The Charter establishing the Council of Ministers of Culture of SEE has been signed
On March 31, 2005, nine ministers of culture from the region have signed the Charter which establishes the "Council of the Ministers of Culture of South East Europe". The event has taken place in Copenhagen, at the invitation of the Nordic Council, one of the supporters of this initiative, and it follows the previous development meetings aimed at the setup of this regional council of ministers, which have been covered in our past issues. The Charter has been endorsed so far by ministers of culture from Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey. One of the main objectives of the Council is "the creation of a new forum for dialogue and interaction between the Ministers of Culture and other government and non-government structures to construct joint cultural strategies, opportunities and projects, and to exchange information and experiences". This will be pursued by "undertaking joint cultural projects, thus assisting in bringing closer the cultures of South Eastern European countries and in encouraging co-habitation and peace among them by respecting diversity; promoting and supporting, by political, legislative and administrative structures, the co-operation and co-ordination of independent, cultural organisations and institutions in the South East Europe; employing the potential of the existing programmes of the Council of Europe, UNESCO, EU and other non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations, in order to achieve synergy between the different international initiatives to the advantage of the South East Europe". Albania holds the presidency of the Council for one year.
Consult the text of the Charter here HERE. For further information contact Arben Kumbaro, Adviser of the Minister, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport of the Republic of Albania at email@example.com.
Policies for Culture news
New publication in the "Force of example" series: Case study on Technological Park Culture - Bulgaria
The second issue of the Policies for Culture 'Force of Example' Publication Series features a new case study focusing this time on the experience of the "Technological Park Culture I & II" action projects developed in the framework of the programme and implemented between 2001-2003. The project emerged as a distinctive process of civil society development with the aim of playing the role of both observatory and laboratory in the field of cultural policy development in Bulgaria. The publication, available in both English and Bulgarian versions, was prepared by Milena Deleva, and is available for free. The first publication in this series was the case study "Local Cultural Strategy Development for the City of Plovdiv - Bulgaria". Other case studies of the Policies for Culture action projects are under preparation and will be published in 2005.
For more information and orders write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Action project update: Developments in the framework of the recently launched ARCult Forum (Bucharest, Romania)
The discussions that have taken place during the first meeting in the framework of the "ARCult Forum", organised by the ECUMEST Association on February 25, 2005, have been concerned with numerous aspects regarding the funding system for diverse fields and types of actors, as well as general funding principles and strategies in the cultural field. A brief report gathering the key issues that were identified during this meeting, with questions, proposals and suggestions that were brought up is now available in English on the webpage of this project. For the second meeting, which will take place on April 20, ECUMEST proposes one of the topics that have constantly been brought up during the discussions concerning the public funding and, at a more general level, the cultural market in Romania: "the independent sector". The debate aims to bring into discussion the notions of "independent", "non-governmental", or "freelance", alternatively trying to differentiate between the institutional, legal and artistic levels. It also sets out to bring forward the different perspectives and practices concerning the above-mentioned issues in the Romanian context.
For more information contact the ECUMEST Association at email@example.com or visit the webpage dedicated to this project.
News from the region
Bosnia & Herzegovina: "A Culture Served Cold"
Under this title, Transitions Online has published in March 2005 an article by Mirjana Plazonic, reporting that Bosnia’s National Museum has reopened its doors, but that the battle with indifferent politicians over the financing of B-H's key national cultural institutions is far from over.
Source: Bosnian Institute. For more information about this topic consult the entire article HERE.
Bulgaria & Romania: Foreseeing EU accession
> The Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Multilingualism, Jan Figel, has visited Sofia and Bucharest on 16-18 March 2005. Since his appointment as Commissioner, this was his first official visit to Bulgaria and Romania, and was dedicated to discussions with the authorities regarding the current developments in the fields of education and culture, and on the role of education in the Lisbon process of economic and social reforms, in view of the implementation of commitments taken in the pre-accession phase and which must be fulfilled before 1 January 2007. The Commisioner has also visited education institutions of the Bulgarian and Romanian capitals and has given speeches at the Bucharest University, respectively at the St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia.
For more details visit the websites of the Information Centre of the European Commission in Romania and of the European Commission's Delegation to Bulgaria.
