The second in the series of 'Brussels Debates' for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008, will focus on arts and culture, and in particular on the dynamic concept of identities. The European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Ján Figel’ will be joined by Claire Gibault MEP, Jette Sandahl, Director of the City Museum of Copenhagen, and Dutch-Turkish photographer Ahmet Polat, before giving the floor to the audience.
The debate will take place in the Polak Room of the Residence Palace, 155 Rue de la Loi at 18.30h. It will be moderated by journalist Shada Islam, Senior Programme Executive at the European Policy Centre (EPC) and a Brussels-based journalist specialising in EU foreign and development policies, as well as immigration and anti-discrimination issues. The debate will be followed by a reception.
The invitees represent both sides of the creative spectrum. On the one hand, Jette Sandahl will use her long experience within cultural institutions to explore their role as guardian and developer of cultural and personal identity. She will talk about the shift in thinking as cultural institutions adjust to the new obligations of culturally diverse societies. On the other hand, Ahmet Polat will share his insights on dealing with intercultural dialogue in an artistic sense while creating doorways between cultures.
The series of Brussels debates constitute the core activities of the European Year at EU level. The first one, on migration and immigration and intercultural dialogue, was held on 5 March. This week's Wednesday debate will be followed by five more during 2008, dealing with such themes as religions, languages, education, media and the workplace.
Most of the activities accompanying the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue are organised in the Member States. The European Commission is supporting one of these projects per country, in addition to seven European 'flagship' projects which involve participants from most Member States.
It is possible to join the debate by sharing views with users from all over Europe on the Brussels Debate Forum in the official website of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, www.dialogue2008.eu.