Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Introduction by Hatto Fischer

Roots of Western and European Civilisation are to be found in Greece and the Mediterranean region. They are not defined solely by philosophical texts or ideas, but by a specific heritage involving sculptures, temples and other archaeological findings. In short, it could be expected that these roots are to be found in places where all these artefacts come from; however, most of them are only to be seen in museums of the North, including the British Museum in London, the Pergamon in Berlin, the pieces of Aegina in Munich etc... For Northern Europe has left the ancient ruins with but a few testimonies of the past.

As a part of the common 'cultural heritage', all of these scattered fragments making up the archaeological layers of Western Civilisation, have such an immense value, precisely because they keep alive the 'memory' of what mankind can achieve in a positive sense. The free standing sculpture has remained to be an expression of beauty and movement in a cultural context in which man's consciousness was expressed by concepts still relevant till today. These 'carriers of values' could alter the European outlook even more so, if brought together again at the place of their origin. The main argument for such a change in museum policy is with the return, the past and the present is reconciled and the 'Europe of Cultures' is united by keeping the authenticity of these values at their natural places alive.

The question of returning the Parthenon marble pieces to the Acropolis figures here greatly in scenarios of future museums' policies all over Europe and the world. Some fear it would lead to demands without end, while museums of the North would be virtually emptied of their most treasured artefacts. Nevertheless, it can be argued that cultural self-understanding should not be derived from imperialistic collections, but rather be based upon reconsiderations of the material side of relationships sought by European cultures until now to antiquity or 'Ancient Times'. Such critical self-reflections of the crucial value premises of Europe may lead to the conclusion, that the unification of Europe cannot be more effectively underlined, then by bringing together again all fragments at their place of origin and thus express that the unity was achieved not merely symbolically, but culturally speaking. It would replace the myth of Europe being the woman abducted and carried away, as painted by Rubens among other interpretations, and open Europeans to critical re-considerations of common roots and values of Western Civilisation as interpreted presently by the European Union.

Indeed, a European identity is inconceivable without common reference points, culturally speaking. But only a deeper understanding of the cultural issues surrounding these 'roots', including the fragmented existence of artefacts from that Ancient Past, can bring about a change in attitudes. The latter are still blocking any discussion about the need for new 'cultural actions' that would go beyond the current cultural policy of the EU aimed at merely safeguarding 'cultural heritage'. That is too conservative, since more often reduced to the restoration of old buildings, and preserves the status quo of distribution of museums, collections, libraries, universities etc. as they have emerged in due course of European history. Aside from this uneven distribution in need of correction (see workshop 7 and the mobility of students from the South to the North as one example), there is no question that injustices, culturally speaking, were inflicted by the Northern European states upon the Southern ones. The European Union cannot ignore that historical fact. As an active institutional process working towards a special kind of unification, these questions have to be dealt with if European institutions are to receive the cultural support they need, if they are to be truly anchored in all European countries. Since Maastricht, what is meant by bringing 'institutionally' together the various members is really the question of cultural unification.

Given this orientation, the EU must work on the basis of mutual respect and equality towards an authentic common culture. This is only possible when 'cultural redemption' becomes an active cultural policy. This includes the need to reassess claims by 'carriers of values' as being 'the' linkages through their cultural activities to civilisation demands, i.e. the claim of the British Museum to be in a better position to administer the 'keeping of the Parthenon marbles' (known also as the Elgin ones due to an act of appropriation), so that everyone has access to this 'common cultural heritage'. In short, both the common heritage and how it is passed on to future generations must be re-examined on the basis of creating new possibilities for accessibilities on a more authentic, that is culturally enduring basis. Only then will it be also possible to meet demands of Western Civilisation in an adequate way.

By now the scope of Western Civilisation is indeed a wide one, but it has its beginning in Ancient Greece. Any 'carrier of values', i.e. museums, theatres, arts, etc. should participate in this search for answers to how this civilisation evolved and what demands are placed upon every individual due to this value orientation called 'Western Civilisation'. There is being expressed serious doubts that museums and other carriers are no longer fulfilling this task. Yet these values cannot be taken for granted, as shown by the many kinds of anti-Western reactions from Islamic Fundamentalism to the Eastern European orientation.

If Western Civilisation is not made understandable, then its values are not liveable nor is it conceivable that the demands of such a civilisation are fulfilable. Culturally speaking, ignoring these demands would mean to close doors to future development chances. This includes the upkeep of reason linked to enlightenment, hence a kind of rationality which seems to over demand at times the individual and thus explains the turning towards other value orientations. The failure to adapt to a changed world, given all technological possibilities, is, therefore, in urgent need of re-examining how European cultures facilitate or not the ability to cope with both aspects of this civilisation process, that is, its advantages, but also disadvantages. That then is a matter of fact: the challenges to be faced, including international competition on world markets, require more than just new products, better qualifications, faster innovations etc... The demands must be re-created in such a way that European cultures allow that they are lived and experienced as real questions of life: the best starting point for new answers and flexible approaches. Only then can Europe be considered to be a continent of vitality and dynamism shaping itself according to a broadening of the cultural movements and substantiation of the answers given by the many different acting subjects (member states, regional governments, institutions, cultural and educational ministries, schools etc.). It would mean re-creating the basic value premises of the Western world.

The entire organizational complexity of European networks has to be shaped according to qualitative and flexible structures. It goes hand in hand with creating democratic forms whose substance can be derived out of a cultural unification process making possible life. This process must be clear in its aim with regards to cultural diversity in Europe. Differences can be preserved by 'unity in plurality' based upon the multi-lingual aspect of Europe as expressed, for example, by the poets of the XVI European Poetry Festival and their different voices as responded to by the Greek singer Savina Yannatou. That musical / poetry cassette demonstrates that a poly-phonetic space can be created in order to hear the voices of Europe. If European integration is to progress, then different pieces have be brought together like in a puzzle. It is the first prerequisite that a truly common cultural heritage is ascertainable for all. The common cultural heritage should, therefore, be truly created where the value of diversity becomes apparent to all and the ability to move between the different cultural worlds the self-understanding of every European citizen. The translatability goes hand in hand with respect for the otherness and cultural differences in Europe.

In that sense, this workshop faces a three folded complexity. There are the common roots or understandings of Western Civilisation, including its 'values'; then the carriers or institutions of these values like theatre, visual arts, universities, festivals; and finally, the cultural adaptation of these potential 'carriers' to the new needs of a world being focused upon by the 'media', including film, visual communication and learning technologies, all requiring a new understanding of cultural processes linked, for example, with technically producible images.

The mediation of cultural values through the media changes, for example, the traditional culture based on visual codes and its almost habitual reliance upon interpretations of books, in order to perceive reality. Images have to be read today, in the wake of computers, videos, digital systems etc. quite differently. These are tasks for the future and the 21st century. The uprooting of European cultures would deprive all of their identity, once these old and new demands of civilisation were left without any mediation. It would be nothing but a programming for failures to adapt to these developments.

As a measure for the 'Europe of Cultures', there stands the specific culture of the Ancient Times. Capable of being open to new ideas and hence not only highly innovative, but equally a humane contributor to the progress of civilisation, the accommodation abilities as they prevailed in Ancient Greece have yet to be matched by European societies. It is a welcoming sign that the European Union is focusing more and more upon the issue of cultural adaptability. The latter aspect has to be considered, since cultural failures to bring about needed civilisation changes have usually ended in outbursts of violence. Equally the failure to find a cultural, that is a peaceful answer to civilisation demands, reflects serious limitations of European societies as they have evolved especially since Second World War and in response to especially influences from America. Although attempts are made to find the European way, i.e. a unique management or enterprise culture which is not American or Japanese (see workshop 5), Prof. Baeck has rightly pointed out that much depends whether or not the European Union succeeds in overcoming the usual separation between culture and economy as practiced within the Atlantic tradition and returns to the 'cultural economy' of the Mediterranean tradition, that is, back to the roots of Western and European Civilisation.

One of the most often overlooked consequences, yet enormously important set-backs due to such a failure to overcome the separation between culture and economy is the loss in values. The latter is marked not so much by a perversion of values, but by a return to the 'amorality of the morality': cynical reasoning as a survival strategy. Cynicism goes hand in hand with a kind of dogmatism or the absolute application of norms, in negation of all other advancements achieved so far, including the ability to live peacefully together with others of a different cultural and hence moral background. The philosophy in such a case would make survival for all more difficult because of not being engaged in dialogue, but in manipulation and exclusion of others. Intolerance, racism, discrimination etc. as it has become known in recent years throughout Europe indicates that there is a definite lack of a common value basis acceptable to all. This creates problems for Europe since it threatens the very basis of integration, namely 'social cohesion'. Communication at cultural level breaks down, when it seems no longer possible that on the basis of a consensus of values the demands of Western Civilisation can be fulfilled.

How crucial a consensus around common values is for societies to remain 'civil' in their conduct with the other that has been demonstrated in history. M. Foucault pointed out that such values are derived from an original text, while the process of civilisation can be described as a constant interpretation and re-interpretation of that text, in order to write a new one so that the principle of consensus remains in accordance with new demands and needs. The failure to bring about a new text would mean according to Foucault a falling back to an original text like the Bible or the Koran, in order to have at least a consensus of values. However, as the example of Khomeini’s return to the Iran shows, adherence to common values would be brought about then by force and with such a fundamental radicalism, that only the spirit of orthodoxy and not that of democracy would prevail. It would mean a loss of freedom not only in terms of expressing one's opinions, but also in negating any artistic freedom or the ability to create new sources for values. The Rushdie affair illuminates sharply the danger of such a return to original values without including modern developments, for the Fundamentalists take such a challenge to become creative as an insult and thus a justification to not only enforce a censorship, culturally speaking, but even to condemn the author to death. The price to be paid for adherence to one unifying principle, i.e. belief in the Koran or whatever an original text designated to be the source of the values is said to entail, is the fact that everyone has to follow it whether right or wrong, that is, without any sense for justice nor respect for the freedom of the other. Instead of 'social cohesion', society would be held together by 'fanaticism'.

