Over the last few days at INTERACCIÓ I was reminded of what Eduard Miralles said in an article he wrote on the relationships between cultural and educational policies: “When culture goes through the door, education goes out the window.” To my mind Eduard, as always you hit the nail on the head with this ironic definition of how it works.
We have come a fair way since that article of 1991 and that first seminar on the subject of the UNESCO Chair on Cultural Policies and Cooperation, not at institutional and political level, which as we know always lags behind reality, but certainly when it comes to our thinking and above all innovative initiatives and meeting spaces that work.
In the world of culture, museum educational and culture action departments have long since ceased to be rara avis that come only from these heritage-related institutions. Nowadays, theatres, libraries, archives, audiences, contemporary art and critical thinking centres and even festivals and creative spaces are all seeking to forge relations with education, each in their own way and with their own self-imposed prejudices and limitations, but at least moving in that direction. INTERARTS has always approached cooperation and international relations projects with this perspective.
At the last INTERACCIÓ we saw a short video showcasing the new aesthetics that come out of these proposals: film, science, song, photography, theatre by children, and girls and young people in shared learning contexts that guarantee their full future participation in cultural life. This is not just about educating audiences, but rather culture’s capacity for social transformation. Naturally these were only a few significant experiences from Barcelona and some not yet that, but the images revealed that a small great revolution is gathering force.
Even when we look at local and proximity policies, a handful of brave city councils in the metropolitan region have dared to envisage Strategic Plans that will no longer be either Education or Culture, but quite the opposite. The town of Centelles is working on this and perhaps proving that it no longer makes sense to see municipal music schools as separate from schools and music, museums and heritage sites as separate from social and natural sciences, or dance as separate from P.E.
On 29 November INTERARTS is holding a small seminar to continue remembering Eduard Miralles’ teaching. The relationships between cultural and educational policies will be a common topic to the three tables on cultural management training, local proximity policies and international cultural relations, because it unarguably runs through them all when it comes to capacity-generating. Looking to the horizon, the challenge is to hold dialogues with pedagogical renewal movements, such as the new 21 schools, tandems and magnets, or the Educació 360 programme of the Bofill Foundation but also within other contexts such as those of the OECD PISA reports and the United Nations’ SDG 4, striving to find more shared languages. There is a lot at stake.
Gemma Carbó, acting chair of the Board of the Interarts Foundation