European Capitals of CultureΠοιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Study of the Materna bid


Capacity bulding of local authorities

Engage in a systemic capacity-building programme for socio-cultural operators and local authorities in Basilicata. At the heart of the project-building efforts of operators in the creative and cultural fields is a strong cooperative philosophy that supersedes the culture of welfare. Their efforts focus on enhancing networking capacities, forming new sustainable models for cultural action. Local authorities, too, will be urged to be more flexible when addressing new challenges, to reduce red tape in their dealings with communities that want to regenerate heritage assets, and to encourage cultural and creative start-ups.


This takes things a step further from what was discussed in Valletta 2014 about the changing role of local authorities in terms of territorial diplomacy. Due to global forces, but also as a result of the EU structural fund, regions and territories close to core cities have to mediate much more between local cultural actors and other forces. Already Horizon 2020 foresees a more selective process within regions by focusing on competitive assets and resources.

Of interest is that they wish to supersede the welfare state by emphasizing a more 'cooperative' philosophy which had a strong presence in Italy. The cooperative movement has its own history and philosophy.

What is meant by the term 'new sustainable models for cultural action' is unclear. It sounds impressive but actions usually take place within models and are not really sustained by a model  having been worked out - or is that a wrong understanding of what is meant.

There seems to be also a huge time span implied in what is being covered, insofar as heritage is one pole, creative set-ups in terms of seeking an open future quite another differentiaton between past, present and future. Here has to be added too often modern slogans are used such as the advertisement used for advocating methods of archiving with digitial tools, and having the slogan 'discard the old, store the new' although such an orientation runs completely contrary to the function of an archive since a crucial point is how you work with memory. Also there is the warning by Aorno if only the new is sought then sooner or later it is forced to flee back in old structures.

Too often one crucial factor is overlooked by use of these modernist slogans advocating a quick solution to investment problems e.g. also in Greece 'red tape' is often being referred to as to the time it takes to set up a business. Yet very often culture is used to exclude outsiders since entering a local setting to set up a business is even more difficult if it is a cultural action / project / enterprise etc. since restrictions are code like aspects of belonging or not to what is being defined in a subtle way as common interest, and which may not be the equivalent of 'sense of community'.

It would be of interest to learn more about what Bianchini proposed and worked out with local actors. It is said that he developed strategies for local involvement but to what extent this would mean a qualitative different interaction with local authorities who often do not receive the feedback they need to retain a sense for reality, that has to be looked into still further.

Hatto Fischer 1.11.2014

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