International Conference 2019

Be SpectACTive! International Conference:
Cultural Policies in Europe: A participatory Turn?

May 21st and 22nd – Université de Montpellier
Faculté de droit et de science politique, Bâtiment 1 – Rue de l’Ecole Mage


Participation is both a permanent dimension and a growing concern in cultural policies. Its meaning, however, may vary according to the periods, the territories, the cultural sectors and the actors themselves. The International Conference “Cultural Policies in Europe: A participatory Turn ?”, organized by the CEPEL in the framework of the European network Be SpectACTive !, is inviting to debate on the diverse conceptions of participation within cultural policies : is “participation” everywhere in cultural policies? What kind of participation are we talking about? Who participates in what, how, why? What are the instruments and paradigms of participation in cultural policies? How does participation contribute to the debates on democratization and cultural democracy? What do cultural operators expect from a cultural policy oriented towards participation?

After three previous international conferences organized in Sansepolcro (Italy, 2015), Barcelona (Spain, 2016), Sibiu (Romania, 2017) and York (United Kingdom, 2018), this is the first time that France hosts an event in this context. The scientific team assembled to design this conference (Emmanuel Négrier and Félix Dupin-Meynard, CEPEL, Lluís Bonet and Giada Calvano, University of Barcelona, ​​Luisella Carnelli and Elettra Zuliani, Fondazione Fitzcarraldo, Turin), have published two books reviewing a first wave of action-research around issues of participation in the performing arts field (Challenging Participation in Performing Arts, Editoria e Spettacolo, 2018 ; Breaking the Fourth Wall: Proacive Audiences in the Performing Arts, Oslo: Kunnskapverket, 2018).

This conference is aimed at different types of actors. It brings together Be SpectACTive ! partners – a panel of about 40 cultural actors from 14 different European countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Czech Republic), with speakers from the research field, as well as officials in charge of cultural policies. In the Occitanie region, it also concerns cultural actors in different artistic fields interested in the way in which participation could change their practices, and more globally, the conceptions of cultural policies in Europe. Finally, it is aimed at advanced students in the arts and culture and public policies sectors, whose professional horizons are increasingly inscribed in participatory dynamics.


Cultural Policies in Europe: A participatory Turn?



21st May, 9h – 18h (Amphi C)


9h00 : Welcome



  • Creative Europe, European Commission : to be confirmed
  • Ministry of Culture : Laurent Roturier (DRAC Occitanie)
  • Région Occitanie : Dominique Salomon (vice-president in charge of Culture)
  • CEPEL : Emmanuel Négrier (CNRS)
  • Be SpectACTive : Giuliana Cianco (project coordinator) and Luca Ricci (project leader)

9h45-10h45 : INTRODUCTIONS 

  • Félix Dupin-Meynard (FR) and Anna Villarroya (ES): Participation in cultural policies : a European panorama
  • Estelle Zhong Mengual (FR) ParticipationS. Artistic genealogies and political imaginaries.


10h45-11h : Coffee break


11h – 12H30 : ROUND TABLE 1. Instruments, incentives and conditions: evidences from the ground

Moderation and lessons : Luisella Carnelli (Fondazione Fitzcarraldo, IT)


  • Marta Martins (Artemrede, PT)
  • Bojan Milosavljević (Student Cultural Centre of Novi Sad, RS)
  • Frédéric Sancère (Derrière le Hublot, FR)
  • Richard Schweitzer (Brut Wien, AT)
  • Frédéric Stein (Théâtre de l’Albarède, FR)
  • Willie White (Dublin Theatre Festival, IE)


12h30-14h00: lunch break


14h00 – 15h45 : ROUND TABLE 2. Participation and cultural policies : a comparative perspective

Moderation and lessons : Giuliana Ciancio (BE/IT) and Félix Dupin-Meynard (FR)


  • Pedro Costa (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, PT)
  • Leila Jancovic (University of Leeds, UK)
  • Hanka Otte (University of Antwerp, NL)
  • Niels Righolt (Danish Centre for Arts & Interculture, DK)
  • Jaroslava Tomanova (University of Leeds, UK/CZ)


15h45-16h : coffee break


16h – 17h30 : WORKSHOPS (Amphi C + salles 24, 25, 28). Formulating a Wish List addressed to policy makers for improving the place and forms of participation in cultural policies

4 groups (2 in English /2 in French)


17h30-18h15 : Crossed Keynotes and debate

  • Luca dal Pozzolo (Fondazione Fitzcarraldo, IT) « participation and Cultural Policies : a critical position » 
  • Sandrine Teixido (Les Nouveaux Commanditaires / University Toulouse Jean Jaurès, FR) « Participation, a last chance for cultural policies ? »


19h30 : Evening at “Gazette Café”, 6 rue Levat.


22nd May, 9h30 – 13h (Amphi C)


9h30-10h30: Synthesis of the “wish lists” and reception by public representatives


  • Representatives of each workshops
  • Representative of Creative Europe, European Commission
  • Anne-Christine Micheu (Ministry of Culture)
  • Fabrice Manuel (Métropole de Montpellier)


10h30-10h45: Coffee Break


10h45-12h15: ROUND TABLE 3. Participation and cultural sectors: a comparative perspective

Moderation and lessons : Lluís Bonet (University of Barcelona, ES)


  • Sandrine Teixido (FR) : Les Nouveaux Commanditaires / Music
  • Estelle Zhong Mengual (FR) : Contemporary Visual Arts
  • Laura Guérin, Culture Agency of Nouvelle-Aquitaine (FR) : Young audiences
  • Antonella Agnoli (IT) : Literature and public libraries 


12h15: Concluding Keynote: Loup Wolff (Department of Studies of the Ministry of Culture, FR)


12h45: End of the Conference / Aperitif of departure