International conference “Participatory Governance in Culture: Exploring Practices, Theories and Policies. Do It Together” was held in Rijeka

CULPOL project stakeholders and partners Kultura Nova Foundation and Rijeka 2020 LLC organised the international interdisciplinary conference “Participatory Governance in Culture: Exploring Practices, Theories and Policies. Do It Together” that took place in Rijeka from 22-24 November 2017. The conference gathered scholars, researchers, theorists, cultural operators, artists, practitioners, activists, policy-makers, and decision-makers from across the world and from a broad range of disciplines to talk about the challenges, limitations, paradoxes and perspectives that cultural research, practices and policies are increasingly facing around the concept of participatory governance.

As traditional public governance and market-oriented governance systems do not manage to adequately respond to the complex realities of policy challenges nor to respond to the needs of cultural professionals and artists, audiences and local communities, this conference has put in its focus the necessity of establishing new models of governance in culture that has been recognised as relevant European and global issue. Numerous cultural initiatives around the world challenge traditional governance models and are experimenting with innovative approaches to governance transcending the conventional representative institutional frameworks – and this conference have put this in the spotlight.

During three full days, various practical, theoretical and political approaches and meanings of participatory governance in different geopolitical and social contexts have been discussed, and ideas were exchanged for integration of these practices into the existing framework of cultural and other relevant policies. The issue was considered from various angles, such as: the implications of participation for democratic values in public (cultural) policies; the complexities of power relations and authority devolution between different stakeholders; differences among private, public and common interests of all relevant stakeholders; ethics of participation; and institutional and policies change and innovation.

CULPOL organisational board members Ana Žuvela, Barbara Lovrinić and Aleksandra Uzelac (CULPOL project coordinator) participated at the conference together with other CULPOL stakeholders.

The conference was supported by European Cultural Foundation and IFACCA and has been selected as an ENCATC labelled event. The conference is a part of the ”Approaches to Participatory Governance of Cultural Institutions” project supported by UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity.

Keynote speeches, panel sessions and open talks video recordings as well as the official photographs are now available at the Conference web site.

Conference programme booklet [PDF]