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Courageous Citizens

How Culture Contributes to Social Change

Over the past decades, the cultural and political map of Europe and the world has changed rapidly. Developments such as the changing status of the European Union, migration, and the wider repercussions of globalization have posed numerous social and political challenges. Instead of recognizing and valuing these challenges, there is a growing tendency to retreat into fixed ideas of culture and cultural divides. This book celebrates the capacity of individuals and small groups to contribute to social change through culture and art. It is a source of inspiration for renegotiating our understanding of the world and affirming culture as a critical space to practive courage and perseverance amid complex societal reconfigurations.

‘Courageous Citizens’ focuses on those whose daring, sharing, and inventing contribute to our collective future, and for whom culture and democracy are the starting points for vision and action. The cycle of (re-)thinking, doing, and changing that is inherent in remodeling the way we view the world and concurrently the potential of culture to contribute to positive social change is addressed through three key themes:

I – Diversity and Equality;
II – Communities and Democracy;
III – Fragmentation and Solidarity.

‘Courageous Citizens’ is published on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture (PMA), an annual award acknowledging and amplifying the work of individuals and collectives whose creative work can truly make a difference in Europe’s societies.

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