Political Culture

More Light! – EU Projects of the Goethe-Institut

The Goethe-Institut is carrying out numerous projects in various European cities to coincide with Germany's EU presidency in the first half of 2007. Looking at four examples – a light installation in Brussels, theatrical performances in Paris, a discussion of cultural values in The Hague, and hip-hop in Ostia near Rome – the program shows how, by following the tradition of European cooperation, culture can give Europe a soul.

Sie benötigen den Flashplayer , um dieses Video zu sehen

Author: Rolf Scheller
Download SymbolFilm text (PDF, 23 KB)

The Goethe-Institut cultivates the tradition of European cultural cooperation. Its international network enables it to adapt its cultural work to the ongoing changes in Europe. In doing so, it contributes to cultural mobility.

The Goethe-Institut is carrying out numerous projects in various EU countries to coincide with Germany's presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2007. These projects highlight and intensify the idea that cultural diversity goes hand in hand with integration.

The light installation by the German-Turkish sisters Anny and Sibel Öztürk in Brussels is a seismograph of urban mobility and interaction. At Rond-Point Schuman in the heart of the EU quarter, the noise of the traffic and movements of passers-by intensify the luminosity of this artwork. Entitled "More Light!", this interactive light sculpture represents the demand of many citizens for greater transparency in the often arcane and clandestine administrative processes of EU bureaucracy. The installation even has a nickname already: the "EU halo."

At the Centre Pompidou in Paris, two top directors attempt to establish the position of European theater between utopia and reality. German director and theater manager Frank Castorf (Volksbühne on Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin) and French author, director and theater manager Olivier Py (Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe, Paris) position political theater more as a part of social reality than as a utopia. Using different approaches, they try to bridge the gap between the audience and the stage and tear down social barriers by working with members of marginalized groups and young people, for instance. Both of them vehemently reject the concept of "Fortress Europe," and call for integration and equal rights.

Cultural policy-makers and the functionaries of national cultural institutes come together in The Hague under the motto of "Diversity makes the Difference – European Foreign Policy and Culture." They meet to discuss how culture can foster intercultural dialogue. The event was organized by the Goethe-Institut Amsterdam in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office, the European Cultural Foundation (ECF), and the Service Center for Intercultural Activities in Amsterdam (SICA). An umbrella organization was created in the form of EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture). Its goal is to make a shared European cultural policy the "third pillar" of foreign policy. This calls for the establishment of a generally binding catalog of values. An emphasis is placed on the need for the producers of cultural products – the creators of culture – to be more heavily involved in the discussion process.

Hip-hop musicians are a special type of cultural creator. Some of these musicians met in Ostia near Rome for an international workshop. The musicians gave practical demonstrations of the technical and musical skills behind hip-hop to a mostly young crowd. Visitors quickly sensed the power of music to connect people beyond national, social, and linguistic borders. All of the EU projects of the Goethe-Institut have one thing in common: the desire to give Europe a soul.
Goethe-Institut e. V. 2007
Related links

Migration and Integration

Migration is changing cultures. The Goethe-Institut reflects these developments in Germany and around the world and dedicates its work to the linguistic integration of migrants.

1968 worldwide

What changes did 1968 bring?