1st day Plenaries

European Cultural Parliament 2nd Session in Graz 26-28 November 2003

11:30 Opening and Graz 2003 Presentation
In the opening
of the Second Session of the European Cultural Parliament, a welcome speech was
delivered by the Governor of Styria, Ms. Waltraud Klasnic. Ambassador Karl-Erik
Norrman thanked Ms Klasnic for the invitation. The institutions that made
possible this 2nd Session of the European Cultural Parliament: The Bank of
Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, Land Steiermark, Stadt Graz and Styria Medien
AG.


Following the opening, a presentation of the Cultural Capital Graz 2003 was
given by the Executive director Graz 2003, Manfred Gaulhofer. Achievements
during the last 11 months in the fields of architecture, music, theatre,
exhibitions, film, photo, media and literature were presented. An emphasis was
put on the important role that culture played in the everyday life of Graz’s
people, as well as the fact that the projects involved many ethnic groups and
communities. Many of the events were organized in public spaces, therefore
accessible. As a conclusion, the quality of the projects convinced visitors and
critics.


In the end of the morning plenary, each of the participants was invited to
present her/himself. As a starting point for the second session, the conclusion
of the Bruges 2002 session of the European Cultural Parliament was
mentioned:


“Ethical and aesthetic values must be the essence of a new European society.
Culture is the core of society. Creativity is the source of human
existence.”


14:30 Presentation of conference papers
Two conference
papers were presented to the plenary and they represented the basis for further
discussions in groups.


The first presentation “Creative Europe” was delivered by the special guest,
Professor Andreas Wiesand (Germany).


The “Creative Europe” project was carried out by the European Research
Institute for Comparative Cultural Policy and the Arts (ERICArts), funded by the
Network of European Foundations for Innovative Co-operation (NEF), in
particular: the Compagnia di San Paolo, The European Cultural Foundation and the
Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation.


The main four research areas were:



  • Challenges and practical problems of artists and other cultural actors under
    the new economical and political conditions;
  • Policies and instruments employed by European governments to support
    artistic work;
  • New modes of partnership between public, private and non-profit actors to
    support artistic creativity and cultural innovation;
  • Success and failure of the management of artistic creativity (references to
    the networks of intermediators, the capacity of producers and the diversity of
    cultural milieus emerging under different local and regional conditions.

A few case studies with analysis of creativity management in European arts
and culture were also presented.


The second presentation, “Culture as an Instrument for Conflict Prevention”,
was delivered by Theofilos Sotiriadis (Thessaloniki), who also gave a saxophone
recital.


A definition of “Culture” was presented – “Culture is the major means for the
expression of human diversity, being at the same time, the chain bond that links
all people”. Culture should promote ideas, such as altruism, respect of human
rights, peace and non-violence. Peace education is the only way to shape a
society, concluded Mr Sotiriadis.


Evening
Professor Simonetta Carbonaro presented the theme
“Food for Soul”, introducing food, cooking traditions and meals as very
significant elements in the cultural identity of regions and countries and the
reflected consumption of food as an important means of communication between
people. Mr Giacomo Mojoli presented the “Slow Food Foundation”, advocated
attention regarding the origin of food products and stressed the cultural
importance of preserving cooking and food processing traditions.


After the presentations food specialities from some 25 European countries
were presented as part of the evening buffet.

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