wishlist justification & relevance

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wishlist justification & relevance

Post  marie on Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:26 pm

Hey everyone:

I would need the following information from you:

- Why is sustainability important for the event of ECOC?

- Why is it socially/politically relevant to research on the 4 themes that we came up with (Integration, European Dimension, City Image, Expectations)?

- Why is your own research topic socially/politically relevant for the specific theme that it belongs to?

- How can the organization of the event use the information we will find out in our research?

In the feedback Giselle often asked for references. Could you please try to include that as well in your answers?Do you have any suggestions for me how I could write the rlevance part differently to not make it another literature review? Or should it be kind of a literature review but then 'only' referring to political and social theories, and the literature review Hanna is doing should leave that out? What do you think?

It would be great if you could send me your answers/information until saturday 12 'o clock. (Of course the last part also a bit earlier) I f you absolutely cannot make it until that date let me know but I would definitly need everythink until sunday at 12'o clock to make it until monday night.

Thanks a lot!

Good night, Marie

marie

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Re: wishlist justification & relevance

Post  Jakob on Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:57 am

Hey Marie!

Ill just answer your questions from the perspective of my topic, I hope thats what you meant.

  • Why is sustainability important for the event of ECOC?

Well, that depends completely on the goals of the respective cities. If the cities do not want to create something sustainable, its not. However, usually they do. For Maastricht this is clearly a goal (Ambitiestatement, page one, point 4). Of course we have to define sustainability. For my part I will be looking for an operational definition somewhat along the lines of our research question: the continuation of the energies and dynamics which probably will pop up (and have usually appeared in the past: see Mettler, 2008, p. 137 who also defines Nachhaltigkeit ie sustainability on the pages before) to the time after the year is over. Do the projects still run? Are the actors still involved? Is funding still secure or does it even have to be cut back to a level lower than that before the ECOC because everything has been spent and the funds for support of cultural institutions are used up? This has happened in Linz (Mokre, 2009, p. 2; careful: no academic literature). If projects, funds and people are still running and active, the project was sustainable. Rather straightforward in my case. And this is important for ECOC 2018 because "the Partners" said that they want to "strengthen the cultural dynamics and make it a solid component of the everyday life in the Euregio" (reference above).

  • Why is it socially/politically relevant to research on the 4 themes that we came up with (Integration, European Dimension, City Image, Expectations)?

Well, i can only defend the first one which I'll be concerned with: its relevant politically because if mistakes are made in these fields, the goals of Maastricht and the ECOC inititative in general will not be met. Socially, the relevance of integration is important because without integration no system or city social. geek

  • Why is your own research topic socially/politically relevant for the specific theme that it belongs to?

socially: the free art scene is usually just getting by so a small decrease of funds or a small loss of attention can already kill projects. Firstly the economic wellbeing of the actors involved depend on it and secondly I think a loss of cultural diversity can also be considered a social problem. I cant give you any references, just an e-mail from a woman from Graz who saw this development when Graz was cultural capital. If, on the other hand, the integration of this creative potential is done well (or lets say better), as in Luxemburg (Nieland, 2008, p. 180), a positive social development can be triggered.
politically: without integration of all artists, there might be protest movements as in Linz and Graz which no one wants. Additionally, parts of the scene will feel alianated and not contribute to the ECOC project.

  • How can the organization of the event use the information we will find out in our research?

For me, I hope to show how not to do it and who to contact and what to propose to do it differently. Of course, I didn't start looking for people yet, thats really important for me so i should get going on this one... Shocked

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Re: wishlist justification & relevance

Post  Charlotte on Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:48 pm

Hey Marie,

Why is sustainability important for the event of ECOC?

I think we can state that in general sustainability has been the central issue for any ECOC. Of course , what we mean exactly by sustainability needs to be defined, because for every ECOC the aims towards sustainability were always different. For the theme 'city image', we have stated the last time that 'city image is the key for a long term success' (do you have any reference for that?). What is important to note that the image is dependent on other factors. For instance, the experiences in Glasgow or Liverpool show that cities often faced a 'cultural funding dilemma' when trying to improve the image on long term (Garcia, 2004). So they had difficulties in finding the right balance between investing in short term and long term activities. In general a consistent cultural policy was lacking to invest equally and simultaneously in major events and local initiatives (which also led to a declining positive city image).
Concerning our ECOC, the partners of Maastricht 2018 clearly agree in the ambition statement on permanent cultural production which involves the inhabitants and all cultural actors within the region. Their ambition is to create a strong cross border network, or as they put it ' a region as virtual metropolis' that aims at bringing the different cities and communities closer together (1.4).

Why is it socially/politically relevant to research on the 4 themes that we came up with (Integration, European Dimension, City Image, Expectations)?