> "Communicating Europe" is the title of the public lecture of Mr Atzo Nicolai, Minister for European Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which will be hosted by the Red House Center for Culture and Debate, Sofia, on April 6. Mr. Nikolai has served as Director of the Arts Department at the Ministry of Welfare, Health and Culture and he is Secretary General of the Dutch Arts Council and of the Council for Culture. Source: www.redhouse-sofia.org.
On official visit in the region, Mr. Nikolai will also participate to the launching of the publication "Mapping opportunities for cultural cooperation - A short guide to the Romanian sector today" - realised by the ECUMEST Association at the commissioning of the Royal Netherlands Embassy -, which will take place in Bucharest, on April 7. More details about this publication are available below, in the Publications section.
Bulgaria & SEE: Establishing cultural cooperation projects in the region
> Bulgarian Culture and Tourism Minister Nina Chilova and her Greek and Turkish counterparts, Dimitris Avramopoulos and Atilla Koc respectively, have recently met to discuss the idea of creating a Sofia-Istanbul-Athens "golden triangle" for culture and tourism. According to Chilova, a pilot project called "Rhodopi Mountains - Home of Orpheus" is already being discussed by Bulgarian and Greek tour operators. Source: SETimes.
> A Culture and Information Centre of the Republic of Bulgaria was opened at the Bulgarian Embassy in Skopje. The centre was promoted by Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski and his Bulgarian counterpart Georgi Prvanov. The opening of the Centre is in line with the Agreement for reciprocal opening of cultural centres in the two countries, with the aim of promoting cultural cooperation between the two countries. Source: www.culture.in.mk.
Croatia: Continuation of the programme of capacity building for the cultural institutions in Zagreb
The one-year project of training in "Strategic Planning and Organisational Development in Culture: Cultural Institutions in the City of Zagreb" will come to an end on 8-9 April, 2005 with a round table on strategic planning and urban development. This first initiative supported by the Zagreb municipality will be continued in 2005. Thus, the Ministry of Culture and the City of Zagreb have already showed interest in supporting a project of training of trainers for the NGO sector in the cultural field, as well as of continuing the strategic planning training for public institutions while opening it up to the representatives of the cultural administration and cultural industries in Zagreb. This initiative is one of the follow-ups of the strategy development process launched in 2002, which has also enjoyed the support of the Policies for Culture programme and benefits from the constant involvement of experts of the PfC network such as Sanjin Dragojevic and Andrea Zlatar.
For more information contact Sanjin Dragoevic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Romania: THEOREM General Assembly to take place in Bucharest
The THEOREM network (Theatres de l’Est et de l’Ouest - Rencontres Europeennes du Millenaire) is holding its annual assembly in Bucharest, on 8-11 April 2005, under the organisation of Art Addict and Solitude Project Associations. On this occasion, the THEOREM members who will meet in Bucharest intend to have an insigt into the context of performing arts in Romania and to establish a dialogue with the local public authorities in the field in order to explore possible future collaborations and partnerships. The present assembly of THEOREM follows the recent re-organisation of the network, with the switch of the management team to Eastern Europe, after May 2004, at the recently formed Latvian Institute of New Theatre (Zane Kreicberga, Gundega Laivina and Karina Bandere) – which has taken over from the Paris team (Nathalie Vimeux and Myriam Chautemps) from March 2005.
For more information contact Mihai Mihalcea, dancer & choreographer, Solitude Project, at
email@example.com, or Andreea Grecu, Manager of Art Addict, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.asso-theorem.com/news.
Serbia & Montenegro:
> Balkan Express stopped in Belgrade
Balkan Express had its first 2005 meeting in Belgrade, on March 15-17, only few days before the IETM Plenary Meeting, under the organisation of the DAH Theatre Research Centre and in cooperation with with ECUMEST (Bucharest) and Bunker productions (Ljubljana). With a special focus this time on the role of the performing arts in regional development, the meeting gathered more than 70 participants from the Balkan region and other European countries. Opened by a panel discussion, the meeting facilitated the presentation of around 30 projects – examples of good practice namely around the art as a factor for development that led to lively and animated debates, as well as around mobility and networking as a tool for artistic development. A report of the meeting will be soon available on the page dedicated to Balkan Express on the IETM website HERE.
