The Future of Creative Europe

Towards a new generation of cultural funding

by Marje Brütt

The cultural and creative sector is the third biggest employer in the European Union being only excelled by the construction and the food sectors.[1] Besides their rather underestimated economic importance, culture and creativity build bridges between people and positively influence various areas, e.g. education, well-being or democracy. Consequently, culture contributes to the objectives of the European integration. Therefore, it is necessary to foster our cultural and political identity, to preserve our diversity and increase the intercultural dialogue as it is mentioned in Article 167 of the Treaty of Lisbon.[2]

In order to give credit to the cultural sector and to support its further development, the European Union launched Creative Europe in 2014 as the EU’s funding programme for the cultural, creative and audiovisual sectors.[3] As such it is in place for seven years (2014-2020) and consists of two sub-programmes that used to exist independently before: MEDIA and CULTURE. While MEDIA[4] is dedicated to the audiovisual sector and helps promoting audiovisual works, CULTURE covers funding for all other cultural and creative areas including amongst others performing and visual arts, literature, music, street art and cultural heritage. In total, 1,46 billion Euros are foreseen for the whole programme meaning for the whole seven years and all participating countries.[5] Related to the amount of participating countries, this amount can change throughout the years. In addition to the 28 EU Member States, interested European countries can associate with Creative Europe and thereby increase the programme’s budget. In the past years, the list of participating countries grew continuously up to 41 countries in 2018, including amongst others Tunisia, Georgia, Ukraine, Albania and Armenia, boosting the intercultural exchange in the European neighbourhood.[6] Simultaneously, countries can also leave the group as it was the case with Turkey in autumn 2016 and could be happening again with the upcoming Brexit in 2019. Continue reading “The Future of Creative Europe”

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Dancing Through the Euroculture Master

“Dancing Through the Euroculture Master” was filmed by Euroculture students in 3 continents, 18 countries, and 24 towns or cities for the last 2 years. 25 Euroculture 2012-2014 students are featured in the video.

Directed by Miia Simunaniemi(Euroculture 2012-14), Idea by Laura Marchetti(Euroculture 2012-2014).

Favourite European Songs : “Dickes B reminds me of my adventures in Berlin”

Most of Europe’s popular music is made in either the United States or Great Britain, or is at least influenced greatly by American and British popular music, if only for the fact that a lot of popular music in non-English-speaking Europe is, nonetheless, sung in English. Some countries even try to battle this trend: the French government, for instance, passed a law in 1994 for a Francophone quarter where at least 40% of the music played on the radio must be sung in French.

Albert Meijer | albert_meijer@hotmail.com

Whether it’s Bach, Beyoncé or the Backstreet Boys, music is important in everyday life: to listen to, to dance to, to identify with, and to think about. Listening to a certain kind of music can be a great influence in the (sub) culture you identify with, be it punk, folk, or jazz.

Music transcends borders. Take hip hop, for example. With roots in African rhythms, Caribbean sound systems, call-and-response songs of slave workers, political speeches in the era of the American Civil Rights Movement and jazz, it has flown over from the American ghettoes to the poor and rich neighbourhoods of European cities, to the islands of Japan and even to the icy plains of Greenland, where Inuit rappers use hip hop as a medium of protest against Danish language hegemony.

While some politicians stress the importance of a pure, unified culture, the truth is that this ‘pure’ culture has been tainted by foreign influences for centuries. In the case of music, the strongest example is the Americanization and Anglicization of popular music. Most of Europe’s popular music is made in either the United States or Great Britain, or is at least influenced greatly by American and British popular music, if only for the fact that a lot of popular music in non-English-speaking Europe is, nonetheless, sung in English. Some countries even try to battle this trend: the French government, for instance, passed a law in 1994 for a Francophone quarter where at least 40% of the music played on the radio must be sung in French.

At The Euroculturer, we thought we would follow the French idea to reset the focus of popular music on European songs, although non-English language is not required to make the list. We asked several MA Euroculture students for their favourite European songs.

Polish student Beata Brozèk’s favourite European song is “To Ostatnia Niedziela”, by Mieczysław Fogg, meaning “This is the Last Sunday”. It’s a Polish tango from the 1930s, and is also known as ”The Suicide Tango” because of its morbid lyrics. “It was my grandparents’ favourite song. They would always listen to it during dances and dates. It was my favourite song when I was a child. Now that I am married, I understand more and more why it is so powerful”, she says. The song is about a person begging his/her loved one to give him/her the last Sunday before they will part forever. “In Poland, Sunday was the ultimate day for dates, where you would usually have coffee, a long walk, and maybe a kiss”, Beata tells us.

Sheila Pilli from Italy suggests a hip hop song with reggae-influences from Germany: “Dickes B” by Seeed. The song is about Berlin, which is evident in the video, in which the rappers and musicians walk through many Berlin hotspots. “When I went on a trip to Berlin, I met a guy in a club. We spent some time together, and he showed me the video for this song. I love the song and the video, it reminds me of my adventures in Berlin”, Sheila says.

