EU candidate status granted to Macedonia
The European Council has officially announced on December 17 its decision to grant Macedonia the status of candidate country for EU accession. The decision followed an intense debate over budgetary and enlargement issues. It brought euphoria in Skopje, where a huge crowd gathered in the main city square for an official celebration organised by the governement. As Commissioner Rehn stated on this occasion, apart the substantial progress made by Macedonia in implementing its Stabilisation and Association Agreement, "the decision is also the right political signal to send to the region of the Western Balkans as a whole: the EU has given a clear European perspective to these countries, provided they fulfil the conditions". Similarly, in a debate organised earlier December, at the Friends of Europe’s sixth annual European Policy summit on the Balkans held in Brussels, senior officials from the Western Balkans urged the EU to keep its doors open to their countries.
Mihai Mihalcea becomes director of the National Center for Dance in Bucharest
Dancer and choreographer Mihai Mihalcea was selected and nominated as director of the National Center for Dance in Bucharest (CNDB) following the public campaign launched in the last months by the contemporary dance scene in Romania aiming to put pressure on the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs to conduct a transparent and democratic procedure in electing the center's director. Their initiative benefited from an impressive support from the media and the larger independent cultural sector in Romania, as well as from a series of European and international organisations working in the field of dance and not only. CNDB was set up in July 2004 as a public institution under the subordination of the Romanian Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs, following the long campaign of the contemporary dance scene for the recognition and support of contemporary dance and the independent scene by the Romanian public authorities. It has thus become the first dance institution dedicated to contemporary dance, aiming to offer both a venue and support for the production and presentation of contemporary dance. Since its establishment, and under an interim directorship, even without yet benefiting from a production budget, CNDB has become a space open to artists and projects for the encounter, production and presentation of performances.
Policies for Culture news
New in Artist's corner: The Bruce Lee monument in Mostar
On 26 November 2005, the Bruce Lee Monument in Veliki Park, Mostar was inaugurated following an initiative by the NGO Urban Movement in Mostar (Veselin Gatalo and Nino Raspudic). As intiators stated, "in a politically divided Mostar, building a monument to Bruce Lee represents an attempt for the public spaces to regain their meaning, at the same time questioning the significance of monuments and symbols, both old and new. While politics and ideology have occupied and poisoned all segments of everyday life, in Mostar and in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we would like to remind ourselves by building up the monument that a significant part of our lives, memories of our childhood and the first real values of life have nothing to do with politics or the great narrations".
Visit the Artist's corner to see and learn more about the monument.
The latest issue of InSIGHT
The December issue of InSIGHT features Fatos Lubonja's article on the cultural challenges of post communist Albania, treating the present-day need to overcome a heritage of totalitarian culture, developed during 50 years of isolation under one of the most severe communist regimes in the world. The second article presents the "Arts management in turbulent times", the latest book of Milena Dragicevic-Sesic and Sanjin Dragojevic.
Read InSIGHT here...
News from the region
Bulgaria: The Arts Sponsorship Bill. Pros and Cons
A discussion on this topic, hosted by the Red House Centre for Culture and Debate in Sofia on November 29, was initiated by a group of experts before the second reading debate of the bill at the National Assembly. It aimed to provide additional information, quote best practices in the field of sponsorship and consider arguments in favour and against the Arts Sponsorship Bill and submit concrete recommendations to the National Assembly. The debate was moderated by Georgi Koritarov and brought together Nina Chilova, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Culture Commitee and initiator of the bill within the Parliament; Rayna Gavrilova, Executive director, CEE Trust; Vessela Gercheva, Executive director, Bulgarian Donors Forum; and representatives of public and grant-giving organisations, artists unions, artists and experts.
For more details visit www.redhouse-sofia.org.
