RCA Announces Participation in New European Commission Funded Project

The Royal College of Art is the UK partner of From Conflict to Conviviality through Creativity and Culture (4Cs), a major four-year programme of work supported by the European Commission’s Creative Europe fund. The funding body has awarded approximately 1.8 million euros to support the RCA and seven other key European organisations in delivering a diverse programme exploring how art and culture can constitute powerful resources to address the subject of conflict.

Active from July 2017 to July 2021, the programme will include research, exhibitions, artists’ residencies, film screenings, mediation labs, workshops, conferences, publications, an online platform and a Summer School – with a major focus on training and education. Through each element, the programme will bring new audiences together in intercultural dialogue and collaboration, mutual recognition and equal participation.

The European Commission praised the project particularly for the quality of the partnership, with a team combining theory and practice, and its intent to foster citizenship in the EU. Discussing the RCA’s involvement in the programme, Professor Juan Cruz, Dean of the School of Arts & Humanities said: ‘This project goes to the heart of the School’s conviction that the arts and humanities offer vital and dynamic ways of thinking through and acting upon some of the otherwise unfathomable challenges of our times.’

The programme has several core objectives, one of which is providing career and professional skills development to prepare a new generation of cultural agents to respond to the challenges of twenty-first century conflict. Another core objective is to promote circulation and exchange between cultural agents and producers from within and outside Europe, with a view to rethinking Europe as a site of hospitality and conviviality and enhancing the role and impact of European art and cultural institutions in the promotion of responsible citizenship in Europe. The programme will include a response to the challenges of migration, security, and freedom of expression, and will unite theoretical and practice-based knowledge to address emerging types of conflict at the heart of Europe.

Coordinated by the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, and prioritising exchange and partnership, the organisations working alongside the RCA are: Tensta Konsthall, Sweden; SAVVY Contemporary, Germany; Fundació Antoni Tápies, Spain; Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts, Lithuania; Museet for Samtidskunst, Denmark; and ENSAD, France. In addition there are associate partners including Culture+Conflict and Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art, UK; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal; and Refugees at Home, France.

The RCA’s activities will be led by Curating Contemporary Art Tutor, Michaela Crimmin. ‘For education it is imperative that exchange and shared learning are maintained across countries,’ explained Michaela. ‘As Brexit begins to take shape, to be a partner on this major programme of work involving seven European countries is especially welcomed. At the centre will be art and the involvement of artists to facilitate a congenial and fresh approach to cultural and political difference, bringing in new approaches to the destructive and debilitating realities of conflict.’

Creative Europe