Culture is future »

04.06.2016

Hervé Digne's opening speech

Good evening and welcome!

We already knew Dakar in Argentina! Today, we are very proud to invent with you the Forum d’Avignon in Bordeaux! On an international scale, the Forum happened once in Bilbao, and in Essen – we will celebrate at the end of August our 5th year in the Ruhr.

But in France, apart from an edition in the capital, it was a première. We are delighted to be welcomed here in the splendid Grand-Théâtre for the 8th International Meetings.

I particularly want to thank the Mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppé, who immediately accepted to welcome and support us. I also want to thank Fabien Robert, deputy Mayor in charge of Culture, and Virginie Calmels, first deputy Mayor and Vice-President of Bordeaux Métropole, who helped very efficiently and warmly the Forum, by calling up the inhabitants of Bordeaux, the local companies as well as the university and cultural networks.

Let’s dream out loud: we would be very flattered if, like the Louvre in Lens or in Abu Dhabi, the Forum d’Avignon, by moving from the Papal Palace in Avignon to the city of Montaigne and Montesquieu, could get its general – universal I daresay – convictions heard everywhere.

Yes, Culture is a part of the economic development and of the attractiveness of territories. Our numerous studies – almost 40 – have put a figure on those contributions. Many policy makers have made too much of these figures, hiding the beauty of and artistic commission, the aura of a creation behind employment figures, or the touristic fallout which, though exact, brings to the shadow something crucial: Culture is life, and art is the greatness of humankind.

Hervé Digne's interview for the Forum d'Avignon @Bordeaux:


By gathering again tonight – in front of such a large audience – a unique assembly of artists, architects, policy makers, CEOs, managers of various sectors, edition, cinema, video games, media, that is to say the entire cultural and creative industries, the Forum is trying to enhance the work of creators.

It also aims at promoting original approaches of financing of cultural projects and works of art, at focusing on the numerous initiatives which create innovating combinations within territories.  

There, a link between economic innovation and artistic develops, which experiment new forms of economy and solidarity. The artist and the startupper are sometimes the two faces of a same cultural entrepreneurship – they are deeply rooted in territories and are at the front line of an economy engaged in the disruption cause by the digital revolution. We are very excited to make this energy concrete, with the award, this evening for the first time, of the Cultural start-up award.

Let’s hope that culture contributes to the fulfillment of a sustainable economy, which no longer has to prove its worth!

Whatever the basis of a « sustainable society”, this project is what we wish for. Terrorist attacks against the values of democratic societies, the exhaustion of Europe facing the tragedy of migrants, it also calls for a renewed culture. “Beauty is stronger than barbarism” said the Italian Prime Minister Renzi, after the attacks of the 13th of November. Against tensions linked to identity, creators, creative industries and the artistic heritage from previous generations is necessary to make our values cohabit every day. With the support of education, culture as the capacity of opening us to others, and to a global understanding of the world.

Relive Hervé Digne's opening speech:


We have to take up this challenge, each and every one of us. “Enterprising Culture”, the theme of our meetings, must be more than an invocation, to seize the stakes of digital technologies in order to open the access to cultural and artistic work.

We also want to get off the beaten track to promote the development of artistic practices and cultural gestures, in the respect of everyone’s cultural identity. 

To make it short, “Enterprising Culture”, it is promoting the implication of everyone, along with artists and creators: local governments, companies, associations, collectives or citizens. It means reaffirming that culture is not a privilege: it is everyone’s business.

To open the debate, I will give the floor to Alain Juppé. You made of Bordeaux an exemplary city, which has been recognized on an international scale, also based on the enhancement of heritage and audacious architectural creations. We are very much looking forward to the Cité du Vin, and the future house of creative economy and Culture.

About Hervé Digne, chairman of the Forum d’Avignon and chairman of Cofiloisirs