Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS



Project ID: 649454
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.6.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CULTURALBASE (Social Platform on Cultural Heritage and European Identities)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"Cultural Base is a social platform funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme 2014-2015 “Europe in a changing world: inclusive, innovative and reflective societies”. Cultural Base aims to address the topic of Heritage and European Identities from a double standpoint, namely, an analytical as well as a public policy perspective. It all began with the idea that since the second half of the last century, culture has experienced a profound mutation, through which its position and role in the social dynamics have been transformed. Culture now constitutes an essential basis of today’s society in a context of cultural digitization and globalization. The transformation of the entire cultural ecosystem has radically altered - and at the same time, intensified - the relationship between cultural identity, cultural heritage and cultural expression. This transformation has occurred both at the level of the professional cultural sector as well as in society as a whole.

Against this background it is necessary to promote collective reflection within the cultural sector in Europe in order to enhance the capacity for cultural governance. CulturalBase intends to make a decisive contribution to this endeavour, laying the basis for an articulated vision shared by all the stakeholders in the sector and to help define the most important challenges and opportunities in this field. We intend to create centrality for "the cultural issue" in the same way in which "the social issue" had historically acquired significance in Europe. This is our utmost and most ambitious objective.

These three axes aim to research debates relating to heritage in the institutions and practices of cultural memory; how the focus on diversity and inclusion impacts on the practices of memory institutions, including on stakeholders and networks; what this reconfiguration contributes to new or post-national oriented narratives about identity and European values; and how heritage, cultural diversity and creativity relate in the context of huge cultural transformations such as the ones represented by digitization and cultural globalization."

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The process through which we are achieving the above objective is a process of inquiry promoted by the consortium partners of this project and of dialogue and debate with all the stakeholders of the platform. This process is being articulated through a series of steps and tasks that mark in turn a number of more specific and substantive objectives as identified in the grant agreement. The present report analyses the extent to which all the objectives have been achieved, beginning with these overarching ones:

1. To make an extensive state-of-the-art review of the research literatures and policy programmes in the general field of cultural heritage and European identities.

Cultural Base produced a complete state-of-the-art review of the issues of heritage, cultural diversity and creativity and shared it with the various circles of stakehoders identified in the social platform.

2. To identify main research issues and policy programmes in this field and to contrast between the kind of research done and the policies developed.

To produce general overviews on the research priorities and opportunities in relation with cultural heritage and European identities from three basic analytic perspectives: cultural memory, cultural inclusion and cultural creativity.

These research priorities and opportunites are under preparation and will be finalized on time for the second and final report.

3. To develop a shared view within the social platform on the more important and policy relevant research issues in this field for Europe in the coming years and the best way to address them.

The process of building a shared view among such a vast group of different stakeholders is a long-term and intensive process. So far, we can confirm that Cultural Base is progressing firmly towards the achievement of this objective although it would be naïve (and certainly counter-productive) to force a unified vision on any specific topic. We are working on consensus-building rather than unanimity guided by the principles and proposals advanced by the academic partners, therefore a collective process of opinion making that is informed by evidence and accummulated knowledge. The result of this shared view on the various issues will be reflected in the set of research and policy recommendations currently under preparation which will be finalized on time for the second and final report.

4. To produce strategic research agendas on cultural heritage and European identities from the three aforementioned analytic perspectives stemming from the shared views.

These strategic research agendas are under preparation: a first version will be produced in July 2016 while they will be refined on time for the second and final report.

5. To produce general policy guidelines in this domain from these same perspectives, especially in relation with information systems and research policy.

These general policy guidelines are under preparation and will be finalized on time for the second and final report.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The project represents an innovative and groundbreaking attempt to gather stakeholders from across Europe holding different perspectives and experiences around the crucial issues at hand related to culture. In addition to taking stock, discussing and networking, stakeholders and researchers are invited to “imagine” Europe together and formulate concrete ways to do it via research and policies.

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