New European Bauhaus Festival: Europa Nostra contributes to 5 sessions and side events

The first-ever New European Bauhaus Festival took place from 9 to 12 June in several locations across Brussels and beyond as well as online. Built around the three pillars of “Fair”, “Fest” and “Forum”, it included debates, workshops, exhibitions and cultural performances and thus brought together experts and policy-makers from a wide range of disciplines and sectors, as well as citizens, youth and grassroots organisations. As an official partner of the New European Bauhaus initiative and in addition to organising its own side event at the Brussels Town Hall on 10 June, Europa Nostra had the honour to contribute to 3 sessions as part of the Forum at Gare Maritime – a proud European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards winner in 2021 – and 2 side events organised as part of the Festival. Europa Nostra, therefore, placed prominently in the discussions the key role of cultural heritage in advancing the NEB principles of sustainability, beauty and inclusiveness as well as its power to address the societal challenges Europe is facing.

You can watch the recordings of all sessions here.

Thursday 9 June

Standing with Ukraine: How the New European Bauhaus can do its bit (Forum)

As the war in Ukraine is forcing millions of people out of their homes and cities are destroyed by the Russian military, this session explored how the New European Bauhaus can help rebuild the country. It weighted how the country’s immediate needs can be aligned with sustainable and inclusive standards to safeguard cultural heritage.

The session was moderated by Alissa de Carbonnel, Director, Europe and Central Asia Programme, International Crisis Group and featured the following speakers: Oleg Drozdov, Co-founder of Ro3kvit, urban coalition for Ukraine, Co-founder of Kharkiv School of Architecture, and Owner of Drozdov&Partners, Sergei Orlov, Deputy Mayor of Mariupol, Ukraine (remotely), Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, Ruth Schagemann, President of the Architects’ Council of Europe, as well as Hubert Trammer, Architect, Teacher at Lublin University and Member of the NEB High-Level Round.

During the discussion, Europa Nostra’s Secretary General echoed the words of the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the opening of the Festival, emphasising that “Ukraine’s reconstruction must be done with respect for traditional techniques and authenticity of cultural heritage, in line with NEB principles and high-quality standards. Let’s mobilise the NEB as a success story to inspire the revival and renaissance of Ukraine”. She highlighted key actions for an effective implementation of this process, namely the allocation of at least 2% of the funds available through the future Trust Fund for Ukraine to culture, the adoption of a holistic approach to education and memory, the mainstreaming of NEB principles across EU policies and funding programme, as well as the inclusion of Odessa on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Creative Europe networks in the New European Bauhaus (side event)

This event was the first gathering of European networks funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Taking place in the Brussels Royal Park, it allowed exchanges on the New European Bauhaus values and shed light on the network’s contribution to this initiative.

Alongside colleagues from the European Creative Hubs Network, the Architects’ Council of Europe, the European Theatre Convention, Trans Europe Halles, the European Music Council and Culture Action Europe, Europa Nostra’s Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović shared her views on the ambitious New European Bauhaus initiative and invited all participants to attend Europa Nostra’s side event the next day. “We thank the European Commission not only for the funding provided through the Creative Europe programme but also for the trust – our work wouldn’t be possible without this vital partnership,” she added.

Representatives from the European Education and Culture Executive Agency as well as from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture also joined the event, namely Alessandra Luchetti, Head of Department responsible for Creativity, Citizens, EU values and Joint operations, EACEA, Barbara Gessler, Head of Unit responsible for the Creative Europe programme, DG EAC, European Commission, Catherine Magnant, Deputy to the Director and Head of Unit, EU Cultural Policies, DG EAC, European Commission, as well as Walter Zampieri, Head of Unit responsible for the Creative Europe programme, EACEA.

Friday 10 June

Education and the New European Bauhaus… let’s imagine it! (Forum)

This session, moderated by Europa Nostra’s Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović addressed the question of how design, architecture and cultural heritage can shape the societies of tomorrow and how education can support this transformation. The discussions spanned the old Bauhaus movement and its success stories, transitioning to the present day and lessons learnt to finally look into the future of design, architecture and cultural heritage and how the NEB principles can shape education curricula.

