A Soul for Europe Conference 2019

Workshops

13. April 2019: Towards A European Citizens’ Convention
Academy of Arts, Pariser Platz 4

Conference Overview
   
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A Soul for Europe Conference 2019

Workshops

Conference Info
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1

Democracy Fitness

Advocate Europe

We all have democratic muscles! But like muscles in general our democratic muscles require training not to become weak – risking weakening the entire democratic body of Europe. Democracy Fitness is simple, active and motivating training. Each training session takes 30 minutes and focus on one democratic muscle.

2

Culture & Well-being – A pragmatic Approach to move between European and local Politics through Culture

A Soul for Europe: Frédéric Meseeuw, Mahir Namur, Rarita Zbranca, Yves Mettler | MEP: Arne Lietz

How do we define well-being and what role does culture play for the well-being of citizens? As new ways to address urban development, citizenship, difference, disability, happiness or meaning are needed for the future of Europe, we want to discuss an alternative approach to local politics through culture, articulated around the notion of well-being. Together we aim to form an informal group of people interested in discussing the topics further in the future.

3

Importance of women for European (cultural) policy on the basis of their presence in the European Parliament (past, present and future)

A Soul for Europe: Miguel Martin Ramos, Giusy Chierchia

In 1979, the first European elections were held and female candidates were strongly motivated and mobilized to run for European Parliament. The European institutions, in particular the European Commission, but also the civil society and many other associations and movements fought to make women more conscious of their rights and supported female candidates. The results of the elections were unbelievable: The presence of women increased from 6% to 16% and the European Parliament had its first female president, Simone Veil. Starting from these reflections, the idea of the workshop is to find a ways and actions to increase women’s consciousness about the importance of next European Elections.

4

“Europa hört – Europe listens“

Das Progressive Zentrum

There is much discussion about Europe today – at events launched by political organisations in metropoles such as Berlin or in an academic context. In these formats, one usually meets similar people and often the same people speak. However, Europe not only affects citizens in big cities – it has an impact in all of Germany. A Europe in which all interests are represented can only be built if every voice can be heard, also those who are otherwise often ignored in politics. The discourse on Europe should be therefore conducted in such a way that people outside big cities are listened to and that everyone feels represented in the European debate. How to do it?

Within our project “Europa hört – eine Dialogreise” we toured Germany doing precisely that: listening to what citizens in structurally weak regions have to say about Europe. Visit our workshop if you would want to find out how to establish a dialogue format with a chosen target group!

5

Can there be a European culture of remembrance?

European Academy Berlin | MEP: Michael Cramer

1989 – so close and yet so far away… The children of those days are grown up, the adults reached the retirement age and a new generation, born after the fall of the Berlin Wall, is entering the labour market. This year has become part of our collective memory like hardly any other event of contemporary history. It has become a so called realm of memory. The 30th anniversary of 1989 is a perfect occasion to take a look beyond national boundaries and focus on Cultures of remembrance in Europe. There are in different countries – and also among different generations – countless perspectives on this decisive moment of recent history.

How do we remember 1989, what do we remember – and what do we forget? How memories are changing over time? Can there be a European Culture of remembrance? And can a common culture of remembrance serve as a “social cement” holding together Europe? These and other questions serve as a starting point to discuss collective memories, transmission of memories within the family and Cultures of remembrance all over Europe – by means of the Fast Networking method.

6

Assemblies – How can we form a political community?

Evens Foundation

The workshop, designed with artists and architects is for activists, cultural producers, social scientists, and all those interested in organizing public conversations and debates.

How do we assemble, negotiate, debate or deliberate, and sometimes come to a compromise between people with widely divergent views on contentious and sensitive topics? How do our differences and particularities, our disagreements – some of them irreconcilable, allow a common discussion and elaboration of solutions for collective challenges?

These questions are at the core of an ongoing research and experimentation project initiated by the Evens Foundation. This workshop will look at some of the conceptual and practical questions that explore the conditions for a good collective discussion.  More specifically, we will try to understand the relations between spaces and forms of assemblies and the effects and knowledge they produce. Or, how does the way people gather shape their thinking and actions?