Croatia: Debate on local cultural development in Dubrovnik & Split
> The "Lazareti" Art Workshop from Dubrovnik organised on December 13 a round table entitled "What Kind of Cultural Strategy does Dubrovnik Need?" This was the first of a series of debates within the Kultura Aktiva project, organised in the framework of the Clubture network. Kultura Aktiva aims to gather all relevant actors on the independent cultural scene, but also the public sector in order to contribute to the formulation of a long term cultural strategy of the City of Dubrovnik. More...
> On December 15, the Coalition of Youth Association (KUM) in Split organised the debate "Independent Culture and the Youth Centre", aiming to discuss the current status of independent culture in Split, the issue of spaces and venues and the use of space resources of the Youth Centre. The debate focused on issues dealing with the restructuring of the space, the programming and the need to develop a local strategy in the area of urban culture in the city of Split, including the establishment of a Local Council for Urban Culture and Youth. Amongst the participants were Emina Visnic (Clubture), Dinko Peracic and Miranda Veljacic (Platforma 9,81), Maja Munivrana (City Commissioner for Culture), and representatives of the independent youth culture scene from Split – users of the facilities of the Split Youth Centre. More...
Source: SEE portal. Excerpts from articles written by Tomislav Domes. For details see also www.clubture.org.
Macedonia: Managing the cultural scene in crisis times
The Cultural Center Tocka in Skopje hosted on December 16 a debate under this title, focusing on the forms of cooperation among the different actors on the cultural scene, the management of cultural institutions or the management of human resources in the field. How to recognize possible partners and how to design a strategy to lobby for culture at local and national levels were also addressed, along with an attempt to demystify the term 'NGO'. The debate gathered independent cultural actors from Skopje as well as representatives of central and local authorities throughout the country. The introductory speech was delivered by Milena Dragicevic-Sesic, PHD, professor at Belgrade University of Arts, and Teodor Celakoski, project director at the Multimedia Institute, MAMA, Zagreb.
For more information visit www.kontrapunkt-mk.org.
SEE: Culture at the heart of the Western Balkans’ EU integration
The European Cultural Foundation (ECF) and the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos) have called on policymakers in the European Union and the Western Balkans to make arts and culture part of the region’s political integration process. At ‘The Heart of the Matter’, an ECF/Hivos-organised conference in the Peace Palace in the Hague on 1 December, the ECF Reflection Group on the Balkans put forward a series of proposed measures designed to promote cultural exchange as well as the region’s inclusion in the EU. The Group urged EU policymakers to include, in a real and substantial way, cultural cooperation in the integration road map; it also pointed out that culture could end the stigmatisation of the Balkans and reinvigorate political dialogue at a time of enlargement fatigue.
Consult the recommendations of the conference on the ECF website or contact Isabelle Schwarz, ECF Cultural Policy Development Manager, at email@example.com.
Projects and Initiatives
ConnectCP - International Database in Development
IFACCA has teamed up with the Boekman Foundation of the Netherlands to develop ConnectCP, an online international database of cultural policy experts. Coordinated by Diane Dodd in Barcelona, Spain, ConnectCP will help anyone searching for experts on a particular topic in cultural policy or from a particular country. While ConnectCP is still in development, 63 experts from 22 countries are already featured on the site. Submissions, feedback and comments on ConnectCP are welcome. ConnectCP aims to put people in cultural policy in touch with each other internationally. It will help organisers find world class speakers for conferences and seminars, research partners or analysts and commentators on a diversity of issues. ConnectCP profiles outline each experts' experience, current interests, and other information relevant to their work in cultural policy.
For more details visit www.ConnectCP.org.
Research project on the information needs of cultural operators in Serbia
The Center for Study in Cultural Development in Belgrade is currently undertaking a research aiming to give a comprehensive insight into the information needs of employees in the field of culture in Serbia. Collected data will be used for both scholarly and practical needs in the process of establishing and developing new tools for information exchange. The research is applied on a sample that includes institutions, organisations and governing bodies in the field of culture throughout the country.
