Is the name the European Cultural Foundation gave to its’ four day weekender in de Balie in Amsterdam. On schedule: “Unraveling some of the burning questions confronting contemporary Europe. Europeans are questioning what it means to be part of Europe and whether they want to continue to be part of it, while people around the world are talking about Europe’s economic and cultural future.” Bam.
Websites such as Eurozine and Arts & Letters Daily do help us indulge in self criticism, European as we are. For a fine example, and a great read, see Ivan Krastev’s article ‘the European Dis-Union.' Lucky Europeans, that we still have believers and makers such as Verhofstadt and Cohn-Bendit, who recently published their manifesto “For Europe” . In their view Europe needs to grow together stronger, faster and quicker. Whether that is the way, one could question. But that an unifying Europe needs to be aware of cultural undercurrents, needs to st
imulate cultural exchanges, needs to find its’ new narratives, that is an open door.
And it is exactly with those ideas in mind that the weekend of ‘Imagining Europe’ has been planned. The Sunday afternoon program deserves some special attention as London-based film-maker and cultural activist John Akomfrah is the visiting lecturer. Born in Ghana and brought up in London, Akomfrah is a much decorated and admired film director whose 25-year body of work ranges from documentaries to feature films and audiovisual art installations. He is widely credited as one of the chief architects of modern Black British cinema after co-founding the Black Audio Film Collective in the early 1980s. His films are widely acclaimed for their poetic juxtapositions of archival media footage, literary texts and compelling soundscapes. His ethical recycling of the archive pose questions on memory, migration and the complex relation between place and selfhood. He will be participating in a public talk with Abdelkader Benali which should conclude in thought-provoking discussion on the routes of the migrant imaginary of Europe’s past and present.