As part of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Presidency Conference on “Culture, Cohesion and Social Impact” will be held on 5 and 6 May from the Fundação de Serralves, in Porto.
This conference is a pointer to the vital public debate urgently needed for a better understanding of the benefits that culture can bring in strengthening social cohesion, and is intended to propose practical solutions for maximising the social impact of culture.
It is widely accepted that the cultural sphere opens up a social space for dialogue, bringing people together to share and celebrate community, at the same time as providing an opportunity for negotiation, praise and criticism. This role played by culture is more important than ever in a post-pandemic world, shaken by social distancing and related mental health issues, ever greater environmental challenges, rising levels of inequality and intolerance, and asymmetric patterns of territorial development.
The conference's opening ceremony will be led by the Portuguese Minister of Culture, Graça Fonseca, with contributions also from the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, and the Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira. The speakers at the closing session will be the Portuguese Secretary of State for Cinema, Audiovisual and Media, Nuno Artur Silva, and the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira.
The event will bring together high-level representatives of the cultural and creative sectors, cultural operators, thinkers, academics and political and government officials from across the continent of Europe, with the aim of mobilising Europe to unlock the potential of culture for social cohesion and the challenges currently facing society.
Based at the Fundação de Serralves, in Porto, this conference will be streamed online and is open free of charge to all citizens, subject to prior registration. This will be a bilingual event, in Portuguese and English. Simultaneous translation will be provided, together with interpretation into Portuguese sign language and International Sign.
The conference programme and the registration form are available here.