“Creativity, Mobility and Dialogue” Preparatory Meeting for the Anna Lindh Forum 2010

Reports of the 5 working groups

Palace Convention Centre, Rhodes, Greece , 1-4 October 2009 

In the framework of the "Anna Lindh Forum 2010", the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures (ALF) has organized a Preparatory Meeting entitled "Creativity, Mobility and Dialogue".

The Meeting was organized in cooperation with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture (ALF Head of Network in Greece) and the FAM Network (Panmediterranean Women's Creators Network) and will take place in Rhodes, Greece, from the 1st to the 4th of October 2009. 

The outcomes of the five working groups will serve as recommendations for topics to be addressed during the "Anna Lindh Forum 2010".

(above: image from the meeting)

Immaculada Roca I Cortes from the European Commission  will inform about “the European Commission strategy on Culture for the Euro-Med region”. 

 “Arts & Education”                                                                                                                  
This working session will focus on artistic research, carried out during residences and in collaboration with Art Universities.

Moderator: Anke Mueffelmann, DE
Experts: Juergen Bock, Escola Maumaus, PT - Christos Savvidis, ArtBox, GR - Mona Knio, Arab Theatre Training Centre, LB - Peter Purg, EMUNI, Slovenia - Jasmina Zaloznik, Maska, Slovenia - Abir Bukhari, AllArtNow, Syria -  Mirene Arsanios, 98weeks, LB.
A working session about the role of the internet, e-newsletters, on-line platforms and blogs in facilitating access to culture.

Moderator: Giovanna Tanzarella, Fondation R. Seydoux, FR
Experts: Nathalie Galesne, Babelmed, IT - Chadwane Bensalmia, Les Abbatoires, MA - Lina Khatib, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK - Sara Zavarise, ZaLab, IT -  Kurt Danner, IMZ, AT - Maja Genc Calogera, Center for Synergy of Digital and Visual Arts, HR.

This working session will focus on mobility funds and other resources to support mobility of artists and cultural operators in the Euro-Med region.

Moderator:  Mary Ann DeVlieg, IETM, BE 
Experts: Ferdinand Richard, FRC, FR - Serene Huleileh, Arab Education Forum, JO - Laetitia Manach, BC, FR -  Khadija El Bennaoui, AMA/YATF, BE - Mais Irqsusi, Safar, JO - Ece Pazarbasi, CUMA, TR -  Bertan Selim, Pro Helvetia, BH - Mohammed Siam, Artkhana, EG

A working session about cultural networks and platforms in the Euro-Med region.

Moderator: Nevenka Koprivsek, Bunker, SLO
Experts: Gerarda Ventura, Meridie, IT -   Esra Aysun, CUMA, TR -  Rui Silveira, DBM, PT -  Giulia Profeta, ADCEI, FR - Amir Abdi, Interkulti, HU - Emina Visnic, Clubture, HR - Hania Mroue, Metropolis Art Cinema, LB - Delphine Leccas, Association IN, SY.
A working session about the importance of and challenges in translation in the intercultural dialogue.

Moderator: Ghislaine Glasson-Deschaumes, Transeuropéennes, FR
Experts: Maria Angels Roque, IEMed, ES - Alexandra Buechler, Literature without Frontiers, UK - Mary Ellen Kerans, Mediterranean Editors and Translators, ES - Sebnem Bahadir, Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, DE - Mona Saleh, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, EG - Yana Genova, Next Page Foundation, BG - Shereen Kreydiye, Asala, LB

ARTS & EDUCATION General recommendations:

Art / Research Outcome: process should be taken into account and not only the end product Methodology of research should be open ended taking in account the great variety of artist’s practices

Two forms of artistic research should be acknowledged: one preliminary and the other ongoing (continuous in terms of complementary) Include artistic research as a further mean of knowledge production into the acknowledgement of artistic production processes




Define mobility not only as “traveling” but also as a possibility of communication with the support of electronic tools and means Besides the usual exchange of artists between institutions, support also the mobility of mediators of partner institutions through exchange programs

Support Strengthen the local and expanding the regional dimension; focus on actions which include the local audience Ensure sustainability with medium and long term financing possibilities; provide the possibility for successful projects to apply for long-term funding, taking into consideration experiences and best practice Retaining the multi stake holder structure of the funding entities Greater flexibility in financial and administration requirements, taking into consideration the local realities

Art Education Recognition and support of non-formal art education by the ALF Support the accreditation of non-formal art education programs offered by independent art institutions Recognition and acting along best practices in the perspective of local and Euro-Mediterranean importance regarding both formal and non-formal and even informal education Support the exchange of formal, non-formal and informal art education in the Euro-Med region Acknowledge artistic education as one of the main objectives within the field “education” of the ALF /page}{page}


Support sites- and context-specific art practices which are focusing on the past for better understanding of the present Evaluation Evaluation procedures should instigate possibilities to continue the respective project (final report could become at the same time a new project outline)

Change evaluation practices, taking into account the needs and limits of local grounds.