At the level of civilisation, such failures have a cultural significance which goes beyond any kind of economic or organizational shortcomings. The moment equality is not ensured, disaster is immanent. For such a failure is directly connected with the question, why former empires could crumble so easily once their basic foundations had no longer the cultural support. Societies can never be coerced into holding together over a long period of time. Thus, the intertwining nature of culture and civilisation must be a prime concern for the European Union. It must ensure that basic human rights, mutual recognition and equality are guaranteed by all developments. This is to say also that the mechanism of integration must not result in leaving out one or the other member state, by again dividing Europe into more advanced and less developed societies, as some politicians like Schaeuble in Germany would like to see and feared rightly so, for instance, by the government of the Flemish Community in Belgium (see the speech by Minister President van de Brande presented by Kris Rogiers at the Fifth Seminar in Athens). Rather the European Union must be based upon the common trust in the future and confirmed by the choices Europe makes along the path of integration.

Ancient Greece: Myth and Reality - the living past

Ancient Greece stands for a kind of culture that has often been described as the childhood of European and Western Civilisation. Marked by enthusiasm, carefreeness, lightness, gracefulness etc., it has become known as the 'classical beauty' matched by philosophical thoughts. The Acropolis marks among other edifices those amazing achievements. They cannot be separated from their natural surroundings or places of location, for the light between the columns with the sea at a distance is just as important as the architectural and aesthetical principles of these ancient temples. They stand for a peak moment in man's attempt to leave behind fears and to be guided by insights into knowledge. That has led to concepts and writings among others by Plato and Aristotle. All of these writings, including the theatre plays, entail a formal conceptualization that goes far beyond ancient times. A lot of that wisdom can be found equally in the free standing sculptures of the freezes which decorated the temples.

The remarkable thing about that past history or those ancient times is that it has remained a living past. For much of that culture holds still today. Modern Greek poetry appears to be travelling constantly between Ancient Times and the present. Myth is here not something of the past, but a vital element of the present, an integral part of daily language as spoken and used in contemporary Greece. In that sense the grammar as recognized by Aristotle to be 'the lesson of categories' remains in the eyes of the poetess Katherine Anghelaki-Rooke to be 'this life' (see her reflections in workshop 8 as to translating one's own voice retained by such a modern, equally ancient language that Greek is).

The rules of those times carried into the present are not yet vindictive in order to force thoughts into hiding. Rather they move into the sphere of wonder and let things come into existence with the ease of a seagull touching upon the water briefly, before flying on. That combination of myth and reality in the meaning of words is unique. It makes the Modern Greek language to be as concrete, as abstract as any speaker wishes to mean when referring to things in life. That is important, for Katherine Anghelaki-Rooke makes this distinction between 'the poetry of life' versus the 'poetics of death'. Something is amiss when the former goes astray or is replaced by the latter as civilisation advances. It is here where perhaps some of the major problems continue to beset the Western Civilisation because of its failure to resolve that need of everyone to affirm life, rather than kill or abuse it. Still, that living past can influence the present by expressing the wonder about the beauty of the world. If such a perception becomes possible through a poem, then it means values are expressed in freedom and not imposed through coercive forms upon others. It means space and time exists, in order to find and to work out solutions. Such a cautious, yet basically optimistic note is what the Western world and especially Europe needs. After all, culture is nothing but the expression of such thoughtful, equally active and productive processes working towards meaningful changes to make adaptation to the new demands, in alignment with the old, possible.

In short, 'cultural heritage' is not something merely given, that is a mere static material or just a simple stone or artefact. Of course, changes in civilisation dispositions have altered this relationship to the past. Enthusiasm for Hellenism, as exemplified perhaps best by Lord Byron, have given way to interpretations of Ancient Greece which have become more thoughtful; instead of mere glorification, they have become critical appraisals of those times. The tragedy of Athens and Sparta, a self defeating war along with a polis built by slaves raises many questions which makes an absolute affirmation of that past impossible. And as the relationship between culture and civilisation changes, so does the basis for the value premises. Such reflections can be found in Greek theatre plays re-interpreting the ancient dramas for modern times. According to the actor Manolis Sormainis, it is here where the Greek culture can contribute to Europe. He suggests that solutions can be found by setting something creative against the cultural problems faced by many European institutions, including the film industry. If the European film and theatre is to survive, one must not merely lament due to Hollywood films flooding the market, so Manolis Sormainis' argumentation, but rather ask why people want to see these films. The strategy to survive rests upon becoming creative oneself.

Reconsiderations of Survival Strategies

Such critical reflections go hand in hand with a reconsideration of the 'Enlightenment' and a return to the question what are the roots not only of that tradition, but of 'survival strategies' within Western Civilisation. The 'Cultures of Europe' have to be approached in such a wider context, if through the acknowledgement of the differences a common basis of values can be ascertained. One prerequisite for them would be not emphasizing so much ascertainment of their own identities, as their abilities to cope and to adapt together with the others to the new demands. In turn, the creation of a new text, a cultural supplement of the Maastricht Treaty, appears to be that what is needed the most. That is more important than confronting the limitations of economies when it comes to keeping open or not, for example, theatres, operas, art schools etc...

Within Europe it has become all too evident that the technocratic viewpoint cannot provide all the answers (see here the findings of the Fourth Seminar held in Bruges November 1993 and published 1994). Hence again and again philosophers or interpreters of 'cultures and civilisation' return to the time set by Homer with his epic poems to begin anew discussions about value premises linked to survival strategies. For his epic poems can be considered as the beginning of Enlightenment (i.e. 'enlightened words, no longer confined to mythical meanings, but rather conveyed by forward looking or anticipatory thoughts). For once seen as a reflection of changes in the strategy of survival, things become apparent which by now are so much associated with organizational forms of Western Civilisation, i.e. 'division of labour' and technical rationality as found in enterprises. The latter with their separation of work and pleasure pose in the long run immense cultural problems because they leave the artist with experiences of pleasure unable to communicate with those having to work without experiencing pleasure (see here the interpretations given by Adorno and Horkheimer in 'Dialectic of Enlightenment' of the fact that Odysseus can hear the sirens, but not his crew). Such a survival strategy was attained by self control and the masking of one's true motives; it goes beyond the mere faithfulness between Penelope and Odysseus, since it is the latter that has to become cunning, in order to survive.

It is clear that this kind of organizational form can no longer prevail, given the new demands and need for cultural activities to be included in both decision making and various forms of work. That goes hand in hand with acknowledging the fact that Europe does not wish to be united by negating its cultural diversity, while there is a need to develop a new culture for enterprises. This is exactly the concern of workshop 5, namely how artists and management can work together rather than remaining separate from one another or merely linked through difficult forms of sponsorships. Even it is no longer possible to speak per say of an industrial culture; the modern forms of organization as based on transportation & communication require quite different kinds of transfers of knowledge and therefore cultural processes whose identity has not even up to now a name of its own (i.e. beyond post-modernism or the continuity of modernity).

These shifts in dimensions of human values when faced with the pressing needs of survival have repeatedly meant 'human values' being almost lost in European history. No wonder then that studies of that Ancient Past have turned that problem into a quest for human values. Some studies have brought about profound insights into what can lead towards destruction and self-destruction. For nothing is given forever, especially civilisations without any cultural adaptation to change. Thus, while language, theatre and the visual arts were meant to create since Antiquity a morality to strengthen the foundations of the 'polis' or state, this civilisation understanding of Ancient Greece has often been forgotten. For instance, it has nothing to do with the kind of 'missions' Europe experienced after Antiquity due to the influence of Christianity and the involvement of religion in politics.
In other words, the culture of Ancient Greece remains to be a useful reminder that civilisation itself is dependent upon 'human values'. In particular, this means that a culture driven economy has 'man' as the measure of things, thus a sense for proportions - the highest form of art as Van Gogh said it in one of his letters to his brother Theo. These thoughts do not prevail in all forms of expression since Antiquity and hence many developments led to a loss of recognizing the voice of reason. Thus fateful decisions could not be prevented before it was too late. That then seems to be the specific red thread running through European history: futile wars or 'lost causes' (James Joyce) rather than listening to the voice of reason. It is incurred, when developments are no longer linked to human values, in order to know the 'limits'. Culturally speaking, they are the self-set borders by value premises guiding behaviour and the working out of survival solutions. However, once these value premises are violated or ignored, then there can no longer be active any culture in support of the demands of Western civilisation.

Cultural self-understanding ranges from recognizing the face of the other to finding the 'architectural unity' (Kant) in the houses and cities inhabited. In that sense, culture is not only a matter of perception, but also the discovering the value of the human body in terms of space and time (Tafuri). There must be given the freedom to discover this value, for otherwise it can be curtailed by 'visions of loneliness' (Fuentes), or else lost in abstraction (Toulmin). The present attempt to redefine 'cultural identity' along regional lines is but a reaction to that fear that even the European Union may become too abstract an entity, hence not to be defined as existence at a concrete or local level. While it is true that readjustments are made, it is not easy to overcome the fragmentation of cities and the isolation created by modern transportation and communication networks. For the systems as they have evolved, leave many without any apparent need for clarification of their own self-understanding. The linkages to law and lawfulness is broken already in terms of 'public places' having been replaced by television at home or in not having any meeting grounds, in order to discuss with others political issues. As one knows from the piazzas in Southern cities, people go there not only to exchange information, but they continue seeking ways to ascertain their identity linkages to what is going on.

Modern life is filled with many unknowns, while the modern media suggests in contradiction to that everything is known or at least immediately accessible, including the wars going on around the globe. The horrifying pictures of the shooting going on in Yugoslavia have to be brought into relationship to what is going on in the streets in one of the European cities. Yet there seems no translatability of such simultaneous contradictions in the needs of people of Sarajevo and the crowds attending a football match. Added to that, is the strain put upon modern forms of self-understanding since it has become increasingly difficult to keep man's linkages to nature open. The latter relates to a dimension in which thoughts can be experienced through the senses unified by nature (from Parmenides to Weizsaecker).There is still furthermore the need of everyone being active within society, but the possibilities have become extremely restricted in terms of both distances and accessibilities.

In short, the kind of continuity people need has become jeopardized by the further advancements in technology and thus economic viability. Life seems no longer to rest itself upon human values which could be expressed through what individuals do. That explains why culture or the forms in relation to the contents of life are no longer so easily available for describing and understanding man's existence. Once this becomes too problematic, then survival strategies become not only confused, but devoid of any value premise. For Europe that would mean to be without clarity what 'cultural actions' are needed so as to sustain culturally the integration process? The latter requires making such decisions that are in accordance with the basic value premises upholding human life.

