In the run-up to the European Parliamentary Elections, Culture Action Europe together with the cultural and creative sectors advocates for a future for culture and for Europe that is democratic, diverse, fair, free, human, inclusive and vital.
As part of our EP elections campaign, CAE has launched a podcast series dedicated to discussing key cultural topics with influential figures in Europe and culture. Our intent is to discover their views on fundamental questions relating to culture’s contribution to Europe and to foster awareness among EU citizens, empowering them to make informed decisions as voters in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
In this episode of Salon Culture Podcasts, our colleague Sophie Dowden speaks to Paul Dujardin, Director General of BOZAR in Brussels. They discuss vital issues including the role of culture in encouraging a positive understanding of Europe, the need to safeguard cultural diversity and freedom of expression and the challenges faced by artists in terms of access to adequate labour conditions, fair remuneration and mobility rights.
Mr. Dujardin speaks from his experience in the cultural sector and in managing a large cultural institution such as BOZAR, when he states that “culture is our common reality” and that while artists are partly responsible for bringing this sensibility, “we have to be careful that artists do not become an element of instrumentalisation in Europe.”
With regards to the role of culture in the digital age, Mr. Dujardin discusses the fact that culture, creativity and artistic expression are necessary for showing “the human side of Europe beside the whole incredible innovation of technology” in order to find the right balance in European development.
This interview also addresses the issue of cultural diversity and the fact that institutions need to adapt to new forms of diversity in European cities. While acknowledging this, Mr. Dujardin also states that “democracy is a form of bureaucracy” referring to the need for an improved policy and legal frame to support and protect diversity and freedom of expression in all its forms.
Another important point that is raised is the challenge faced by artists in finding employment with access to fair remuneration and adequate social security. Considering the contribution of the art market to the European economy, Mr. Dujardin suggests that there is inadequate infrastructure and funding to support emerging artists and that “the precarisation of artists is in many European countries a dangerous reality.”
To listen to the full interview with more insights by Paul Dujardin, click on the player below.