online talks – culture(s) groundwork(s)
It has been clear that many organizations and people, in Portugal and internationally, have (re) stated the importance of Culture (s) for the sustainable development of our societies. While we keep on repeating the urgency of thinking new structural solutions, it has been more or less evident that we linger on effectively designing such strategies, which should promote and liaise with different artistic practices and sectors, breaking with single patterns, and aiming at larger, viable and more inclusive visions.
Living through a dark period in History, we are witnessing the deterioration of already precarious situations among cultural organizations and arts professionals. Today, cultural venues are closed, activities are cancelled, lives are postponed and audience engagement is put on hold. Immediate solutions have, once again, taken, first, the form of crucial emergency subsidies so to mitigate the catastrophic effects of the industry’s shutdown – however, they prove to be less efficient in the medium, long run.
Nevertheless, we believe that by benefiting from our ability to foster trustworthy connections, it will be possible to gather many contributions for a wider debate. We will get to know other contexts and various sensibilities, openly accepting intrinsic tensions and diverging visions, and together, we will look for more comprehensive and more harmonious solutions so to construct even stronger bases for the Culture (s) of our society.
As a result, we wish to organize a series of online talks lasting for three days, with a panel of national and international guest speakers, reflecting upon one theme per day. As a follow-up, there will be three written documents – written down by another panel – which will account for the diversity of inputs. Parallelly, the documents will put forward proposals and guidelines that may m drive the establishment of public policy and the implementation of sustainable practices. The talks will take place from 2 to 4 March, from 2 pm to 7 pm (GMT time).
On day #1, March 2, we will look at the real value assigned to Culture (s) in our societies. Taking into consideration Culture as an essential good, how is it conceived, managed and communicated by the many actors, and on different scales – locally, nationally, internationally? How do such efforts intersect (or should intersect) with other sectors (economic, social and environmental)?
On day #2, March 3, we will look deeper into cultural venues, networks and audiences. The main discussion will focus on the new relationships and the brand-new, more malleable concepts of territoriality, surrounded by the explosion of digital platforms, and how organizations and artists adapt and dialogue with such transformations. By sharing experiences and best practices in the private and public sectors, we will shed light on programming and networks, we will discuss policies for an adequate urban development tailored to today’s realities, developing further on communication, mediation and awareness-raising projects pointing at the establishment of sustainable creative cultures.
On day #3, March 4, the main theme will revolve around the issue of investment in culture and the arts and on the link between precarity in the cultural and artistic profession. We will analyze many funding models and different work relationships in the industry, looking at instruments of social protection found in Portugal and elsewhere. At a time, when the discussion of funding models is, once again, alive and well, alongside a discussion on the establishment of a framework on working conditions for culture workers.
Pedro Alves (Artistic director of teatromosca)
+351 96 340 32 55