> Contemporary dance scene fights for legitimacy
The contemporary dance scene in Belgrade has been fighting for its existence for the past 10 years. During this period, individual efforts of dancers and choreographers have been made for making productions, for organising workshops and popularizing contemporary dance, without the involvement of public institutional structures and without benefiting from an appropriate working space or venue. A group of 40 dancers and choreographers has recently gathered in order to establish the "Station" - a structure dedicated to the development of contemporary dance, designed to take care of the distribution and exchange of information, education, co-productions, networking, local and international promotion of Serbian contemporary dance. The group will publicly address this issue and lobby the Belgrade City Assembly in order to get the needed financial support for the development of the "Station".
For more information contact Dalija Acin, dancer & choreographer, at email@example.com.
SEE: UK South East Forum: Cultural Industries in SEE (Plovdiv, Bulgaria)
Organised in the framework of the UK South East Forum, the programme of UK-SEE cooperation of the British Council, this event brought together over 110 people from 12 cities and regions from SEE and UK - Tirana (Albania), Tuzla (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Split (Croatia), Pristina (Kosovo, UN Administration), Skopje (Macedonia), Iasi (Romania), Novi Sad and Podgorica (Serbia and Montenegro) and Wales, Cornwall and North East England from UK. Participants were creative professionals, representatives of creative businesses, city authorities and local government. The aim of the workshop was to strengthen the existing partnerships and to facilitate the elaboration of relevant and sustainable projects, as well as to stimulate the cities to work in a network, in order to exchange practices and experiences during the preparation and the project implementation processes. Among the outcomes of this seminar were the agreement on the need for an extensive mapping study in the region, the coherence in the applied methodologies, and the setup of sustainable partnerships. The practical result of these few days is at least one small scale pilot project which each city team will develop and prepare to implement in the next 12 months.
For more information www.uksee.net.
Projects and Initiatives
E-761 OPEN HIGHWAY: Arts and Culture Networking Programme in Serbia
E-761 OPEN HIGHWAY is a three-year programme designed to support innovative contemporary art and culture production and networking within four municipalities of central Serbia: Uzice, Pozega, Cacak and Kraljevo. Implemented since January 2005 by a network of eight local non-governmental organisations, under the coordination of the Academica Alternative Association Uzice (also initiator of one of the Policies for Culture action projects in the region), E-761 Open Highway is supported by the Swiss Cultural Programme Serbia and Montenegro. The mission of the programme is to establish partnerships among the public institutions, private sector, citizens’ organisations, individual artists and authors, professionals in arts and culture of the four cities involved, with the aim to improve cultural environment through building local capacities in the contemporary art production and presentation focused on the innovative and socially engaged forms. In the next three years, the partners of the programme will also work on building a platform for planning and implementation of specific strategies designed to foster cross-municipal cultural development in the area and SEE cultural cooperation as well. One of the initial activities of the E-761 Open Highway is the public call open until April 20, 2005 to the local institutions, organisations, artists and authors. E-761 Highway connecting Kraljevo and Uzice via Cacak and Pozega is open to all interested individuals and organisations – participants in arts and culture production in central Serbia. Moreover, it is open with the ambition to become a wide road for the arts and culture in this four cities aware of the cultural diversities on the way of joining the European future.
For more information contact Aleksandar Djeric, Director of the Academica Alternative Association Uzice, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the E-761 OPEN HIGHWAY webpage.
STEP within South East Europe: the experiences of the STEP beyond mobility fund in facilitating mobility to/from/within the region
A first evaluation of the use of the STEP beyond mobility fund for cooperation initiatives with or within South East Europe has been given by Lieke Schuitmaker, ECF programme officer, at the recent meeting of the Balkan Express network (Belgrade, 15-17 March 2005). In its two years of existence, STEP beyond noticed a lot of attention for travel to and from the Balkan region. Especially the performing arts scene (theatre and dance) has been very active in traveling and making connections, but also other art scenes such as the field of new media art featured amongst the grantees of STEP beyond. In the region, Bulgaria, Romania and Macedonia sent off the most travelers to other countries funded through STEP beyond, while Serbia & Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Macedonia received the most travelers. Looking at some more statistics, it can be concluded that especially travel between the Balkans and the EU was a very popular activity. In 2003 and 2004, approximately 25% of all applications were made for a travel from an EU country (including the new member states) to the Balkan region, while approx. 25% applicants handed in an application for a travel grant from the Balkan countries to the EU. On the other hand, travels within the Balkan region were far less frequent: in 2003 only 5% applied for a travel from one Balkan country to another, and in 2004 this number increased to a modest 15%. The conclusions are that, as it results from the experiences of STEP beyond, there are many ties and interest between the Balkan region and the European Union, and especially Serbia & Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France provide a considerable number of travelers. Exchange between the Balkan countries is, however, far less frequent.
