Mobility is the backbone of international cultural cooperation

The recent conference titled “Mobility for Creativity” organised by Motovila in Ljubljana on 4–5 April 2019, explored the benefits and challenges of international mobility in the cultural and creative sector (CCS), especially putting mobility’s environmental impact to the test. Report prepared by Jana Renée Wilcoxen.

Press room · May 15, 2019
Mobility4Creativity, 4.–5. april 2019. Foto ©Coline Robin za Motovila.

On the first day, guests discussed systemic level support for international mobility, for example, various programmes that co-finance mobility, as well as technical level support with information and consultancy provision. On the second day, the talks focussed on mobility in practice, including aspects of artistic, social and environmental responsibility and a lively discussion about the roles of policy makers, communities and organisations in facilitating and enhancing mobility.

The following report has been created for participants of the conference, to have a written overview of the activities and issues raised. These topics are sure to become even more relevant in the next two years, as the Creative Europe programme tests new mobility funding models, creating new opportunities for those working in the CCS as well as new responsibilities and choices to consider.

By all means, don’t forget the visual overview created by Coline Robin ( which vividly captures the flow of information throughout the two days.

Day 1

In her welcome address, Motovila’s Sabina Briški Karlić introduced the event Mobility4Creativity, calling mobility the backbone of international cultural cooperation. Mobility is useful in expanding audiences, developing cooperation, making the sector sustainable and more. Fortunately, it’s a priority not only of the current Creative Europe programme, but also the upcoming one, which will bring some innovative changes in what kind of mobility experiences will be funded and how. But before hearing those details, attendees received a framework for the pros and cons of mobility, giving global travel a sobering planet-first perspective.

So, just how dirty is your journey? Keynote 1 by Lučka Kajfež Bogataj
Mobility is about results. Keynote 2 by Barbara Koželj Podlogar

Following these two speakers and the eye-opening and thought-provoking framework of mobility that prompts us to ask why we engage in mobility, what is our goal and how we get to where it is we are going … we then moved into two panels looking at different aspects of supporting mobility: Funding Resources and Information and Consultancy Provision.

Day 2

Upon resuming the conference on Friday morning, it was clear that participants were still contemplating the talk of Lučka Kajfež Bogataj and what it means for not only mobility practices but the state of the world in general. When recapping the activities of the first day for participants of the second day, I proposed that participants take this knowledge back to their organisations and communities and discuss how to integrate Dr. Kajfež Bogataj’s call for action into their activities.

Are there things we as a sector could do to offset the environmental toll that comes with paying road tolls, air taxes and the like? Is it perhaps time for us to make a (slow) mobility manifesto?

Giving individual artists and cultural professionals the initiative. Talk by Pedro Velázquez, Deputy Head of Unit, European Commission – DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture
Artist mobility is not art tourism. Keynote by artist Danilo Milovanović.
Making it a point and acting on it, will make a difference: panel on Responsible Mobility.
By hearing about failures, we can learn how to avoid the same mistakes: panel on Impacts of practising mobility.

During the lunch and Who’s Who Sessions which followed, participants had more time to discuss experiences and practices with each other or the expert guests at the conference.

Epilogue: What about a (SLOW) MOBILITY MANIFESTO?

Would you consider lowering your kWH/day consumption in the areas of transport?
See how and let’s continue the discussion about mobility!
Perhaps there’s a new hashtag we could also use: #Creativity4Mobility.

See full report (.pdf). CC Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Further information about the #Mobility4Creativity conference.

See PHOTO GALLERY by Katja Goljat and VIDEO with
Dr. Lučka Kajfež Bogataj, pioneering climatologist (calling for urgent innovations);
Fatima Avila, ASEF (presenting a travel grant Mobility First! for artists and cultural professionals from Asia and Europe);
Pedro Velázquez, European Commission (on Commission’s prospects of culture mobility in Creative Europe 2021 and beyond).

The event was organized by the Motovila Institute in cooperation with Arts and Theatre Institute / CED CZ, DutchCulture / CED NL, Centro de Informacão Europa Criativa / CED PT, CED Ireland – MEDIA Office Dublin, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia / CED HR, Federal Chancellery of Austria, Arts and Culture / CED AT, SCCA–Ljubljana and CMEPIUS.