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The 2018 ENCATC Congress on Cultural Management and Policy “Beyond EYCH2018. What is the cultural horizon? Opening up perspectives to face ongoing transformations” took place from 26-29 September in Bucharest, Romania. The location this year coincided with a very special year for Romania: its centennial anniversary. It marks the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia, and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom on 1 December 1918. What a better moment for bringing our annual global gathering in this fascinating country!
The year 2018 was also labelled as “the European year of Cultural Heritage, EYCH”. To contribute to the discussions organised all over Europe in this frame, the 2018 ENCATC Congress focused on the ongoing cultural transformations and claims according to a socio-anthropological approach to critically analyse and contextualize the role of education and research in shaping the process by which culture and values are built, transmitted and appropriated, and to re-frame with new views, approaches and perspectives their contributions to a common European Cultural Heritage, its sustainability and exploitation for inclusive growth.
ENCATC was proud to present a dynamic programme of learning activities, cultural events and excursions for the 175 participants from 29 countries who gathered in Bucharest. It began on 26 September with two major activities in parallel, the 11th edition of the ENCATC Young and Emerging Researchers’ Forum and the 3rd edition of the Members’ Forum. The first, the YERF intended to advance the future generation of researchers in their careers and offer them the opportunity to enlarge their networks in Europe and beyond. It was designed to create a space for exchange on research trends, address topical research issues, methodology, professional cooperation, publishing opportunities, online knowledge exchange and collaboration. All this from a global perspective. The second, the Annual Members' Forum, centered around two main round tables with eminent experts, artists and policy makers to reimagine all together European cultural heritage. It was the occasion to discuss about past, ongoing transformations, and their future.
In the afternoon of this same day, participants had the opportunity to learn about trends on cultural policies in Europe and beyond from the authors of the Compendium as well as to listen to ENCATC member Paul Dujardin who joined us to present his own view on the future development of the cultural polices in Europe as well as to give a glimpse on the rich programme he is designing in the frame of the Festival Europalia Romania 2019. The intervention was followed by the ENCATC Annual General Assembly. This first day culminated with the official opening of the Congress where the theme, the methodology and the detailed programme of the four days in Romania were presented to the participants.
On the morning of 27 September morning, participants started a discovery journey meant to observe the local cultural field. In the afternoon, participants had the opportunity to sit all together to share their perceptions, analyse and reflect on their common experience. This exchange was followed by the Congress Keynote from Professor Jean-Louis Fabiani and by an exchange with the public animated by Dea Vidović. This day will ended with the ENCATC Research Award Ceremony honoured this year by the presence of the European MEP, Mircea Diaconu. Once more ENCATC celebrated the young generation of researchers. This year three women were in the running for the prize: Dr. Francesca Giliberto for her PhD on "Linking Theory with Practice: Assessing the Integration of a 21st Century International Approach to Urban Heritage Conservation, Management and Development in the World Heritage Cities of Florence and Edinburgh" obtained from Politecnico di Torino in Italy and the University of Kent in the United Kingdom and Dr. Matina Magkou, for her PhD on "Value and evaluation in international cultural cooperation programmes focus on the EuroArab region" obtained from the University of Deusto in Spain. The winner, Dr. Alba Victoria Zamarbide Urdaniz from Waseda University in Japan was announced as the winner of the 5th ENCATC Research Award on Cultural Policy and Cultural Management.
The morning and part of the afternoon of 28 September, was devoted to Educational and Research presentations, thus allowing Congress participants to get the most updated information about new learning methodologies, practice and research trends from different world regions. In 2018, for the first time, ENCATC also designed and presented two panels in the educational session: one about evaluation and one about digital tools for learning. During the morning, the participants also had the opportunity to visit a dedicated gallery where project leaders presented their posters. This new initiative designed by ENCATC to offer its members and stakeholders a space that was open to a global audience, for showcasing ongoing transnational projects and present in a didactic way new policy development in Europe and beyond. The afternoon was time to widen our horizon with a final round table where a selected number of experts analysed their own 2018 Congress experience and shared with us how the lessons learned during these days will help them changing their practices or teaching methodologies once back home. This reflective moment was followed up by the International Book Exchange project, a unique occasion for the participants to promote their new publications and share them with their colleagues from all over the world. The “Grand Finale” of the Congress was reserved to the FRH Torch initiative held in the prestigious local cultural landmark, the Romanian Atheneum. At this occasion representatives of the official cults in Romania joined this ceremony and contributed with their personal memories via handwritten letters which were placed in the "treasure box", a collection of personal stories from Europeans citizens that were delivered to the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Mr. Tibor Navracsics in October 2018 in Paris.
The cultural programme of the 2018 ENCATC Congress prepared for us by our local partners featured a mix of modern and traditional music as well as a guided excursion on the 29th of September to Peles Castle.
For the second time in the frame of its annual gathering, ENCATC invited a renowned journalist, Effy Tselikas, to join and follow us during the entire Congress and thus to produce articles, interviews, videos, animate discussions and prepare the final report of the Congress.