In 2019, these three themes are: the City, Europe and Young Audiences.
As more than half of the planet is now urban, the city has become a global phenomenon which touches the entire world population, from near or afar.
A matrix for observing, thinking and understanding the contemporary world, the city is a rich and complex subject which combines political and governance elements as well as social, environmental and cultural issues. On this subject, France has high levels of knowledge and expertise, including for example in the area of sustainable cities, which is one of the priority export fields of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. Architecture (which is one of the ways of thinking about urban development) also joined the Federation of Creative and Cultural Industries in February for export, supported by this same Ministry.
Due to its many establishments around the world, the cultural network is in a privileged position to observe the diversity of urban phenomena. There is a high demand from the offices on this topic, whether for a public debate, cooperative projects with local partners or artistic projects taking place in public spaces.
To support the cultural network in understanding this subject, the City-themed programme will be divided into five themes:
- Sustainable City, Liveable City;
- Cities and Inequalities;
- City of Tomorrow;
- City and Heritage;
- Art in the City.
The objectives are as follows:
- Encouraging the network to develop a multidisciplinary approach to the challenges of the City;
- Promoting the co-creation of proposals with local partners in order to promote experiences in this area;
- Promoting French expertise in these five thematic areas.
In his speech at the Sorbonne on 26th September 2017, President Macron called for a re-founding of Europe, its political ambitions and its sovereignty, in particular through culture: “the strongest glue for the Union will always be culture and knowledge”. The objective of this theme is to enable the Institut français and the Network to become players in this overhaul through an offer of programming that makes it possible to highlight the dynamics at work in Europe and in non-member countries.
Indeed, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission issued a joint statement in 2016, “Towards an EU strategy on international cultural relations” (see the Joint Statement), which recalls the importance of cultural exchanges in the role played by the Union on the international stage. Until that point, culture was seen as a “support competence” for the Union, an area in which it could only intervene to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of its Member States: with this declaration, the European institutions have expressed their desire to become more involved in the cultural field.
Because the European question cannot be reduced to its institutional aspects, this programme offering will make it possible to address European political and cultural identity along seven different axes:
- Citizenship, democratic expression;
- Shared European values: Rule of law, human rights, critical thinking, resilience, reconciliation, etc.;
- Individual mobility, circulation of works and knowledge;
- Innovation, particularly with regards to the energy transition and the digital revolution;
- Inclusion, social cohesion, hospitality.
The European theme may be reflected in the topics addressed, but also in the construction of the project, in particular by associating European partners: European counterparts, EUNIC clusters, European artists and professionals, the French network of neighbouring countries for positions located in the European Union, etc.
The activities offered to young audiences are one of the major areas of intervention of the French cultural network abroad, at the crossroads of different disciplines: cultural cooperation, audiovisual, media resources, French classes, sports, etc.
This enthusiastic policy naturally reflects the tremendous vitality of French creation aimed at young people. Internationally recognised, this offering includes artistic, editorial and educational proposals as well as a range of knowledge and expertise in the field of audience development and mediation.
The projects submitted to this fund must have the following objectives:
- Promoting French creation and expertise to young people and foreign cultural partners;
- Education, awareness and development of critical thinking;
- Communication methods appropriate for French cultural establishments.