Nokchachom Cheskhun, a student from Thailand who is better known as Pippa, chose her favourite song as “El Rey de Francia”, sung by Savinna Yannatou. If any of these songs are ‘truly European’, it is this one: the singer is Greek, the song is an 18th century traditional from Asia Minor, it is sung in Ladino (a Jewish language close to Spanish), and it is about the daughter of the King of France who dreams about love. “A Spanish friend hummed the tune, and I asked him what song it was. I looked it up and fell in love with the sweet melody and listened to it every day. It soothes my busy soul”, Pippa says. “It’s a dreamlike poem. I wish to sing this song one day”.

Swedish-Greek student George Tsarsitalidis also picks a Greek singer, Eleutheria Arvanitaki, as one of his favourites. “She is really famous in Greece, but also in other countries. She sings melancholic songs, and she is amazing”. Another favourite of his, well-known pop star Robyn, is from the country of his other nationality: Sweden. “Robyn is really famous in Sweden. I like the song ‘Dancing on My Own’, because it’s a good song to dance to”.

Albert Meijer, People’s Editor

Hailing from Osaka, Japan, Albert writes about the student body of the MA Euroculture programme. His academic interests lie in the fields of (sub)cultural studies, music science, sociology, and gender and queer studies. In his spare time, Albert likes writing and singing mediocre songs, walking through typhoons, making video blogs and getting stuck in difficult yoga positions.

How The Euroculturer Began: Eureka Over Pasta, Dancing in the Dark, and Our Magazine Here

Eunjin Jeong | eunjin.lynn@gmail.com

Very late at night, I suddenly started dancing in the street. It was an ordinary day in May and I was on my way back home after studying with an Italian friend of mine, Bianca Rubino, for our final exams. Me dancing in public is extremely rare and I would rather appear doing yoga on French national TV than be seen dancing by a stranger. Still, I was dancing, in the presence of random passersby staring, walking in the direction of Robertsau, my residence in Strasbourg, undoubtedly happy.

Three hours ago I was asking Bianca, over pasta that we cooked together, why I should be happy. I had been secretly going through a very hard time for months because of an irrevocably damaged friendship with my best friend. Helpless and hurt, I felt like running away from everybody, especially those who really cared about me. Not knowing what I was going through and how desperate I was, Bianca cheerfully answered, without even stopping to think for one second, “You should be happy because you’ve had a chance to meet a wonderful person like me through Euroculture. Why wouldn’t you be happy?”. The answer shocked me to the point that my world turned upside down. Her not very serious response to my very serious question didn’t bother me at all because it was so right. I had had the privilege of getting to know so many wonderful people during my two semesters of Euroculture, except I hadn’t realised it until then. I believe that that very Eureka moment, later followed by a highly unusual dance performance in celebration, helped to heal my wounds and gave me the strength to kick off The Euroculturer.

Having enjoyed working as a writer for a university English-language newspaper during my undergraduate years, establishing a platform for students to write freely was actually on my dream list since the first day I started the MA Euroculture programme. It was only a matter of inspiration, courage, and willingness to sacrifice some free time. I have been fortunate enough to find all three thanks to the Eureka moment that I experienced in May 2012. The magazine, however, only became possible with the help of many other Euroculturers. The Board of Editors including copy editors, correspondents from each university, and contributing writers, from both Euroculture current students and alumni, are true pioneers fully equipped with the love of their own community. The Euroculture Consortium trusted me with the project and now supports the magazine with funding, which symbolizes the close connection between the Consortium and its students. Dr. Lars Klein of the University of Göttingen helped me greatly throughout all the crucial moments of getting official approvals and funding from the Consortium, not to mention his sincere encouragements from the very beginning of the preparation. Juan M. Sarabia, a Euroculture programme coordinator from Jagiellonian University, Krakow, without whom The Euroculturer would have been homeless, built us a home, i.e. a fabulous website to accommodate all of our articles. He also helped out with all the technical and designing concerns, including the logo. Nora Trench Bowles, a Euroculture classmate from the University of Strasbourg and a Drew Barrymore replica with an excellent work ethic, volunteered to take the responsibility of Copy Chief. She is, therefore, fully in charge of the copy editing process which, with the collaboration of other copy editors, takes care of the quality part of the magazine. This has helped me greatly in concentrating on the content and pulling the overall edition together. Helen Hoffmann, whom I always rely on for important decisions, is a true Miss Help for the magazine. Heartfelt thanks go to all those mentioned.

The only hope we have for this magazine is that no matter how many editions come out in the future, after the first generation leaves, it will remain as a place where all Euroculturers feel truly welcomed to share their stories of Euroculture, regardless of their backgrounds or peculiarities. Every Euroculture student, including alumni, is welcomed to contribute and I want to spare the finale of this acknowledgment especially for the future contributors to The Euroculturer.

eunjinEunjin Jeong, Editor-in-chief

Eunjin is from South Korea and studied Education for her BA. She began Euroculture in October 2011 in the University of Göttingen, later studied in the
University of Strasbourg, and is currently doing a research track in Uppsala University. Her research interests lie in finding ways for diaspora groups to feel ‘citizens at heart’ in host countries. Eunjin is a part-time realist and a full-time idealist.