Cultural Engineering Group

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Radius of art : creative politicization of the public sphère / cultural potential forces for social transformation

S A V E – T H E – D A T E : 8th and 9th February 2012  – Heinrich Boell Foundation, Schumannstrasse 8, Berlin.

Experience from international artistic and cultural projects offers clear evidence of their relevance for the processes of democratization and the development of civil society.

  • Intervention and participation in »Art in the public sphere« projects’ leads to a creative politicization of the public sphere, thus catalyzing social processes of debate and democratization.
  • »Art for social transformation«: All too often neglected, the empowerment of children, youth and adults through international artistic and cultural projects provide an effective long-term means of achieving social and political emancipation, also in the context of fighting poverty and encouraging participation within civil society.
  • »New Alliances for Aesthetics and Sustainability« are needed in order to find innovative approaches that reach beyond the already existing decision-making and development structures.

The conference’s aim is to promote an exchange of views about different approaches and experiences with forms of international cultural cooperation and to formulate common targets for future collaboration. Hence the event makes a contribution to the international debate on the interaction of culture and development, with particular emphasis on the relevance of arts and culture for societal processes of democratization.

To this end, the participating cultural institutions, artists and other partners from the fields of art, culture and social sciences will present concrete examples of their work, both to evaluate the overall situation and to provide a basis for a vivid exchange. In addition, there will be introductory lectures on current theoretical discourse concerning the role and importance of art and culture in social development, enabling the structures of decisionmaking in cultural and development politics to be expanded and questioned. Participative procedures will be employed to pool and integrate the knowledge of conference participants and thereby deepen the exchange among individual networks.

The conference will conclude with a discussion about the kinds of structural reforms required in regard to the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity, so that cultural development projects as well as controversial public art projects might receive the recognition they deserve within the sphere of international cooperation.

The conference is part of the EU / ALF-project »art-based research / research-based art«, held under the aegis of the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts in Kiel and the Heinrich Boell Foundation Schleswig-Holstein, in partnership with Interface / University of Ulster (Belfast, UK), the International Academy of Art Palestine (Ramallah, Palestinian Territories), the Maumaus Escola de Artes Visuais (Lisbon, Portugal), 98 Weeks (Beirut, Libanon, 5533 (Istanbul, Turkey), Boell Foundation Berlin, Beirut and Ramallah, Goethe-Institute Beirut.


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