For more information contact the Research and Development Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.zaprokul.org.yu.
January 19-23, 2006: ENCATC Conference “Making new paths – challenges in cultural management education. Case of Poland" (Krakow, Poland)
Cultural management education within the higher education system is by no means a new phenomenon in Poland and other countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Many programmes have been established, with various profiles, focusing mostly on the management of public institutions. However, cultural management as an autonomous subject of study has not been recognised yet. Until now, studies have taken the form of various specialisations of a general management or cultural pedagogy studies. This conference, organised by ENCATC in close cooperation with the Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland), aims to analyse and discuss the situation within the cultural management education field, to assess the possibilities of development of new programmes and/or reshaping existing ones in order to fulfill current training needs. For more information please contact Malgorzata Sternal from the Jagiellonian University at email@example.com or visit www.encatc.org.
May 5-7, 2006: Second CEU Graduate Conference in Social Sciences: "The End of Transitions? Central and Eastern European Countries in Comparative Perspective" (Budapest, Hungary)
The conference has been initiated and is organised by CEU graduate students, with the financial and logistic support of their departments at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. The debates will focus on issues also relevant to the field of cultural policy research, such as: How can an interdisciplinary approach foster the quality of understanding and the complexity of social phenomena? Social sciences - towards convergence or divergence of discourses, methodologies, and paradigms? How do different social sciences approach transition events? Are methodological instruments developed in other contexts appropriate for understanding the peculiarities of this region?; Societies, politics and states; Post-communist discourses; Public Policy and structural reforms. Although the topic of the conference is not EU integration, it will focus on the CEE countries that became, will become, or have the prospect of becoming members, or have a significant cooperation within the enlarged European framework. The conference is open to graduate students and young faculty from the region. A call for papers and a topics proposals' call are open until 30 January 2006.
For more information contact Todor Arpad, Conference Coordinator, at P05TOA01@student.ceu.hu.
May 10-12, 2006: Conference & Call for papers: "Reinventions of the Identity in the Balkans" (Istanbul, Turkey)
The Department of English Language and Literature, Beykent University, announces the call for papers for the third international academic conference entitled "Reinventions of the Identity in the Balkans" to be held at Beykent University in Istanbul on 10-12 May, 2006. This interdisciplinary conference aims to bring together scholars and researchers working on various aspects of culture and identity in the Balkans. Proposals for papers are welcome on topics that include, among others, but are not limited to the following: Politics of Identity; Cultural Specificities of the Region; Reconstructing and Deconstructing Urban Culture. Conference languages are English and Turkish. The deadline for submission of paper proposals (abstracts of no more than 500 words) is February 8, 2006.
For more information and to send your proposals write to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
International Scholars Fellowship Program 2006-2007
Application deadline: 15 February 2006
The International Scholars Fellowship Program of the Open Society Institute invites highly qualified scholars in the social sciences and humanities to teach and/or consult at selected university departments in Sout East Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Mongolia. Among other fields, the program welcomes applications from scholars holding PhDs in anthropology, cultural studies, economics, political science, international relations, public administration, philosophy, sociology, human rights & public law, and journalism/media studies. Candidates apply to teach outside their country of citizenship and must hold a PhD from a Western-accredited university. The Academic Fellowship Program (AFP) operates in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Tajikistan, and Ukraine.
For more information visit www.soros.org or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ENCATC workshop: “Analysis of methodologies used by Cultural Observatories and Statistical Centres. Guidelines for trainers and researchers” (Bilbao, Spain)
Dates: 23-24 March 2006
What is the background of the existing cultural observatories? What are their aims and objectives? Which are their legal entities? What are the agents that take part? How are they sponsored? What methodologies do they use in order to gather data that analyse cultural supply and demand? What different cultural information systems do they use for turning information into knowledge? What services and products are offered? In order to analyse these questions and try to enhance this debate at European level, ENCATC is organising a workshop in Bilbao on 23-24 March 2006, in close cooperation with the University of Deusto. The workshop is designed for senior managers with good knowledge of the subject of the workshop. It will be also opened to representatives from international, European, national and regional institutions active in this specific field.
For more information write to email@example.com or visit www.encatc.org.
Call for papers: Cultural Trends
Cultural Trends is a journal focusing on empirical analyses of key trends in the cultural sector and cultural policy. The journal is planning to focus on some specific themes over the next 18 months and is inviting proposals for papers about: Assessing the impact of culture on society, people and the future; Identifying clear trends in cultural participation, provision and funding; Developing critical approaches to the collection, analysis and use of statistics and other data within the cultural sector; Exploring new and different approaches - both methodological and conceptual - to understanding, formulating and evaluating the operations of the cultural sector and the public policy that effects it. Cultural Trends would like to attract contributions from a wide range of disciplines and examples of multidisciplinary research across such fields as public policy, political studies, sociology, law, economics, geography, urban planning, leisure studies and the study of consumerism.
For more details and for submitting articles write to Sara Selwood, editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit this page.
Publications & Information Resources
Arts management in turbulent times
December 2005. By Milena Dragicevic Sesic and Sanjin Dragojevic. Publication commissioned by the European Cultural Foundation and published by Boekmanstudies in Amsterdam. Undertitled "Navigating the arts through the winds of change", this new book by two prominent cultural experts - active key contributors to the Policies for Culture programme since its very beginning - assesses the dramatic period of change affecting the cultural sector in Central, Eastern and South East Europe since the 1990s, and points the way towards greater organisational stability and operational success in arts management within these regions.
More about the book in the current issue of PfC InSIGHT. For orders visit www.boekman.nl.
Shrinking Cities: International Investigation
November 2005. Edited by Philipp Oswalt on behalf of the German Federal Cultural Foundation. This book published by Verlag Hatje Cantz provides an overview of the investigations of the project "Shrinking Cities", a three-year project of Germany's Federal Cultural Foundation that has focused for the first time, from an international perspective, on the globally spread phenomenon of urban shrinkage processes. On the basis of concrete examples - focusing on Manchester/Liverpool (UK), Detroit (USA), Ivanovo (RUS), Halle/Leipzig (D), and Japan - this volume examines the causes and dynamics of the shrinking process, concentrating upon living conditions and cultural transformations in urban regions affected by economic decline and a decrease in population, which can be highly relevant for the SEE contexts as well. Apart the international investigation of these phenomena, along its three-year implementation, "Shrinking Cities" developed concrete suggestions for urban intervention, involving more than 100 international artists, architects, researchers, and local initiatives.
For book orders write to email@example.com. More information is available at www.shrinkingcities.com.
European Cultural Networks
November 2005. Directory published by BalkanKult providing information on 170 cultural networks within the European cultural field. The aim of the publication is to support the awareness of artists, producers, creative workers in the field of culture and media and professionals with similar activities, who work on possibilities of cooperation in European cultural networks, in order to build trust and partnership on long term basis, and solidarity when presenting common interests.
For more information visit www.balkankult.org. For orders write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 2005. lab concepts - the Laboratory for Conception and Realisation for Politics, Education and Culture – introduces the Newsletter “Thinking Europe”. This new European online service presents the activities, research results, and positions taken by leading European think tanks. With this scientific service, the organisation lab concepts is seeking to promote think tank culture on the continent. The newsletter researches and probes the political topics and socially relevant developments that allow subscribers to react more quickly to events, to adjust their efforts to up-to-date processes, and to take an active part in debates in a variety of formats. In order to closely reflect segments of national public discourse, it focuses and elaborates on the question of how current topics are received on socio-political agendas in individual European countries.
Thinking Europe is available online at www.lab-concepts.de.
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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 email@example.com.
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.
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Past issues of the bulletin are available at here.
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