Future, Europe, culture and solidarity   


Dea Vidović


Philea Forum 2022 has explored our future from different perspectives, including those that are related to future from the lenses of culture.   

Philea Arts and Culture Thematic Network, together with European Cultural Foundation and Fondazione CRT displaced us from the official Forum’s venue to the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion. This iconic Pavilion, builded in 1929 for the occasion of International Exposition in Barcelona as the German Pavilion, during Philea Forum was temporarily turned into a pop-up European Pavilion when ‘Arts and culture shaping a more meaningful, inclusive and sustainable future’ session took place.

Before we turned to the imaginative part of session, where we predicted how our pleasant future in 2070 could look like, we were faced with horrible war damages in Ukraine that are already estimated in trillions of Euro and we heard very concrete strategy for the renewal of Ukrainian cities and villages. Namely, we had an extraordinary occasion to virtually meet urban practitioner Alexander Shevchenko from Ukraine, who unfortunately wasn’t able to join us in Barcelona. Shevchenko presented ReStart Ukraine, an initiative that, even as the war in his country continues, focuses on the recovery and rebuilding of Ukrainian cities in post-war time based on data analyses and adaptation of practices developed around the world. This project integrates different thematic layers of analyses, preparation and further postwar rebuilding, and includes 9 clusters from observing, reclaiming, cleaning, predicting and remembering, to planning, financing, participating and finally building. Trajectory of new future Ukrainian cities and villages will develop based on sustainability and security. All practical help and support are welcome, and all who want to get more details about this initiative or help and join the initiative, can visit the official website.

During the second part of the session within the breakout groups, facilitated by the team of MOTI New Planetary Narratives, we opened up dialogue among us, thought about, imagined and shaped our more inclusive and sustainable future across borders and disciplines. This exercise was built upon the Future Literacy, essential and universal competencies for the 21st century that was initiated by UNESCO in 2012. Using these skills it was obvious that all people are able to deal with the future while empowering their imaginations and capability to understand and predict the future. At the same time this part of the session showed us how we can approach the future in different ways and how reality, current challenges but also dystopian science fiction impact our imagination on future. However, instead of being obsessed with the past, the skills of future literacy enable us to deal with challenges (climate, financial, health and any other crisis) of our time in a way that is inspired by hope and collaborative approach.

This session was part of the European Pavilion, an initiative of European Cultural Foundation, that has been developed since 2020 in partnership with Camargo Foundation (France), Fondazione CRT (Italy) and Kultura Nova Foundation (Croatia). During 2021, seven arts and cultural organizations – ARNA (Sweden), Brunnenpassage (Austria), iniva (United Kingdom), L’Internationale (a confederation of seven European museums), OGR Torino (Italy), State of Concept (Greece) and Studio Rizoma (Italy) – have joined this initiative that focuses on European perspectives and common future with the idea of flourishing many pavilions rooted in local communities across Europe that will provide insight to the cultural mosaic of contemporary Europe. Discussing many aspects of the European Pavilion, one of them was related to the necessity of developing an alternative European fund for culture  and art, taking into account experiences of the Culture of Solidarity Fund, introduced by European Cultural Foundation in 2020 as a corona-response mechanism. With the war in Ukraine, this Fund was relaunched as a pan-European effort with the aim to support cultural initiatives in Ukraine. During the Philea Forum the Fund for Ukraine was presented among foundations that work in arts and culture, with the open call to all who are able to join this initiative. By building the Culture of Solidarity Fund – Ukraine special edition, as a joint pan-European initiative, philanthropy can take an active role in supporting cultural initiatives in Ukraine, while on the longterm it develops alternative support for arts and culture with European purpose and confirms culture as a fundamental value in Europe.

Dea Vidović is Director of Kultura Nova Foundation in Croatia.

Tagged in: Philea 2022

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