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Four (good) reasons to hope in 2013

Was not it provocative to talk about reasons to hope in the context of 2012? The testimonies received by the Forum d’Avignon before and during the 2012 edition or the supports after its tribune ‘Culture to get us out of the crisis’ published by Le Monde on December 4, 2012 and those of the HuffingtonPost, Evene, Terrafemina, Cineuropa, Labkultur … showed that hope is a lot more than just the theme of a debate, even a very interactive one. They constitute a mobile and shared resilience of the initial goal of the Forum d’Avignon about the links between culture and economy.

For this new year 2013, the Forum d’Avignon proposes four reasons to hope, carrying energy and change between culture and economy:

-        A sectoral and territorial reason: the vitality of the museum ambition: even if the archetype from the Enlightenment is profoundly called into question (about its use, its content, its goals… and its financing) by an excessive instrumentalization of its goals (prestige, cultural integration…), the Louvre, through the inauguration of the Louvre Lens and the creation of an eighth department dedicated to the Arts of Islam showed in 2012 that the role of the museums was still fertile. Against the temptations of appropriation, the Louvre claims a humanistic look on a civilization reduced to its religion or to offer a space to live art to a region in its industrial conversion. The physical museum – paradoxically embodied by the most emblematic of them – transformed by its avatars – virtual or imaginary – proves that it can become a beacon projecting light and meaning on a heritage for humanity to share. A crucial time has come for the Asian and Middle-Eastern museums. Let’s observe it.


-        An economical reason: the effervescence of the participative financing: even if it arouses perplexity among the public accountants, the crowdfunding keeps its promises of popular and collaborative financing. It is a rush of empathy in a context where the financings got scarcer. We only need to frame it to enable the civil society to take part in cultural projects that required its adhesion, its word of mouth and its financing. Europe should understand that this financing mode related to the responsibility and the cultural investment of the citizens should be included in the revision of the Small Business Act.


-        A reason of development of cultural diversity: the emergence of a creative middle-earth beyond the utopian metaphor of the Hobbits imagined by Tolkien, a diversity at the heart of the creative industries studied by Bain & Co for the Forum d’Avignon 2012. If the blockbusters remain more necessary than ever in a ecosystem of the offer, intermediary works now have an easier access to their targeted audiences. The generation of 15/25 year-olds has understood this reality, it does not only consume or share the digital, but is also creates with the digital tools which will constitute tomorrow’s culture. Intuitively, they make us understand that the creative development participates in the sustainable development and the UN agenda should take into account.


-        And a hope to share together: the Europe of culture. In her tribune published on December 18 in Le Monde, Irina Bokova, Director General of the Unesco, reminded that the enhancement of cultural diversity is a chance for Europe. “At a time when the world tries to reconcile rapid, sustainable and inclusive growth, it is normal that several countries bet on the human capital of culture and education to succeed. When the new President of Mexico declared that he wanted to be a major actor of the Spanish-speaking culture, the President of Indonesia answered that cultural diversity was the first innovation source of the country. A movement is up: which role does Europe want to play?” Convinced that it is urgent to put culture at the heart of the European project, the Forum d’Avignon will contribute with proposals. It is important to keep believing in the Europeans … and make them hope! 


The Forum d’Avignon wishes you a happy new year


Laure Kaltenbach and Olivier Le Guay, Forum d’Avignon