The 1st episode of the European Conference took place on August 31. Under the theme of “Culture’s place in our lives” Nicolas Barbieri, Mafalda Damaso, Anne Torreggiani and Alessandra Gariboldi (chair) shared with all the participants their thoughts and reflections on the topic.
The lockdown drew attention to the necessity of creating a different relationship between culture, communities, practitioners and economy. What lasting change will COVID-19 bring to culture?
The first step to trigger change is to make culture relevant to people. In fact, COVID-19 crisis shows an opportunity for incentivise a far higher degree of (digitally-enabled) audience centred approach and experimentation. Consequently, artists and cultural organisations need to explore new ways to create meaning and community. In this regard, it is necessary to highlight the importance of data to build strategies to implement a people centred approach.
Nevertheless, digital means are not a panacea, and due to the digital divide new forms of social and cultural inequalities arise. Therefore, policy-makers should put at the heart of cultural policies the necessity of working on equity, taking into account the cultural needs of individuals and communities. This is the only way to face inequalities and share diversity.
The humanity is facing an enormous challenge. COVID-19 crisis has an impact in all dimensions of our lives but is hitting the cultural life of our communities very severely. However, cultural sector needs to think culture beyond the emergency by linking culture to the big societal challenges.
In conclusion, cities can have a prominent role in leading change, but policies at the local level are written without taking into account those actors working with societal challenges. Is the cultural sector ready to work from a cross-sectoral approach to make culture relevant to people?
You can see the session in our Vimeo channel.