The Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) held yesterday, June 9, a webinar titled “Arts and Education for Intercultural Cities: Local Platforms for Dialogue”, a virtual meeting that focused on art as a tool for breaking down cultural barriers. The event is part of the “Virtual Marathon for Dialogue”, organized by the Foundation itself with the aim of promoting intercultural dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region in times when rethinking development models to build sustainable societies has become more urgent due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Anna Lindh Foundation, which has always been worked on intercultural dialogue, inaugurated the Marathon on May 19th with the online event “Generation #Insta: the new faces of positive social engagement in the Euro-Med”, in which the new ways of communication of the third millennium and the forces behind positive social change, especially among young actors, were addressed. During the event, new opportunities were explored for young influencers to shape media politics and narratives and contribute to the Green Deal goals towards 2050 also in terms of digital transition.
The series of weekly public virtual dialogues will last until June 29, for a total of 63 online events in 42 days: 42 km is the length of a marathon, but also the number of members of the Anna Lindh Foundation. “Intercultural dialogue is the only way towards a sustainable future for all, based on mutual respect that helps us grow together without erasing differences”, said Elisabeth Guigou, President of the Anna Lindh Foundation, at the first event.
With the fourth Public Dialogue of the Virtual Marathon, the Foundation wants to emphasize that investing in art to break down cultural barriers is at the center of its mandate, as confirmed by the Anna Lindh Intercultural Trends Survey 2020, which draws attention to the importance of civil society initiatives that encourage artistic expression and multicultural events, key in promoting the management of diversity.
As the Foundation says “83% of the respondents in Europe and 88% in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries (Sem) believe that cultural and artistic initiatives are effective measures to live better together in multicultural environments […]. Access to culture and the arts could be provided by education. This synergy between education, art and culture is shown by the Alf survey, as the majority of respondents in Europe and in the Sem countries (73% and 72%) see that schools are places where children learn to live in diversity“.