In the frame of the conference “Recontres de la Villete Hors les murs”, held in Lille and Roubaix, France, between October 29th and November 1st 2004, La Vilette invited Mara Borchardt and Inés Sanguinetti of the Argentinean NGO Crear vale la pena. This institution, develops since 1993 a program to counter the effects of economic and social isolation in poor urban barrios of Buenos Aires, through education and art. It also works with other members of the Latin American Network of Art for Social Transformation which is the in the process of collaborating with various European organizations.
For this occasion La Vilette organized an initial meeting between Mara Borchardt, Inés Sanguinetti, and representatives from the other institutions, companies and associations present at the conference, in order to discuss and brainstorm ideas for the further cultural/social exchange between Latin America and Europe. As a result of the ideas and feedback gathered on this occasion and during other meetings and interviews conducted in Lille and Paris, about collaboration between LA and EU, La Vilette listed a series of developmental actions for the short, medium and long terms.
Future Plans of Action:
1_ In the short term:
La Villette will present the conclusions of meeting and will distribute it among the participants but also to other professionals that might be interested by this theme so that further networking can be facilitated.
Crear vale la pena will send a brief and simple questionnaire to gauge the interest and vision of participants in regards to the creation of the bridge between Latin America and Europe. Their results will be presented and shared with the Latin America Network in their meeting next April in Chile (see the document enclosed “Questionnaire”).
Crear vale la pena, together with Artfactories, presented a request of support to UNESCO for the initial phase of LA/EU in order to:
— Establish a platform between LA/EU to organize a Art and Social Transformation Festival in Latin America
— develop a strategy and communicational database for the Network.
The networks Autre(s)pART(s) and Artfactories will disseminate the findings and aims of these meetings among their constituencies, and will deliver to CVLP their own visions of Art and Social Transformation.
Artists and French cultural institutions expressed their interest in:
— Facilitating the participation of companies and artists working in the field of Art for Social Transformation in events in Latin America.
— Favoring exchanges of organizational practices and implementation strategies between Latin American and European groups
— Promotion the creation of links between Latin American companies and European programmers.
2_In the medium term:
Crear vale la pena and Avina Portugal agreed that it was crucial for Artfactories, partner of the future Latin American Festival of Art for Social Transformation to attend the April meeting of the LA Network of A & ST in Chile. Their attendance is essential because she would allow to sharing of the European vision for future actions directly with the leaders of each organization LA organization.
La Villette, along with the artist networks Autre(s)pART(s) and Artfactories, put to consideration the possibility of organizing a conference of professionals dedicated to “Art and Society”. The conference would be centered around the exchanges of practices and ideas, to identify the convergences and shared values surrounding Art for Social Transformation. It would serve to sustain further Festivals of Art for Social Transformation in both Latin America and Europe.
3_ In the long term:
Artists, network representatives, government representatives, and diverse cultural institutions affirmed their mutual interest to stage at least one conference in Latin America and one in Europe structured on the institutional principles:
— to encourage mutual sharing and improvement of practices
— to solicit the collection of scientific evidence regarding Art as a method for individual and social betterment
— to stimulate in the international arena the use of art as a mechanism for sustainable development
All the participants agreed, moreover, that these venues would provide a crucial launching point for increasing the amplitude and sustainability of cultural exchanges and would ensure an open and participatory management style.