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Belonging and Becoming

Beyond the Obvious - Cultural Agora

Beyond the Obvious - Cultural Agora, Rome 2017


BtO Rome 2017 with its motto "Belonging and Becoming" part of a Cultural Agora in the heart of Rome inspired all contributors.

Landscapes of belonging, however, are nuanced – we ‘belong’ and are perceived to belong in many different ways at many different scales. This enables us to engage in the active, perpetual process of Becoming citizens, societies and living up to our own potential. It allows us to envision new narratives and imagery that connect pasts, presents and futures. 

How can we, as artists and cultural operators,
engaged citizens and policy makers, rationalists and visionaries, develop an inclusive belonging?

What is the impact of civic participation on social cohesion?

How can we on all levels - local, national and European - create an understanding of belonging based on diversity and inclusion?

Cultural operators from Europe and beyond did share their visions,
as did academic thinkers and social innovators from urban and peri-urban contexts. We discovered new places for sharing thoughts and preparing joint actions. Just prior to the launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, this gathering did forge a coalition between urban political leaders and key representatives from all cultural sectors and did provide agenda-setting perspectives on cultural heritage (material, immaterial and digital) as asset, ambition and appropriation, connecting sustainability and social innovation in powerful and pragmatic messages. 

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