My theme: City Image

Social relevance: when the aim is to create a long lasting positive image, the society/inhabitants within the region should be able to associate with the image. If this is not ensured, it will cause social exclusion, and subsequently a decline in efficient permanent cultural production.

Why is your own research topic socially/politically relevant for the specific theme that it belongs to?

Considering that there is a risk that inhabitants of the region will not associate themselves with the promoted image, my research will be based on locals' perception of the region. Since the final outcome is derived from those perceptions, there is no risk of exclusion or alienation involved. To add some references, Berli and Martin (2004) are a good ground. They argue that the problem lies in the basic approach of dealing with image creation. They also state that only few previous empirical studies actually aimed at how to analyze an individual’s image of a destination. And Echtner and Brentie (2003) point out that a destination needs a distinctive and appealing perception, or image which would mean for the region that for the bid a distinct (different from all other competitors) and appealing image needs to be designed which does not oppose the common perception of society.

How can the organization of the event use the information we will find out in our research?

I think I made it already clear that my research goal is to come up with a image that is drawn from the locals' perception, thus the image will be representative of the region's people. Since this will not be enough, I will attempt to come up with a tentative outline for cultural actors who can use the 'image information' to produce cultural activities that will be again representative for the region. This supports the points of the ambition statement that the partners of Maastricht 2018 want permanent cultural production which involves the inhabitants and all cultural actors within the region. They want to create a strong cross border network that strengthens the cultural cooperation of the region. A unified image derived from the local inhabitants and cultural institutions/actors is a requirement for strong cross border connections, because all participants will be able to identify with it.

Let me know, if you need it more detailed. More references maybe?
Groetjes: )

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Re: wishlist justification & relevance

Post  Yvette on Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:43 am

Hi,

sorry for my very late response! somehow I didn't see this post earlier.

about the four themes, I think they can all be linked to sustainability. intergration; everyone needs to be included, expectations: are they realistic etc.

Why is your own research topic socially/politically relevant for the specific theme that it belongs to?
Integration & gender equality:
In order to be sustainable the entire population should be included. My question will focus on the integration of both men and women in the project. One of the main principles of the EU is mainstreaming gender equality: gender equality should be considered in all activities of the union (Pollack & Haffner-Burton, n.d.). The ECOC competition is part of the EU’s cultural policy. Bretherton (2001) has shown, using the enlargement policy of the EU as an example, that considering gender equality in the Union’s activities is not always the case. Mainstreaming gender equality doesn’t have the number one priority and is often overshadowed by other issues. If the men and women of Maastricht are not equally included in the ECOC project, then the EU has failed to mainstream gender equality.
A social justification for this question is that women experience and consume culture in a different way than men do. (Bihagen & Katz-Gerro, 2000). Do the men and women of Maastricht also have different preferences for cultural activities? It is relevant to find this out, because if they do differ on this, then it is important that the organization considers these differences. In order to become ECOC 2018 the organization is making plans for cultural activities, the organization also has ideas about what is necessary to become ECOC. If they are not considering the different expectations and ideas of men and women, than a part of the population will be left out. For example, the interviews show that the organization is planning to do high brow activities. Research has shown that these activities are more often visited by women (Bihagen & Katz-Gerro, 2000). The preferences of the men will then not be considered.

How can the organization of the event use the information we will find out in our research?
The organization wants to have as many visitors as possible. To do that they need to attract both men and women. They can do that by considering the different expectations and ideas of men and women of cultural activities and a capital of culture. They can use a wider variety of cultural activities to attract the entire population.
This can also be important for the sustainability of the project. If they are able to integrate men and women than the long-term effects are more realistic, because no one is left out.

If something is not clear, then let me know

Groet,
Yvette

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hanna justification

Post  hanna on Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:57 pm

the european dimension is important when understood as the strengthening of long-term crossborder cooperation in (cultural) projects/events such as envisioned by ECOCs because the latter will foster sustainability. this means that crossborder projects commenced now can have a positive impact on regional cohesiveness in the long-term, since they might lead to further (even bigger) projects, working at common solutions to common problems, shortly deepen European Integration in all policy< areas. Further integration in regional and cultural policies has the potential, as shown in the past, to develop impressive positive spill-over effects to other policy areas.

the ECOC can only be sustainable if actors' (local people, cultural industries, policy-makers) expectations and aims converge or at least they can negotiate compromises which please all sides involved. There might be sharp differences in expectations across the border which act as real obstacles, but they can be overcome once actors clearly formulate them, make them public, and real exchange of ideas occurs.
in this sense, the expectations and aims we will identify during our field research will raise the salience of the ECOC, make actors aware of the others' expectations, will help confront opposite ideas and (hopefully) trigger dialogue.

social relevance: taking account of local people's(in all parts of the Euroregion) perception into account while planning the ECOC so as to bring people behind the ECOC (get support and inpit of their own ideas)
political relvance: creating this forum of exchange of ideas between policy/decision-makers across the border

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