Culture Action Europe’s conference ‘Beyond the Obvious – Belonging & Becoming: Culture, Heritage and our Future’ took place in Rome

CULPOL project coordinator Aleksandra Uzelac participated at the Culture Action Europe’s AGM and its annual conference ‘Beyond the Obvious – Belonging & Becoming: Culture, Heritage and our Future’ which took place from 15-17 November in Rome (Italy). Conceptualizing culture as a cohesive force, the conference questioned ways to engage in the processes of becoming citizens and living up to our full potentials.

This year conference edition gathered cultural policy researchers, cultural professionals, cultural civil society representatives, policy-makers and leaders from Europe and beyond who shared their visions on the future of Europe. The rich program structured as Cultural Agora offered multiple choices of panel sessions focusing on the main theme Belonging and Becoming questioning:

“How can we, as artists and cultural operators, engaged citizens and policy makers, rationalists and visionaries, develop an inclusive belonging?

What is the impact of civic participation on social cohesion?

How can we on all levels – local, national and European – create an understanding of belonging based on diversity and inclusion?”

Taking place just prior to the launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, the event put its focus on the issues of heritage and social innovations, and on education, challenging the simplistic views and exposing the complexity of both issues. In addition to these two main topics, conversations and debates were opened on numerous other issues such as: participatory processes in public and private sector, the future of sustainable cities, audience development, etc. Within the programme Lungomare Mediterraneo, representatives from Rijeka 2020 and CULPOL project stakeholders – Emina Višnić and Irena Kregar Šegota presented ECoC Rijeka 2020 and exchanged views with the experts from the ECoC 2018 and 2019 cities: La Valetta and Matera.

The news of the inclusion of Culture and Education in the Gothenburg Social Summit on 17 November, as well as the EC’s Communication ‘Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture’ coincided with the conference, allowing for first exchanges with the political stakeholders and cultural players present.

Check the Beyond the Obvious Cultural Agora picture gallery and youtube channel.

Beyond the Obvious (BtO) report will be available soon at: