European Capitals of CultureΠοιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Conference: Cultural Spaces and Places Oct 2015


         "The map is not the territory"



Mapping with the wind


Some features

         climb stairs


as if crabs

         hunted by the waves

         licking at the shores

         like refugeee

         having crossed the sea as if a desert

to sustain

a moment in time

when clocks chime



reflect the scattered glass

the wind of yesterday

has left behind.


hatto fischer


Mapping Culture II: Debating Cultural Spaces and Places  

2nd Annual Valletta 2018 Foundation International Conference on Cultural Relations in Europe and the Mediterranean 

22nd – 23rd OCTOBER 2015 

Valletta, Malta


The Valletta 2018 Foundation has launched a series of annual international conferences addressing different aspects related to cultural relations in Europe and the Mediterranean.

The first conference in this series, titled “Dialogue in the Med: exploring identity through networks” was held in September 2014, and brought together academics, researchers and cultural operators from across the Mediterranean to debate issues related to cultural mobility and networking. Proceedings from this conference will be published in due course.

The second conference with the title “Cultural Mapping: Debating Spaces and Places” was held on the 22nd & 23rd October 2015 at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta.

The conference will include two plenary sessions, one speed networking session, to further increase networking opportunities, and a number of parallel sessions. The conference programme will be released in due course.

The conference main language shall be English. Sign language interpretation may be available upon request.


Conference itself

- See more at:




Wednesday 21st October

1900 Welcome reception hosted by the European Commission Representation in Malta – St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Valletta


Thursday 22nd October

0830 Registration and coffee – Sacra Infermeria Hall


 Mediterranean Centre - a former hospital



             Posters announcing certain actions linked to the topic of cultural mapping



     Registration desk


 Mapping Culture II: Debating Cultural Spaces and Places 


0900 Welcome address by Jason Micallef, Chairman Valletta 2018 Foundation – Temi Zammit Hall

Jason Micallef put an emphasis on the fact that culture belongs to all. He advised therefore that one should not listen only to the academics, but also to the people in the streets. He then focused on a clear challenge Malta and Europe face, for only 50 kiometers from Malta away lies Libya now a failed state, engulfed in a war, and by extension linked to what threat the ISIS pose. One needs only to follow the news about ISIS forces destroying cultural heritage, to know that they do not value culture as part of human civilization in the same way as what Europe values. He wanted to be very clear that he does not wish to incite hatred or even violence but by naming this problem in public, he wants to speak clearly about what problems are in need to be faced.

Plenary Session 1: ‘A multi & intra disciplinary approach to Cultural Mapping’

Chair: Dr Nancy Duxbury

Rapporteur: Dr Marie Briguglio




Plenary Session 1: ‘A multi & intra disciplinary approach to Cultural Mapping’

Introduction by Chair: Dr Nancy Duxbury

0945 Dr Ammar Kassab – Cultural Mapping in the Maghreb region: statement and uses (keynote speech)

He wishes to approach the question of cultural mapping out of a civil society perspective. It starts with the question but why do we work with culture for the sake of development in our context e.g. defined in Morocco by the Islam. To alter the situation, we need critique, human development and public space. The latter touches upon the role of women in public.

We need to work with these tools.

We need citizens.

For this is needed a diagnosis, so as to be able to give shape to a cultural policy, but to bring about this, a change in mentality is needed as well.

To create such a tool as cultural mapping, five factors are taken into consideration:


There was adopted a SWAT analyses and 18 sectorial studies were undertaken. This was followed up by cross-section studies. The aim was to introduce culure into everyday life.

Cultural mapping as a tool is useful for presentation and promotion of the diversity of expressions which exist in following areas: Centre of Africa which includes Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. This area is at the cross road of many and diverse populations.

Basically three priorities have to be observed:

1) specific needs of citizens and consequently cultural policy has to be based on strong statements

2) through civil society promote and protect cultural expressions with a special focus on how to give access to culture for a dominant rural population. That requires a clarification of where to draw the cultural maps.

3) relate to the UNESCO Convention of 2005 (see Warwick discussion, 2015)

That means cultural maps can be used to clarify traditional expressions. A special effort was undertaken to make a cultural map of Tunisia with the aim to focus especially on the South of the country for the sake of promoting cultural tourism.

The cultural map for Morocco was first created by Racines, a NGO based in Casblanca.


Jeremy Azzopardi points out that V18 has undertaken cultural mapping in order to generate information on the cultural use and practices in diverse cultural spaces existing on the whole island. Special studies have been made of Msida and Siggiewi. For more information, see:


1005 Prof. Maria Attard – Cultural Mapping: Tools to engage

1025 Dr Francesca Cominelli – Mapping Intangible Cultural Heritage Actors in France (paper co-authored with Dr Marta Severo)

Her interest lies in mapping intangible heritage in France. Prime research is being done at the University of Lille 3. Most interesting is that she uses the links of websites of organisations to establish their outreach.

1045 Coffee break – Sacra Infermeria Hall

1105 Dr Luc Gwiazdzinski – Representing Populations, Arts and Territories in Movement – hosted by the Embassy of France in Malta

1125 Q&A and discussion

1155 Trevor Borg & Katya Micallef – Spatium Clausum

A main concern of the two is that citizen based data requires a special methodology for how to verify the data. Such an orientation means engagement of citizens. So how relevant is the policy agenda in view of the these two critical questions: verification of data and engagement of citizens.

1210 Elizabeth Grech – Fondation René Seydoux

Elizabeth Grech explained the work of the foundation: "The René Seydoux Foundation for the Mediterranean World seeks to promote cooperation and solidarity between Mediterranean countries. It supports or facilitates initiatives aiming to promote exchanges, friendship and cooperation between Mediterranean peoples in the social, cultural and scientific areas."

In this capactiy, the foundation has made a Mediterranean Directory which includes the most important organisations dedicated to the Euro-Mediterranean region.

1220 Closing of plenary session by Chair

1230 Lunch – Sacra Infermeria Hall

1330 Speed networking session – Sacra Infermeria Hall

1430 Coffee Break – Sacra Infermeria Hall


Parallel session 1 – Cultural mapping as a tool for artistic practitioners

Moderator: Dr Hatto Fischer

Rapporteur: Daniela Blagojevic Vella 

1445 Introduction by Moderator

1450 Samuel Murray – Creative Cardiff: building a creative economy network for the capital city of Wales

1510 Monica Biagioli – Play-scripting: Testing a means of accounting for social value

1530 Stefanelle Cachia – Cultural Mapping as a possible means of increased dance audiences. A Maltese case study on dance

1550 Alexandra Pace – What is the role of BLITZ as an independent artist-run space in Malta’s cultural ecosystem?

1610 Q&A and discussion

Parallel session 2 – Cultural mapping as a tool for participation & networking

Moderator: Colin Borg

Rapporteur: Dr Ruben Paul Borg

1445 Introduction by Moderator

1450 Szilvia Nagy – Integration through Culture? Participatory Governance and Meta-Governance in the European Capitals of Culture Programme

1510 Dr Valerie Visanich & Dr Toni Sant – Establishing a Creative Identity: Branding a Creative Space

1530 Angie Cotte – The Roberto Cimetta Fund – linking the sustaining of local arts and cultural venues, networks and platforms with artistic and cultural mobility

1550 Anna Spiteri & Dirk De Ketelaere – Safeguarding the Green and Blue Open Spaces around Malta’s Grand Harbour through Public Participatory GIS

1610 Q&A and discussion

Parallel session 3 – Preserving heritage through digital mapping

Moderator: Dr Will-Garrett Petts

Rapporteur: Dr Jean Paul Baldacchino

1445 Introduction by Moderator

1450 Abby Suckle – Lower Manhattan Then and Now: Cultural Mapping over Time

1510 Dr Folker Metzger & Sophia Gröschke – WeimarpediaEngaging with our world heritage Innovative cultural project with a participatory website designed by students for students

1530 Rebecca O’Neill – Crowdsourcing Ireland’s National Monuments

1550 Jasmine Desclaux Salachas – How topographical maps support the cultural knowledge of a territory, to share its recognition: The unprecedented cartographic adventure of Battir, village of Palestine –a UNESCO World Heritage site

1610 Q&A and discussion

Parallel session 4 – Mapping culture from multiple perspectives

Moderator: Dr JosAnn Cutajar

Rapporteur: Prof. Carmel Borg

1445 Introduction by Moderator

1450 Agnieszka Wieszaczewska – Mapping culture as a form of non-formal education

1510 Jelena Savic – A day in the city with the eyes closed: cultural mapping in Porto, Portugal

1530 Agnieszka Janik – Cultural mapping with children: a peculiarity or a new trend?

1550 Giusy Cardia & Dr Roberto Carella – Maltese Food: From ancient times to the creative industry. A case study of Knowledge Management Platform

1610 Q&A and discussion

1645 End of Day 1

1930 Formal Conference Dinner – Haywharf, Floriana


 Friday 23rd October


0830 Registration & Coffee – Sacra Infermeria Hall

0900 Introduction by Dr Karsten Xuereb, Executive Director Valletta 2018 Foundation – Temi Zammit Hall

0910 Address by Dr George Vella, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Plenary Session 2: ‘The mapping legacy: what happens next?’

Chair: Caldon Mercieca

Rapporteur – Dr Marie Briguglio

0920 Introduction by Chair

0925 Keynote – Prof. Pier Luigi Sacco‘Cultural Mapping and System-Wide Cultural Districts: Results from Italian and Swedish Case Studies’hosted by the Creative Europe Desk, Malta

In his opening remarks made by not sitting behind the table, but up front and standing, so that he could see as well the slides he was presenting, Pier Luigo Sacco stressed that cultural mapping is not only about what is, but what does it mean for policy makers.

In that sense, it is important to take a closer look at culture driven local development and therefore how culture can make a difference.

With regards to European Capitals of Culture, they are novel ways of experimenting with different ways of development once driven by culture. Naturally it is not solely culture which is the driver but in most cases culture has proven to be a platform for co-ordinating diverse activities and actions.

Critical is the question whether or not culture is central or not to what drives development in the city. Here he shows on digital maps at a very sophisticated level that this may not be necessarily the case. Two reasons can be cited: crative cluster congregate only in certain areas of the city, while suburban and other neglected areas have no cultural services at all, and yet policy concerns apply to the whole of the city. All of this has multiple ramifications for cultural policy makers.


0955 Lia GhilardiCultural mapping for sustainable cities

(Note: she could not be present but made via Skype her presenation, and this under extreme circumstances.)

Her focus when doing cultural mapping is the distinctiveness of a place, and which reflects how people grow up in a place to become citizens. Cities are eco-systems and growing communities. Several factors should be taken into consideration:




Economy                              Urban Cultural DNA                         People




Right now, the city is managed with only one trajkectory e.g. de-industrialisation. It means that the future of the city is introduced merely by one trajectory. Rather cultural mapping should entail the introductio of multiple trajectories. The experimental work is to let communities co-create a vision of the future. This is done by mapping as follows everything which can relate to the 'place':


                                         Landscape Location


cultural feel                                                                                urban texture

                                       tangible and intangible heritage


              topography                                                            external perception



local stakeholders                                                                      Spirit of place


Methodological factors:

- cultural ecology maps for improved networking

- mental maps so as to show perception, feelings, identity

- create image banks to allow for brain storming with the aim to find new solutions

- Mind maps: match assests / resources to needs, tackle challenges and creativity

The key question here is what can we do with the available resources?


Mapping is designing participatory mechanismen while one things should not be forgotten, namely the 'wisdom of the crowds'. To solicit this wisdom, it means entering an experimenting by linking different departments / categories.

Important is to introduce small scale (temporary initiatives delivered collaboratively) so as to encourage and support 'leadership from the ground'.

The aim should be to develop a collective capability so that the community can adapt to change, and therefore is able to challenge the status quo. This has to be done by accepting different ways of closing things.


1015 Sandro Debono – MUŻA: Rethinking national museums as cultural spaces


1035 Coffee break – Sacra Infermeria Hall


1055 Dr Oleg KoefoedFrom mapping to urban cultural ecosystems: the legacy of cultural work

As philosophers connected with Cultura 21 linking artists to the question of sustainability and therefore to the ability to handle complexity, he re-members in his introductory words 'urban ecologies'. Consequently he would like to stresss that looking at cultural mapping is a way to express interest, insofar we are here because it matters. There is a need to deal with following issues:


Along those lines, he does not wish to talk as if in a crisis since that would b ut reflect a state of mind. Rather we are dealing with real waves so that we need data which allows us to anticipate the future in terms of sustainability, and therefore we need to creat technological solutions and relate to given conditions by implanting ourselves. It leaves culture in an interesting situation between waves and technology.

Consequently everything is about culture. We refer to culture when seeking to answer the question but how do we wish to live. That requires a necessary lever when it comes to how we interpret the worl. He likes the term 'theatre of things' since there exists the risk of holding onto illusions of doing something. Hence politics and culture are not so much in conflict with one another, but rather we seek to circumvent the hard political economic conditions by using culture as soft power. 

Mapping entails then the following:


For example, the city of Copenhagen had to secure itself against heavy rain falls, so the task became with many suggesting different solutions, how to bridge all these different approaches. When developing a model for that, one realizes that we have incurred a loss of ontology. However, it becomes a matter of how to create an entrepreneurial spirit.

The aim should be to regain the 'savoir faire' to enhance the following:

Important are agencies which are capable of inducing change from below, but everything has to be done very gentle.

He has started to work together with Valletta 2018 to enhance Design Clusters, for the re-invention of these creative clusters from below is a strong issue.


1115 Neil PetersonCan culture change communities?

Reflecting his experiences made in conjunction with Liverpool '08, he wishes to speak about the relationship between city and citizens. For he wishes to pose the question, can culture change communities? In part, this is how to link strategies with what should be local deliveries, and how to use the ECoC title. In both cases, answers depend upon knowing how a city works.

Being a ECoC is entering a kind of cultural experiment. Three aims had Liverpool '08:


The social impact of having been a European Capital of Culture was strong, but it is very difficult to measure. Definitely the people where right from the start behind the bid. So there were adopted four goals: repositioning, re-generation, participation and sustainability. This was implemented by promoting 1) creative communities and 2) developing an extensive volunteer programme. 

To realize Creative Communities, it meant:

- need to identify key challenges the city had to face

- apointed Program Managers for following fields: health, youth, nieghborhood, crime, environment.

For instance, the project NOT OK was initiated and as a result the crime rate went down, presumably due to the alterations in education.

Likewise, the project '4 Corners' managed to link each neighborhood to a cultural institution.

As for the 08 Volunteers programme, this was a huge success. There was developed a new model under the heading "get involved". Special attentio was given to mapped out areas as being the most disadvantaged where then deliberate recruitment was done.

When reference is made to the legacy of a European Capital of Culture like Liverpool '08, it has to be said this is less strategic and much more an ideal assessment. Three aspects can be high lighted upon:


Consequently we focused on continuing some of the game changer actions e.g. the mechanical spider by re-creating something similar under the theme 'Sea Odyssey 2012'. By re-creating such a major event something should not be overlooked. For we went back to the disadvantaged aress to say to the people there that the Municipality of Liverpool has not forgotten you. In so doing we brought a lot of people together at a community backery which became a major focus point.

In reference to some other ECoCs in which he has been involved, he can refer to the following:


Definitely while engaged in the bidding process, the city finds itself to be at a high level of creativity and which does get lost a bit once the title has been designated and a programme needs to be finalised for implementation in the decisive year. Of interest is what cities do after they failed to get the designation of the ECoC title. Some of them like Leicester continue to extend the program 'art for everyone'. In the Irish case, it will be interesting to see which city will get the bid e.g. Limerick 2020 shall focus on architecture to reveal the hidden layers of the city.



1135 Q&A and discussion

1205 Closing of plenary session by Chair

1215 Lunch – Sacra Infermeria Hall


Parallel Session 5 – Mapping Routes and Memories

Moderator: Dr Jean Paul Baldacchino

Rapporteur: Dr William Zammit

1315 Introduction by Moderator

1320 Prof. Danning Wang – Cultural Mapping of the Indigenous Hong Kong Population

1340 Dr Annamari Huovinen, Prof. Eija Timonen, Tomi Leino, & Tuuli Seppälä – Urban identities in flux

1400 Paola Ponti – RADICI – Mapping routes: a possible approach to cultural mapping through an artistic process

1420 David Jackson – This is not my house: Reflections on moving image

1440 Q&A and discussion


Parallel Session 6 – Global and contested cultural spaces

Moderator: Daniela Blagojevic Vella 

Rapporteur: Dr Hatto Fischer

1315 Introduction by Moderator

1320 Dianne Regisford – One Bowl: Ubuntu Encounters: Evoking Belonging: Participatory performance as cultural mapping in urban sustainable development practice


1340 Lora Markova – Mapping ‘Another Europe’: the real-and-imagined space of culture

1400 Milia Lorraine Khoury – Meditations on the ‘Wrong Place’: Europe in Africa; Africa in Europe

1420 Josephine Burden – Writing the City Built by Gentlemen for Gentlemen: One Woman’s Story

1440 Felipe Duarte - Local Musics as a reflexive action towards a positive globalisation

1500 Q&A and discussion


Parallel Session 7 – Digital Mapping in a Social Context

Moderator: Prof. Carmel Borg

Rapporteur: Dr JosAnn Cutajar

1315 Introduction by Moderator

1320 Prof. Saviour Formosa – Spatial Conceptualisation as a stepping stone in the transition of Real-Virtual World Social Interactionism

1340 Isabel Verdet Peris – Focusing on digital and participative dimensions to approach map use: experiences from Bilbao

1400 Prof. Ann Laenen & Stefan Kolgen – What happens when you combine digital storytelling and cultural mapping in a social setting?  A case study of Jefke Tuf – a transmedial project in Limburg

1420 Magdalena Czarnecka – “Let’s map it” – the artistic and activist strategies of mapping as a way of building local identity – the Polish examples

1440 Q&A and discussion


Parallel Session 8 – Evaluating & assessing the use of cultural space

Moderator: Dr Ruben Paul Borg

Rapporteur: Colin Borg

1315 Introduction by Moderator

1320 Dr Dorota Węziak-Białowolskak – Composite indicator to monitor cultural and creative initiatives in European cities

1340 Prof. Kamila Kaminska & Agnieszka Wieszaczewska – Cultural mapping in evaluating European Capital of Culture project ‘Microgrants ESK2016’

1400 Dr Fernando Bayón Martin & Dr Cristina Ortega Nuere – From Cultural Mapping to cultural assessment. Bringing social creativity closer to policy evaluation: a European transregional case study (Bilbao, Essen, Warsaw)                                                                                        

1420 Xenia Kopf – Spaces and Places for Creative Use in the City of Vienna: A multi-dimensional mapping exercise

1440 Q&A and discussion



1530 Closing event – Sacra Infermeria Hall

1550 Closing address by Dr Karsten Xuereb, Executive Director Valletta 2018 Foundation

1555 Book launch – Cultural Mapping as Cultural Inquiry (Edited by Nancy Duxbury, W.F Garrett-Petts and David MacLennan)

1600 Closing drinks – Sacra Infermeria Hall

1700 Conference closing


2000 Informal closing dinner – Ta’ Nenu, Valletta

- See more at:



       View from Mediterranean Centre


^ Top

« Dialogue in the Med: exploring identity through networks. September 2014 | Cultural Mapping »