Cultural Industries, DRAC Grand Est; Patrick Risser, President of the Communauté de Communes Pays Haut Val d'Alzette; and Gabrielle Rosner-Bloch, Regional Councillor for Cults and Culture of the Grand-RégionIs.
On the French side, the territory should welcome ten thousand new inhabitants within a few years. In this context, the L'Arche project was conceived as a lever for territorial attractiveness and development. After the director of L'Arche, Julien Floria, presented this new multidisciplinary and essentially technological Cultural Centre, the listeners evolved within this multi-activity venue guided by Salomé Mermoz, Head of L'Arche’s Creative Centre.
Then, some examples of artistic projects conceived as part of Esch 2022 were highlighted: Stephan Brusco, Mayor of Thil, affirmed the importance of culture for the development of his city, which is materialized by the permanent artistic installation of artist Bruce Clarke at the entrance of the Tiercelet mine. An echo of his project «Ecce Homo» a few kilometres away, on the Luxembourg side, at the National Museum of Resistance and Human Rights of Esch-sur-Alzette represented by its director Frank Schroeder. As for the artist Jessica Theis, she undertook a ‘Miroir, miroir’ project in each of the communes of Esch. Finally, Alexandra Tobelaim, director of the Centre Dramatique National Transfrontalier de Thionville-Grand Est, and Fabienne Aulagnier, production manager, discussed their artistic events outside the Centre’s walls, in the city itself (Sleeping Fair, Dream Festival
Now in Luxembourg, in Esch Belval, the CHEC went to the Skip to meet Françoise Poos, Director of Cultural Programs of Esch 2022, not without admiring the industrial heritage of the site, This year’s European Capital of Culture is the scene of many events. On this occasion, listeners were able to discover the exhibitions «In Transfer» and «Frontières, des vies en stereoéo» by photographer Samuel Bollendorff and documentary filmmaker Mehdi Ahoudig.
To conclude the day, the Mayor of Esch-sur-Alzette Georges Mischo, Mayor and President Esch 2022, warmly received the group at the City Hall to discuss the particular socio-economic context of the city and the importance of culture in its recent development.
On Saturday, the working groups met to move forward on their respective themes before a visit of the district of Esch-Belval by the Belval Fund. The Hauts Fourneaux, built in 1909-1912, are emblematic of the site and were the real economic pillar of the country, which the collapse had a lasting impact. The site is gradually developing, between valorization of the heritage sometimes preserved as is, integrated in the constructions or redeveloped, and creation of a social fabric around the cultural offer.
Listeners will gather in December for a module dedicated to Media and Cultural and Creative Industries.