Tom Rothfield who, as theatre director, lives now for more than thirty years on the island of Aegina has been examining theatre as a carrier of certain values. He turned to Ancient dramas, for they touch according to him upon that question, what values are communicated by what theatrical forms and which ones uphold democracy more than others. Morality in Ancient Greece, as stated above, was of utmost importance. Even though difficult to pass on without preaching or teaching, theatre in Ancient Greece means among other things demonstrating the 'techne' or the art of doing things very true. That is reflected in the many attempts in ancient dramas to find reconciliation with different ways of argumentations. The path into the future was not at all clear, nor what had been done, in order to speak with the other. Yet alone this interest distinguishes plays of Ancient Greece from those of other cultures then as much as now. The ancient theatrical gesture was done in full consciousness, for wishes were flung into the sea as the Gods wanted it, but there was also a revolt against such a hubris (the law of fate) and lack of morality. Values are created by being set, not just blindly followed. It follows from such experiences, that the foundations of civilisation must be reproduced by the living culture; if not, then it would be fatal to a civilisation based upon human reason and values. It would not allow the 'grammar of life' to unfold nor that eyes could see simple beauty. It is interesting to note, that Tom Rothfield is convinced that the Ancient plays of comedy are closer to democracy than the tragic ones; he basis his judgement upon findings of his studies of ancient plays.

Memories of Civilisation

In reflections of the past, it is acknowledged that the link to reality through culture is really the ability to keep 'memories of civilisation' alive. Morality involves, therefore, the artistic form by which values are communicated, i.e. comedy versus tragedy. It does not presuppose the 'goodness' of the soul, but does trust in the convincing power of a good morality to keep man in balance. Here the roots of Western Civilisation are turned into value premises which are accessible to reason and thus possible to be discussed. The discursive practice, the attempt to find convincing arguments, marks since then the 'Europe of Cultures'.
Problems with the dialogue are incurred only later on, once Western Civilisation no longer rested upon the art of persuasion, but upon the state's ability to push through laws, by force if necessary. That left politics and culture to be two very distinct entities of man's activities and thus dramas could only unfold in a tragic manner.

In Ancient Greece, developments went through three phases, roughly speaking; namely the archaic times during which inner and outer worlds were still unified through natural signs giving a magic like symbolic understanding, a living proof through the sculpture becoming alive through the look in the eyes transcending the immobility of the bodily fixture to the ground (i.e. the gaze of the Cycladic times already free when compared to that of the Egyptian one); then there comes the classical period with its free standing sculpture showing inner emotions as being distinct from the outer world, a development only possible due to changes in the alphabet to include vowels and hence making possible the depth of perspective in seeing things inside of man, but also in knowing the distance to outer objects; and finally the Hellenistic period which came after the tragedy of war and the wish to preserve some cultural identity by starting to contemplate the difference between inner and outer worlds in terms of 'moving' pictures. The novelty of the latter aspect as entailed in the temple Aphia on Aegina has yet to be fully realized, that is, the impact upon perception through 'moving pictures' created by the viewer having to move between columns, in order to see the whole picture segmented now into 'frames' by the columns, that is in not being able to see to whole all at once.

In a similar sense, it would be interesting to reconstruct the perception of Europe by all member states of their respective cultures by making different frames of perception possible. 'Cultural actions' could thus create a series of sequences by moving from frame to frame like the visitors of an Ancient Temple going past columns while looking up to the painted ceiling and higher side-walls. The inner-outer worlds merge in a synthesis of screening out thought processes meant to be contemplative, but which have become active due to an impulse to change mental aptitudes and hence dispositions to deal with the world.

Depending upon interpretations of the Ancient Past, different influences have left their imprint upon developments of Western thought and subsequently upon the self-understanding of Western Civilisation. Europe finds itself at a cross-road between Greek and other influences upon Western Civilization. These orientations are not as clearly conceived as that is needed for the present European integration process. For culture to give orientation, people need to have a conscious reflection of all 'roots' of Western Civilization. While some authors have tried to revisit former places or ruins of civilisations by now gone, the gross of misunderstandings indicate that those times cannot be so easily reconstructed (a thesis of Habermas). Rather they must be relived, in order to find ways and means to 'unlock' the then prevailing concepts for usage in contemporary times. However, that this is a real need has recently been underlined by a call for tenders by DG XII in the wish to make European cities liveable again. The call for tenders asks for new concepts to be used in urban planning. It is directly linked to the 'Agora'-concept of the past. But only a dynamic interpretation of that concept bringing together original meanings with what can be perceived in present cities, allows for an evaluation of that ancient concept. Once given such an evaluative interpretative approach, then the setting of priorities can again be reflected upon as a value premise of European and Western Civilisation.

The ability to reflect upon such a premise is vital for further unification attempts since usually values are only set, but not discussed (Cornelius Castoriadis). The latter leads automatically to just prescribing values to the others and therefore not only to misunderstanding, but to an end of equality and to a conflict easily transformed into if not war, then an end of any 'rational and human communication'. Europe would then be without the 'social cohesion' it needs to continue along a fruitful process of integration efforts.

European integration is only conceivable and hence conveyable, if cultural differences in Europe is recognized and accepted by all. That is possible, if there is a common basis for a life in diversity. The fact that so much racial tension and intolerance prevails in European societies indicates that integration on the basis of 'social cohesion' is not presently maintained. Thus it follows that the common roots or the 'cultural heritage' of Europe must become a value premise for all member states. As already stressed at the Fourth Seminar held in Bruges, this requires, in turn, comparative terms, before a common language can prevail. That language is not Euro-English, but rather a conceptual one. Only then identity is not defined solely through the language used or rather the native tongue cannot be used as a claim of being the original source of identity, when there are these 'ancient roots' unifying everyone. Since the Ancient Greeks distinguished themselves from the 'Barbarians', that categorical sense of belonging by excluding others must be corrected by the European identity being open. All of that has to be clarified in hand with the cultural and philosophical co-ordinates to be set by the European cultural movements. It has to be done in the spirit of freedom bridging the differences between those Ancient Times and the present as defined by future needs of Europeans. It is the aim of the Fifth Seminar held in Athens, in particular of this workshop, to contribute towards this intellectual effort to make these co-ordinates accessible to all Europeans. That has a practical meaning and outlines already the scope of work for this workshop.

It follows that after an evaluation of attempts to interpret these Ancient Times, a second step has to be a closer look at how values of the European and Western Civilisations have been conveyed or carried by what means into the future. There was Goethe's fascination for Greece, the many archaeological expeditions or else the emphasis by James Joyce upon the humanistic perspective in Homer's epic poems. Deriving values out of the past usually implies that this is a still living past, that is, not dead, but valuable for the life to be faced in the present and immediate future.

Indeed, mankind looks always back, in search of solutions when everything else seems to fail in the light of current problems, i.e. when cities become unliveable due to having lost 'human centres', so that hope is revived with the ancient concept of the 'agora' giving again orientation. Linked to such possible solutions are always measures of laws for actions. In their motivation, substance and outcome, they do depend upon interactions with others. That is why theatre is so important, for it demonstrates the 'techne' or the way to do things.

Europe has tried to become active in a collective manner for specific purposes. Decisions along these lines are always complex, yet the rules of life 'simple'. Things become confusing when the co-ordinates are missing and too many problems prevail, so that both people and institutions are over demanded. Both of them usually tend to break down, once the consensus of values no longer holds and civil behaviour is replaced by egoistic, equally violent actions. The latter are making the question of survival much harder to answer in terms of an active culture (the Maastricht Treaty speaks here only of a 'flowering' culture). This goes hand in hand with a lack of understanding man's behaviour linked with demands of civilisation. Once the demands are no longer related to, culturally speaking, then time seems to be running out. Instead pressing needs seem to intensify a rationalisation of 'irrationality', so that parts and whole go against one another, rather than upholding value premises guaranteeing life. Yugoslavia is but a most recent example of that kind of irrationality leading to destruction and self-destruction. The fact that so many, including the European Union, are powerless, is an indication to what extent such irrational processes can become so powerful, that the institutional carriers of values like peace and mutual respect seem all to fail. That has serious consequences for outlooks into the future.

Institutional carriers of 'values', including museums and their policies for holding exhibitions, must keep this in mind. Especially the arts should not be down-graded to 'abject' values (see here an article by Martin Jay on this subject matter in Salmagundi, Nr. 103, 1994), nor transformed into a symbolic manifestation of national identity. There is going on right now a subtle process in Europe wishing that the arts provide a basis for identification possibilities not so much with the European Union, but with a national, regional or local identity, in order to secure the economic and political entity. As pointed out by Liana Sakelliou-Schultz, the state used culture until recently to have an identity mask (in the times of Watteau, the French painter, this was understood as a form of expression and not yet made distinct from a lively facial expression which made up his painted 'sujets' when he started to contrast natural people with the stiff aristocratic order of his times). This has been beset by the 'secularization of culture', as she named it, in order to draw attention to what happens when these cultural 'carriers' of values become independent from the state, that is, more internationally or autonomous in their disposition to set new, non cultural or other than expected 'value premises' alone due to marketing reasons turning cultural artefacts, including archaeological findings, into commercial commodities. Already the point has come that not only artefacts of a tribe in Africa are taken back to Europe to be sold, but also commercial interests in cultural heritage pieces begin to deprive Europeans of their own cultural identity possibilities. The controversy around the European film is but one indication that this threat is real.

In that sense, the question of the Parthenon marbles, whether they should be returned by the British Museum to the Acropolis, becomes a crucial issue. The answer to that will reflect on how European institutions will intend to safeguard and administer in future the common cultural heritage of Europe. Now that Greece and England are both members of the European Union, it is no longer just a bilateral issue between two nations, but a cultural matter within the union. That change the terms of references for 'cultural actions' connected with that artefact. The leading European law in this matter clearly states that cultural artefacts belonging to the cultural heritage of a member state should not be treated as a commercial commodity, hence not purchasable nor be allowed to cross 'borders'. For example, Spain has stipulated that Goya paintings may be sold within Spain, but they must not leave the country. However, given the great uncertainty which cultural artefacts are still exempt from commercial interests, the question of ownership or administration in charge of the artefact becomes even more crucial, when the artefact is considered to belong no longer only to one nation, but as cultural heritage of all to everyone. 'Cultural actions' in response to the claims of common cultural heritage, as is the case of the British Museum wishing to keep the Parthenon marbles rather than having them return to the Acropolis, must deal with that much more in detail, structurally as well as conceptually speaking.

