Introducing Cultural Exploration & Exchange with(in) South-East Europe

Why Kunstenpunt/Flanders Arts Institute is looking towards our relation with Eastern Europe, balkans and countries bordering the EU

As a social and cultural project, Europe is going through a profound crisis. Nation states are turning in on themselves. The added value to society of international collaboration and solidarity is being challenged more than ever.

European cultural policy – which in recent years has mainly resembled an economic project – currently offers no attractive alternative to the rapidly rising cultural populism. The integration into the European Union of new member states with different histories and socio-economic realities is happening less smoothly than expected.

Artists and organisations from Flanders and Brussels (and from Western/Northern Europe) do not usually work so frequently with players from the Balkans or countries bordering the Union. Our market logic is pushing us towards other regions and continents. And yet, in the changing zeitgeist, it is more than ever imperative to seek to connect with the South and Eastern Europe. Not only to better understand the turbulent social, cultural and political developments within Europe, but also because in the very active socially involved artistic landscape in these regions, over the past 15 years, interesting and innovative answers are being developed in response to questions with which artists and organisations in Western/Northern Europe increasingly have to struggle.