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Krzysztof Nieczypor

[Events] The Eastern Partnership Culture Congress

“We wouldn’t face such a deep crisis of multicultural society, such helplessness against wars in the former Yugoslavia, such problems with the idea of identity and community shared by successors of the French Revolution and two decades of totalitarianism, if the European Union was also perceived as a cultural project from the beginning.” This is the idea the organizers of the Eastern Partnership Culture Congress – held in Lublin on October 21-23, 2011- are to promote. But would culture play such a part within the integration process among the countries of the European Union and Eastern Europe? The special guests – artists and cultural animators invited to this event from entire Europe – will be searching for the answer to that question.

The Eastern Partnership Culture Congress logo

The Eastern Partnership Culture Congress logo

The Eastern Partnership Culture Congress is the first initiative of this kind within the frames of the EU programme called the Eastern Partnership. The Congress, according to the organizers, is to become a platform for sharing ideas, creating instruments for collaboration and establishing a joint representation on the European forum.

The participants of the Congress are artists and people involved in cultural activities, representatives of NGOs and local authorities, mainly from the EaP and EU countries, but also from Russia and European countries being outside the Union.

“The Congress is a place for artists, thinkers and culture organizers seeking for changes in culture and ready to implement them, seeking for new forms and areas of artistic and animation activities, open to partnership combining organic work within a society with courage of artistic ambitions. During Eastern Partnership Culture Congress, there will be time to get to know each other and to present examples of good practice,” we read on the Congress’ website.

The Congress, according to the organizers’ postulations, is aiming to:

  • establish a platform “cultures for changes” based on: congresses held every two years, activity of think-tanks and work groups, publications, summer schools and other partnership events;
  • establish Eastern Partnership as a cultural project;
  • develop a long-term cooperation with Eastern Partnership neighbouring countries: European Union, Russia, Turkey and other regions;
  • engage culture in social change, modernization and development process;
  • elaborate organization and financial tools for common ideas and arrangements.

The first Congress will focus on five themes: culture facing independence, culture facing education, culture facing co-existence, culture facing development, culture facing organization. All five will be analysed during two-day cycles of Myslarnias (Polish root-word: myśl – idea; a form of panel discussion) and Maisternias (Polish root-word: majstrować – to tinker; a form of workshops); the summary will be in a form of congress’ recommendation (check the Programme).

The Cultural Congress is continuing and developing the preceding initiatives addressing similar subjects, including the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, established under the auspices of the Czech presidency, and a conference “Go East!” held in Warsaw in 2009.

Participation in the Congress is free of charge; the only condition is registration through an application form on the website.

Another part of the Congress is a contest “Culture Above Borders.” Details and rules here.

More information on the website portal is a partner supporting organization of the event.

We invite you to join us!

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Krzysztof Nieczypor
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Absolwent stosunków międzynarodowych na Wydziale Politologii UMCS w Lublinie, Międzywydziałowych Studiów Wschodniosłowiańskich UW oraz podyplomowych Studiów Wschodnich w Studium Europy Wschodniej.

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