Thanks to an initiative by Alecos Alavanos, the issue of common cultural heritage has become a special subject matter taken up by the European parliament and will be considered by the Fifth Seminar. In a special subgroup to this workshop, Elias Gianniris (regional planner, poet and assistant to Alecos Alavanos), Marianne Maglara (involved in the EU programme BEACON and with a master's thesis dealing with the legal issues of cultural artefacts) and Dr. Epanminondas Vranopoulos (teacher at Athens College and author of a book on the Parthenon marbles written upon request by Melina Mercouri), proposals on this subject matter will be worked out. They will be given together with all other proposals to the European Commission, in order to suggest how in future the common cultural heritage ought to be dealt with.

The Acropolis stands for more than 2000 years history, a time span during which European civilisation has gone through many realms of human experiences, good and bad ones. At the end of wars or difficult times, there has always been a rediscovery of the Ancient Greece. Values derived from these 'ancient times' have been most influential all along upon developments leading to democracy. Although they have been threatened many times in their validity to uphold life, in the end they prevailed in the conviction, that life is not worth living, if not ruled by the free will. The fundaments of the European Union rest upon those values and convictions.

Value premises of the Western World

No one can understand European cultures without understanding its most basic forms: in philosophy, it is the dialogue which as question and answer accompanies developments at a personal or individual level; in the arts, it is the dialogue between reason and imagination (see here also workshop 9 and 'insights into reason' as expressed by art). Since the dialogue entails the 'I-you' form, its level remains restricted to visible and imagined subjects. There have to be added pictures or metaphors which changed dispositions over time. Descartes was perhaps the final turning point, before the rationality of science took over. M. Foucault would say that knowledge became a part of the 'logic of representation' and the 'order of things' determined by the discursive practise in a structural sense.

The dialogue form prevails, but only in a limited sense, as does justice and 'social cohesion'. For everything created through actions, engagements and projects must be realized in alliance with others. The European integration can be taken to be such a project worthwhile of engagement, but the communication between members falls short of the requirements of being engaged in the direction of fruitful dialogues. Thus there is a cultural need for the prime value premises to be reflected upon, as emphasized by Britta Heinrich, by questioning 'cultural identity' from outside, that is ethnologically speaking, and from inside by including the anthropological dimension. The reason for a lack of a dialogue as inherent feature of the 'Europe of Cultures' may be the overall bureaucratic approach to things.

In his book 'Action and Existence', Pierre Guillet de Monthoux (workshop 5) states that "bureaucrats fail to perceive the need for dialogue, even as they fail to understand the fundamental perspective of continuous change and its implications" (p.248). He argues that "dialogue leads to the creation of alliances.... (but it) requires an understanding of its presuppositions.../ it provides a means of changing human relations, of moving from injustice to a calculated justice and on to the generous relations of the alliance.../ A dialogue has its major emphasis not in a question of communication but in an effort to illuminate the purposes of engagement." (p.247). It can make things "difficult, clumsy, and often embarrassing". There is no definite conclusion; common understanding can suddenly be lost, making it necessary to start from the beginning again. That can be a frustrating experience, something many wish to avoid, if at all possible. As Cornelius Castoriadis would say, value premises are usually set, not discussed, precisely because of this inherent fear that they can easily be overturned once involved in critical dialogues with others.

Within the larger scope of the discursive practice the question is, therefore, to what extent does the 'dialogue' constitute the value premises of language and communication within Europe and finally the culture of Western Civilisation? As 'being in time', the forms derived from this are based upon an analytical approach to things, in order to make possible the mediation between production and reproduction. The 'discussions' to be experienced between members of the European Union stipulate merely technical terms; to translate them into cultural terms that are the task of the Fifth Seminar. The difficult 'debates' (André Loeckx) that lie ahead, if such 'cultural actions' are to be based on dialogues, this maps out paths into the future. Convincing arguments rely thereby upon the ability to anticipate. The imagination set free is used to mark the goals, which in turn have to be translated into clear 'aims' for 'cultural actions' (Bart Verschaffel) undertaken in the name of the European Union.

Discussion of problems emerging out of life, in confrontation with other value premises, entails a reality beyond man's immediate control. For instance, cities have become too large, as technological means exceed human limits. The cultural possibilities to maintain a positive influence upon human affairs are, thereby, more and more restricted. Even a cultural industry with the ability to manipulate masses by means of images cannot fully achieve this end, namely the upholding of illusions that everything is still under control. Needless to say, that falls short of any 'positive' culture as based on setting free man's creative potentialities, in order to shape the future.

Important for all fruitful discussions are, however, that controversies or potential 'political' conflicts are translated into practical questions which can be discussed within an analytical framework. There is always a reason, if something does not change immediately. Solutions are only then to be found, once consensus by all makes possible 'cultural actions' based on the conviction that the value premises are open to dialogue and thus possible to be questioned.

Ideas worked out in the process can be evaluated according to the aims stated at the beginning. The Fifth Seminar has the aim of starting 'cultural actions' which bring about a profound appreciation of 'cultural diversity' and hence acknowledge differences as expression of the Europe of 'Cultures'.

Philosophical Considerations

Culture prevails when not only passing on 'values', but by providing orientation. That means the etymological and epistemological orientation requires a continual clarification of concepts as their meanings change due to being applied in new situations. Democritus and Epicures contemplated already the meaning of the concept of the atom; since Einstein and the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the concept has changed not only in terms of content, but also in relation to the value premise linked to the possibilities of humanity to survive. The tension between concept and reality has to be retained, if survival remains ethical that is, convincing in terms of creativity. It was Karl Marx who pointed out that this is the precondition for any human self-consciousness. What need to be included are categories of work or productivity. It is an indication of the Fifth Seminar working on a linkage between culture and economy that there is a new value premise in the making. Thus the clarification of concepts to be used in EU programmes have to be re-evaluated in terms of what cultural orientation can be given by concepts to be used as common reference points.

There have been repeatedly disputes about epistemological systems existing independently from reality. That philosophical controversy is not easily understood, but it found many standpoints in this century, among others the Vienna Circle with Carnap as one of the leading thinkers. This logical positivism tried to do away with metaphysics and maintain science as a 'method' to be the sole guarantee of truth. Linked to that controversy was the question, whether or not life is being determined by pre-set rules, or else must man find means to make decisions on reasonable grounds. Reform became, therefore, the alternative to either revolutionary changes or just conserving the status quo. European intellectual history is beset with these discussions. They play a role in what ideas emerge out of attempts to work out a theoretical framework for evaluating the European integration process, that is, before 'cultural actions' are proposed along value premises such as freedom and 'social cohesion' (see here, for example, Pierre Guillet de Monthoux's book 'Action and Existence', especially chapter 10; he brought into workshop 5 these ideas of combining literature and management practice, in order to adopt a new attitude towards 'organizations' as projects requiring engagement and decisions, that is, independence from a life predetermined by rules and concepts regulating everything).

The realization of individual freedom within a European Union upheld through 'social cohesion' is an indication that integration should not become a deterministic life pattern controlled and directed by a bureaucracy mistaking professionalization for a conscious decision making process allowing for the participation of the European citizens. Karl Popper would call that the freedom from deterministic patterns of life set by both the clock and clouds. Metaphorically speaking, it appears often as if life is determined by time and atmosphere. While the concept of time is of a more stringent nature, the deterministic character of clouds is less sure. Exactly here the changing mood or prevailing atmosphere can be decisive of the political outcome, or as the Germans used to speak in the past about the 'Kaiser Wetter' when the sun was shining, implying that under favourable weather conditions the mood of the emperor would not only be different to his usual harshness, but also more disposed towards them, i.e. more lenient. Transferable to contemporary situations, given all the rationality and attempts to realign thoughts within major concepts, there is still this dependency upon 'favourable conditions', that is a rest of doubt in being able to control human affairs autonomously while acknowledging that if not fate, then at least 'favourable' attitudes can make a difference between success and failure. Reformulated, it means that the European Union must conceive a way of governing itself under such conditions as can be maintained by 'cultural actions' being able to fulfil the demands by Western Civilisation. This requires such philosophical considerations, as they can bring about 'unexpected results' due to creativity being truly involved and not just some empty action devoid of all content fulfilling European decrees and regulations to the point, but no more.

Demands of Western Civilisation

Pierre Guillet de Monthoux argues that "the world of change offers no eternal values upon which to rest"; this causes "fear in the heart of the bureaucrat, who is likely to argue that if such eternal values do not happen to exist then they must be created" (Action and Existence, Munich, 1991, p.248). He reminds that implementation of changes is really the art of the dialogue linked to spontaneity, that is, a readiness to jump into action with the outcome not as of yet really fully known. That risk has been limited by Popper's idea of advancing with the method of 'trial and error': the kind of scientific learning machine. However, demands of Western Civilisation stem not only from the pressure to keep up with the latest scientific and technological developments, but from the need to retain freedom in taking decisions. As Pierre Guillet de Monthoux puts it, "the problem seems to lie in that the very idea of change strikes at the heart of the bureaucratic enterprise. / That it is seldom possible to predict the results of creative action and engagement in the realization of projects causes cold sweat to break out on the bows of the bureaucratic planners....The notion that decision-making is often messy, insecure, incomplete, unavoidably arbitrary in some degree, existential, and intuitive, having its final grounds in a moment of spontaneity, is something the bureaucratic mind has great difficulty in accepting." (op.cit., pp. 249-251). He goes on that sometimes attitudes; goodwill and loyalty to a project are in the end more decisive, than a rational course of action brought in relation to objective criteria.

This point is in need of further consideration all the more when faced by demands of Western Civilisation. The 'Europe of Cultures' seems to be creative only within limits; anguish and empty life, devoid of meaning, is a much stronger language indicating that things are indeed very difficult to cope with. There is even a sense of anarchy in the streets, while the rigidity of the bureaucratic order does not lend itself to an atmosphere of trust in change. All these changes have become a tremendous burden upon mankind. It has altered human perception as it existed since the existence of Ancient Greece.

