Care is a universal human need that too often remains overlooked and undervalued. This is the reason why Beyond the Obvious 2023 centered around the concept of care. Care as a social concept, based on empathic and appreciative interactions, has the transformative potential to create a more compassionate and interconnected society.
The Handle with Care | Culture for Social Well-being gathering collectively explored the significance of care as an ethical and political obligation for our societies and the role culture and cultural professionals can play in this. It specifically discussed the evidence on the role of culture in improving health and well-being. How can culture and participation in the cultural life of communities nourish the sense of social and individual well-being?
The ancient city of Eleusis 2023 European Capital of Culture (ECOC), where BtO 2023 took place, home to the Eleusinian Mysteries, to Demeter, Hades and Persephone, provided the perfect setting for writing a Manifesto on Care. Persephone’s descent into darkness and subsequent transformation was an inspiration to its co-authors. This collaborative document has been drawn from the contribution of 185 participants of the 2023 Beyond The Obvious Conference.
The Elefsina Manifesto is an envisioning of a Culture of Care. It serves as a rallying call to artists, cultural organisations and professionals to embrace politics and ethics of care as a fundamental element of our collective work. By putting care at the core of our practices, we can promote well-being, transform society, and create a more just and equitable world.