TRANSEUROPA is a festival of arts, culture and politics. The festival is transnational in its fabric, concept and content. Its main objective is to create a temporary space for people from throughout Europe to exchange, co-create and find common ground for future actions to call for democracy, equality and culture beyond the nation state.
The programme is conceived of with various professionals, activists and artists throughout Europe in order to tackle the most burning issues facing the continent from a transnational point of view: war on the European continent, the rise of nationalism and xenophobia, the danger of the unravelling of the European Union (Brexit and Grexit), the continuation of self-defeating economic policies and mass unemployment, the persistence of corruption, the hecatomb in the Mediterranean, increased attacks on human rights and the questioning of freedom of movement for European citizens and migrants alike. These tendencies push us away from the core political principles of justice, unity and solidarity. But there are also positive, albeit fragmented signs. A growing political awareness among the younger generation of Europeans; renewed leadership by social movements and citizen initiatives, from the Irish referendum to the Spanish municipal elections; rising indignation towards perceived injustices, from the treatment of refugees to urban redevelopments or mass surveillance.
#TEF15 will give a strong push in this direction and go beyond fragments.
Beyond fragments is a call to
pick up the pieces: review the multiplicity of claims, positions, movements and practices in the European space, to
undo the status-quo: shred the ideological mist that’s fallen on Europe and is being used to perpetuate an unjust system and set of policy choices and
identify the path beyond: build convergences, propose concrete alternatives and develop a narrative and future vision.
Today the risks of fragmentation are multiform: they are represented both by the rise of nationalist and xenophobic forces in Europe, as well as by the increased gap between the poor and the rich. They also translate into the tendency to separate the economy and politics from the imaginative side of human actions. #TEF15 wants Europe to get back to signifying progress and creative change and to signify solidarity rather than oppressive policies. By focusing on the following topics, #TEF15 seeks to empower all participants to imagine new dreams, thoughts and actions and a joint transnational and common action plan for the coming years.
New forms of politics and movements: Disinterest in traditional party politics is growing. What does the rise of new forms of political and social movements across Europe tell us about the possibilities for citizen involvement and for a renewed relationship with political decision-making? How can radical democracy and political innovation be realised at the European level, rather than be content with a reversion to the ‘local’? How can it drive real change?
The commons: Can the concept of the commons – what is commonly owned by the people – help change the way people interact with and conceive of goods such as water, air or even the city? How can it be translated into action not only locally but also transnationally? Can we speak about the commons while speaking about the European Polity?
Migration and mobility: Free movement and mobility are at the core of the European Union. Today, with thousands of people drowning at its borders, these concepts are called into question. Rather than being valued, migration and movement are perceived as dangers. How can Europe retrieve these values crucial for its existence? What can be done to stop the rise of nationalistic and xenophobic movements? How can human rights be protected rather than scrapped?
Alternative economies: The economy and the functioning of the economic system have made headlines since the beginning of the 2009 sub-prime crisis. The economy is presented as both the source of disaster and the only source of possible recovery, but it is also thought of as an area of expertise, wherein experts’ decisions should supersede democratic ones. What are the possibilities for citizens to claim back their rights to decision-making? How can local solutions such as participatory budgeting be translated at a European level? What real economic alternatives are there and how can they be enacted?