Western Civilisation has a time span from Ancient Greece until flights to the moon by the American and into outer space by Russian astronauts. As an embodiment of knowledge, it has made a difference in medicine, transportation, production and communication. Cultural activities can add to that body of knowledge by testing new possibilities - the artistic experimentation of video installations in search of memories within certain periods of time, i.e. Alexander Hahn and his media concept of the Renaissance. They can affirm that the demands of Western Civilisation have a legitimate form of expression, that is, they go beyond dealing only with tools and system logics. There is a content to be added to this kind of 'rationality'. However, without such a consideration, full pressure can be built up and lead to a kind of 'technical insanity': the rational extension of everything beyond any normal or human perspective, i.e. construction of new airports exceeding all proportions. That means, corrections through policies by the European Union has an interventionist character despite its organized maze of different possibilities, but also multiple mistaken development paths. They must be seen as introducing new terms of references leading to a freer handling of decision possibilities, rather than reducing life to an unchanging, deterministic complex with which people cannot deal with at local and regional level. Instead such 'cultural actions' ought to be encouraged, that make visible the life long adaptation process due to ongoing changes. It can be encouraged by showing the way things are approached, namely openly, with a 'friendly' attitude. That is reflected equally in how materials are ordered and put together. In the first stage of industrialization, for instance, that meant but a mere assembling of things, while in later stages of development, and especially with the introduction of the computer, a life learning process has set in due to the many permutations and mutations taking place daily, within seconds. In such cases, flashes of images transcend even borders of visual perception, something Western Civilisation has built upon to a large extent until now (see here the reflections of Martin Jay and his book about visual cultures). The changes of tools pose thus the biggest challenge located at the intersection between culture and civilisation.

In the past, the main pillars of culture were the arts, philosophy and architecture. They provided points of references for purposes of orientation and evaluation. They worked on problems that if resolved, could point out which paths lead into the future. Development is always contingent upon a break-through or a new way of looking at things, for they can give stimuli to thinking about the same problems differently. Thus, civilisation became like a demand for a continuity of change while adhering to certain principles or values. Fore mostly in terms of Western Civilisation this is 'rational thought' or what it takes to be skilled in terms of a survival which does not go against the cultural norm of upholding aesthetical, that is 'qualitative' standards. After all, much revolves around the concept of a 'good' rather than just 'any' life, even though a distinction has to be made between qualification, real skills and chances, in order to assess what finally exists. Unfortunately, the Western world has been ruled more often not by democracy, but by the credo of success. This has led to forgetting that democracy rests upon equal opportunities doing away with heritage and class privilege, that is, upon efforts to realize an egalitarian society. Yet many discrepancies between goal and reality are at one and the same time the odd outcomes of a Western Civilisation placing more its legitimacy upon defeating others, or apparently less valuable principles (i.e. Alexander the Great defeating Darius as portrayed by Altdoerfer), rather than giving value to cultural learning and respecting others. In that sense, the question has to be asked whether or not the European Union understands itself exactly as a kind of organization attempting to enhance the democratic way of life in Europe, and if so, what it aims to do in order to ward off attacks against democratic values?

Culture has always been discussed in terms of influences. This implies not so much what impact culture has as such, but what influences culture and in turn human behaviour. For instance, the existence of television and children growing up with the availability of such a media has altered their learning behaviour, i.e. more logical in their mind when it comes to combine images and less able to do manual work by themselves. That can be extended to the impact of visual communication upon culture. Today the search for authenticity cannot take place outside the media; the relationship between culture and civilisation becomes according to Sophia Madouvalou, author of many wonderful books for children and engaged in the field of educational programmes for the Greek public television network ET, and Kosta Gouliamos, poet and professor for Communication, one of tracing developments from myth to history. Meanings in words can be rediscovered the moment poetry is looked upon as an 'interactive medium'. Unfortunately both of them were prevented in the last moment to attend the Fifth Seminar and thus their proposal could not be discussed. That left the idea of the media and poetry as medium of reflection an important theme to be taken up in future.

It is not as of yet clear what cultural factors need more reconsideration before influencing policy formulations in terms of preferences. However, before coming to such practical details as European films and administrative measures for the promotion of European film, to take but one example of cultural policy by the EU, there is an apparent need for some theoretical clarifications. For instance, Ralf Sausmikat from the International Experimental film Workshop in Osnabrueck, Germany (he too was prevented from attending in the last minute because of overload of work in organizing the next film festival due to a co-worker having left suddenly the team) would have liked to discuss these themes with reference to the multimedia, avant-garde area of experimental films, their specific cultural attributes and common features with other cultural artefacts of the West. He would have maintained that there is the possibility to see quite a few cultural connections and diversities existing within the media complexity. There are the language codes (of American films) which influence entire regions of Europe, since they are not synchronically (as were the films made by Fellini: their special production feature and selection of cast, i.e. foreigner actor besides native Italian speaker, while being filmed right away in an easy to be synchronized language), or the visual codes that can have in the narrative film similar simulation effects as an American film upon a local cultural identity. There is also the possibility that experimental films emphasize the realms of cultural identity in such a way, as to ease its transportation and communication. According to him, all of this could be discussed in terms of festival ideas. There are the large ones acting like stock markets for the commodity film, or else the more difficult, smaller ones offering some compensation for 'original' films not being shown in the usual distribution network of films. The impact of the hyper modern media from film to interactive CD-ROM, as perhaps discussed also in workshop 1, would also need detailed considerations since the way films are made, this, in turn, reflects how media culture is dealing with the 'memories of civilisation'. The impact upon 'cultural identity' is there, but with unforeseen consequences.

Cultural identity and cultural policy

Cultural identity shaped by Western Civilisation is definitely different from one fostered, for example, by the Islam. Yet in both cases consciousness is governed by regulative principles or social norms, to ensure that a desired self-understanding prevails, that is, one which is not an affront to the basic value premises. In Europe that self-understanding of a cultural identity remains dependent, among other things, upon the arts, literature, film, theatre, music, museums, in short the cultural life. It extends to politics so that conflicts are peacefully resolved while adhering to democratic values. At the same time, the British claim of its parliament having to remain ‘sovereign’ is an example for 'cultural identity' being looked upon as an inherent nature or a habit by which identity is upheld. The European cultural identity would have to make accommodation for such specific characteristics and thus allow for the sharing of values even if different. While it is necessary to continue mediating between these different cultural aspects, the link to Western Civilisation must be sought and clarified in terms of cultural needs and human solutions available. For it is in the interest of Europe to have such an integration point which sets free the imagination to touch upon all of these unqualified positions, in order to begin questioning all the various value premises designed to retain a specific cultural identity.

Cultural policy must, therefore, not be one sided, that is dealing only with demands derived from a specific understanding of Western Civilisation, i.e. upkeep of a certain standard of knowledge or technical know-how. If the formation of any identity at European level involves including as much as excluding certain factors, then the selection process must go hand in hand with the questioning of specific identities by means of the imagination and European societies becoming 'learning organizations' (as discussed in workshop 4). The latter concept is linked to the need to promote inter cultural learning and thus cultural exchange and qualification programmes at all levels. By achieving thus a self-critical cultural understanding at European level, this would mean certain aspects within specific constellations are under control and do not lead to wrong assumptions. It would lead to European sovereignty by having culture as binding element and European parliament as the common institute of democracy. The latter ought to stipulate the terms of references, not the Council of Ministers through the European Commission. That will require much work and co-operation on the part of all European citizens.

The extent to which a bureaucratic or technocratic order serving basically interests wishing to transform the European Union into an exclusive club can be overcome, that will determine the degree to which the different voices of Europe are heard and integration itself replaced by cultural adaptation and accommodation. In terms of culture, the tendency to exclude contradictory elements has often been called 'censorship'. The latter reflects more often than not the wish to preserve 'privileges', that is, interests not to be touched. If this implies having an upper class similar to the one existing in India and calling itself the 'Untouchable', then culture and democracy are no longer in alignment with one another, but become incompatible, indeed the explanation for blocked development chances. The break down of the Soviet Union ought to serve as a reminder that once European societies would lack the moral basis, a similar collapse would be immanent. Political legitimisation is derived directly from cultures unfolding freely. Censorship, even of the implicit kind ('the scissors in the head') cannot be justified, for rightly or wrongly threats to survival are in need of being consciously identified not as possible dangers to the interest to survive, but first of all as 'challenges'. It goes without saying, that this is especially then the case, when the imaginary integration point of the Europe leads to a questioning of specific that is national, regional or local cultural identities.

It has to be kept in mind that it is not even always possible to identify the threats to survival. Either they are anticipated with the help of the imagination, hence issues translatable into challenges, or else it is too late. The outburst of violence comes when there is no longer any language available for purposes of mediation. In such an event, cultural policy succumbs usually to some strong dislike or even hate without ever presenting any reason. Tendencies to nationalize and thus preoccupy European, equally human issues do prevail in various member states, making the task of the European institutions to facilitate a cultural transition to an active union that much more difficult. The carry over of such nationalistic tendencies, if not challenged in time, would then be a lack of trust in democratic institutions and political decisions unfavourable to culture. Cultural policy would also become impossible not only due to a lack of funds, but because of giving in to mere economic interests wishing only to exploit all those resources Europe can make available, without thereby wishing to invest in self-understanding, that is in the 'Europe of Cultures'.

This is said due to the need to reflect the cultural priorities for decisions at the European level where KALEIDOSCOPE has so far been the only programme with direct, but merely proportionate (25% of the total budget) financial support for cultural activities. In comparison to all other EU programmes, it seems as if culture does not really matter to the European Union. It was a key debate between Nassos Balodimos and Makis Potamianos during the opening plenary session of the Fifth Seminar whether direct or indirect financial sources are to be sought for culture; while the latter working for DG V/B/1 suggested that many indirect means are available, the former put emphasis upon the fact that culture should not be a mere servant of technology, economy and consumption, but receive direct financial support. It is, therefore, the explicit aim of the Fifth Seminar to rectify this situation by becoming a term of reference in support of an active cultural policy by the European Union that is with adequate, direct funding possibilities.

