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Europe Must Become Conscious of its Own Culture

 

By Luciana Castellina, July 2010 (English, German)

 

Lecture held at Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Brussels

 

Text of lecture: PDF-English | PDF-German

Video of lecture in French: Short version (15') | Long version (47')


I would like to start my talk with a remark which has no direct connection to "culture", but I think we can’t do without a somewhat dramatic observation: We are currently ex-periencing the decline of Europe and of the role of Europe. The dynamics is gone; the citizens don’t understand the EU.


Two very different people told me quite memorable things recently. The first was one of our friends who works for the World Social Forum and organizes meetings all around the world, especially at the Social Forums in Africa and Latin America. He said: "You know what? Nobody wants to know anything about Europe anymore. Europe, what is Europe? What has Europe ac-complished, anyway? We are much more interested in South-South relationships, like with Asia. But Europe...".

 

The other is a completely different kind of person from my friends at the World Social Forum: it is my daughter. She is an economist and teaches at the London Business School, which has connections with the University in Dubai. By the way: students used to go to London to study; now, the professors from London go to Dubai to teach. They "buy" the professors, so that they will come directly to them. So my daughter told me that the pupils from Dubai, the Arabian and Turkish elites, didn’t even want to hear anything about Europe. They say: "Europe? What is Europe? Europe is dead!" and the Turks add: "Join the EU? No, they don’t want us, and anyway, we don’t care a bit whether we join or not! We are much more interested in Asia, China, the United States." ...