Healing Culture, Reclaiming Commons, Fostering Care: A Proposal for EU Cultural Policies

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Since 2020, the pandemic and closure of cultural venues across the EU have made the precariousness of the sector even more evident. In response, the commons have been arenas of transformation and communities of resistance for social relations and culture, “as a way to create empathy, give voice to the voiceless, overcome social distance and the emptiness of public spaces”.

“Healing culture, reclaiming commons, fostering care” presents the cultural policy proposal born from a participatory research within the community of l’Asilo (www.exasilofilangieri.it), conducted between May 2020 and May 2021 by a research team composed of academics from different disciplines, artists and activists, in connection with social movements.

The reflection starts from an experience of commoning to suggest bottom-up actions and recommendations for the European Union to give voice to commoners and workers themselves in cultural policies, promote inclusive decision-making and guarantee support for groups made even more fragile by Covid-19. The theory is enriched by examples of grassroots empowerment such as La Tela, a collaborative digital artwork, and the artist residencies in Roccaporena, as a project of social cohesion and innovation to build an empathic connection between artists and inhabitants in the internal areas.

Such proposals question us and act as a bridge towards a sustainable cultural production, capable of fostering principles of cohesion, equality and solidarity.

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