As a first reflection of the overall situation to be faced, more cultural evaluations are needed, in order to allocate resources. The terms of return are more difficult to specify due to the inherent nature of cultural projects, i.e. KALEIDOSCOPE wishes in Action 2 to have young artistic personalities be promoted, yet the time horizon for such expectations to be fulfilled goes way beyond the financial framework made available through this programme. That contradiction between time needed and money made available goes especially for certain projects which are really investments in a European cultural self-understanding. That can be evaluated only over the long-run, for aside from trying to create favourable conditions so that they can be proposed under the conditions required by KALEIDOSCOPE (i.e. at least three member states involved, a financial record showing management abilities of high sums of money, financial support from other sources to guarantee the event will take place independent of support by the European Union, relevance within the prevailing list of priorities as specified each year anew, etc.), there is also the problematic implementation of such projects. It is not enough to be satisfied merely by the fact that the planned activities took place, for evaluations of many cultural festivals, exhibitions, poetry translation workshops, etc. can indicate very quickly short-comings due to many factors. Even Antwerp '93 as will be discussed in workshop 10 could not bring across to the media contents of culture (see here the remarks by Bart Verschaffel). Success and failures are here not only relative, but two very different terms, since 'cultural activities' which try to articulate and to develop the human dimension are usually 'failures', in the sense that the attempt to communicate something specific and yet complex cannot be expected to succeed. Indeed, the learning out of these failures is an inherent part of European cultures and should, therefore, not be silenced by media effective or spectacular events (the top-down image creation process), but rather give a chance that these failures can be worked upon and related to in human terms. That is only possible with an emphasis upon small steps, forms of dialogues and constant feed-backs, while the policy of knowledge begins to shape the overall questions of cultures more specifically, in order to prepare morally the grounds, that an artist is accepted, groups of poets given a chance to interact, a neglected theme in the arts worked upon, etc.. In relation to man's activities, these 'cultural actions' bringing about cultural identity on the basis of 'consensus', do indicate that the sharing of common principles is possible without thereby stifling individual creativity. Culture comes about there, where the sharing of values fulfils questions of human self-consciousness as to what needs is fulfilled due to actions which uphold life. The case in point is that this cannot be fulfilled merely by Cowboy films, or of men riding West, since not only in California the East begins, but also the way of life in the West depends upon such cultural reflections of civilisation, so as to be able to base actions upon a clear orientation in terms of both human values and 'friendly' attitudes towards life.

From the medium 'Poetry' to medial expressions

Then there is that other aspect of human expression usually not considered being 'legitimate' in terms of rationally defined survival needs and possibilities. Ever since Ancient Greece, such a controversial case has been poetry! It is still today an issue to be discussed, but not in the terms set by Plato. Rather the 'poetics of life' has been recognised as an underestimated, nevertheless important factor. It can be evaluated not like other, i.e. technical solutions, but in terms of, for example, whether poetry confronts or not the questions of violence. Brendan Kennelly's criticism of poetry avoiding the question of violence and therefore becoming a mere symbolic act is most important for what has to be demanded of all 'cultural actions' as well. If they are undertaken in the name of the European Union, then it has to be ensured that they are touched by the 'human substance' due to being a part of a highly imaginative process, rather than being reduced to symbolic acts or gestures devoid of human self-reflection.

The German philosopher Karl Jaspers said that usage of symbols leads merely to a misunderstanding in communication. Most likely he had in mind the abuse of culture during the dictatorship of National Socialism in Germany with its heavy reliance upon symbols as tools of propaganda. These words of caution by Jaspers can be extended to 'human communication'. Culture is thus not so much dependent upon financial means nor the ability to symbolize something, as upon its own strength of truth to face reality. For much depends upon the morality to be derived out of 'honesty' translated into an economic clarity, including that of payments to be made in time. Out of that follows the ability to experience the beauty of the world free from a conflict of conscience. This means avoiding the rationalisation of finding the ugly beautiful within a coercive collective having adopted that negative mode as its aesthetical norm (see here Gyorgy Konrad, "Stroemung und Krampf" in 'Provinzlismus / Entwurzelung' ed. Bart Verschaffel and Mark Verminck, Koeln, Dinter 1993, p. 76 - 85). Finally, aesthetical norms remain in a cynical world dependent upon economic and political conditions for survival - the usual form of argumentation stressing culture's dependency upon money. In reality, authentic culture rests upon efforts trying to find true solutions to existence of life being threatened by violence - the lesson of Yugoslavia.

While this horrible war is going on, and peace treaties are being signed in the 'Middle East', life continues to be a contradiction between technological developments and people seeking employment. Entire governmental departments are transformed in their organizational logics, by more and more employed having wireless telephones - an expression of the telematic forms of communication without needing some concrete location. That changes both forms of communication and interrelationships. Priorities will be overturned almost every moment, since private needs can be immediately ascertained, at the expense of public or overall manifestations. There is a difficulty incurred in balancing things. Perception into societies as shaped by cities, their traffic flows, and limited by possibilities to interact with others concretely due to the many 'invisible' networks makes the dimension of cultural change even more important. For changes may be incurred so quickly, that it becomes difficult to keep up, let alone identify them in such a manner that the terms used lead to further development potentialities. After all, reactions to ongoing changes describe the manner in which things are not only named, but also dealt with. The European Union has underlined this effort by supporting special action programmes, all of which need to be taken out of the mere dimension of much 'money' being involved, in order to assess the true impact. There is a need to make much more transparent the consequences of EU programmes especially in cultural and human terms.
When it comes to evaluation of EU programmes, culture itself plays an important role. For not all changes are desirable, even if they mean at first jobs and money to continue to survive within very restricted forms of existence, i.e. Greece and self-sustainable tourism. Naturally, people beaten by circumstances to accept self-defeating policies have no other choice, but to take the money given under certain conditions. What was, therefore, the subject matter of the Fourth Seminar, namely the impact of European convergence upon cultural diversity in Europe? It has to be re-assessed in terms of what 'cultural actions' are still possible to maintain a flow of things? The humanistic dimension of that flow of not commodities, but people brings together the arts with 'techne', the new way of doing things, and transforms culture into a living process with a strong sense of direction for what mankind needs.

Changes in communication include processing of information. Here it is crucial to know how poetry is linked to other forms of culture, including that of the ‘media’. Historically speaking, since the book/ medium of materials became the media of reflections, perception has changed. Originally meant to be invited to the Fifth Seminar, but then for reasons of future engagements postponed, the typographer and book designer Rudolf Gorbach would say, culture and civilisation come together nowadays in 'visual communication'. This is a refutation of the seeing and reading habits as defined since Guttenberg with his linear presentation of thoughts in print. Today, the shaping of the media in terms of the new presentational possibilities triggers off mechanisms that are as of yet not fully comprehended. Without a doubt, cultural innovation has always been decisive for advancement in civilisation, but the implications for our 'visual culture' go beyond immediate understanding. Usually the mistake is made that the 'interface' relationship between user and computer, for example, is shaped by someone solely a computer expert, but with no specific knowledge of art history, in particular the graphic arts. Yet a product should still be an artistic one, argues Rudolf Gorbach. It should not be possible to see that the print is made by a computer. He would argue, that right now only very simple things can be done, technically speaking, but the real shaping of the media tools lies still ahead. That, in turn, reflects whether or not aesthetical criterion are being applied or not to technological facilities to express or design something.

Since the free standing sculptures of the Acropolis became conceivable because the Ancient Greek language in both spoken and written form had changed to include 'vowels' aside from consonants, it is self-understood that things become suddenly possible if people can develop a new perspective to look upon things. 'Learning to see' the possibilities that are existing in the world, this kind of discovery of even something old, but still innovative due to adding a new dimension to the approach to things, makes the 'order of things' (Foucault) become a vital adjustment for the future. This is when learning becomes a part of the culture: a practical openness to new ideas. The European Union is in need of such attitudes that carry ideas in a mature manner into the twenty-first century.

Main points for drawing the cultural map of Europe

Western Civilisation encompasses by now something larger than just Europe, while borders are being redrawn according to new and old cultural affiliations.

Europe itself has undergone many changes since Ancient Greece came to its tragic heights under Periklis, the perhaps greatest democratic statesman of those times. It is, therefore, not at all self-understood that cultural identity can be secured by an uncritical recourse to Antiquity; rather independent of such considerations, more cultural actions are needed to link that past with the present in Europe.

Given the fact that the Fifth Seminar takes place in Athens, Greece, the chance to clarify concepts by finding common points of reference is given. Yet not only are the relationships to these roots in need of reflection, but also the highly complex theme of 'human values'. That seems obvious in the light of loss of perception and 'positive' attitudes, i.e. loss of values. Europe, so it seems, has not found yet back to its roots by giving sufficient support in continuing and extending the studies of humanities (see here workshop 7 and the evaluation of European education and cultural exchange programmes). It is suggested that this particular workshop undertakes a new approach to things, in order to bring Greek and European Studies together. As a cultural synthesis for Europe, such an approach would underline that the 'quest for values' can be resolved within main stream thinking, when no longer just preoccupied with socio-technical and economic matters. A first step would be a 'cultural manifestation' of Western Civilisation in Europe.

Whether now Bertrand Russell with his ‘The History of Western Philosophy' or Gombrich’s 'Story of Art', these are attempts to describe the Western orientation as being crucial to mankind's quest for human knowledge. For they and countless other authors see in Ancient Greece the beginning of a civilisation progressively moving towards greater cultivation based on the 'techne': the art of doing things. The dynamics of that process can be explained as being a derivative of the 'logos' while thoughts move through concepts towards a utopia: a vision for the future of mankind. Without it, no action in relation to beauty can be explained. That has many important implications for the constitution of cultural identity within the diverse European context. The common heritage is thus a binding element for Europeans.

There are many themes involved, when it comes to consider Western Civilisation through the eyes of Art Historians. Gombrich would emphasize the making of a visual culture, one depending upon perception and yet not free of illusions. Only now this theme is being challenged (see Martin Jay, Downcast Eyes - The Denigration of Vision in Twentieth Century French Thought, 1994), while the new media has brought about the concept of 'visual communication'. Joris Duytschaever would argue that this process of cultures being overturned in their dispositions should become a focus for 'cultural studies'. It can be linked to what Martin Jay does at Berkeley University: 'intellectual history', or the art of reflecting changes in discourse (Michel Foucault, Habermas). However, the key concept of the dialogue, including that of the imagination with the picture, remains a main pivot point.

Development - irrevocable and irreversible changes - is not reflected upon critically enough. The usual mistake is made, for example, by historical studies emphasizing a lawfulness divided into three phases, i.e. Greek, Roman and national development periods in Europe. There is a need for cultural reflections of different changes incurred throughout time, in order not to expect developments to proceed automatically or mechanically. For instance, Foucault has pointed out that knowledge depends upon the 'logic of representation' reflecting structural changes. If the European Union wishes to differentiate its concept of 'cultural heritage', then developments over time must be re-examined thematically throughout Europe, i.e. cultural adaptation of the Renaissance, in order to establish layers of history and reflections.