In times of increasing social polarisation and distrust in traditional political institutions, we want to contribute to the burgeoning public debate on the ways of opening up and reviving democratic processes and forms of civil dialogue.

7

Beyond “the others” – At home in Black Europe

Polis180

What does being European or being “at home” in Europe mean? How can Europe be defined as a political community rather with than against “others“?

Polis180 discusses these questions with Johny Pits, photographer and founder of Afropean, a London-based initiative that aims to connect the Black Community throughout Europe, and Antje Scharenberg, researcher at Goldsmiths University and activist at European Alternatives. The workshop explores a notion of Europe that is based on alternative transnational subjectivities, and communities that are under the radar of mainstream public discourse. Besides the discussion, Johny and Antje will share pieces of their work that involving the fields of photography, literature, activism and research.

8

Cultural Policy from Below

Polis180

Which Cultural Policy, if any, should the European Union pursue? We strongly believe that artists and cultural actors should be influential in elaborating an answer to this question.

The workshop Cultural Policy from Below will focus on a series of propositions elaborated by young cultural actors during a participative discussion (Workshop, crowdsourcing platform Policy Kitchen) organized ahead of the conference A Soul for Europe.

We will discuss those propositions with experts and leading actors of EU’s Cultural Policy, as well as reflect the points of tension emerging in the process of elaboration of those propositions.

9

Squaring the circle – How to unfold a European media sphere 

cafebabel.com, Wir sind Europa, n-ost (N.N.)

For a number of years the (European) media have been facing multiple problems: Subscription numbers as well as ad revenues are shrinking, in several countries press freedom is threatened by the influences of oligarchs and other stakeholders and many users lose trust in traditional media and turn to social networks where they are exposed to disinformation and fake news. Yet European democratic societies need media that are independent, trustworthy and dare to look beyond national borders. How can transnational (online) publication platforms and cross border investigations contribute to a European media sphere? What kind of progressive and trustworthy media spaces are imaginable and what are the preconditions for their emergence? And to what extent should the EU support independent media outlets with a European focus?

1

Democracy Fitness

Advocate Europe

We all have democratic muscles! But like muscles in general our democratic muscles require training not to become weak – risking weakening the entire democratic body of Europe. Democracy Fitness is simple, active and motivating training. Each training session takes 30 minutes and focus on one democratic muscle.

2

Culture & Well-being – A pragmatic Approach to move between European and local Politics through Culture

A Soul for Europe: Frédéric Meseeuw, Mahir Namur, Rarita Zbranca, Yves Mettler | MEP: Arne Lietz

How do we define well-being and what role does culture play for the well-being of citizens? As new ways to address urban development, citizenship, difference, disability, happiness or meaning are needed for the future of Europe, we want to discuss an alternative approach to local politics through culture, articulated around the notion of well-being. Together we aim to form an informal group of people interested in discussing the topics further in the future.

3

Importance of women for European (cultural) policy on the basis of their presence in the European Parliament (past, present and future)

A Soul for Europe: Miguel Martin Ramos, Giusy Chierchia

In 1979, the first European elections were held and female candidates were strongly motivated and mobilized to run for European Parliament. The European institutions, in particular the European Commission, but also the civil society and many other associations and movements fought to make women more conscious of their rights and supported female candidates. The results of the elections were unbelievable: The presence of women increased from 6% to 16% and the European Parliament had its first female president, Simone Veil. Starting from these reflections, the idea of the workshop is to find a ways and actions to increase women’s consciousness about the importance of next European Elections.

4

“Europa hört – Europe listens“

Das Progressive Zentrum

There is much discussion about Europe today – at events launched by political organisations in metropoles such as Berlin or in an academic context. In these formats, one usually meets similar people and often the same people speak. However, Europe not only affects citizens in big cities – it has an impact in all of Germany. A Europe in which all interests are represented can only be built if every voice can be heard, also those who are otherwise often ignored in politics. The discourse on Europe should be therefore conducted in such a way that people outside big cities are listened to and that everyone feels represented in the European debate. How to do it?

