A5: How to Make New and Old Cultures Visible

How to Build an Identity for Newly-Reclaimed Land

Original description: How can cultural education and cultural participation contribute to building an identity for newly-reclaimed land? FleCk (Flevoland Expertise Centre for Cultural Education, the Netherlands) and CAF (Flevoland Centre for Amateur Art, the Netherlands) present the experiences of Flevoland, a brand-new piece of reclaimed land within the rich and ancient culture of Europe. 

Remko Willems (programme manager, FleCk, CAF) and Myriam Cloosterman (CAF adviser, project leader ‘Passie voor Flevoland’) show how cultural learning and participation can build a Flevoland identity and a bond with the new land. Their projects focus on success factors and take a wide-angle look at similar European cultural programmes. Central question is: How do you create impact? This lecture is relevant for policy makers, cultural professionals, politicians and others.

Results / lessons learned

1.The Cultural Harbour, Remko Willems (FleCK): art and heritage education program in Flevoland.

  • The program tries to get answers from children to complicated questions like ‘ Where do I come from?’ ‘Where am I going to?’. The history of Flevoland comes alive in the artworks children create.
  • Flevoland is still a young province: the children are the first generation to root in the region. Art can help to make this proces visible.  

2. The invention of tradition: 

  • A challenge for Flevoland is to start from the grassroots, the microsubculture, to find the local stories.  What are the traditions of the newly-reclaimed land? One of the participants of this workshop state: all traditions are invented.
  • The tradition is an ongoing investigation in our identity: who are we? Children in Flevoland start to build their own future,  their own ideas, their own images through art.

3: Myrian Cloosterman, CAF, The wonder of Urk: site-specific theatre. 

  • The most important finding of this project: When the story has its roots in the local, in the lives of the inhabitants and the local history, the connection and the impact on audience is biggest. Art makes peoples stories visible, that’s why sharing common stories is important.