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Projects by the Goethe-Institut on the occasion of Germany's EU Council PresidencyIllustration (detail): Tobias Schrank

EU 2020: The Goethe-Institut for Europe

The German presidency of the Council of the EU ended on 31 December 2020. For six months, we reflected on what Europe represents and how we wish to live in Europe in the future.
Via digital and physical formats in Brussels and 19 other European cities, intellectuals and artists from all over Europe discussed new prospects and alliances in Europe as part of the hybrid Free Space festival during the German presidency of the Council of the European Union.
With spectacular installations in public spaces, debates on the impact of artificial intelligence, the drawing-up of carbon-neutral solutions for travelling to the capitals of the presidency trio and cross-generational discussions about Europe, many events were held throughout Europe which raised the spirits of the European public during the coronavirus epidemic and celebrated Europe’s diversity.
The Verschwindende Wand (Disappearing Wall), #oekoropa and Generation A=Algorithm projects were part of the German federal government’s official cultural programme during the 2020 Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Goethe-Institut was also involved in implementing the participative art work Earth Speakr by Olafur Eliasson.
In a closing film, we look back on six months of wide-ranging events held throughout Europe focusing on the European values of freedom, solidarity and sustainability.
 


Our Projects

  • Die Wand Antwerpen 1 Photo: © Lillo Mendola
    The disappearing wall in Antwerp from 19.09.-20.09.2020
  • Die verschwindende Wand 3 Photo: ©Lillo Mendola
    The disappearing wall in Antwerp from 19.09.-20.09.2020
  • Die Verschwindende Wand 4 Photo: ©Lillo Mendola
    The disappearing wall in Antwerp from 19.09.-20.09.2020
  • Die Wand Antwerpen 5 Photo: ©Lillo Mendola
    The disappearing wall in Antwerp from 19.09.-20.09.2020 with the German embassador Martin Kotthaus and director of the Goethe-Institut in Belgium Dr. Elke Kaschl Mohni
  • Wand Antwerpen 6 Photo: ©Lillo Mendola
    opening-speech held by the director of the Goethe-Institut in Belgium Dr. Elke Kaschl Mohni at the art installation "the disappearing wall"
  • Die Wand 7 Photo: ©Lillo Mendola
    The disappearing wall in Antwerp on the weekend of the 19th and 20th september 2020
  • Wand 8 Photo: ©Lillo Mendola
    visitors at the installation
  • Wand in Brüssel Photo: ©Lillo Mendola
    The disappearing wall in Brussels
  • Bürgermeister von Brüssel bei der Wand Foto (Zuschnitt): ©Lillo Mendola
    The mayor of Brussels Philippe Close visited the wall.
  • Wand auf der Grand-Place Foto (Zuschnitt): ©Lillo Mendola
    The disappearing wall on the Grand Place/Grote Markt in Brussels.
  • Wand auf der Grande-Place Foto (Ausschnitt): ©Lillo Mendola
    a look through the installation on the Grand Place/Grote Markt in Brussels
  • Wand auf der Grand-Place Foto (Ausschnitt): ©Lillo Mendola
    the installation was to be found in Brussels on the 3rd and 4th of october
  • director of the Goethe-Institut Dr. Elke Kaschl Mohni and foreign minister Sophie Wilmès visiting the art installation in Brussels Photo (Ausschnitt): © Citizenmotion
    director of the Goethe-Institut Dr. Elke Kaschl Mohni and foreign minister Sophie Wilmès visiting the art installation in Brussels
  • Earth Speakr Workshop Brussels © Lillo Mendola
    Earth Speakr Workshop in Brussels
  • Earth Speakr Workshop Brüssel 2 © Betrand Vandeloise
    Earth Speakr Workshop in Brussels
  • Freiraum Festival 2020 © Stefanos Tsakiris
    Freiraum Festival 2020
  • Freiraum Festival 2 © Goethe-Institut
    Freiraum Festival 2020
  • Freiraum Festival 3 © Stefanos Tsakiris
    Freiraum Festival 2020
  • Freiraum Festival 4 © Stefanos Tsakiris
    Freiraum Festival 2020
  • Freiraum Festival 5 © Goethe-Institut
    Freiraum Festival 2020
“Disappearing Wall” Photo (detail): Goethe-Institut © Natalia Cheban

