„How to deal with different cultures?“
„Dialogue between cultures would therefore appear to be an essential tool in forging closer links both between European peoples themselves and between their respective cultures.“ (Commissioner Ján Figel)
On 20 October 2005 the 33rd UNESCO General Conference adopted the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The European Union spoke with a single voice and was thereby able to present itself as important negotiator in the frame of UNESCO. Preserving and promoting cultural diversity are also founding principles of the European Community (Art. 151 of the EC contract and Art.22, paragraph 3 of the EU charter on fundamental rights). As consequence, the European Commission has proclaimed the year 2008 the “European Year of intercultural dialogue”.
The convention, that fixes world wide valid common rules, principles and points of reference on dealing with culture and that should at the same time secure the national political claim to protect and promote cultural diversity, promotes and demands the exchange of opinions, information and approved procedures between the undersigning states. In future, cultural diversity is to be treated as a crosscutting theme in the further development of all other policy areas, the right to cultural self-determination of the individual and of social groups should be secured as much as free access to and participation in culture. The representatives of the German cultural centres, the federal association of socio cultural centres, have therefore participated actively in the national coalition for the declaration.
Yet cultural diversity is not only to be protected and preserved but also to be imparted
How important, necessary and at the same time difficult this is, is not least demonstrated in the (preliminary) failure of the European constitutional process. Europe is still far away from a common identity; its citizen’s have hardly any knowledge on other cultures than their own. At the same time cultural aspects have increasingly gained importance as means for marginalization and exclusion in the recent past, as expression of national identity, especially in the course of democratisation in Central East Europe but also in the so called parallel societies etc. To experience cultural diversity as a benefit, to accept it and to develop values and forms of common cohabitation out of diversity requires concrete personal contact with the others in a space free of fear.
Hardly anybody is better suitable to create concrete and diverse possibilities of encounters and exchange than the European cultural centres. Far more than 1000 of such institutions in more than 10 countries are represented alone by the ENCC, the European Network of Cultural Centres. The spectrum of their forms of appearance, ways of working and local conditions could hardly be broader. Yet all are traditionally open for new and other things, for artistic self- realization and Border crossings
To build bridges and be a bridge itself is the central principle of socio-culture: between branches and generations, between resorts and cultures, between city and country side, East and West, between the individual and the community. The socio-cultural centres work locally with people who live around the centres and with them and they transport the world into the house. In the centres, the encounter with international art is traditionally linked to societal discussions. Although they work rather differently in each country they are all active in promoting self-determination of the individual and social groups and especially for the freedom of choice of artistic cultural activities. Socio-cultural centres are laboratories for a functioning and day to day cohabitation in the European house, they are dust particles, around which evolve frost patterns- crystallization cores of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue.
The seminar in Flensburg is the prelude of a series of activities on the subject “cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue”, which is planned to be implemented as EU-project by the federal association of socio-cultural centres in cooperation with the European Network of Cultural Centres (ENCC).
The objective of the seminar in Flensburg is to take an inventory of practical experiences in dealing with cultural diversity and of differences on local, regional and European levels. Contents, forms and methods of cross border cooperation are in the foreground, taking as point of departure the special situation of the German-Danish border region Flensburg-Sonderjylland with relevant minority groups on either side.
At the ENCC’s final general assembly the seminar’s results are to be evaluated and introduced into the overall work program of the ENCC.
s c h e d u l e
date / time title responsible / speaker
11.00 Press conference Christiane Ziller, Günter Schiemann
18.30 Check in Christina Melis-Munschke
20.00 Opening Günter Schiemann, Bent Blindbaek
20.15 „On the significance of socioculture for the intercultural dialogue in Europe for example of Peepul Centre in Leicester“ Pawlet Warner, Artistic Director Belgrave Baheno Peepul Centre, Leicester (GB),
- Informal exchange -
08.30 Check in Christina Melis-Munschke
09.00 Welcome Christiane Ziller (Buve/ENCC)
09.10 Sociocultural centres as bridges in the intercultural dialogue Caroline Schwarz, Representative of the federal state Schleswig-Holstein
09.30 - 10.30 Self-conception, realities and cross border cooperation
Comparison of the German and Danish model of socioculture Claus Hinrichs (SPRACHFOKUS, Project coordinator. Germ./ Husum)
Bent Blindbaek (head of the Danish association of cultural centres/Aarhus)
10.30 - 11.00. Break
11.00 - 13.00 Requirements on cross border cooperation projects
for example of: Germ.-Dan. Children’s Theatre Festival Thomas Frahm (Culture office /Flensburg)
Activitetshuset Flensburg -
The especial sociocultural centre Hans Harald Sörensen (Director/ Flensburg)
KulturRegion Sønderjylland - Schleswig
formation, tasks, perspectives from the point of view of two cultures Andrea Kunsemüller, leader of the
Regional office Sønderjylland - Schleswig, Padborg
13.00 - 14.00 Break
14.00 - 16.00 Migration as cultural chance and challenge Elisabeth Mayerhofer, IGKÖ, Vienna
Flamish Actionplan for cultural diversity
Member of the cabinet of culture, Belgium
(to be confirmed)
A cross border project of reconciliation “Korzenie-roots” Maryna Czaplinska, Eurocoordinator cultural centre Dorozkarnia, Warsaw
16.00 - 17.00 Break
14.00 - 17.00 S-H meets DK
Meeting of culture participants from Schleswig-Holstein and Sønderjylland Mod. Günter Schiemann
and Claus Hinrichs
17.00 - 20.00 (Socio) Cultural Centres live ∑ Cold Store Flensburg
∑ Culture- og Medborgerhuset Sønderborghus Günter Schiemann / Claus Hinrichs
20.00 Common dinner in Sønderborg for participants of the sightseeing tour only
9.30- 10.00 European Networking as cross border project (Presentation projects Buve) Andreas Kämpf, BVSKZ, Singen
10.00 - 11.00 Vision 2011
Themes, contents and methods for European networking Mod.: Andreas Kämpf /Bent Blindbaek
11.00 - 11.30 Result and end of the meeting Paul Sergier, Gabriele Gerbasits
12.00 - 14.00 General Assembly ENCC:
Work program 2006/07, concluding observations of the seminar for the future work Andreas Kämpf /Bent Blindbaek
12.00 - 14.00 Brewery Flensburg with beer degustation Günter Schiemann