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Saturday 15th March: Transnationalism in the Arts

Introduction: How to make Europe dream?

The Congress will open with an address delivered by European Alternatives on the importance of renewing the arts and literature in Europe and the inspiration artists and writers may find in the field of European futures.

Afternoon Workshops

What are the implications for the arts, literature and music of thinking beyond national boundaries? What are the relationships between universalism, europeanism and transnationalism in the arts?

Workshop 1: Language, point of view, audience, overture:

Who is the audience of the European artist? Are the European arts cosmopolitan, and what does this mean? What are the implications of multilingual and multicultural communities in Europe for the writer, the artist, the musician, the cineaste? Must the writer think beyond any particular language? The artist beyond any particular point of view?

Chaired by: Niccolo Milanese

Prestentations: Adrian Grima

Fiona Sampson

Alexandra Buchler

Valerio Cruciani

Workshop 2: The tradition and the future

To borrow an image from Valery, what questions does the European Hamlet now ask the skulls of Europe’s most famous artists? What answer does he expect? Does he still know his way around the cemetery, or has its geography changed? Is the future of the arts in Europe revolutionary aiming create everything new, or does it speak from the ghosts of tradition?

Chaired by: Niccolo Milanese

Presentations by: Hassan El Ouazzani

Peter Zilany

Sasha Dugdale

Ben Ramm

Chantal Wright

Evening debate: Dreaming of Europe in the Arts

Hans Ulrich Obrist will chair a public discussion with several invited artists, writers and musicians on the implication of ‘Europe’ in their work.

Speakers being invited in coordination with Hans Ulrich Obrist

Sunday 16th March: European Engagement in the Arts

The second day of the congress turns towards the question of political engagement in the arts: what is it to be an engaged European artist? Has the meaning of engagement changed in Europe since Sartre’s employment of the term?

Workshop 1: Aesthetics and politics: what does engagement mean in Europe?

This theoretical discussion will ask what the consequences of resituating thde arts in the new European and trans-national political context are. Has the meaning of political engagement changed in the arts along with changing political paradigms? In a context of global causes and local effects, can the artist achieve what the politician can’t, and show ‘the whole world in a grain of sand?’

Chaired by: Lorenzo Marsili

Presentations: Tomek Kitlinski

Pawel Leszkowicz

Patrick Hazard

Workshop 2: European Action and the Arts

Does European politics offer particular opportunities for collaboration between cultural practitioners and political actors? Might a strong cultural engagement with the reality and future of Europe lead to a radically re-conceptualised understanding of the unification project? What is the potential nature of this collaboration, and how to avoid instrumentalism of the arts?

Chaired by: Lorenzo Marsili

Presentations: Arjan Leka

Amir Khatib

Evening public debate: Towards a European Cultural Avant-Garde

As a conclusion to the congress the theoretical basis for the construction of a European cultural avant-garde is publicly debated.

Including the participation of Gianni Vattimo and two other participants from the cultural congress.


Thierry Chervel studied musicology at the Technische Universität Berlin. He has worked as film, music and current events editor at the Tageszeitung, and was cultural correspondent in Paris for the Süddeutsche Zeitung. He is co-founder of the online cultural magazine Perlentaucher and of

Valerio Cruciani is a writer of fiction and poetry and the editor of cultural magazine Amnesia Vivace. In 2004 he collaborated in the organisation of the international literature festival of Malta Klandestini. His latest book of verse is Le città hanno gli occhi sempre aperti.

Casimiro De Brito is a Portuguese poet, novelist and festival organiser

Hassan El Ouazzani is a Moroccan poet, and former vice president of the House of Poetry Casablanca

Ghislaine Glasson Deschaumes is founder of the philosophical journal Transeuropéennes and directs the cultural program at the Maison De l’Europe Paris.

Adrian Grima teaches liteature at the University of Malta. He presented discussions on the literature and culture of the Mediterranean in Rome, Paris, Prague, Athens, and in Yale University in the USA. His latest English volume of poetry is The Tragedy of the Elephant.

Therese Kaufmann is director of the European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies, Vienna

Amir Khatib is the founder of the European Union Migrant Artists’ Network, a trans-national organisation for professional migrant artists living and working in the EU

Tomek Kitlinski is a lecturer, artist, and curator working in Lublin, Poland. He delivered papers and presented sound installations at conferences and performance art events in several countries. He edited, together with Pawel Leszkowicz, Love and Democracy. Reflections on the Homosexual Question in Poland

Pawel Leszkowicz is an Art historian, curator and a lecturer specialising in contemporary art/visual culture and sexuality/subjectivity studies. He is a lecturer at the Department of Art History Adam Mickiewicz University and Department of the New Media of Fine Arts Academy in Poznan, Poland. He is an author of the curatorial idea of the exhibition of contemporary queer art Love and Democracy organised in 2005 and 2006.

Tamas Jonas is a Hungarian poet

Istvan Kemeny is a Hungarian poet

Arjan Leka is an Albanian poet and publisher

Goncalo M Taveres is a Portuguese author, poet and philosopher.

Michael Thoss, Allianz Cultural Foundation

Peter Zilany is an essayist, poet and writer. He is the youngest Hungarian novelist to have his novel translated into English, ‘The Window Giraffe’

Gianni Vattimo is an internationally recognised philosopher, has theorised the idea of a European Avant Garde, and is former member of the European Parliament.

Participants: BASED IN BRITAIN

Alessio Antoniolli is director of Gasworks and the Triangle Arts Trust, an international network of artists and organisations.

Alexandra Buchler is a translator from Czech and director of Literature Across Frontiers

Anna Colin is a critic and curator at Gasworks, London

Sasha Dugdale is a poet and translator, and coordinates the international program at the Royal Court Theatre London

Patrick Hazard is director of the London International Documentary Film Festival, and director of Pocket Visions

Hans Ulrich Obrist is a curator and art critic. In 1993 he founded the Museum Robert Walser and began to run the Migrateurs program at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris where he served as a curator for contemporary art. He presently serves as Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery in London.

Ben Ramm is editor of The Liberal magazine of poetry, politics and culture

Fiona Sampson is editor of Poetry Review and founder editor of Orient Express, the premier journal for Central and Eastern European poetry in English translation

Jessie Teggin is an organiser of the London International Documentary Film Festival

Sarah Wilson is professor of art at the Courtauld Institute and curated the exhibition ‘Paris Capital of the Arts’ at the Royal Academy

Chantal Wright editor of Transcript, a journal of literature accross frontiers. (

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