“Cultural networking in Europe: today and tomorrow” takes a new look at networking. The idea behind carrying-out this study was to revisit and renew the work that led to a document commissioned 20 years previously by EFAH (forerunner of Culture Action Europe), and written by Judith Staines: “Working Groups: Network Solutions for Cultural Cooperation in Europe”.
The brief also chimed with a particular strand of interest over this period in trying to understand more fully the mutual interconnections between culture and major contextual questions that surround it: economic, social, political, environmental, demographic and so on. The world seems to have become an increasingly complex environment to live in and understand, and it is natural that we may at times choose to try to shut out this complexity, if only as a ‘survival mechanism’ to help us make some sense of who we are and what we do.
Ultimately then, as cultural actors in a public sphere, we have a responsibility not only towards our own specialist practice, but also towards seeking a better understanding of its relationship with a wider context. And, in this regard, networking can be an important vehicle for crossover thinking and practice – not only within our own specialist fields but, crucially, between these and others.