Culture is future » Territorial attractiveness and social cohesion


The Catalyse Project at the Forum d'Avignon, November 2013, 21th-23th

Avignon, 2013 November, 21th. As the Forum of Avignon 6th edition has chosen "Culture &Power: No politics without culture"  for its theme to fuel discussion, the Catalyse project will be driven under two formats: a session dedicated to  ‘Should we establish a European cultural policy?’, and an Hackathon Session ‘Inventing a new cultural urban space’.

After 2nd Forum Avignon Ruhr (in Essen, June 2013, 27th & 28th) and before 1st Forum d’Avignon Bilbao (in Bilbao, March 2014, 5th to 7th), the Forum d’Avignon 6 th edition is the second European scale event of the EU-funded project CATALYSE for a three day interactive and transnational collaboration to sponsor "cross-sectorial innovations in urban development through culture and creative industries".

Through debates, along with innovative platforms for discussion, the International Meetings of the Forum d’Avignon aims to highlight - through the many powers of culture – political, diplomatic, economic and aesthetic or even private – the messages of peace and economic growth that the culture holds. The Forum suggests to its 450 participants three goals:

  • Engage European and international policy makers, particularly with the 2014 European elections in mind, concerning the positive role of culture as bearer of shared values, social cohesion, and economic growth,
  • Promote culture and creative industries as active drivers of urban development, ambition hold by the European network CATALYSE that associates the cities of Essen, Avignon and Bilbao, thanks to the support of the Culture Program of the European Union,
  • Foster a spirit of openness, as well as a keen desire for culture and creation, within civil societies, corporations, and the political sphere, beyond the key issues of funding for creation, taxation of culture and the emphasis placed on monetizing personal cultural data.


Catalyse project in the heart of Forum d’Avignon event

1-       Forum d’Avignon Catalyse session: Should we seek to establish a European cultural policy?

The pitch session, Friday November, 22. Every cultural policy seeks to favour creative development and diversity. The debate on the exception culturelle has actually illustrated this situation: the true challenge lies in orienting political cultures to fund creation. Must we bet on the self-regulation of unhindered free trade or on the sovereignty of national and federal regulations? What is the most suitable level of territorial granularity the best suited for a government favourable to culture? What do we do now that digital technologies have transgressed all national borders? Can civil society breathe new life into a cultural Europe if politics remain at a distance?      

The theme is moderate by Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic, Secretary of Europa Nostra (Serbia/Netherlands), with: Manuel Carrilho, philosopher, former Portuguese Minister of Culture (Portugal); Olivier Py, French playwright, stage designer, actor, and director, director of Festival of Avignon; Radu Mihaileanu, cineast, producer, director, screenwriter (Roumania), Uroš Grilc, Minister of Culture (Slovenia) and Lourdes Fernández, Director of AlhóndigaBilbao (Spain).

The session is introduced by the presentation of Louvre Alliance study ‘Culture, territories and Powers - The spirit of Atlas. On a prospective tonality, in an international perspective (European, and perhaps global), the study highlights tendencies both likely and desirable on the governance models, depending on the diversity of powers and territorial scales of culture (geographic, economic, alternatives). Few major perspectives should appear – where heritage policies do not need the same governance as creation, education or cultural policies…


2-Catalyse Hackathon is Part of Forum d’Avignon "Hackathon for culture"

Before and looking forward to its sixth edition from November 21st to November 23rd, the Forum d’Avignon think tank has organized a Hackathon on five themes, that brings together diverse participants and teams. A “hackathon” brings together participants whose goal is to hack a code or program in hopes of creating a new and improved prototype.

Applied to the world of culture and creation, the hope is to allow the Forum participants to formulate and present proposals for re-articulating the culture of today, thus opening new horizons for the culture of tomorrow. Gathering five teams each composed of participants from various backgrounds (artists, entrepreneurs, students…),

Each team will provide a Manifesto and project for the sound culture of today, thus demonstrating the prolific nature of culture in society. Assuming an identity of hackers, we mean to shake current codes - not only on computers - to rethink what is and what effects culture in the digital age.

The Thursday 21th and Friday 22th (University) sessions are led by: Itay Talgam Conductor (Israel) 

Projects :

  • Prescribing culture
  • Passing on publishing through the screens
  • Reinventing the cultural factory
  • Driving forces for the promotion of cultural diversity
  • Animating a new cultural urban space  for Catalyse