EU National Institutes for Culture - EUNIC

Europe Readr aims to foster reading culture and critical thinking about the future of living.
Photo: Divja Misel Institute

Europe Readr - Selected projects

Among 28 applications from around the globe, a variety of projects under the special call for proposals Europe Readr has been selected. Europe Reader invites EUNIC members, EU representations and local partners to team up in order to propose projects to foster the reading culture and critical thinking about the future of living.

Europe Readr aims to foster reading culture and critical thinking about the future of living.
Photo: Divja Misel Institute

Special call: Europe Readr - the future of living

On the occasion of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2021, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia together with other EUNIC members has initiated a special call for proposals: "Europe Readr - the future of living".

Europe Readr aims to foster the reading culture and critical thinking across societies on the future of living, support the creation of public spaces for exchange and debate on shared European values, and dialogue on the European Green Deal, sustainability and urbanism through a curated programme of activities. The call promotes reflection on the future of living by establishing a free selection of literature and using it as a starting point for a number of activities related to reading culture and literary practices. The project looks at the intersection of literature, sustainability, architecture, urbanism and digitalisation.

The call for this special funding opportunity closed on 15 April 2021. It resulted in 28 applications from EUNIC clusters all around the world, 11 from the EU and 17 from outside of the EU. The jury, composed of Petra Kežman from the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Huber from Goethe-Institut, Stanislav Škoda from Czech Centres, and Sybilla Britani and Michelle Sun from EUNIC Office in Brussels evaluated each proposal carefully following 5 selection criteria in line with the objectives of the call: contribution to the purposes of Europe Readr and the theme “future of living”, relevance to local context, alignment with cultural relations’ principles, partnerships, and impact and feasibility. The final selection followed evaluations of each proposal by awarding points according to each selection criterion and in-depth discussions among all jury members.

The jury made the final decision to finance projects that have received 15 points or more. In total 17 projects, involving 17 EUNIC clusters (5 inside the EU and 12 from the rest of the world) will receive co-financing from the Europe Readr call for proposals 2021 for a total of 135,900.00 Euros.

Selected projects

EUNIC Athens - Athens Garden Festival
In the landscape of sustainable cities, Athens represents a singular case: sometimes singled out for delays in the implantation of environmental public policies and the degradation of green spaces and parks in its center, Athens also constitutes an attractive destination in Europe for activists and artists alike, while thinkers and creators praise its important innovations, its cooperative and grassroot networks. The Garden Festival will therefore seize a unique opportunity to create and share a collective European reflection on the sustainable development of the city, through a cultural approach in order to take over the parks and make them places to meet, read and debate about a common future.

EUNIC Beijing - Europe Readr-installation
Europe Readr-installation is an installation that redefines the boundary between the public and private sphere by creating a safe, inclusive and enjoyable outdoor reading place for all age groups. The envisaged location is in the province of Yunnan. The aim is to increase awareness for physical and digital reading with a focus on "Reading with," and "Reading aloud," but not reading alone. The design and construction of this space will be collaborative while engaging university students, architects, designers, craftsmen, and the local citizens. The concept is to generate a sustainable design through circular solutions and ensure the long-lasting life span of this installation.

EUNIC Brasília - Europe Readr in Brasília
The Brazilian rendition of the Europe Readr project aims to establish and facilitate interdisciplinary dialogues between young European authors and their thinking about the future of living and the Brazilian capital, the prime example of urbanism and architecture inspired by a particular, modernist vision of human living. The central idea is to apply the current European ideas and concepts on the future living; not to simply project them in Brasilia, but rather to invite them to converse with the city's own experience of planning for the future. A shared space thus arises at the nexus of literature, architecture, urbanism and sustainability and offers itself for a critical exchange of ideas.