For more information write to Lieke Schuitmaker, Programme Officer - European Cultural Foundation, at email@example.com, or visit the Grants section at www.eurocult.org.
April 15-17, 2005: Second European Cultural Forum (Luxembourg)
Under the patronage of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Pierre Werner Institute (Luxembourg) will organise the Second European Cultural Forum on April 15-17, 2005. The guiding theme will be "Rediscovering Europe". The roundtables will be dedicated to topics such as: European identities and European consciousness; the enlarged Europe - opportunities and risks; the ideas and statements of the Berlin Conference for European Cultural Policy; Europe seen by the artists; East-West - Cultural Networks; Europe seen from outside. The meeting will gather politicians, experts, cultural managers and artists from throughout Europe, the SEE countries being strongly represented, among others, by Biserka Cvjeticanin, Director of the Culturelink Network (Zagreb), Dessislava Gavrilova, Director of the Red House Center for Culture and Debate (Sofia), and Corina Suteu, independent expert & President of the ECUMEST Association (Bucharest).
For more information visit the website of the Pierre Werner Institute at www.ipw.lu.
May 6-8, 2005: International Forum on Turkey-Europe Cultural Relations (Istanbul, Turkey)
The European Cultural Association is organising the "International Forum on Turkey-Europe Cultural Relations" in collaboration with the History Foundation of Turkey, Austrian Cultural Forum, British Council, French Cultural Institute, Goethe Institute and the General Consulate of the Netherlands in Istanbul. The Forum will take place from 6 to 8 May, 2005, in the historical Imperial Mint complex (History Foundation of Turkey) within the Topkapi Palace. The objective of this event is to raise awareness on the important role played by culture in the Turkey-EU relations, in order to influence decision makers to take concrete measures on increasing cooperation and exchange projects. This international forum, which consists of a conference, panel discussions, artistic events and receptions also aims to facilitate networking, aiming to represent an open platform for cultural stakeholders from Europe and the Mediterranean region.
For more information visit www.europist.net.
June 24-25, 2005: The first meeting of the Banlieues d'Europ'Est (Bucharest, Romania)
Banlieues d’Europe'Est will organise its first meeting in order to establish the first elements of a discourse on the alternative/peripheric art and culture in South East Europe, and to promote cooperation and exchanges between cultural centres installed in the peripheric areas of cities or traditional artistic circuits in the region. The encounter is aimed at examining the approaches and constraints inherent to this double marginalisation (geographic and artistic), as well as the innovating capacities existent in these centres.
For more information contact Silvia Cazacu, network coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.banlieues-europe.com.
CPEG - Cultural Policy Education Group launches Mobility Scheme
The Cultural Policy Education Group, initiated by the European Cultural Foundation and developed with the participation of Corina Suteu as coordinating expert, has recently launched a Mobility Scheme for guest lecturing, curriculum development and fact-finding missions in the field of cultural policy teaching. Who can apply: the Mobility Scheme addresses academic institutions which have long-term interest and potential in cultural policy education. Geographical reach: Central & Eastern Europe and its neighboring areas. There is no deadline, but applications will be evaluated on the 'first come first served' basis.
For more information and the application forms visit the CPEG webpage, or contact Milena Deleva, CPEG coordinator, at email@example.com.
Managing Cultural Transitions in Southeastern Europe Course – Impact of Creative Industries & Cultural Cooperation in Southeastern Europe Conference (Dubrovnik, Croatia)
Application deadline: 20 April 2005
The fifth in the series of courses organised by the Department of Culture and Communication of the Institute for International Relations (IMO), Zagreb will take place from 8-14 May 2005. The courses have been held at the Inter University Centre (IUC) in Dubrovnik continuously from the year 2000. This year the organisers have decided to merge two classical forms of work: conference and postgraduate course. The intention is to get prominent and expert speakers interested in regional developments and to stimulate discussion on the issues pertinent for regional cultural development by involving young interested students as much as possible. The course will focus on the impact of creative industries in the region of SEE. Its objectives are: to provide an analytical insight into theoretical and conceptual issues of cultural transitions, to examine cultural policies in the context of cultural transitions and the EU integration, and to examine the cultural economics and cultural communication in the area of SEE. A special stress shall be given to analytical insight into practical and conceptual issues of contemporary cultural cooperation in Southeastern Europe. To apply send a short CV and a letter of motivation to the contacts below.
