Culture is future »


#FA2013 - Summary of the day on Friday, November 22

Reasons to hope : 

Some numbers : There is a predicted +5% average annual increase for cultural industries until 2017 according to a Kurt Salmon study,  “Creative industries are a vehicle for identity, but also for employment; unemployment is one of the European hot topics”  (Uros Grilc, Slovenian Minister of Culture)

In terms of desire : Culture is a miraculous weapon (Aimé Césaire), a product of high demand (Edouard Glissant). Rather than asking “how many divisions in culture ?”, the panelists reflected on culture in its multiple forms. Beyond economic stakes, culture creates a social link between citizens and countries (a factor of reconciliation); South Africans name this quality ‘UBUNTU’ (I exist because you exist).

In terms of commitment, around 45% of respondent consumers interrogated by Kurt Salmon declared to be ready to finance an artist or a piece of art. 65% said to be ready to directly buy work from an artist. Bain confirms that “social networks help producers evaluate the risks of their investments”. “Crowdfunding allows artists to create a long term link with their audience”, Martinj Arets. Artists have been unable to send a clear message to civil society. Politicians must invent a new way of evaluating the economic relationship between contents and their respective framework. In addition, policymakers must have a more flexible attitude in terms of the law and allow greater freedom to artists, “We cannot simply dictate them” (JM Jarre).

The anti-globalists have become alter-globalists, proponents of a new society. “The first value of a Nation is not economy but culture.” (B. Landry)

“Culture is a factor of reconstruction of a nation. Culture defines who we are and what we do. Culture extends N. Mandela’s teachings by gathering individuals from different backgrounds. Cultural diplomacy is very important: it is precisely what allows us to draw links between different countries. Relations between nations can only be ameliorated through the respect and acknowledgement of the culture of others. Cultural links are now becoming consolidated on the African continent. We are on the right path.” (Paul Mashatiles, South African Minister of Culture)


Reasons to act: “My potential never abandons me” Paul Valéry

Culture? Identity, presence, heritage (Jarre). The heart (Plantu). Culture is powerful only if it can make fun of itself (Jean-Marie Perrier)

Can Internet save us? For the time being, Internet is a disadvantage rather than an advantage. If, in the Middle East, Internet has allowed certain dictatorships to disappear, it has also led American politics to adopt extremist tendencies to ensure maximum funding. The Tea party emerged thanks to Internet and micro funding. Internet would save us only if the opposition is respected (Laurence Lessig)

We must stop stigmatizing Internet. We need Internet, artists need Internet. They have always been faced with technology, from the printing machine to Internet. An “eternal copyright” law should be set up to create a fund in support of creation in emerging countries.

We lack an “amorous discourse on culture”, a European literature (B.Moineau, Louvre Alliance). “We are currently in a crisis of limitless paradigms. Europe cruelly lacks a public common space” (Manuel Carrilho). “The image of the opposition between North and South is contradictory to the European spirit. Thinking on the European scale does not exclude reflection on a regional scale” (Olivier Py)

We must first extricate ourselves from a disenchantment, as observed by the rest of the world: “Before, you were extremely self-critical, but you did not believe in this mission; now, you have faith in it”, observed B. Landry, former Quebecois Prime Minister. The European know-how in terms of culture could even inspire the entire world” (Tarik).

“The world is in a crisis, and the sorrow has not only stricken Africa. This time around, the crisis concerns all cultures, and the Western world is particularly affected. Europe should not fall into History’s trap. Culture is the only thing we must defend together. What makes us exist is what we have in common. Do not let anyone impress you, youth of Europe. Demand education! Reclaim who you are; commitment will make of you agents of change. Numerous young Africans desire self development, not only ‘development’.” (Abdoul Mbaye, Senegalese Minister of Culture)


Even if we fear that the cultural question will not gain as much traction during the European elections of 2014, we must engage the youth as it is their future that is at stake. 

To replace culture at the center of the European project, such is the mission of the youth. “The youth is a minority that is fighting for its rights” contends the Slovenian Minister of Culture!

What is at stake? The “exception culturelle” is the specific love for universality (O. Py). Culture is not merchandise, even if it has economic value (R.Mihaileanu). Europe invests more in cattle than in culture.
Defending the “exception culturelle” is to emphasize the tool allowing us to defend the cultural diversity of tomorrow (O. Py).

Manuel Carrilho proposes to reverse Kundera’s claim: “The European is nostalgic for the Europe of yesterday”. “The power of culture lies in creating to provoke. We must avoid losing ourselves in the infinite fields of possibilities” (Capitaine Alexandre).

How to carry this out? “We must tell a story other than that of the Eurobonds”. “We must delve into the intersections between science, research, and art for the sake of innovation” P.Dujardin (Bozar). We must rely on a Europe of artists and their works (C.Albanel, Orange) “The word “esprit” lies beyond all reach of power, and is instead found in the landscape of desire (B.Moineau, Louvre Alliance). “We will get out of this crisis faster if we rely on the creative power of Europe” (Uros Grilc).

“Culture must become a way of sharing the abilities of each European country. If, in 20 years, 30% of the GDP comes from digital services, how will we manage it without an appropriate platform? We need a European digital agenda, if we do not have it, we will lose control of our creations.” (J.Toublon). Copyright also protects the public (Sandra Faultrier).

Our cultural policies are the foundation of our long term vision. We do not want to be culturally marginalized” comments Tarek with regard to cultural investment in Qatar.


The importance of resisting: 

The new forms of prescription reduce experts’ input. Certain prescriptions are enriching, others define individuals (Bain). “In a world in which all treasures are accessible, what is the most precious, is the treasure map” (Hackaton on prescription). We should not stigmatize culture: the increase in digital technologies allow for an increase in interest for live music and museums (P. Dujardin)

“Digital technologies should be a tool to foster citizenship. I would like to support cultural policies that reflect the generation of today. The ultimate evolution is through these technologies. They are at the heart of our cultural policies. They apprehensively nourish revolutions. This represents a change of goals (A. Filippetti)

“To protect and never forget ours roots in order to aim for universality consists of respecting and knowing where we are headed (AA.Mbaye)
The shift from counter culture to culture erases borders (J.Davis, Google). “The algorithm will know what I desire even before I will” (P.Lescure)

Counter culture is resistance, the refusal of a certain number of norms for which we sacrifice ourselves (Capitaine Alexandre).

“I do not think in terms of counter culture, but rather dominance. There is a dominant art, and an art that is not. Knowledge is not transmitted through the most transparent networks” (P.Dusapin)