Team Culture 2012: “Europe’s financial crisis is also cultural”

Press release, 29 February 2012, Copenhagen

On Monday and Tuesday, the Danish Minister for Culture, Mr Uffe Elbæk, convened 13 European notables in Copenhagen to investigate the way in which culture and art can play a decisive role for Europe in the midst of the financial crisis. All agree that the challenges of the current crisis are global and that Europe has a responsibility to lead the way.

The Danish Minister for Culture, Mr Uffe Elbæk, says:
“It has been tremendously exciting to experience how—despite the vastly different geographic and professional backgrounds of the group members—all have been convinced that art and culture both can and ought to contribute to finding solutions to the massive societal challenges facing Europe.”

Mr Moukhtar Kocache, art historian and former programme manager at Ford Foundation (France/Lebanon), states:
”The question is how we can raise awareness and revalue European cultural capital? And what responsibility do we in the cultural sector have in retaining and securing our value systems? I hope we will be able to initiate a debate about these issues.”

Until June, the group will seek out answers to how art and culture can contribute to solving these challenges. Firstly, each group member will find a concrete European example of how culture can contribute to a solution of one or more of the challenges. Secondly, the group will jointly draw up a manifesto with recommendations for the general public and politicians of Europe. Both will be presented in Brussels to EU’s ministers for culture, members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Cultural Affairs and representatives of the European public.

Ms Josephine Green, Beyond 20:21st Century Store (Great Britain/Netherlands-Italy), adds: 
”Culture can not be seen isolated from the larger political picture. I hope that we through this project can shed a light on the many social and cultural innovative projects that take place under the radar and could serve as an inspiration at a political level.”

“Our talks with the group today show in all plainness that it is the diversity of the European voices and cultures that are capable of jointly shedding light on the burning social and political platforms for Europe. I am therefore very excited to see which concrete projects and answers the group will arrive at and present in Brussels in June,” says Mr. Uffe Elbæk.

The members of Team Culture 2012:

  • Benedetta Tagliabue (Italy/Spain): architect, CEO of the architect studio Miralle-Tagliabue-EMBT in Barcelona.
  • Efva Lilja (Sweden): choreographer, professor of choreography and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Dance of Circus in Stockholm.
  • Josephine Green (Great Britain/The Netherlands): former manager of Trends & Strategy at Phillips Design. 
  • Julie Edel Hardenberg (Greenland/Denmark): visual artist, photographer, author.
  • Kathryn Bennetts (Belgium): artistic director for Koninklijk Ballet van Vlaanderen, Antwerpen.
  • Margot Wallström (Sweden): special representative for UN’s Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Former commissioner of the EU.
  • Moukhtar Kocache (France/Lebanon): art historian, curator and former programme manager at Ford Foundation.
  • Neil MacGregor (Great Britain): director the British Museum.
  • Paul Khera (Great Britain/Nepal): designer, photographer.
  • Peter Schneider (Germany): author, debater.
  • Stojan Pelko (Slovenia): philosopher, essayist, former Minister for Culture in Slovenia.
  • Vibeke Windeløv (Denmark): film producer, owner of Windelov Productions.
  • James Marsh (Great Britain): film director.

For further information, please contact: 
Chief press officer, Danish Ministry for Culture, Astrid Haug,  ash@kum.dk – mobile: + 45 25 47 21 07

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Quotes

It has been tremendously exciting to experience how—despite the vastly different geographic and professional backgrounds of the group members—all have been convinced that art and culture both can and ought to contribute to finding solutions to the massive societal challenges facing Europe.
The Danish Minister for Culture, Mr Uffe Elbæk
The question is how we can raise awareness and revalue European cultural capital? And what responsibility do we in the cultural sector have in retaining and securing our value systems? I hope we will be able to initiate a debate about these issues.
Mr Moukhtar Kocache, art historian and former programme manager at Ford Foundation (France/Lebanon)
Culture can not be seen isolated from the larger political picture. I hope that we through this project can shed a light on the many social and cultural innovative projects that take place under the radar and could serve as an inspiration at a political level.
Ms Josephine Green, Beyond 20:21st Century Store (Great Britain/Netherlands-Italy)
Our talks with the group today show in all plainness that it is the diversity of the European voices and cultures that are capable of jointly shedding light on the burning social and political platforms for Europe. I am therefore very excited to see which concrete projects and answers the group will arrive at and present in Brussels in June.
The Danish Minister for Culture, Mr Uffe Elbæk