21 September 2020

European Alliance of Academies
Alliance – Perspectives – Strategies: Meeting of the European cultural institutions from 8 to 10 October in Berlin

Europe needs cultural cohesion and transnational solidarity more than ever. The Akademie der Künste has therefore initiated an alliance of European academies that advocates the freedom of art and can respond in solidarity to political restrictions. Jeanine Meerapfel, President of the Akademie der Künste, explains the associated imperatives and perspectives:

“What can an institution like the Akademie der Künste, a community of artists, do to counteract undemocratic and nationalistic forces in Europe? This question has moved me since I took office as President of the Akademie. Latest events in Germany, most recently the attempted attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin, demonstrate the urgent need for action. Another current example is how the autonomy of the Budapest University of Theatre and Film Arts has been restricted by the right-wing nationalist government of Viktor Orbán. Shaping a cultural Europe characterised by diversity can only succeed with transnational alliances. This conference is an important step toward this. I am very pleased that so many representatives of various art and cultural institutions have accepted my invitation. With our different visions, dreams and convictions, we can explore common opportunities for action and establish the basis to co-exist in solidarity.”

To launch the Alliance of Academies, the Akademie der Künste is holding a conference within the context of Germany’s presidency of the Council of the EU. Around 70 participants have registered. They and their academies represent the cultural wealth of Europe and will discuss joint strategies for the Alliance to safeguard the freedom of art and culture over the course of three days.

Jeanine Meerapfel will open the gathering on Thursday, 8 October. Author Robert Menasse will talk about the problems and future of Europe. This will be followed by lectures by author A. L. Kennedy (UK) and publicist Basil Kerski (Poland) as well as a music performance by AoA ImproGroup with Floros Floridis and other European improvisational musicians. The internal panels on Friday, 9 October, will begin with a greeting by Minister of State Prof. Monika Grütters, followed by an in-depth discussion with perspective views of Europe, among others, from art historian Bénédicte Savoy and contemporary historian Philipp Ther. A joint manifesto setting out the mission of protecting the European Union as a cultural project for the future will be presented to the public on Saturday, 10 October.

Supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media within the framework of the German EU Presidency

European Alliance of Academies. A conference of European cultural institutions
8 to 10 October 2020
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin

Press contact (on behalf of the Akademie der Künste)
Dorothea Walther | Tel. 030 7700 8798, box@dorotheawalther-pr.de