Art as Civic Action

Culture as a way to promote Action

The European political process is complex, and often perceived as far away from the citizens. Citizens of Europe e.V. sees civil dialogue and engagement as means to bring the individual and the community closer to the decision making process. By doing so, the citizen can bring the change needed to have a real influence on the issues that matter in our expanding European society.
However, participation in electoral politics has declined across Western Europe in recent decades as citizens have become increasingly disillusioned with conventional forms of politics. Most European democracies are today characterised by low or falling voter turnout. However political engagement is diversifying with young people in particular becoming more active in social media campaigns, alternative forms of street activism and using online platforms to connect with individuals and groups from around the world.
The last fifteen years have witnessed a remarkable resurgence of platforms for art works usually referred to as ‘socially engaged’ or ‘political’. We see socially engaged, interactive arts and culture as a way to promote action on issues facing our communities and the world. A tool for energising people and sparking debate and discussion on complex or abstract concepts.

In this context the project Art as Civic Action has been developed. We had a training course for one week, from the 6th to the 13th October 2014 in Berlin. 27 multipliers from 5 countries (Germany, Serbia, Moldova, Greece and Ukraine) from the artistic and political sphere came together to discuss and experience artistic means to address social and political issues on a local, national and European level.

Workshops, faciliated by actors in the field taught us how to work in an intercultural environment, to support our creativity and to understand the engagement between art and politics. The main aim of the course was to implement a social, political art piece that is related to a current pan-European issue that we could bring out into the society to raise awareness of European issues.

Result of this training course was an exhibition at the Agora Art Collective to present our result of intercultural collaboration. It was the chance to meet relevant and crucial art works from some of Europe's up and coming artists.

The idea was not only to create a political and social art work in the city of Berlin, but it furthermore aimed at gaining competences, such as the cooperation with people from different cultures, being an active citizen and reflect over European issues in an artistic way. Those gained competences should be brought to the multiplier's homecountries to initiate further European engagement on a local level.

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Berlin - 11/10/2014 : Art as Civic Action- The Exhibition : Come along to meet and discuss with young, politically engaged European artists!