Recommendations for the Anna Lindh Forum 2010:

Close interaction between different level/spaces of communication of Agora, Medina and Plaza Artistic Education as one main objective within the ALF.


Introduction: What: new media and networks (wireless and wired: internet and mobile phones and digital media)

Who: Media practitioners (art, journalism, civil society, educators) -> inclusive, + people (Facebook users, etc.)

New media in relation to: Education Information Creation Communication and understanding 


Methodological concern: Take into consideration the context and cultural particularities of media use and production in different countries in the Euro-Med region for each theme discussed Identify,

discuss and analyze the new practices (web-based communities, digital art, citizen journalism, participatory media (video), online learning) enabled by new technologies in each country in the region to know the state of the art

Hold a regular meeting of new media professionals working in the cultural domain in the Euro-Med region to create synergies and explore the potential of establishing a portal of best practice Encourage partnerships (intercultural and interdisciplinary) that decrease gaps in knowledge in the region;

the ALF can assist and facilitate this Encourage debate about introducing cultural sensitivity and intercultural awareness elements in journalism curricula in the Euro-Med region, focusing on online journalism, and promote mobility as an essential element of intercultural dialogue 

Encourage the teaching of new media in journalism curricula because new media are enablers of access to culture in multicultural environments.

New media are more permeable than the traditional media and are closer to civil society concerns and practices

The traditional (mainstream) media are already well supported, but the new media are not and need financial support.

The ALF can advocate this kind of support because the new media are closer to civil society

Create a space for debate on internet regulation and censorship to promote freedom of expression

Technology cannot be disconnected from the reality on the ground, so any information tools that are shared in the Euro-Med region (such as a website) should take into consideration the cultural context and differences in the way that they will be used, in terms of what they do (functionality) and how they appear (presentation), so that they can be adapted to the needs of not just each cultural community, but also every individual in the region.

MOBILITY & NETWORKS The topics Mobility and Networks were discussed in separate working groups, they joined in one session. Many recommendations are overlapping, as we cannot speak of networks without mobility and mobility without networks. Recommendations for Mobility: Allocate a dedicated budget line to support the existing infrastructures for mobility, highlighting the 4 principles below. Explore alternative means and tools to support mobility within the existing structures and networks : in kind support, mobility hub, mobilizing the alumni to support each others. Mainstreaming mobility : Allocate one percentage of the budget line of ALF programs to mobility and networking. Anna Lindh Forum 2010: make sure that mobility will be considered as a major topic on the agenda.