For more information contact Jaka Primorac at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.culturelink.hr.
Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University (AMSU)
Application deadline: 1 July 2005
The programme proposes a variety of summer courses in the field of cultural management and international cooperation among which: Innovative Strategies in International Cultural Cooperation (23-25 August); International Production Management (28-31 August); Development and Management of Autonomous Creative Spaces in Europe (16-20 August). A limited number of scholarships are available for students from most Central and Eastern European countries and Turkey and are financially supported by the Social Transformation Programme Central and Eastern Europe (MATRA) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For more information and the application forms contact email@example.com or visit www.amsu.edu.
Reminder: Cultural Policy Research Award 2005
Application deadline: 5 May 2005
The main aim of the Cultural Policy Research Award (CPR Award) is to stimulate academic research in the field of cultural policy, with an emphasis on the usefulness of the research in terms of practical application. The research should throw light on contemporary European cultural issues and problems, possibly analyzing them and working towards new policy solutions. The overall area covered by the award is ‘applied comparative cultural policy research’. Preference will be given to proposed research which covers a topical issue affecting contemporary Europe and which considers the possible remodelling of cultural systems, cultural institutions and cultural policy education. The winner of the CPR Award 2005 will be announced at the European Foundation Centre’s 16th Annual General Assembly (AGA) and Conference ‘Foundations for Europe: Making the Union Work for All Citizens’, Budapest, Hungary, June 4-6, 2005.
For more information contact Svetlana Jovicic, CPR Award manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cpraward.org.
Publications & Information Resources
Mapping opportunities for cultural cooperation - A short guide to the Romanian sector today
February 2005. This guide was realised by the ECUMEST Association in the framework of the ARCult programme, at the commissioning of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Bucharest, and was published with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute. Being a practical instrument aimed at encouraging and promoting a long term cultural cooperation with Romania, the publication was conceived as an introductory guide to the current context of the Romanian cultural sector and its different artistic sub-sectors, with a focus on those organisations that have an interest, abilities or a track record in international cooperation. It is an informative review, aiming to give a general and coherent overview which would fill the lack of centralised, coordinated and updated information about the different artistic areas and their key actors. The guide is being distributed free of charge.
For more information contact the ECUMEST Association at email@example.com.
Discussions and information lists focusing on SEE
Starting with this issue we will regularly dedicate space to presenting the various discussion lists which provide information on issues connected to South East Europe.
> Balkans: Balkan Academic News - BAN is a distribution list encompassing over 2500 scholars, activists, government officials, students and others from or interested in Southeastern Europe. BAN is intended to serve as a network for the exchange of academic information on the Balkans. The list is strictly moderated and lays emphasis on reliable academic news on and from Southeastern Europe. Visit the main page of the group at www.seep.ceu.hu/balkans. To subscribe send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
> Balkan Cities: This moderated list was recently launched in order to promote exchange on the theme of Balkan cities. Currently it has 491 members. To subscribe send and email to email@example.com.
New website of the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs of Romania
March 2005. The Romanian Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs has recently launched its new website. In its English webpage, www.cultura.ro provides news and general information regarding the strategy, priorities and current activities developed by the ministry.
Visit this website at www.cultura.ro.
If you wish to subscribe or to cancel your subscription to policies for culture e-bulletin use the online subscription tool available at www.policiesforculture.org.
We highly encourage the Policies for Culture network to keep us updated with current news and developments in South East Europe; please send us all your news and announcements at firstname.lastname@example.org.
policies for culture e-bulletin is an electronic publication distributed every month in the framework of the Policies for Culture programme. It contains programme news, information about upcoming events, existing opportunities, publications and other relevant information in the field of cultural policy-making for cultural organisations and policy makers in South East Europe. Information for the e-bulletin is collected, edited and distributed by the ECUMEST Association in Bucharest under the coordination of Stefania Ferchedau.
We always strive to include the most up-to-date information that is available to us. However, we cannot be held responsible for information, which is outdate or incorrect at the time of publishing.
Past issues of the bulletin are available at here.
© policies for culture (framework programme of the ECUMEST Association, Bucharest and the European Cultural Foundation, Amsterdam)