Cultural cooperation today – new urgencies and tendencies

Workshop – Concept Paper by Francisco Motta Veiga

“The revolutions that took place since December 2010 and are ongoing in many southern Mediterranean countries have profoundly changed the contemporary history of the whole region and consequently the paradigma of cultural cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean.

At the same time, Europe is facing a severe crisis that affects its balance, stressing the importance of solidarity, mutual understanding, democratic participation, transparency.

How can we re-center and reinvent cultural cooperation across the Mediterranean in this new scenarios? What do we need today? What are the priorities? Who are and should be the main actors today?

Some new urgencies and new tendencies emerge.

Networking is a very important tool but sometimes we seem to forget that in the end it’s only a tool for cooperation, for making projects together and help people improve their mutual perceptions and understanding. To achieve that, virtual communication is not enough: “exchange also means moving, crossing the street and then the sea, taking the road that leads to other peoples and cultures”. Mobilty remains as a basic and urgent need and a tool for any serious cooperation.

The street becomes a central place for culture to spread, challenging the formal venues. Urban spaces have emerged as decisive incubators for new ideas and positive changes. Youth and the way the new generations will be able to connect, meet, know each other, will determine most of the future.

Culture cooperation will continue to address, in the near future, some of the “classic” issues, from memory and heritage to contemporary creation, from cultural structures and managing to knowledge and training, but today’s urgencies have changed, today’s opportunities tell us to redirect our priorities, knowing well that we are engaged in a long term process.”