Representatives of Rijeka 2020 – ECOC CEO Emina Višnić and Development and Strategic Partnerships Director Irena Kregar Šegota, mayor of the City of Rijeka Vojko Obersnel and prof. Rajka Jurdana Šepić from the Department of Physics of the University of Rijeka have presented Rijeka from 15 to 17 November in Rome at the Contemporaneamente Roma International Days: Beyond the Obvious – Cultural Agora conference.
This important international cultural event was organised by Culture Action Europe, Rome Austrian Cultural Forum, British Council, Bulgarian Cultural Institute, the Croatian, Maltese and Slovenian embassies in Rome, and the European Commission representation in Italy. The conference was attended by over 200 participants from across Europe, including cultural leaders, practitioners, policy makers, scientists and researchers.
The conference included a series of panels, discussions, workshops and supporting programming with the aim of answering the question posed by the topic – Belonging & Becoming: Culture, Heritage and our Future. The participants contemplated on how artists and cultural stakeholders, as well as engaged citizens and policy makes could develop “inclusive belonging”, how active participation of citizens in cultural processes affects social cohesion, and how it is possible to create a general understanding of belonging based on diversity and inclusivity on all levels – local, national and European.
The specific focus was on the combination of using heritage tools and social innovations, education, participatory processes in the public and private sector, the future of sustainable cities, the issue of audience development, and the intersection between science and art.
Rijeka 2020 – ECOC was represented at the conference within the scope of the programme Lungomare Mediterraneo through which three Mediterranean ECOC cities were presented – La Valletta 2018, Matera 2019 and Rijeka 2020. The programme of Rijeka 2020 was presented by mayor Obersnel, Emina Višnić and Irena Kregar Šegota, and the potential collaboration between the three cities was discussed.
The programme was opened on a high political note with talks from Vojko Obersnel, mayor of Rijeka, Luca Bergamo, deputy mayor of Rome, Vito Borreli, deputy head of the European Commission representation in Rome, Jasen Mesić, Croatian ambassador to Italy, Vanessa Frazier, Maltese ambassador to Italy, Bogdan Benko, Slovenian ambassador to Italy, and Adriana Poli Bortone, representative of Matera.
Irena Kregar Šegota represented Rijeka on the panel on mobility and migrations of artists and cultural agents in the Mediterranean within the scope of the ECOC project, and she participated at the workshop Pilot Cities – Culture in Sustainable Cities. Rajka Jurdana Šepić participated on the panel on connecting science and culture, and Emina Višnić additionally participated on the closing panel Recombining the Threads.
The international audience present could hear how Rijeka sounds on 16 November at the opening of the panel on heritage and social innovations with a performance by the Atma Mundi Ensemble led by Rijeka-based musician Zoran Majstorović, who used music to present the Rijeka 2020 flagship Kitchen and the Porto Etno gastro-music festival.