08.05.2013 - UNESCO Venice Office

Balkan Bridges Speak. Second edition in Lovech

©Pokrit most (Covered Bridge), Lovech, Bulgaria/Klearchos Kapoutsis

Within the framework of its global initiative “Culture: a Bridge to Development”, UNESCO is supporting, in co-operation with the Balkanika Foundation, a new regional encounter on 10-11 May 2013 on the iconic bridge of Lovech, Bulgaria.

This regional encounter, which follows on the one organized in Edirne, Turkey, on 24 and 25 November 2012, is the second of several events within the “Balkan Bridges Speak” project, to be hosted in 2013 across South East Europe to highlight bridges as powerful symbols of unity and mutual understanding. The initiative is conceived to provide spaces for sub-regional and regional cultural cooperation, and seeks to promote exchanges amongst culture professionals, city planners, municipalities, artists, civil society on cultural policies, strategies and practices that foster intercultural dialogue and stimulate the cultural sector as a viable economic and social sector.

The meeting in Lovech will feature artistic events and round tables between writers, artists and policy makers. The first round table, entitled “The new arts scene in South-East Europe: trends and challenges”, will seek to sketch a portrait of the new South East European artistic scene (with a focus on literature, cinema, and theater), and engage in a dialogue to learn about new developments and challenges they foresee for the future. Speakers from the panel from the region will share views on issues such as: What is the new social, political and economic environment for artistic activities in the region? How to develop responsive frameworks and tools which encourage artistic creativity, innovation and cultural entrepreneurship? How to encourage transnational mobility of artists?

The second round table, “Municipalities: shaping the agenda for creativity and cultural innovation” will discuss the role of urban policies and planning in enhancing culture and creativity, and the promotion of “creative cities” in South East Europe. Speakers from the region will share views on issues such as: How to make culture and cultural industries a key factor for quality urban development? Are creative cities gateways to international markets? How to build local capacities in business skills and sustain cultural dynamics? Can cities think of themselves in terms of “creative evolution”?

The round tables will be accompanied during the day by various “Monospectacles”, staged monologues of short duration, bringing together various performing genres and arts (music, poetry, theatre, drama).

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