EUNIC Brussels - Europe Readr Brussels
In close collaboration with prominent partners, the Europe Readr project will establish new shared spaces for promoting EU values (including language diversity), foster reading culture and increase free access to quality contemporary literature in all official EU languages by digital means. It will bring literature (symbolically and literally) in the beating heart of the EU, the European Parliament’s Citizens’ Garden and, more importantly, on the devices of European citizens. Artists and thinkers will share with us their visions on the future of living and contribute to establishing the New European Bauhaus, as well as to the well-being of the global post-Covid societies.

EUNIC Buenos Aires - Library under the treetops
The project is intended to create a space for reading, socializing and spending quality time in the park, while also promoting the Europe Readr platform. Library under the treetops is a traditional project taking place in parks of Slovenian cities and towns. The ideas is to provide a space where people can grab a book (or acess a digital platform for reading) and relax in a lounge chair. This project intends to build on the strong reading culture of Argentina and explore the literary concepts. If COVID-19 permits it, we intend to organize also social events: reading of literature and a debate on literature and gender.

EUNIC Croatia - Re:Think the Future of Living
"The Future of Living" was put into question, when the City of Sisak was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 6,4 in December 2020, which destroyed and damaged many buildings, including the city's public library. The project "Re:Think the Future of Living" is combining street art and literature in a unique way: it aims at revitalizing public space in this hard-hit town and creating new spaces of culture through murals and a pop-up library. Both will serve as a source of inspiration and reflection about the future of living, raising the themes of sustainability, digitalization and social inclusion in the city's reconstruction. It is also a symbol of European solidarity in difficult times.

EUNIC Egypt - Library Hub
As reading increasingly loses popularity amongst youth, social-innovation hubs become pivotal in driving individuals' attention back to critical thinking, sustainable development and mutual understanding. Egyptian youth and women gain access to European resources through user-oriented infrastructure. Knowledge pooling/sharing is crucial in democratic informed societies as it enables young to benefit from otherwise missing safe (digital/physical) spaces of encounter, discussion, exchange. Public readings, international workshops and tailored programs contribute to initiating a shift in perspective, moving towards mutual enrichment, intercultural cross-fertilization and growth.

EUNIC Tel Aviv - The European Audiobook
The European Audiobook invites listeners to intriguing worlds created by modern and contemporary European writers and to explore "The Future of Living". In seven chapters, the audience will be introduced to a panoply of characters and storylines of thematic relevance both to Israel and Europe. Presented in Hebrew by professional narrators, the diverse format will be easily acessible and highly user-friendly, allowing to increase connectivity between European literature and local audiences. Physical presence in the public space of Tel Aviv aims at further increasing visibility and interaction with the European Audiobook as well as Europe Readr and to foster reading culture as such.

EUNIC Japan - Reading With, To and In-Between
This project has two dimensions: opening up a digital library with EU literature (24 books) (and possibly of Japanese literature) and building an outdoor installation with recyclable materials, which would redefine the boundary between public and private sphere in Tokyo's neighbourhood (built in between both spheres). The installation will be a public gathering space, enabling people to access the digital library and to discuss its content. The project will promote European literature in Japan, stimulate reading culture and intergenerational exchange regarding pertinent topics, and contribute to the sustainable and green policy agenda of Japan.

EUNIC Jordan - Hiwar Art Club - Shaping our Future Communities
The importance of reading is completely undeniable. Although almost all of Jordan’s population can read, many aren’t reading outside of academic and religious contexts. Through Hiwar Art Club and with the support of European and Jordanian cultural players, we aim to build a community that is able to critically think about important issues and challenges and their effect on the future of living, which will be achieved through reading, creative learning and debates. This program will demonstrate the importance of co-creation, international cultural cooperation, shared values and knowledge transfer through the lens of multidisciplinary art and culture, igniting the change from the people.

EUNIC London - FutureLab: Read, Listen, Connect
FutureLab: Read, Listen, Connect is a project aiming to explore questions related to the future of living on a physical, emotional, psycological and intellectual level in a post-pandemic era. Developed in 3 strands, it aims to curve the space both physical and mental for the audience to encounter European literature (offering access to the EuropeReadr collection); to create the platform for those encounters to deepen, flourish and expand (through a series of podcasts) and to promote critical thinking (through a series of talks). The activities will span 6 months (July to December 2021) allowing the audience the space to reflect on collected stimuli, connect and imagine future ways of living.

