The contribution of culture in combating poverty and social
ththth17, 18 and 19 October 2010
Cultural Centre ? Le Botanique ?, Brussels
The seminar entitled “The contribution of culture in combating poverty and social exclusion” is organised as part of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The seminar is due to take place on 17, 18 and 19 October 2010 at Cultural Centre “Le Botanique” in Brussels.
This event is organised by the General Service for Youth and Continuing Education at the General Administration of the Ministry of Culture for the French-speaking Community in Belgium with the support of the European Commission.
The seminar will host participants from the 27 Member States: professionals from European institutions, representatives from international bodies working in this sector, national administrations, experts, associations and cultural professionals are expected to attend.
The seminar which is organised within the context of the “European Year for combating poverty and social exclusion” aims at demonstrating that combating poverty and social exclusion directly
involves cultural policies.
This purpose is intrinsically linked to the strategic and specific objectives outlined both in the European Cultural Agenda and in the 2008-2010 Work Plan for culture. The subjects debated throughout the seminar will indeed treated with this same dynamic: the work will be in keeping with a process which emphasises the transversal role of culture and favours cultural diversity.
The EU 2020 Strategy, of which the objective is to implement smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe, additionally aims at extending the European Year. Indeed, the Flagship Initiative “A European Platform against Poverty” sets as its objective the recognition of the fundamental
rights of people who live in poverty and social exclusion: it is a question of providing these people with the means of living in dignity and to actively participate in society. In this context, the seminar will define culture not as a replacement or a remedy for social and economic inequalities, but as an important resource for personal development and social cohesion.
Finally, this seminar will be extended by the adoption, during the Council of European Ministers for Culture on 18 November 2010, of Conclusions which promote the transversal role that Culture has to play in this area, notably by underlining the need to integrate the cultural dimension in national and European policies for combating poverty and social exclusion
Two primary subject areas have been outlined, each of which will be developed during two workshop sessions: access to culture and cultural participation.
Through contributions which will deal with theoretical and political programmes, coupled with exchanges relating to practices in this subject area, the objectives of the seminar aim to:
- promote the cultural effects of processes of social exclusion and situations of poverty; - open pathways to improve access to cultural life for people experiencing poverty or social exclusion ;
- clarify the means of fostering participation and cultural expression of people who are living in poverty and social exclusion, who are often faced with a lack of recognition; - understand how to value the cultural creativity inherent in people and groups of people in vulnerable situations, and to recognise their contribution towards the cultural dynamism of our societies by encouraging attention to cultural diversity;
- reflect on methods likely to favour the participation of citizens and the exercise of social, economic and cultural rights of people experiencing poverty and social exclusion; - reflect on the conditions underlying a better development of cultural policies with policies to combat poverty by avoiding stigmatising effects;
- outline cultural policy guidelines linked to combating poverty and social exclusion and the construction of social ties and insist on the transversal nature of culture; - strengthen synergies between the cultural, education, youth and social sectors.
Lastly, cultural activities will be organised during the seminar in order to punctuate the debates and the evenings with artistic events testifying to the commitment of many Belgian artists and associations to a reflection and an action in favour of social inclusion.