Common reference points must become an inherent part of the European educational system. Already at the Bruges seminar, Dr. Kurt Schelter made some remarks about the recent History Book brought out by the European Commission as being a recommendable text book for all schools throughout Europe (see Kurt Schelter, "The importance of culture for the European Union" in 'Culture, Building Stone for Europe 2002', ed. Bekemans, Brussels 1994, p. 207-216). However, the controversy around that book in Greece shows that not all are satisfied with the kind of historical understanding communicated through that book. The controversy centres on the issue who belongs finally to the 'family of democracies', for the book excluded modern Greece - a contradiction to the historical significance as being the 'cradle of democracy'. The issue points out the danger of Europe becoming an exclusive club rather than an open minded community linking cultural actions to the demands of Western Civilisation, without thereby stifling individual freedom or threatening social cohesion. They are most important when it comes to establishing Western value premises.

There are several factors which have figured a great deal in the development of Western Civilisation and which need to be taken into further consideration:
1. 'Dialectics of secularization' have not continued to separate religion (values) from politics, but in the meantime experienced a reversal by such anti-Western developments as the Islam. The Western orientation is also questioned by recourse to an Eastern Europe orientation since the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and expansion into the East became a favourable prospect.
2. Changes in dispositions reflect conversions of societies. Already Homer's 'Odysseus' gives a keen insight into the transition of hunting into an agricultural society; not only the Gods change, but also man's strategy for survival becomes more cunning and subject to self-control, etc. That has continued to be the case right up to the present, that is, values and features of European and Western Civilisation societies are based on something inherently dependent upon an exchange or even a sacrifice, in order to advance. That comes close to Enlightenment, but it entails also the danger of destruction and self-destruction.
3. Individual subject: This then is the true theme of the workshop, namely how to keep alive democratic values despite many changes occurring. These changes are making more and more people uncertain about their own future. As a result of feeling uncertain, they turn to ideas and ideologies which emphasize upon uniformity rather than differences, unique greatness of a leader (even Charlemagne) instead of individual freedom, and some powerful 'hidden' strengths rather than human trust. All in all, these negations add up to metaphysical components of a highly explosive politics in the manner of legitimising power by violence rather than being able to encourage the human voice to speak up against injustices and mistreatments of foreigners.
4. Equal franchise is related to multi-cultural societies. It was Habermas who pointed out that the Assembly of the French Revolution wanted to pass a law which would allow anyone become a citizen with the right to vote and to participate in politics, that is, become involved in crucial decision making process after having lived only for two years in France. This topic of universal franchise or the right to have a franchise must be dealt with in a much more differentiated manner. For there are still people who do not feel that they have influence upon the political course of things, and hence they are often objects of manipulation by local or national politicians wishing to give Europe all the blame, while not showing on how the political franchise can be improved upon? Often the problem appears to be that political participation is not localizable, once work depends upon 'invisible networks'. Since Europe relies very much upon this kind of networking, it becomes all the more crucial that these networking programmes are examined and evaluated in terms of their impact upon the culture of the European members. Although difficult, this idea of networking Europe must be evaluated more carefully, for it is rather a far reaching attempt to keep political reason in line with the philosophical outlook for the future.
5. Theory - practice: this dual reflection of reality has nowadays only a limited meaning. Rather emphasis ought to be given to questioning reality, thereby making possible theoretical research and practical actions. Both can be brought to bear upon policy decisions in the light of what issues are to be faced and in need to be resolved as a matter of continual action within a specific evaluative framework. Until now this framework has been determined by either self reflection (often transformed into egoistical standpoints) or by reference to the 'wealth of the nation' (as part of the nationalistic justification principle). It should be clear in this context, that philosophy is not only something to lament with over bad or negative conditions, but as Marx had said already in his eleventh thesis on Feuerbach, philosophies must not only be interpreted, but also implemented.

The European integration effort is the implementation of a particular philosophy. It is directly related to the way organizations have responded to the need to deal with issues, while the advancement of knowledge in all fields of human activities has made it sometimes rather difficult to just experience the pertinent idea in that area.

The degree of abstractness and artificiality has led to changes in urban settings, so that people have less and less access to decision making processes; the same problem exists with regards to the overall integration effort, something to be felt even more so with the entry of Austria and the Scandinavian countries.

There is a need to re-examine 'carriers' of values of Western Civilisation, i.e. art galleries, theatres, film and other kinds of festivals, because the 'distances' have outgrown their capacity to relate immediately to what people can still do spontaneously. The policies of museums have succumbed equally to performance, neglecting thereby the transmission of values of Western Civilisation. Openness, that is freedom from manipulation, was incurred, for example, when all people went to the roundhouse to see a Shakespearean play in the sixteenth century. Due to the fact that the activities have not only been dispersed, but become subjects of image producing techniques to communicate culture ('the culture of manipulation' - see Adorno and Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment), the 'manipulative' character has diminished the civilisation impact of Western cultures.
It was at Bruges, that civilisation and the voice of reason became identified with different forms of Enlightenment. In Workshop 8, Joris Duytschaever picks up that theme again by giving a comparative insight into regional and cultural policies of Scotland and Flanders due to the very fact that Scotland contributed to the Enlightenment movement, while Flanders remained almost untouched by that movement. This is all the more important since Enlightenment is always linked to culture and knowledge, hence to the enlightened word which brings about illumination and 'insight' not by magic, but by reason.

The consequences of this standpoint upon health, the definition thereof, that can be followed upon in workshop 9 dealing with mental sicknesses in Europe. These sicknesses are incurred as a result of reason shutting out the otherness of people, in order to coerce them into a system which abstracts from human values and hence increases the costs in terms of human lives. Nothing appears to be sustainable any more. That is equally a loss of future.

The point of departure for reflection about perspectives for the future is Europe being on the verge of resigning in terms of an integration approach still capable of raising its own demands, that is, independent of those linked to Western Civilisation. There is this crucial connection between a virtual loss of culture and the sole dominance of the aggressive potentials in Western Civilisation. That marks a failure to off-set destructive tendencies by cultural values being recreated through actions which inspire and take on meaning in terms of human destiny. 'Cultural actions' rely always upon the 'goodness' of the work being done. It is a claim of being authentic, while having time, chance and the potential to improve upon the cultural forms of expression being used at the moment. That kind of cultural maturing is different from mere accumulative processes in both sciences and the economies. The latter have led not only Europe, but the rest of the world to new potentialities. Thanks to science and technology, these tools improved conditions of life tremendously. Nevertheless, they include not only peaceful means of development, in order to protect and maintain human lives, but also very destructive elements. This includes the Atomic bomb and does not stop there, for since 1945 the range of weaponry has improved dramatically, as shown most recently during the Gulf war. Weapons called 'precision bombing' were used that Leonardo da Vinci could have never conceived to be possible, even though this Renaissance artist tried to invent more of them. Sigmund Freud attempted to explain Leonardo's fascination for destructive weapons to be used in the Middle Ages. Freud linked Leonardo's aggression to a suppression of his erotic and sexual drives. The repression came about by being the son of an over powerful father who left little room for the son to develop likewise possibilities to find satisfaction in love. That is the Oedipus complex, or myth thereof. It has accompanied European history all along. It shows what mental complexities can produce once unresolved issues of the past re-emerge in the present and thus choose to fight rather than discuss about the nature of these conflicts. The resolvement seems still to depend upon bringing about a 'culture of redemption', while the active part of culture has to retain the ability to reflect upon 'life' in diversity. Culture is then the crucial prism of Europe to reflect upon how authentic differences are maintained, while not everyone succumbs to the 'culture of consumption', as assumed to prevail throughout Europe (see Leonce Bekemans from the College of Europe)..

Furthermore, it should not be forgotten in the age of computers, tele-communications, FAX and 'invisible networks’ that the old fashioned binding forces of societies is still love. And despite all modern forms of transportation & communication, people still need to see each other. The final verification of everything remains after all the ability to live it. Here the difference between ideology and practice becomes most apparent and convincing. The strains put upon 'cultural identities' throughout Europe can be explained by the fact that many developments are not in accordance with these basic needs. It seems at times that by all complexity, simple truths are forgotten. Although not a specific theme of the Fifth Seminar as the case of the previous one held in Bruges, the role of institutes in the light of what cultural policies are possible at European level has to be reconsidered in the light of recent developments. In particular, the specification for culture by the Maastricht Treaty must not be forgotten. How the subsidiary principle will be applied in practice that remains to be seen. The stipulation for culture is as clear as difficult to attain, for anything done in this area cannot be the result of a directive or regulation, but must be based upon 'consensus'. 'Cultural actions' have thereby a double function: they reflect the degree to which consensus had been reached, if at all, and the extent to which they contribute to building up consensus within Europe. That serves itself as a guideline.

European integration has come into difficulties by neglecting the cultural aspect of integration. European institutions cannot exist, if they are not supported in daily life. Due to growing difficulties in this respect, the European Commission has started to give more recognition to 'cultural actions', but the long term perspective is still being neglected. Yet in the arts and culture things take a long time before really existing.

Since the Danish veto, the enthusiasm for Europe has diminished and despite many efforts, the true vision for Europe has been lost in a jungle of policy recommendations and political fights around, for example, Delors' successor at the meeting of the Council of Ministers in Corfu. That meeting took place at the end of the Greek presidency of the European Union and revealed to what extent national politicians exert their power and influence upon decision making structures of the European Union although they have no political mandate for that. There is an urgent need that the EU commissioner is elected in future by the European Parliament and directly accountable to the elected European representatives.

The enthusiasm about the enlargement of the European Union to include Austria, Norway, Sweden and Finland has been diminished by anticipated changes in regulations and directives which would lessen the possible influence of current EU-members like Spain. It has made conditions for entry less favourable due to an emotional debate leading to many political misunderstandings and misgivings causing many unnecessary problems. The concept of European Integration is all the more in need of explanation.

Within an enlarged Union, it becomes even more important on how larger and smaller cultures of Europe learn to live together on this European continent. The philosophy of integration has been until now networking while convergence plans have been carefully monitored. This has, however, not helped to offset tendencies by older members wishing to form a more dynamic core, while excluding the more difficult ones in terms of both cultural integration and convergence criterion. Usually there is confusion between the two when it comes, for example, to Greece. Much more effort must be undertaken in future by the European Union not to allow self-assuming positions of superiority by Germany, France and the Benelux members to dictate the pace of developments (i.e. the concept of the two speed integration procedures). Before cultural integration has been achieved, there are already efforts under way in preparing the legal grounds for excluding members, if it becomes necessary and desirable by those not wishing to share their power and influence with others. That structural tendency supports already a breakage with the consensus seeking culture in European institutions and must, therefore, be effectively reversed by making integration efforts into a much more active component of 'cultural actions' undertaken in future.

