RESHAPE closing conference: What kind of future do we want for the cultural sector?

Flanders Arts Institute was partner in RESHAPE, a large-scale EU funded collaboration project (2018-2021) in which 19 partners joined forces to draw a blueprint for a sustainable European arts eco-system that relates with contemporary society. 

During the closing conference in Zagreb and Ljubljana last week, all the results were presented and tested: the 9 prototypes – developed collaboratively by 40 artists and art workers from across Europe and the Southern Mediterranean – tackle the art sector’s major challenges and help the transition towards fair and sustainable practices.

They take various forms: a game, a collection of rituals, a metaphor, a shapeshifting department, a multitude of questions, a call for action, and many others. Discover, use, adapt, and adopt them!

20 policymakers from Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Germany, Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, the UK, the Netherlands and EU joined the conference, tested these prototypes and gathered around the major RESHAPE themes:

Some quotes of the participants:

“The RESHAPE closing conference offered a necessary space and the tools to rethink our governance, practices and policies as cultural institutions. The prototypes developed within the project’s itinerary propose alternative approaches and playful methodologies to slow-down and reflect on what kind of future we want for the sector. The frameworks developed by Reshapers are modular and it is up to us – institutions, organisations, artists – to apply them according to our specific needs. Culture Action Europe will definitely try!”

Natalie Giorgadze, Culture Action Europe

“The prototypes explored through the RESHAPE project have shed light into new and inspiring ways of safeguarding the cultural and creative industries and protecting the arts ecosystems of today’s society.”

Amalia de Lizaur López, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (Spain)

“Reshape allows us to think outside of the realities of our policy structures – and imagine together a fairer and more sustainable world. For our work in culture, for our way of living, this is really valued. We are proposing different ways of experimenting with the prototypes within our organisation, and putting our ideas into concrete plans now.”

Renske Ebbers, Dutch Culture

“The RESHAPE conference was a wonderful space for me to get inspired and gain an insight into the process of RESHAPE, which I believe is very valuable not only for the many professionals that took part in it, but also the art sector at large. The project is an important example of how a collective cross-border reflection can be valuable as a process and how it can actually bring great tools to the entire sector to be used in their own contexts.”

Elena Polivtseva, IETM Head of Policy and Research

“The RESHAPE conference reassured me of the need to rethink our organizational and operational models and to reinforce our actions towards a change in culture work. The workshop on reshaping policies and arts support offered a great space to exchange on the issues in the culture and creative sector, to share experiences and thoughts and to see that we have a common understanding of the next steps to be taken.”

Liliia Ahdhomeladze, Goethe Institut

During the conference, the publication “RESHAPE: A workbook to reimagine the art world was launched. This publication was published by Flanders Arts Institute in collaboration with ONDA (Paris) and Pogon (Zagreb). A book presenting all the RESHAPE Prototypes, in dialogue with a number of existing, reworked, and commissioned works selected by the RESHAPE community. 

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