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Culture is key

a letter from artists in love with Marseille

In June 2020, artists Nacera Belaza, Eric Minh Cuong Castaing, Julien Marchaisseau, Dorothée Munyaneza, Selma Ouissi and the Festival's director Jan Goossens wrote an opinion column in local newspaper Marsactu. A few excerpts below :
 

"Marseille, as a metropolis and a laboratory city, has a lot to say to France: on living together in a different way, on linking North and South within the city and in the world, on how to 'make a city together' and the new forms of participatory democracy which will have to be invented even more in our city, and which the whole world needs. And on the unique combination of a well-established popular culture and innovative artistic creation. "

(...)

"More than ever, in this post-Covid world, the link between the local and the international will be essential and fragile at the same time. Marseille is the city par excellence from which it must be invented and built, on a long term basis and in depth. "

(...)

"We should be a capital, we absolutely need this ambition. Not so much as a political-administrative status. But rather on a symbolic and imaginary level: as the center of the imagination through which new unifying narratives are written for the multicultural and cosmopolitan world of tomorrow, but also steming from an intense interest to a rich and popular local context. Picturing and telling these stories in all their diversity and complexity: in this respect artists and cultural institutions can play a key role."

(...)

"A new ambitious, united and generous city project for Marseille will have to build on this richness, considering its international attraction, its culture that is both popular, cutting-edge and plentiful."

(...)

"In this post-Covid world, it will be necessary to go much further. There will be no 'economic recovery' without a strong cultural drive, provided that the cultural world also dares to move, and actually gets involved in a transversal vision for Marseille where 'every life counts'. "

(...)

"It is essential that these choices stem from a framework that the cultural sector and the political world should develop together, on an equal basis. A great and new story, the one of a Marseille where we all want to live within 10 years, and the role of artists and culture in this city. An urban project, with a cultural and social dimension. Or the other way around. With respective autonomy, but in consultation, and offering each other an attentive ear. "