ACP | ACP WG on Audience Participation publishes The Cultural Component of Citizenship: an Inventory of Challenges

Monday 10 December 2012

Hard copies of the publication can be purchased here and the PDF is available for download.

The first research publication of the Access to Culture Platform is published: “The Cultural Component of Citizenship: An Inventory of Challenges.” In the publication, 19 renowned authors and researchers from all over Europe and the world share their insights on the opportunities and challenges related to developing citizenship in Europe through culture. The book is launched in the framework of the Brussels Conversations 2012, organised by the European House for Culture and partners where it served as a conversation starter for participants and contributors. It is available in print and digital formats.

“Citizens are looking for coherence, meaning, togetherness and a prospect for the future. These are not available in the supermarket or from the desks of government offices,” said author, editor, and member of the Access to Culture Platform Steve Austen.

Two members of the Access to Culture Platform write introductory articles: Steve Austen sets the conceptual framework of defining European citizenship and the role of culture while Mary Ann DeVlieg, leader of the ACP Working Group for Arts, Human Rights and Social Justice, enlarges the thinking beyond European borders and reminds us of the danger in seeing the concept of citizenship as specifically European: the right to access culture and the need for protection of rights is a human right and therefore universal.

The articles in this publication examine the cultural component of citizenship from a wide range of perspectives. They are the fruit of an open call sent to a wide range of actors involved in the field and can be grouped by: Defining the Cultural Component of Citizenship (Mathieu Kroon Gutiérrez), How is Cultural Citizenship Practiced? (Matina Magkou, Natalia Grincheva, Patricia Adkins Chiti, Ana Tomás Hernández, Chaitas Charalampos & Anastasia Kalou, Goran Tomka, Mathieu Rousselin), and What are the Legal Aspects of Cultural? (Izabela Henning). These articles critically develop a new understanding of the concept of citizenship, focusing on concepts, but also on concrete examples in cultural life, revealing new ways of arts practice and communication with the audience.

In addition, a series of texts gathered under the title ‘Cultural Coalition for a Citizens’ Europe’ are included in an encompassed chapter with texts from Cristina Ortega and Roberto San Salvador del Valle, Raymond Weber, and Patrice Meyer-Bisch. These texts are the beginning of further reflection in the Coalition set up by “A Soul for Europe”.

This publication is released in the run-up of the 2013 European Year of Citizens, which aims to raise awareness of EU citizens' rights. 2014 will be the 20th anniversary of the establishment of European Union citizenship. With this publication the Access to Culture Platform seeks to trigger reflection among citizens, cultural institutions, public authorities and the media on a new understanding of their responsibilities and their rights in the EU and beyond, how they benefit from them, how to practice them, and how to actively develop them, specifically through culture.

Partnering with the ‘Cultural Coalition for a Citizens’ Europe’, the Access to Culture Platform positions its work in a broader framework, and joins forces with partner initiatives working for a better understanding of citizenship and its cultural dimension for the benefit of European citizens.

The Access to Culture Platform and its partners, the European Academy of Yuste Foundation, the European House of Culture, Felix Merits, and the European Festivals Association, consider the publication the start of a series of articles and exchanges which will lead to more research and reflection on the topic. In the framework of the European Year of Citizens, the Access to Culture Platform presents and develops the contents of the publication in various public occasions and discusses its insights with the broader public during 2013 and beyond.

Hard copies of the publication can be purchased here and the PDF is available for download.