International conference on networking in the cultural sector
12 June 2008
City Hotel Ljubljana,
Dalmatinova 15, Slovenia
Short overview of the conference
The international conference dedicated to the topic of networking and stimulating transnational cooperation and free flow of information in the cultural sector hosted altogether 150 participants, mainly representatives of various international cultural networks, including ca. 50 delegates of European Cultural Contact Points.
A lively and sincere discussion involving speakers as well as the audience has reaffirmed the absolute significance of transnational networks while highlighting their specific roles as:
- »guardians« of the public domain (the power of networking is sharing),
- common platforms for identification of and discussion on relevant issues,
- »translators« (mediators) between different stakeholders,
- empowering structures (survival and self-education; visibility and recognition),
- enablers of the decentralisation of cultural industry.
In general it was stressed that culture should not be seen as a mean (illustration, decoration, PR) but as a value as such. As a concrete example of anachronistic notion of the role of culture in our society, the obsolete and unproductive category of »Ambassadors« supported within the EU Culture Programme was pointed out. This financial support should be rather used to stimulate networks and festivals which can actually enhance transnational cooperation.
Appropriate conditions on the national and regional levels as well should enable and enhance transnational cooperation through programmes stimulating mobility of cultural workers. The EU support programmes should broaden the geographical scope and substantially include the EU neighbourhood (more should be invested on future Members and regions “on the borders”).
Existing definitions related to networks are out of date and networks should adopt more innovative conceptions of operation and contemporary, synthetic approach. We should avoid thinking in paradigm of a rigid and stable structure (‘network’) but rather of a fluid and changing process (‘networking’).
Alenka Pirman, moderator
Mateja Lazar, organiser (CCP Slovenia)
The international conference Re-network! was organised within the Informal meeting of European Cultural Contact Points (Ljubljana and Maribor, 11–14 June 2008) being one of the official events of the Slovene EU Presidency cultural programme.
Re-network! was organized by Cultural Contact Point Slovenia / SCCA, Center for Contemporary Arts-Ljubljana with a support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, the European Commission (DG EAC) and Executive Agency (EACEA), Government Communication Office of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenian EU Presidency Secretariat, CCP Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia and other partners.
This conference reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.