“Ideas Yard: Talking about Europe” is a series of discussions on the future of Europe.
What role do the arts and culture play in crisis times like these? What is the connection between the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Cultural Convention? How can we strengthen human rights such as the right to freedom of expression in these extraordinary times?
These questions were discussed during the online debate on “Human Rights and Artistic Expression after Covid-19” between Hannes Egger, author and artist, Matjaž Gruden, director of Democratic Participation at the Council of Europe, Sara Whyatt, former director at PEN International, and moderator Jaroslav Anděl from the Anglo-American University Prague.
The event marked the kick-off of the European project “Ideas Yard: Talking about Europe”, a series of discussions and talks initiated by the Goethe-Institut in the Czech Republic, in cooperation with six other EUNIC cluster members in Prague - Austrian Cultural Forum, British Council, Czech Centres, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Italian Cultural Institute and the Polish Institute. The first discussion – amongst other conclusions – highlighted the importance of the arts and cultures as drivers of society and as collective actions that teach us to be open, curious, productive and free.
The project aims at initiating a discourse between civil society as well as experts and institutions from across Europe on what Europe means to all of us and how we can shape the future together. Focus topics of the project are sustainability, freedom and democracy as well as innovation and education. All participating members coordinate at least one panel discussion in cooperation with local and European partners inviting them to share a topic specific know-how.
Due to the current corona crisis the initial starting point of the series – a discussion on the European Green Deal – could not take place. All physical events in the first half of the year had to be cancelled or postponed. However, the digital kick-off event coordinated by Czech Centres highlighted the importance of exchanging ideas, networking and connecting across borders – especially in times of crisis.
The project is extending its duration until 2021 and the participating members are planning further panel discussions on topics such as Smart Cities and sustainable urban development, art and feminism, the future of sustainable farming and food consumption as well as design and innovation.