Memo October 2015
A memo sent to correspondents, friends and acquaintances of the Budapest Observatory (BO) in October 2015
The BO barometer is online and activated. You may choose whether to respond before or after reading the memo.
On the air
What are the climatic conditions for culture in your country? Which are the strengths and the weaknesses? (And yes, the opportunities and threats...) What kind of cultural policy model prevails?
BO is launching the Cultural Climate Barometer 2015 in search of answers to these questions. The link to the survey will be alive for five weeks. Based on the responses from the actors of the culture scene in as many countries of Europe and beyond as possible, the barometer report will tell the main similarities and differences between the respective cultural ecologies. Changes revealed since the previous 2014 edition will also be highlighted.
The instrument has been evolving in several steps since the first pilot version in the autumn of 2013. Beyond the problematic factors for the vitality of culture, the current expanded variant also asks about the accommodating, positive aspects that affect the cultural ecosystem.
And here is another opportunity to have your voice heard. In the struggle against alienation from citizens the European Commission resorts to various forms of participatory or deliberative democracy. One of these has been the Open Method of Coordination: lots of professionals, administrators, researchers and activists have had experiences in the fourteen OMC groups that have acted since the EU adopted the method also for culture matters in 2008.
The programme Voices of Culture intends to establish structured dialogue between the European Commission and the cultural sector. Here too is about workshop meetings but differently from the lasting OMC groups these collectives are recruited for a single brainstorming session in each of the five selected topics. Recruitment is done via open calls: two were issued in 2015. Those two sessions were held in summer. Here is the product of one of them, the resume of the brainstorming of thirty-three selected representatives of the sector on how to attract audiences by digital means.
One of the five topics for the project is still open. You may avail of this chance of direct democracy and vote. The online consultation is online until 18 November.
The European Culture Forum is another form of “structured dialogue” between the administration and “das Volk”. Cultural operators flock to Brussels each autumn to discuss current issues (and admittedly, to find out about prospective EU subsidies and investments).
Culture research prize
Svetlana Alexievich from Belarus received the 2015 Nobel Prize in literature. She is the ninth from east-central Europe in the 114 years of the award (after one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight – yes, she too).
Neustadt International, another prestigious literary prize, was founded by an American philanthropist family grown rich from oil. Out of the 23 prizes hitherto awarded (one, two) three came to our region.
No wonder that every third winner of the Franz Kafka Prize is from the region.
Finally, pay a visit to the Princess of Asturias cluster of distinctions. Literature is one of the eight awards, once decorating someone from our region. Worthy of your interest are the 2015 winners in two more categories: Coppola and Wikipedia (!).
This was the 20th edition of the fair (BO caught sight of the 15th, held then for the fourth time in Sevilla). The expo was held for the first time in east-central Europe, in the strict sense as Thessaloniki is really next door. Hopefully artists from the region could benefit from the occasion, as once only did the award come here.
The 57 performers showcased during the fair were selected from a large number of applicants (disregarding the opening and closing stage shows). Every single performer at each of the former 19 fairs is properly archived and presented.
This is the way to the BO barometer.