Thank you, Banlieues d’Europe – and a bow to all European cultural networks

September 30, 2015, 8:22 pm

Banlieues d’Europe was a unique network, supporting participatory and inclusive cultural work in the often disadvantaged neighborhoods and communities of Europe’s cities.

We greatly regret that this network now has come to an end after 25 years of existence and will miss the unique experience and perspectives they contributed to the cultural and political field- and to their colleagues in other cultural networks throughout Europe.

Banlieues d’Europe were members of Culture Action Europe for almost 10 years, until 2014, and we were privileged to have had the occasion to work with them.

We hope that the fate of Banlieues d’Europe will not be that of other European cultural networks who are currently struggling to make ends meet, downsizing yet fighting to continue their important work. Some important networks did not manage to secure vital European funding, others find themselves confronted with a loss of members who themselves are increasingly financially fragile, and others face the loss of local or national funding- or all together.

International networks are of great importance – but they take time to build. As networks we build trust and nurture relationships across national borders that support people to overcome local as well as global difficulties and to exchange their knowledge and expertise. Our strength is our members, thousands of arts organisations working together, learning from each other, sharing experience and resources, committed in repairing the weaknesses of our sector, engaging with communities, shaping the future Europe.

Our role as networks is then to connect all these arts organisations, bridge their realities, coordinate their joint efforts, propose frameworks to experiment new initiatives and act collectively each time it is needed: we advice, we host, we mediate, inside our respective field as well as outside.

Culture Action Europe, itself a cross-cultural network, unites amongst its members over 30 European networks: ACCR – European Network of Cultural Centres-Historic Monuments, AEC – European Association of Conservatoires, AMATEO – European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities , AV/Node, BJCEM – Biennale des Jeunes Créateurs de l’Europe et de la Mediterranée , CEATL – European Council of Associations of Literary Translators, CVAN – Contemporary Visual Arts Network, EBLIDA – European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations, ECHO – European Concert Hall Organisation, EFA – European Festivals Association, EFNYO – European Federation of National Youth Orchestras , ELIA – European League of Institutes of the Arts, EMC – European Music Council, ENCC – European Network of Cultural Centres, ETC – European Theatre Convention, Europe Jazz Network, European Choral Association – Europa Cantat, IAMIC – International Association of Music Information Centres, IETM – International network for contemporary performing arts, JMI – Jeunesses Musicales Internationales, LAF – Literature Across Frontiers, NEMO – Network of European Museum Organisations, On-the-Move, Opera Europa, PAV, PEARLE – Performing Arts Employers Association League Europe, Res Artis – International Network of Arts Residencies, RESEO – European Network for Opera and Dance Education, Roots and Routes International Association, TEH – Trans Europe Halles – A European Network of Independent Cultural Centres.

We will keep advocating the value of European networks today and in future.

For more information on Banlieues d’Europe:

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