The Forum on European Culture 2020: We, the People
The Forum on European Culture is a biannual event taking place in Amsterdam, initiated by debate centre De Balie and DutchCulture back in 2016. Founded upon the belief that Europe's future lies in the hands of the arts and imagination, rather than in backroom Brussels talks and boardroom negotiations. If Europe is one thing undoubtedly, it is a cultural construction. The Forum energetically contributes to the cultural construction of Europe as a shared space, by investigating common challenges and experiences of its people. Read more about the mission, vision and past edition here.
In September 2020, artists, activists, dreamers and thinkers will again take centre stage in Amsterdam during the third instance of the Forum on European Culture. The Forum will energetically contribute to the cultural construction of Europe, by investigating the shared challenges and experiences of its demos. Within the theme We, the people the Forum will explore civic engagement, among other things, by inviting protest movements from all over the continent and by looking for the core tenets of democracy with Company New Heroes. Additionally, the Forum opens up space to discuss the cultural significance of popular cultural practices such as football and cuisine. Spanning a wide range of topics and incorporating many different perspectives on Europe and its people.
This year you can attend the festival in Amsterdam but also watch the programmes online from anywhere in the world. Subscribe to the YouTube channel to follow the online programmes and search the website of Forum of European Culture for more information and tickets.
Throughout the festival (17 September - 20 September)
- Exhibition Figures of Freedom by artist Fernando Sánchez Castillo.
- Exhibition Johny Pitts - Afropean: Travels in Black Europe at FOAM. Timeslots are available through November, 1st.
- Exhibition The Europeans by photographer Rob Hornstra and writer-filmmaker Arnold van Bruggen.
Thursday 17 September
- Opening: We, the People with director Ivo van Hove.
- This is What We Know about Your Future with Italian writer Francesca Melandri and British journalist for the Financial Times Gideon Rachman.
- Civic Council - Talks across Europe with leading international artists and thinkers discuss and local citizens in Amsterdam, Warsaw and Palermo on what kind of European cultural identity or demos we need as a necessary foundation for a pan-European democracy.
- Junior programme Change is in our hands by Company New Heroes.
- Expert meeting Fair International Cultural Cooperation - Language.
- Power to the People! about protest movements, activism and giving a voice to Europe's people with Priscillia Ludosky (France, Yellow Vests), Benjamin Roll (Czechia, Million Moments for Democracy) and Clare Farrell (United Kingdom, Extinction Rebellion) amongst others.
- A conversation with: Orlando Figes on cultural forces that can bring Europeans together.
- The State of European Literature with essayist, historian and novelist Philipp Blom.
- Talk Afropean with author and photographer Johny Pitts on his journey searching for the black experience in Europe. With Lisette Ma Neza and Francio Guadeloupe.
- Who gets Europe?, a debate between ardent Brexiteer Douglas Murray versus left-wing activist Flavia Kleiner.
- European Literature Night, a programme of EUNIC-Netherlands to bring together both celebrated authors and promising literary talents from all over Europe.
- European première of The Suppliants, a modern interpretation of the play by Aeschlos's tragedy directed by Celil Toksöz and musically supported by a choir of Kurdish-Dutch women.
- Performative event Beeldbepalers: Charl Landvreugd – The Utopia of the Normal Space where an Imagined Normal Space will be investigated with contemporary thinkers and the audience.
- Football: the People's Game about football’s uncomfortable relationship with nationalism and racism before recognizing its potential to bring people closer together with former England international Eniola Aluko, street pro legend Rocky Hehakaija and experts David Goldblatt and Simon Kuper.
- Performance of The Suppliants, a modern interpretation of the play by Aeschlos's tragedy directed by Celil Toksöz and musically supported by a choir of Kurdish-Dutch women.
- Panel discussion An Outsider's Perspective with with leading thinkers and artists from Asia, America, and Africa explore Europe’s common identity and its current and future standing on the global stage.
- Today’s European Cinema: A Female Perspective with prominent European directors amongst which Ena Sendijarevic (Take me somewhere nice).
- A conversation with Noreena Hertz, the sharp-witted British economist, on the strange conondrum of being hyper-connected and lonelier than ever.
If you have specific questions about the Forum in general, feel free to reach out to Simon de Leeuw, programme editor on behalf of DutchCulture.
The Forum on European Culture is an initiative by founding partners DutchCulture and De Balie. It is generously supported by Gieskes Strijbis, the European Commission, the European Cultural Foundation and Prince Bernard Culture Fund.
The Civic Council on European Democracy is co-funded by the Europe for Citizens-programme.