Looking back at the A Soul for Europe Conference 2019: Calling for “Alliances of Culture”
At the tenth A Soul for Europe Conference, which took place at Akademie der Künste in Berlin, on 12-13 April, 350 citizens, activists, artists and political representatives discussed how cultural alliances with politics must be established in order to be able to act in the face of European elections and nationalist tendencies. In order to make better use of the specific potential art and culture have to create encounters between people and to thus become more effective for the European project, cultural actors need to forge alliances. Like any alliance, cultural alliances rely on networking and communication, gaining their power from pooling strengths and turning dialogue into action.
Actors of art and culture should form cross-border alliances and thus signal their commitment to Europe that goes beyond artistic work. Artistic contributions by Wolfgang Tillmans (DE/UK), Lena Witkowska (PL), the theatre company Image Aiguë (FR) and Krzyżowa Music (international) showed very impressively what socio-political commitment on the part of art can look like. The workshop programme, developed by 14 civil society and artistic partners, covered topics such as dialogue formats on Europe in structurally weak regions, memory culture, the construction of a European public sphere, the role of women in the EU Parliament and identities in Europe.