The 4 principles : I/ Mobility feeding back where it starts from Considering the impact of mobility at a local scale : Considering the environment of the artist: the local economy, the artistic teams, the communities Mobility reinforces the local capacities as well Important to think about that economical scale and to consider the local relationships and developments While evaluating the impact of mobility schemes, we have to analyse the wider environment: how mobility (experience abroad) helps the carrier and how the experience is disseminated within the artistic local community. Consider mobility from the starting point and how it gives the capacities to come back and build, create etc.
Fair exchanges : Pay attention to the balance between South and North, East and West, gender and diversity issues Mobility support is not only money: e.g. in kind support Support mobility is also supporting the competencies, the skills, and the capacities to be mobile : access to information, dealing with problems, sharing tricks etc. II/ The legal framework Autonomy of the artist in his path, carrier, profile. Having experience in working abroad and having an international network is constitutive of an artistic path in this region. Therefore, mobility should be considered as constitutive of career development Mobility connects the individual to new or different markets and reinforces his/ her economical autonomy The experience of alumni who preceded beneficiaries could be used to refuel the system.
Visa issues : Evaluate the difficulties : Some funds are already collecting data about visas refusals in order to have a clearer picture and identify the difficult spots. There is corruption in certain countries, political crisis and conflicts between others. Knowing this allows us to anticipate the risks and advocate more specifically, for example by asking for a support from an official institution, by addressing the issue towards some governments. Provide information to the grantees (procedure how to get a visa etc.) Status of the artist: Often not recognized in the region, not only by governments but also Embassies or Consulates Action: Prepare a joint letter from the ALF and/or the national networks, the mobility funds as a statement to emphasize the necessity of mobility in the region, to raise awareness to the consulates and embassies. This letter could be sent systematically to all beneficiaries of the mobility funds.
III/ Platform of exchange of good practices of the mobility funds The objective is to capitalize the experience and expertise of mobility funds that are operating in the region for 5 or 10 years : what are the best practices, what can be shared, what kind of collaboration should we foster on? Some issues to be discussed : > How to enlarge the target audiences > How to facilitate the access to information > How to capitalise the experience of the alumni > How to evaluate the hosting organisations and engage with them on a partnership basis. > How to deal with the unexpected context that increase the risk of cancellation
IV/ Beyond the Mediterranean The mobility analysis and the experience of mobility should be shared at a macro level : Beyond the regional scope of the Mediterranean Beyond the political scope of the Euro-Med partnership In a crossover perspective with other continents that share the same global issues At sub regional level (Balkans for example) > Create a consortium of mobility funds worldwide - To share the best practices and to engage with stakeholders
Recommendations for Mobility/ Networks: ALF networks: What is needed is transnational collaboration between actors of the ALF networks: Having sub thematic groups and meetings (physical meetings are very important) Structured information for the networks! Members of the networks have to be voices 3 work languages ! The reason to become a member of ALF should not only be the money to apply for ALF programmes: ALF should address the necessity to associate civil society to all programs of the EU. ALF should give 20% of the grants to mobility (every project requires a mobility strand) Mainstreaming mobility in all programs.
Recommendations for Networks: General 1 – Find the right structural ways to organize consultations with members through more democratic processes concerning any long-term strategic decisions. 2 – Identify, gather and support existing networks in the region interested in Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. 3 – To secure geographical and gender balance in the participation in the ALF activities. Specific Use better online tools in order to support the trans-national flow of information (thematically based) Organize specific gatherings based on thematic interests Create a specific budget line to support independent networks from various arts and cultural fields Advocate /underline the need for more long-term investments in human resources ALF should be an organization that is pro-active and not only responding ALF to dialogue with the EU, national governments, etc. ALF to create a special budget line to support networks and mobility funds ALF to advocate that local governmental bodies consult the civil society (at least to start a dialogue) ALF should pressure more on a national and EU Commission level
ALF Networks: Membership should be separated from the application procedures; to apply to ALF funds it would not be necessary to become a ALF member Are they really networks? There should be the possibility to review how the ALF can become a real “network of networks” National networks are problematic; thematic networks as a new way to network better The Anna Lindh Forum 2010 can be a good tool to structure a more efficient “network of networks” Networks: Mobility and Networks don’t mean anything as such – goals, objectives? Address and negotiate with different stakeholders Organic development of networks: let initiatives come as they come; it depends on the needs. Bridging the Middle East with the Balkans – the problems are not the same but similar; take the lessons from the Balkan experience; visa problems in the South as well as in the Balkans Local authorities = key players in many countries, should be addressed; support interaction between cities and regions multilaterally.
ALF general: ALF = political institution (cultural capacity?) ALF – role of advocacy! ALF should be more proactive! ALF members + BoG + Advisory Council – to know each other ALF: create an consulting committee of experts UPM: A new vision of what regional collaboration should be is needed
Euro-Med strategy: What is the role of ALF? If the EU doesn’t have a mobility strand, there won’t be one in Euro-Med EU: more money for culture in other programmes (as Interreg etc.) Develop new logics and new approaches in order to be able to propose a cultural action under programmes which deal with gender, economic development etc.
