Culture is future » Territorial attractiveness and social cohesion

03.09.2012

First hints at the forum d'avignon ruhr

 

'Culture is an engine of economy' Gunter Winands, director and head of the directorate 'media and film, international affairs' at the federal government commission for culture and the media.
Among the main ideas shared by the first speakers, came out the need to redefine and give back an effective place to the notion of cooperation. In a context of uncertainty and doubt about what the future could be, the rediscovery of the city through the new types of networks provided by the modern city, as a hub where people meet, transact, exchange, share, should lead to new forms of cooperation. For instance, Charles Landry asserts that 25 years ago new york was almost a bankrupt city and its rediscovery saved it.  From the almost sensual experience of conviviality to the trust it reinstills, it is by fostering creative cooperations through culture that an environment allows a dynamic form of progress and creativity. Through culture, progress goes beyond the simple technological improvements, to become a way of increasing  social awareness of communities,  economic growth and overall freedom: a freedom to choose, to develop ideas and to create the future rather than being instrumentalized by it. Sigmar Gabriel, Chairman of the Social Democratic Party in Germany, even adds that the goal is to give freedom to people about what they want to do with their lives and especially to make that happen. In a country where visual arts are a model , it  needs to be protected while meeting a standard. Hence, we live in tangible knowledge society and, in germany, a million of people are working in the creative jobs : this sector must remain livable. Some improvements must be done. As Edgar Berger, President and CEO of Sony Music International, asserts lest year 40 billions of cultural contents were downloaded iligally and 3.8 legally.
City must be at the core of the cultural strategy says charles landry. Indeed, when 80 per cent of the population were choosing their jobs their cities and now the trend is reversing : 64 per cent are choosing the city first. The strategy is then about attracting creative minds.
The revolution implied by digital technologied does not mean that traditional arts and culture will disappear : theater for example is an alod form of art and withstanded many revolutions, as Anselm Weber, artistic director of the Schauspielhaus Bochum explains. Yet, things evolve and so should be the practices and minds to adpat to new challenges. And creativity is one of these challenges able to guarantee to industries, firms, citizens and artists a sustainable success and development. Another challenge is the reform of copyright in a way that takes into account the new patterns while protecting the artist. If the means of production evolve, they still have to be differentiated from the means of distribution, as Robert Levine pointed: “internet does not print books by itself”!
This first session would be ended by Nicolas Seydoux, Chairman of the Forum d'Avignon, stating the importance of such franco german partnership, creating the Forum dAvignon ruhr. Moreover, he suggested that, as the 50th anniversary of the treaty of elysees is going to be in january in 2013, culture should be integrated in it as a crucial part of the two countries partnership and mutual friendship.