Boekman lecture 2016

The cultural dimension of the future city

Hans Mommaas

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By 2040, eighty percent of the world population is expected to live in cities. As our cities are becoming the gateway to our future, how can arts and culture help to maintain their live­ability? In this year’s Boekman lecture, Professor Hans Mommaas, Director-General PBL Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency, will champion the importance of arts and culture for our cities and for the Netherlands’ and Europe’s future residents and immigrants. After professor Mommaas’ lecture there will be a debate with artists, scientists and other experts discussing the impact of the arts on our changing world.

Edges of Europe
During the first six months of this year the Netherlands holds the Presidency of the European Union. But what is left of the dream of European unity? At the Holland Festival international artists present a series of performances focusing on current European issues and exploring this changing continent. The festival’s opening performance by Estonian directors Ene-Liis Semper and Tiit Ojasoo Die Stunde da wir nichts voneinander wußten shows the diversity and tensions of modern Europe. And in their film Ash and Money they focus on the phenomenon of political populism. Directors Milo Rau (The Dark Ages), Joël Pommerat (Ça ira (1) Fin de Louis), Wael Shawky (Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbala) and Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha delve into Europe’s past, exploring the effect of some of its history’s darkest chapters. From the heart of Europe, the collective God’s Entertainment stages a test about chauvinism, which is causing the European dream of unity to falter. The Dutch theatre company Wunderbaum responds to European issues in its project The New Forest. A large Syrian orchestra for Arabic music will reunite for a special concert in Africa Express Presents… The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians with Damon Albarn and Guests. Artists may not be able to change the world, but they can change the way we look at it.


Boekmanstichting, Europe By People (EU2016), European Cultural Foundation, Kunsten '92

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