A New Narrative for Europe is a project created to integrate the European public thanks to the use of the arts and sciences. The Mind and Body of Europe: A New Narrative, a book outlining the most important European initiatives of the project, came out a few months ago.
The initiative has been organised through a cultural committee of European creatives, such as the Italian artist Chiara Fumai and the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, among others. The New Narrative for Europe declaration emphasises the universal principles in European societies and the abundance of culture as background and dynamics for society and politics. ‚Europe is a state of mind formed and fostered by its spiritual, philosophical, artistic and scientific inheritance, and driven by the lessons of history,‘ the declaration states. ‚Europe needs brave, imaginative and enlightened political leaders who speak and understand the language of Europe as a political body, animated and energize by culture‘.
The introduction, written by José Manuel Barroso, the former President of the European Commission, emphasises the fact that in the contemporary world, a peace narrative for Europe is much needed and calls for a cooperation between all 28 EU Member States. Barroso came to the conclusion that it is the responsibility not only of European institutions and politicians but of every
European to help shape the future of Europe. He also mentioned that the urge for Europe to find a new common ground in order to make sense of European culture and history as well as use globalisation and technology to our advantage is the very purpose of the New Narrative for Europe initiative. In order to discuss this in detail, the participants of the project met up at debates in various European cities.
The book features a number of reports and speeches of politicians and activists from all over Europe, e.g. Donald Tusk’s (the President-elect of the European Council) speech from the First General Assembly on Forms of Imagination and Thinking of Europe held in Warsaw, or Angela Merkel’s speech delivered at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. The most thought-provoking presentations and discussions, however, seem to have been delivered by the artists and scientists involved in the project. For example, the discussion at the International Architecture Biennale in Venice provided a lot of insight into the initiative as a 14th whole.
During the discussion, Elif Shafak, a Turkish novelist based in London, pointed out that 10 years ago there was a great optimism about the idea of globalisation and the world becoming a global village. According to her, that idea still hasn not been fully realised. At the moment, states are still too separated from one another and the situation needs improvement to build a more coherent and united Europe. Shafak concluded that she believes that it is artists and storytellers who are the ones able to bring Europeans together, as they speak a language accessible to everyone. Her statement can be used as a motto for the New Narrative for Europe initiative and the publication that was born out of it.
Jedna z verejných diskusií za účasti člena pracovnej skupiny Tomáša Sedláčka (CZ) sa uskutočnila aj v Bratislave. Prečítajte si aj report Je EÚ zbytočnosť či plná chladnička?