Anna Lindh Forum 2010 = forum of exchange of the civil society Networks: invite them to the Forum for a special “networks” session Involve the networks of local authorities (Euro Cities etc.) Use it for recommendations to the EU, ministries etc. Gerarda’s proposal: Create or rebuilt a Euro-Mediterranean cultural network which is different from the ALF network and which works within the Euro-Med Non-Governmental Platform (established by 80 NGO’s, a network of networks) as the other thematic networks – Education, Environment etc. Anna Lindh Forum 2010: Present the recommendations of the cultural network FEMEC (founded in 2005) Enlarge the network, define a new mission statement (one of the objectives could be to include other fields of culture (research, education, etc.)) Members could be networks, structures and individuals Is a new network really needed? The general opinion is that, instead, ALF should help to connect the already existing networks: DBM, Balkan Express, etc. The Anna Lindh Forum 2010 is the best place to make it happen – places to network, to build partnerships etc. (Mr. Claret: The most important question is the articulation and connection between ALF and the other already existing networks. ALF is a platform for lobbying, a place to meet.)
TRANSLATION Translation: an asset for the intercultural dialogue Issues related to translation need to be given a central role in exchanges across the Mediterranean region through a restoration of languages to their proper place, in all their richness and complexity, their diversity and depth of field. A broad view of translation should make it possible to stimulate new, and more profound, forms of interaction in artistic, intellectual and social activity. Over the next ten years, the Mediterranean region needs to become a fabric of translation.
Translating: a statement Taking account of the fact that many misunderstandings exist concerning translation, the working group has put forward what translating means. Translating means locating oneself in-between: between languages, imaginaries, codes, modes of representation. This in-between space is a space for confrontation of differences, negotiation, articulation... This is the reason why translating, as a human capacity and a political practice, should be placed at the very centre of the Mediterranean exchange practices (not only the cultural ones, but the political and social practices as well). Translating means circulating ideas, critical thinking, artistic and literary works. In that sense, translation is strongly linked with the issue of freedom of expression, of creation and of research. Translating is not just an issue for translators. It concerns all of us, in our daily practices.
Recommandations in terms of principles: 1/ it cannot be said that there is a single lingua franca in the region. Exchanges in the Mediterranean should be nourished by the diversity of our languages. Translation participates in the better knowledge and practice we develop of our own language and not only of the language we translate from. Translating means encouraging the production of critical thinking, knowledge and literary and artistic works in local languages. Such an incentive is very much needed in the present situation. There is a need for developing new translation trends beyond the dominant North-South one. We need to translate between all languages of the region, East-West, South-South, South-North... 2/Translation is a key element for circulation of knowledge, of ideas, of imaginaries. And, more practically, in the frame of publishing and reading, it contributes to: More practically, translating allows easier and cheaper access to the books; It contributes to developing the readership; It is an asset for cultural development. 3/ Translation need to be considered as an in-depth human activity: Translation is not just about communicating a message to the other. When we translate, we do not translate words, we translate worlds. This is why translation cannot be emplaced by computer translation, how good they may be. Translation is often merely taught as a simple technical capacity. There is a need for developing more profound and more appropriate trainings of translators. There is a need to acknowledge the role of translators and to make them visible.
Recommandations in terms of action There is a long-observed deficit in terms of translation development and strategy in the Euro-Med region. This does not mean that, on local or national levels, in the frame of national cultural policies or private initiatives, nothing exists. This is the reason why the following recommendations are strongly linked with the need for mobilising stakeholders on this issue. 1/ There is an urgent need for a mapping of translation flows and of translation issues in the Euro-Med region. There are many translating support programmes, either national or private ones, numerous awards, various types of trainings, various ways to relate to the profession of translator, to deal as publisher with translators and translation, many events related to translation. But we do not know them precisely. Our knowledge and understanding of the situation is extremely partial and based on information which is seldom reliable. We need to know what is being translated and why. We need to know what are the lacks in translation and how such to overcome them. There is no doubt that this mapping of translation flows will inform us about ourselves in the region: about our cultural practices and our social transnational and cross-lingual links. We need as well to have a better vision of the stakeholders (individual translators, publishers, training organisations, libraries, bookshops, media, translation support schemes, etc). This mapping should be both quantitative and qualitative. Mapping is not an aim in itself. It needs to be considered as the starting point of a long-term strategy. It has to lead to recommendations for all the stakeholders, and for those who design the cultural policies. The results should be widely shared, especially on the web.
2/ There is an urgent need for meeting and working together The working group raised a major problem we have been facing for years : there is a huge deficit of contact between stakeholders, on a transnational and Euro-Med level as well as on a national level. There is a need for opening a space for interaction and development of cooperation, while paying attention to a well-balanced participation of these stakeholders. The Anna Lindh Forum 2010 in Barcelona may constitute a first step in this effort to bring together these stakeholders and to have them participating in the above mentioned mapping.
On the long-term, there is an need for developing a cooperative platform, which will gather these stakeholders, under various formats. On the long-term too, the Anna Lindh Foundation should promote translation as a key dimension of the intercultural dialogue and of the cultural policies in the coming Euro-Med Cultural Strategy as well as in the member States of the Union for the Mediterranean. In conclusion, the working group insists on such cross-cutting issues as mobility and networking. Translators need mobility, translating needs networking, cultural and social actors need translation. This is why the need for a wider exchange on translation issues among the ALF working groups, and in the perspective of the Forum has been stressed.
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