The Forum d’Avignon Bilbao kicked off this morning with the first discussion: ‘A dialogue between the private and public sectors in the creative industries’, moderated by Jose Luis Rebordinos, Director of the San Sebastián Film Festival, and featuring a lecture by Jean Blaise, Director of the programme Le voyage à Nantes: culture et tourisme. The panel also included Katrín Jakobsdóttir, former Minister of Education, Science and Culture of Iceland; Maria Mur Dean, Director of the Bilbao-based art production company consonni; Gail Lord, Co-President of Lord Cultural Resources, Canada; and Joxean Muñoz, Vice Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Basque Government.
Jean Blaise provided examples of the creations welcomed by the city of Nantes in the past few years. He described them as ‘cultural expressions that can lead to the creation of a new economy for the city.’ The ‘peculiar’ architecture that residents in Nantes live with are not mere cultural centres but places where ‘you can experience the city, interact with it,’ Blaise remarked.
After the 2nd Forum d´Avignon Ruhr (in Essen, June 2013, 27th and 28th), the 6th Forum d’Avignon (in Avignon, November 2013, 21th to 23rd), the 1st Forum d’Avignon Bilbao (in Bilbao, March 2014, 5th to 7th) is the third European scale event of the EU-funded project CATALYSE.
After three day of interactive and transnational collaboration in Bilbao, the CATALYSE partners call to place the attractiveness of cities at the heart of the European elections. Without more engagement for cities, the European vision cannot come alive – especially not for the European youth. Examples as Bilbao, the Ruhr, Avignon, Metz, Lens or Liverpool proved how culture revitalizes cities and thus CATALYSE calls to European politics to mainstream the promotion of cultural and creative cities.
Among the numerous perspectives sketched during Forum d’Avignon, Forum d’Avignon Ruhr and Forum d’Avignon Bilbao, CATALYSE – through their ‘Manifesto 2014: Reinventing a new creative European urban space’ published on March, 7th – underlines three action priorities to strengthen the attractiveness in our cities and societies: