Monthly Archives: November 2009

Interview on LabforCult

Lidia Varbanova of LabforCulture interviewed me about Cultura21 International:

Read the interview on LabforCult : Click here


One part of the interview could not be published on LabforCult, to keep the article short enough. You can however find that question and my reply, here below:

Lidia Varbanova: How do you connect the issues of sustainability with intercultural dialogue from a more pragmatic perspective?

Sacha Kagan: In the conception of sustainability that we promote, interculturality is a necessary dimension of sustainability, and there can be no sustainability without the constant build-up of intercultural competence among all of us, earth-citizens.  In an earlier blog on Labforcult, you (Lidia) pointed out that there can be no separation of sustainability into economic, social, cultural, ecological sustainability, but that there can be cultural, economic, and of course at the very basis ecological dimensions of sustainability… To come back to intercultural dialogue, I would label it as only the definition of a certain level of dynamic, open communication with one’s environment (following Davide Brocchi’s article in our 2008 book). It starts with intersubjectivity beyond egocentrism, goes on with interconventionality (as I’d call it) beyond sociocentrism, then to interculturality beyond ethnocentrism, but it does not end there: We, in the Western world, have a long way to go to find back a sensibility for interspecies communication beyond anthropocentrism. Let me prevent any misunderstanding: I do not believe that we can ever cast away, nor that we should banish, our subjective ego, our communitarian and national cultural identities or our humanism. But I think we should also define ourselves beyond their limits, and rather than erecting them as barriers, we should consider them as porous membranes, open to the uncertainties, unknown and chaos of Otherness (by the way, there can be no creativity without a sensibility to chaos). So intercultural interaction is a key dimension of what I proposed to define as an “autoecopoïesis” i.e. an ecological sensibility, or in other words: aesthetics of sustainability… ( see for example this short text where I elaborate a bit further: click here ).



ASEF Commission on Culture and Sustainability alongside COP15

I have been invited to take part in the expert panel on the role of culture in the transition to an ecological age, commissioned by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) alongside COP15:
ASEF is bringing together 16 cultural experts from Asia and Europe to discuss the cultural dimension of the sustainability debate at the Culture|Futures conference and through a commissioned Discussion Paper on the subject, which will be disseminated widely amongst stakeholders and policy makers and will lead to a set of policy recommendations and a conference in preparation for the 8th ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Summit of Heads of State and Government (Belgium, October 2010).

You can read my personal “vision statement” as a blog entry on “ARTS4COP15”: click here…

The conference “Culture|Futures: The transition to an ecological age”, alongside the UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen this December (7-9 Dec), is organised by the Danish Cultural Institute with the support of ASEF; EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture); IFACCA (International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies); Cultura21; the Cambridge Sustainable City Programme, Royal Society for the Arts (UK) and Khoj International Artists’ Association (India). The conference takes place at the National Gallery of Denmark (Monday, 7 December) and at facilities provided by the Civil Society Climate Forum (Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 & 9 December) in central Copenhagen.

Website of Culture|Futures