EUNIC Netherlands - “Future of Living” Pavilion
End of summer, “Future of Living” Pavilion will embark on its maiden voyage with a mission to represent, in its own unique and innovative way, the Europe Readr platform as space of social dialogue and pan-European reflection on the current challenges faced by Europe and the wider world. An urban open space art-installation – made by students of TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment as a result of a student competition and summer workshop – will continue in autumn its journey to different locations (offered by partners of the project), thus fostering reading culture and new ways of thinking on the future of living in several places across the Netherlands.

EUNIC Pristina - Unë lexoj. Unë debatoj. Unë dëgjoj. (I read. I debate. I listen.)
The project will support the creation of public space for reading, reflection and dialogue. It will create the opportunity to reflect on the future of living. How do we want to live, what values do we want to share, where do we want to go as a society? It will engage young Kosovars to be promoters of reading and dialogue and to avoid disinformation. Motivating educators and municipalities to promote possibilities for activities aimed at fostering reading culture and dialogue will result in actively engaged and critically thinking citizens.

EUNIC Saudi Arabia - #futureofliving urban hackathon
In the wake of the 2030 vision, Saudi Arabia plans to transform its capital Riyadh into a 15 million metropolis doubling its current population to become a national and regional hub for business entertainment and tourism. In this context urban development in Saudi Arabia follows examples such as Neom and The Line. The newly established EUNIC cluster Saudi Arabia in cooperation with the EU Delegation and AlMashtal Creative Space invites local practictioners and civil society to the #futureofliving urban hackathon to address pressing issue of sustainable development and to create a bottom-up creative participatory exchange countering local trends of urban sprawl and favouring green transition.

EUNIC Serbia - Europe Readr
The idea is to attract people to stop, sit down, take a moment and read. The main goal: a mobile pavilion to connect people and foster reading culture. A public space for the pavilion will be provided by the authorities of the city of Belgrade. People will read from a digital platform with a selection of literature in 24 EU-languages, but also enjoy books in a physical form. A book exchange place, a month of free access to the digital platform and a number of activities and events related to reading culture and literary practices will be provided. The platform will be promoted and a round table on the topic of the future of living and European values will be organized in Novi Sad.

EUNIC Slovenia - EUNIC Reads
EUNIC Slovenia and the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs join forces to promote reading culture in the framework of the Slovene presidency of the EU Council.
EUNIC Slovenia endeavours to support the construction and installation of reading booths under UL’s supervision. It shall then animate the main space (Ljubljana or Izola) through a week-long series of actions. The concluding activity will take place during the European day of languages, organised in collaboration with the European Commission. This project will contribute to enhance discussions about the future of Europe, which is the “fil rouge” of Slovenia’s presidency, and broad societal issues. It will also highlight books as a key cultural industry.

EUNIC Washington, D.C. - Window Gallery: Europe Readr - The Future of Living
The Window Gallery project aims to amplify Europe Readr's outreach in Washington D.C. with the innovative local art initiative Plain Sight DC. It pairs a selection of European authors with US visual artists as they artistically depict their perceptions of the literature in a variety of media. The presentation of the art pieces in a re-designed storefront gallery will create a physical yet contact-free public space of culture. The works, coupled with free on-line reading material and discussions among artists and authors will encourage a cross-sectional US audiences to reflect and amplify a dialogue about important topics such as creative, inclusive, and sustainable living on both continents.

As part of the Europe Readr initiative, a digital platform has been launched on 1 July. The digital platform Europe Readr offers a selection of books from 27 EU countries on global issues. It invites people all over the world to participate in the reflection about the world we want to live in. Let's open a book for a better future! Activities of the selected projects and other clusters wordlide are also featured in the event section of the platform.

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Co-funded by the European Union Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.