Culture & Power

2013 Manifesto

No Politics without Culture !

With a turnover of $2 700 billion world- wide, 6.1% of global GDP, 8 million jobs and 4% of GDP in Europe for culture and creative industries: can governments  and companies prepare forward-looking strategies without culture?

As budget drops have led governments to cut funding for culture across Europe, China has increased its spending by more than 23%. Digital technology is increasing access to artistic productions in India and across Africa. The Middle Eastern nations are investing more and more in culture across the board. Are we witnes- sing a global power shift in Culture?

What a paradox! While the contribution of culture and creative industries to economic development is now widely acknowledged, the feeling of decline of political commit- ment in the cultural field is growing, especially in Europe. This phenomenon is rooted in a context of budgetary pressures, holding the risk of a trivialization of both creation and creative industries.

What is at stake? Replace culture at the heart of politics. The Forum d'Avignon calls for revitalizing cultural diversity as the foundation of democratic debate and springboard for new public policies. Political impetus is vital to dream and build. This is also essential to the dynamism of firms for which creation is a source of innovation cardinal. Finally, the cohesion of territories and of civil society is up to the symbolical and almost magical power of culture which should not be reduced to its economic strength.

Between citizens, creators, producers, distributors and politics who holds the cultural power? Are cultural personal data a tool for gaining power? Who draws the new power map? Who really benefits the culture? Which is the place of culture in European and international politics? What are we waiting for to measure cultural footprint, which will consent to convince people of the crucial role of culture?

For its 2013 – 2015 period, the Forum d'Avignon call to mobilize to defend the singularity of culture and its role in social cohesion, dialogue between nations and economic ripple effect. Indeed, there is no global successful politics without a cultural plan.