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KATHRÉPTIS (mirror, in Greek) – an international meeting organized by Culture Action Europe (CAE) in collaboration withAgenda 21 for Culture and the British Council – Greece – takes place today at theArt Factory in Athens to discuss the future of the city and the integration of culture in urban strategy and policies of sustainability.
The event, held under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture, arises from a six-month process nourished by meetings, visits and group conversations between CAE, cultural operators and civil society organizers.
The aim of the project is to gather a group of varied people from Athens and other European cities to debate and seek original, novel and ‘potentially disruptive answers’ to the pressing and universal challenge: “How people engaged in culture and citizenship can come together to enhance the life of those living in the city? And how to create them in the historical moment we are living in?” The process is designed around the principles of collaborative problem solving and discovery-driven learning.
Citing cities today as fields of front-line tensions as well as of possibilities and hopes, where sustainability battles will be either won or lost, the organizers argue that culture has the potential to help develop that capacity in human beings enabling them to deal with societal and historical transition. In this context, the focus is to collectively answer questions at the heart of this gathering, including the kind of cultural life cities (and citizens) need in the present time, the conditions needed to facilitate this, the relationships necessary to make it possible, how do they need to be developed and with what objectives.
Selected inspirational guests, intensively engaged in transforming their cities, will act as “mirrors” in specific moment of this process in order to provoke the imagination, but not to give solutions, since the gathering spirit is “cut and try” more than simply “copy and paste”.