Landeshauptstadt Dresden - 14.02.2018 09:16:23 Uhr 20.02.2018 14:48:54 Uhr

Eurocities Culture Forum


Culture Opening Spaces for Dialogue: the role of Arts and Creativity in improving social cohesion in cities
25-27 April 2018, Dresden

In Dresden this spring, we invite you to discuss how local cultural policies and practices can drive social cohesion in cities throughout Europe.

Dresden has become a focal point of political polarisation and an increasing community division. The local situation reflects a European schism that has taken place over the last years. While protests against immigration have been a key feature of this division, these have also become a “catch-all movement” for those harbouring a wide array of grievances and resentments not least against “Europe” as a whole.

The division running through Dresden has been recently demonstrated by the public exhibition of an Aleppo-inspired bus barricade sculpture in the city centre. While the official opening led to tumultuous scenes of opponents and advocates of this monument, it could also be seen that art created dialogue and reached out to people that would have otherwise not been reached.

In these tense local contexts and in times of protectionist and isolationist tendencies all over Europe, many local decision makers, cultural institutions and artists feel a need to contribute to strengthening a European communality or in thinking it in a new way.

How can cities defend the European values of democracy, peaceful diversity, open borders and unlimited mobility? Can cities invent a new narrative on how to live together? What can local culture and arts’ stakeholders do together to foster social cohesion?

In the forum we will also look forward and “imagine the urban future” in a hands-on session to reflect on future creative cities. With the active involvement of its members, the forum will assess which cultural issues currently gaining traction at local level should also be considered in future cultural policies.