UNCHARTED: Understanding, Capturing and Fostering the Societal Value of Culture
UNCHARTED is a four-year research and innovation action which investigates the societal value of culture and the impact of cultural policies in Europe. Started the 1st February 2020, it received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 Programme, under the Grant Agreement no 870793. The project is led by the University of Barcelona, and it involves 9 research partners based in France, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.
UNCHARTED moves from the reflection that culture is increasingly considered in political circles for its capacity to make economy grow. The monetary perspective obscures the no-economic dimension of culture and makes it difficult for politics to take on the effective promotion of the plurality of its values. To counteract this tendency, it is necessary to define the social values associated with culture on a different basis from the traditional one. The work focuses on the valuation practices of the actors involved in cultural life. In this respect, three areas and three types of fundamental actors in the value dynamics of culture are distinguished:
- the field of cultural participation, in which citizenship is the protagonist
- the field of cultural production and heritage, where the professionals of creation and preservation are the ones who take the initiative
- the field of cultural administration, in which it is the experts and politicians who decide
These are the starting point to structure the study of the different aspects involved in this evaluative dynamic: the emergence of values, the configuration of a value order and the political impulse of values.
- To examine the key factors in shaping the values of culture in Europe: gender and rising diversity; urbanisation and social and spatial segregation in cities; globalisation and digitisation; neo-liberalism; and the European historical and political experience
- To identify the plurality of values that emerge in cultural practices (economic values, public values and personal values) and to study them in different areas of practices (cultural participation in live arts and culture and through media, cultural production and heritage management, cultural administration)
- To understand the tensions relating to how different actors in the cultural field (i.e. citizens, professionals, public administrators) construct, measure, compare and rank the values they attribute to culture
- To assess cultural policies for benefits to the society
At the end of the first year of activity, the project presents the first outputs of its investigation. In the framework of the work package 1 devoted to the analysis of the configuration of the values of culture, 5 reports examine the influence of a series of circumstances and key factors in shaping the values of the culture in Europe:
D1.1 : Analysis of the influence of gender and rising diversity in the configuration of the values of culture
D1.2 : Analysis of the influence of urbanisation and social and spatial segregation in cities in the configuration of the values of culture
D1.3 : Analysis of the influence of globalisation and digitisation in the configuration of the values of culture
D1.4 : Analysis of the influence of neo-liberalism in the configuration of the values of culture
D1.5 : Analysis of the European historical and political experience in acknowledging and promoting the values of culture
The reports are available on UNCHARTED website.
UNCHARTED and MESOC are sister projects as they have been selected under the same call (H2020-SC6-TRASF-08-2019): because of the similarity of interests, we decided to coordinate our efforts for mutual benefit and exchange knowledge and experiences related to our field of research.