Art installation in public spaces
The Disappearing Wall

This artistic wall installation is based on 6,000 quotes from highbrow and popular culture with contributions from eminent thinkers and artists from all over Europe, collected beforehand via a public competition. After the unveiling of the installation, passers-by will be able to take the quotes with them. All that will remain is the transparent frame that held them – the wall disappears. The installation will go on display in ten European countries – including three times in Belgium – from summer 2020 during the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

#oekoropa: Europe-wide youth competition on sustainable travel © Goethe-Institut

#oekoropa
#oekoropa - Europewide Youth Competition for Sustainable Travel

With the digital youth competition #oekoropa, the Goethe-Institut shows that travelling is possible even in these times – first conceptually and then in reality. Students aged 16 to 19 and their teachers from all EU member states are invited to participate with their innovative concepts for climate neutral travelling across Europe.

Das Logo des Projekts Earth Speakr © Olafur Eliasson

"Earth Speakr"
A participatory, Europe-wide work of art

“Earth Speakr” is an artwork created by Olafur Eliasson with his studio, kids, creative partners, researchers, and experts. The open-ended artwork launches officially 1 July and will evolve over the course of 2020 with the active participation of kids across the EU. It is funded by the Federal Foreign Office on the occasion of the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2020 and realised in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut.

Logo des Projekts Generation A=Algorithmus Illustration: © Tobias Schrank

„Generation A“
Towards a future of artificial intelligence

Big data, algorithms and deep learning: artificial intelligence (AI) is changing our lives and has long been part of everyday life. How much potential does AI possess and how can it be safely integrated into future societies? The “Generation A = algorithm” project explores these issues in wide-ranging formats. The “Couch Lessons” series will provide insights into various aspects of AI every Wednesday.

The projects ‘Europaküche’, ‘Erzähle mir von Europa’, ‘die Verschwindende Wand’, ‘#oekoropa’ and ‘Generation A=Algorithmus’ are all part of the German federal government’s cultural programme to mark the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Goethe Institute is also involved in the implementation of the participative artwork ‘Earth Speakr’ by Olafur Eliasson which the Berlin-based artist is creating for the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The EU 2020 projects of the Goethe-Institut are funded with special funds from the German Foreign Office for the German EU Presidency 2020.  
Hellgrünes Logo des Goethe-Instituts auf weißem Grund Logo EU 2020

In addition to these initiatives, the Goethe Institute is also implementing further large-scale projects focusing on Europe as part of EU 2020. They include the ‘Freiraum’ festival and the conference series on multilingualism in Europe.

Freiraum Festival © Foto Alexandru Andrei

A hybrid festival on the state of freedom today with voices from all over Europe
Freiraum Festival

The Freiraum Festival will be held on 30, 31 October and 1 November 2020, during Germany’s EU Council presidency. In digital as well as physical formats in Brussels and 19 other European cities, from Athens up to Turin and Prague, the Goethe-Instituts will be joining forces again with partners in culture and the arts, the research community and civil society to ask:
What is the state of freedom today in Europe in corona era?

Konferenzserie "Mehrsprachigkeit in Europa" Foto (fragment): Eric Berghen

“Europe. Your languages”
Multilingualism in Europe: a digital series of conferences

24 official languages, 60 regional and minority languages, countless dialects and language variations: Europe is a continent of multilingualism. Germany, the country in the EU with the most neighbours, and a glance next door: what can we learn from each other? On the occasion of the European trio presidency Germany – Portugal – Slovenia, the Goethe-Institut’s Europanetzwerk Deutsch will examine these and other questions with high-ranking experts.

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