Within our project “Europa hört – eine Dialogreise” we toured Germany doing precisely that: listening to what citizens in structurally weak regions have to say about Europe. Visit our workshop if you would want to find out how to establish a dialogue format with a chosen target group!

5

Can there be a European culture of remembrance?

European Academy Berlin | MEP: Michael Cramer

1989 – so close and yet so far away… The children of those days are grown up, the adults reached the retirement age and a new generation, born after the fall of the Berlin Wall, is entering the labour market. This year has become part of our collective memory like hardly any other event of contemporary history. It has become a so called realm of memory. The 30th anniversary of 1989 is a perfect occasion to take a look beyond national boundaries and focus on Cultures of remembrance in Europe. There are in different countries – and also among different generations – countless perspectives on this decisive moment of recent history.

How do we remember 1989, what do we remember – and what do we forget? How memories are changing over time? Can there be a European Culture of remembrance? And can a common culture of remembrance serve as a “social cement” holding together Europe? These and other questions serve as a starting point to discuss collective memories, transmission of memories within the family and Cultures of remembrance all over Europe – by means of the Fast Networking method.

6

Assemblies – How can we form a political community?

Evens Foundation

The workshop, designed with artists and architects is for activists, cultural producers, social scientists, and all those interested in organizing public conversations and debates.

How do we assemble, negotiate, debate or deliberate, and sometimes come to a compromise between people with widely divergent views on contentious and sensitive topics? How do our differences and particularities, our disagreements – some of them irreconcilable, allow a common discussion and elaboration of solutions for collective challenges?

These questions are at the core of an ongoing research and experimentation project initiated by the Evens Foundation. This workshop will look at some of the conceptual and practical questions that explore the conditions for a good collective discussion.  More specifically, we will try to understand the relations between spaces and forms of assemblies and the effects and knowledge they produce. Or, how does the way people gather shape their thinking and actions?

In times of increasing social polarisation and distrust in traditional political institutions, we want to contribute to the burgeoning public debate on the ways of opening up and reviving democratic processes and forms of civil dialogue.

7

Beyond “the others” – At home in Black Europe

Polis180

What does being European or being “at home” in Europe mean? How can Europe be defined as a political community rather with than against “others“?

Polis180 discusses these questions with Johny Pits, photographer and founder of Afropean, a London-based initiative that aims to connect the Black Community throughout Europe, and Antje Scharenberg, researcher at Goldsmiths University and activist at European Alternatives. The workshop explores a notion of Europe that is based on alternative transnational subjectivities, and communities that are under the radar of mainstream public discourse. Besides the discussion, Johny and Antje will share pieces of their work that involving the fields of photography, literature, activism and research.

8

Cultural Policy from Below

Polis180

Which Cultural Policy, if any, should the European Union pursue? We strongly believe that artists and cultural actors should be influential in elaborating an answer to this question.

The workshop Cultural Policy from Below will focus on a series of propositions elaborated by young cultural actors during a participative discussion (Workshop, crowdsourcing platform Policy Kitchen) organized ahead of the conference A Soul for Europe.

We will discuss those propositions with experts and leading actors of EU’s Cultural Policy, as well as reflect the points of tension emerging in the process of elaboration of those propositions.

9

Squaring the circle – How to unfold a European media sphere 

cafebabel.com, Wir sind Europa, n-ost (N.N.)

For a number of years the (European) media have been facing multiple problems: Subscription numbers as well as ad revenues are shrinking, in several countries press freedom is threatened by the influences of oligarchs and other stakeholders and many users lose trust in traditional media and turn to social networks where they are exposed to disinformation and fake news. Yet European democratic societies need media that are independent, trustworthy and dare to look beyond national borders. How can transnational (online) publication platforms and cross border investigations contribute to a European media sphere? What kind of progressive and trustworthy media spaces are imaginable and what are the preconditions for their emergence? And to what extent should the EU support independent media outlets with a European focus?