Speakers included Danica Dakić, Artist from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Petri Suomala, Vice President for Education at the Aalto University in Finland, who engaged in an inspiring exchange on the vital role of education in creating a more beautiful, sustainable and inclusive future. While Danica Dakić referred to the original Bauhaus movement and its utopian ideas as a heritage that should be translated into the most relevant way to shape our present and future, Petri Suomala reminded the importance of mobilising design, art, creativity and heritage for societal change as a way of nurturing understanding, building empathy and anchoring values as well as encouraging actions and collaboration.

As a conclusion, Europa Nostra’s Secretary General summarised the key points for developing educational systems based on the NEB principles, such as a holistic approach, interdisciplinarity, learning by doing, and investments in young people and teachers.

Saturday 11 June

Integrating science, art and technology: A unique European innovation model (Forum)

As the New European Bauhaus aims at bridging the worlds of arts and innovation, this panel gathered advanced practitioners and thinkers from the worlds of culture, art, science and technology to discuss how uniting disciplines can create a disruptive model of pan-European innovation and change.

The session was moderated by Jose Luis de Vicente, Head Curator and Cultural Researcher, Sonar D+ at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona in Spain and featured the following speakers: Christophe De Jaeger, Founder and Director of Gluon, Florian Kohler, CEO of GMUND Paper, Dennis Pamlin, Director of Mission Innovation’s Net-Zero Assessment Initiative, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, and Prof. Barbara Widera, Associate Professor at the Wroclaw University of Science and Technology.

In her intervention, Europa Nostra’s Secretary General called for “a model of value-based European innovation, combining artificial intelligence and ancient intelligence to tackle societal challenges. Cultural heritage is a formidable driver of innovation that can inspire this process!”, she said.

The key points raised by the experts for a unique European innovation model included cooperation and co-creation, a shift from a consumer-based to a citizens-based approach, the role played by cities and regions, the importance of interacting with nature, the ecological, ethical and aesthetical values, as well as participation and pluralism.

New European Bauhaus Stories from Serbia (side event)

This online side event, organised by Europa Nostra Serbia and supported by the Heinrich
Böll Stiftung in Belgrade, gathered representatives of civil society organisations, innovative small and medium enterprises dedicated to sustainable development, preservation of cultural heritage, principles of green and circular economy and urban planning.

The event aimed at promoting good practices from Serbia in line with the core values of the NEB and at introducing the NEB initiative to a wider audience in Serbia, as a way of strengthening the links between the Serbian and the EU perspective. It also introduced and promoted the networking of civil society organisations committed to the NEB values and opened a debate on the new paradigm of development in line with the Green New Deal and with respect to the challenges of climate change, the principles of circular economy and the respect for the environment that includes both the natural and cultural heritage.

The event was moderated by Vesna Marjanović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra Serbia and introduced by Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra (video message), who shared her views on the New European Bauhaus initiative and how our organisation has aligned its activities to the NEB principles.

Recalling the “European Cultural Heritage Green Paper” produced by Europa Nostra in collaboration with ICOMOS and the Climate Heritage Network, she invited Serbian stakeholders to “make good use of this knowledge and related good practices as an inspiration for the work that Serbia is carrying out in this front”.

She stated that “Europa Nostra firmly believes that the New European Bauhaus has an immense potential to act as a positive force for more sustainable, inclusive and beautiful working and living environments, both inside and outside the EU, and specially in the immediate neighbourhood and the Western Balkans which includes Serbia. Indeed, this is a particularly important region at the heart of Europe with a clear EU integration perspective.

The following panel discussion included presentations by Ivan Manojlović, Nova Iskra – “After 2000″ – how to make a laboratory of the future with a focus on sustainability?, Ljubica Slavković, New Planning Practice – Publication “In Search of the Public Interest: Achievements of Urbanism” (2022), Jelica Jovanović, Group of Architects – Rehabilitation and conservation project of Negotin Wine Cellars and Višnja Kisić, Europa Nostra Serbia – Civil society in action / Activities of civil society organisations in Serbia in preventing the “Gondola” project at the Belgrade Fortress.

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