Lydia Papadimitriou has been asked to chair this workshop. She is active in the area of photography, film and especially film critique. The latter developed especially out of 'critical theory', the philosophy of the so-called Frankfurt School and is based upon cultural criticism. Since Walter Benjamin and Th. W. Adorno, the need for aesthetical reflections has continued to be a major problem. Many philosophical answers have proven to be unsatisfactory, while the need to respond to the dominance of film and television in this century has become even more urgent with the spread of the new media. Cultural policy had to undergo many changes due to privatization, increase in commercialization, including new production and distribution systems. All in all that increased the concern on how the media transforms the cultural mediums of reflection, including literature and the arts (see paper given by Melitta Gourtsoyanni in workshop 1 on the question, "Are our Cultural Identities endangered?").

In accepting this responsibility as chair person, Lydia Papadimitriou stated immediately, that there is a need to change the title of this workshop, or else to find some interpretational framework, given such a complex and wide theme. In her reflections, she divides the overall theme into practical from theoretical considerations, while hoping to be able to link the workshop with others, as well as with the XVIth European Poetry Festival. Since the latter deals with 'poetry and mythology', including the role of myth in European history and perception of reality, she anticipates that this will become an important input for the Fifth Seminar.

The reason for this workshop is quite simple. A better self-understanding of the value issues should led to further actions that can broaden the basis of the European Cultural Movement. Furthermore, since the Fifth Seminar takes place in Greece, it is natural to reflect upon 'roots of Western Civilisation' and confront the difference between demands as answered by various cultural developments and conditions faced by the European Union.

What influences the understanding of Ancient Greece upon the development of thoughts that determines to a considerable extent the concept of culture in terms of how identity is shaped according to demands of Western Civilisation? These demands are in need of special reflections. It is assumed that it can be done by examining changes in value dispositions and, therefore, in schools of thoughts (i.e. Prof. Baeck deals with that in terms of economic history in workshop 5, insofar he advocates the return to the Mediterranean tradition of thought, in order to bring together again culture and economics which were separated once Europe followed the so-called Atlantic thought dealing with economics as a distinct affair, that is separate from culture).

The clarification of the terms 'culture' and 'civilisation' has to be continued. Already at the Fourth seminar in Bruges the Rumanian historian Mircea Malitza stated that the Yugoslavian crisis is a conflict of cultures and not one of civilisation (see Mircea Malitza, "Reflections on the Cultural Dimension of the East European Society" in 'Culture, Building Stone for Europe 2002', ed. Bekemans, Brussels, 1994, pp. 115-118). In other words, the overall methodology of these seminars can be improved upon by developing further the cultural and civilisation terms to be used in a comparative sense. For the aim of European integration is to ensure that smaller and larger cultures can all live together (P. Peonides).

As part of this effort, an evaluation of all cultural studies has to be undertaken. Primarily, it would be important to see what is happening to Greek studies throughout Europe, and to reflect this on hand of what developed in this field over the past few centuries. At the Bruges seminar, this issue was related to in terms of national philological versus comparative literature studies (see Hugo Dyserinck "The comparative study of literature and the problem of national and cultural identity. An imagological vision" in 'Culture, Building Stone for Europe 2002', ed. Bekemans, Brussels, 1994, pp. 293 -304). This topic is insofar relevant, as 'cultural identities' throughout Europe can be reviewed with respect to what impact these national philological schools of thought with their enthusiasm for Ancient Greece had especially on the ideological formation of these countries (i.e. Hellenism and the special brand of philosophy as Heidegger, Gadamer etc. indicate). There are at the same time poets like Hoelderlin steeped in a longing for a return to the life in Antiquity, while H. Heine reflected the consequences of the Greek Gods being dead. In most cases, relationships to Ancient Greece were used to synchronize cultural identity with 'nationalism' in delineation from others, in order to claim 'superiority' (as did the Greeks by calling the others 'Barbarians', something reinvoked once the Renaissance started to delineate itself from the Gothic or barbarian art). This element of denial of others goes hand-in-hand with a sense of historical time outside any real communication process, that is, information flows are no longer based on substantial feed-backs but on exclusivity and extended wishes to elongate positions of power. Due to a lack of critical consideration and comparative approach, Greek studies are deteriorating and even Ancient Greek is no longer taught in such a wide spread manner in, for instance, German schools. What does that mean? How does this relate to the decline of Humanism? What does it mean in modern terms?

Studies of European cultures cannot exclusively be derived from Ancient Greece. As a result of evolvements within the Western Civilisation, there is the contemporary/modern context to be dealt with. This requires fore mostly a synthesis of Greek and European studies as basis and prime value orientation in the fields of Humanities.

Western Civilisation poses a high demand upon the mind of every individual in having to withstand the many pressures of technology and the rationality which goes along with it (i.e. Habermas, Communication Competence). Silicon Valley in California has produced already a complementary culture, in which the taking of intelligent drugs has become an accepted way of dealing with pressures at work to keep up with high intelligence requirements. The cultural implications of this demand, namely to become 'professional' and yet stay 'normal' within such a fast moving world, has altered concepts of human relationships to such an extent that even differences between man and woman are negated. That has, in turn, implications for a culture of the Western World drawing energy from the fact that there has been assumed until now the existence of an erotic tension between the sexes. The importance of that tension has rarely been understood.

One sign of diversion in the interest of the other has been the many occult movements moving towards an endorsement of Eastern Philosophy. But there are other ways to understand what this means in terms of 'impact' upon culture / orientation. Here, of course, it depends what concept of culture has been translated into daily practices and whether or not 'spiritual' elements are introduced through various kinds of activities and approaches to the questions of the body and the mind.

Naturally the "archaeological" approach was important for people like Freud and Foucault. If it means not only the classical sense of archaeological, or former civilisation revisited, but rather a conscious link between the past and the present, then a living past together with a living present becomes ongoing future. The latter is fore mostly explainable as the 'dream of man': in the wish of being something else or to experience the world differently, civilisation process has shown that an ancient dream can become reality, such as the wish to fly despite the fate of Icarus. Nowadays, that wish has been elongated to flying faster than sound through the air, to land on the moon, or to split the atom. In other words, the amazing thing is that much of what had been dreamt in the past has become reality. In many cases, it has left mankind in a sort of shock, that is, unable to grasp what can be done, technically speaking, and what is still in accordance with ethics. The unresolved issue is faced by many as the kind of 'cultural reality' experienced daily because they do not like how the world turned out to be.

In initial discussions prior to the Fifth Seminar, Lydia Papadimitriou stated that "emphasis should be on the present". Therefore, the issues to be dealt with centre on technology, skills, modes of organization, etc... They are different from philosophical reflections using terms like modernity, post modernity or popular culture, that is, in what forms are values passed onto the next generation. The existence of things seems more and more dependent upon the kind of language used. It is here that recognition and perception of reality become too often a dangerous 'unity', leaving out doubt or the ability to question things while still in relation to human reality.

Given the long history of colonialism, but also the fact that the European Union is but a mere part of the entire world, Lydia Papadimitriou suggests that Euro-centricity, or the lack of wishing to understand other cultures, has to be included in such a discussion. As the media dictates cultural tastes, it is hardly possible to find cultural linkages to the so-called Third World on an equal footing. The turn to merely own interests without regard for others goes beyond cultural egoism. Hence the critical term of 'Euro-centricity' has to be specified, for Europe is experiencing a turn towards Regionalism, Localism, that is, closed-off worlds, or as Bart Verschaffel in his brief exploration of 'cultural identity' would say, local radio stations uphold the regional identity by having no longer any contact with the outside world. These kinds of closed-in and closed-off worlds are the breeding grounds for Neo Fascism or a kind of right wing radicalism wishing to have nothing to do with foreigners and visitors from other places.

There follows upon such a social problem marking limits for the kind of social cohesion Europe can achieve over time, the question: can an integrated Europe live without 'enemy pictures'? This is an obvious reference to foreigners being treated as such. It relates to what people seeking an exclusive identity (and that means also disputing the fact that 'cultural identities' within Europe have been formed in the past through mutual influences) experience as threats to their cultural identity. Ulrich Beck, the German sociologist, claims that people confuse 'cultural identity' with mechanisms requiring 'enemy pictures', in order to exist. Ulrich Beck extends this thought by saying; Europe can only integrate itself on the basis of individuals existing together on a free and common basis. Thus the key question is the following: can Europeans live together and derive their energy for actions from a 'union' shaped by other sources than 'enemy pictures'? This would mean, for instance, that traditional hatred such as between the French and the Germans could be overcome or else would diminish to insignificance, and instead a culture of mutual understanding and recognition would flourish, enabling all to live together within Europe.

How the European idea is further developed, that is neither a question of possibility or utopia, but of utmost practical nature. There are many tendencies going against Western Civilisation, its values and orientation. These reactions point towards the entire complexity of civilisation, including a way of living while experiencing the dependency upon a certain know-how, organizational level and rationality. If these demands are not fulfilled, then negativity determines the living processes and people start being negative by using things within a specific system, that is, they become objects of such a system.

A closer look at present trends in Europe indicates that there is the increased danger that a large international right wing movement can exploit people's fears, so that again neo fascistic symbols become rallying points for pseudo-political identities. As Adorno and Horkheimer said already 1944, the immanent defeat of Fascism in Germany does not guarantee 'victory', for forces based on xenophobic fears and pseudo-collectivist principles will continue to try overpowering ‘civil’ society. Alone the increasing linkage between mafia-like survival strategies and state structures using the media as means to power enhances forms of rulership based upon violence, manipulations and clever moves, rather than upon democratic values. Often these negative tendencies are meant at first only to guarantee 'survival', yet in reality they are sure signs of cynicism and loss of cultural values.

There is, for instance, the issue of the film, including the kinds of financing systems which in turn determine themes and contents. The usual directives or self-imposed censorship are made by producers knowing the capacities of the available distribution system for a certain film. Europeans have become concerned with the future role of the European film, given the differences in both quality and marketing chances of the American produced as opposed to the European based film. That controversy has a lot to do with the relationship to cultural identity and the morality of the producers conveyed by films such as 'The Player'. While Adorno criticized Hollywood dream-like solutions as being never really attainable for the normal citizen, 'The Player' takes the morality of the film a stage further. Everything, including murder, becomes justified in terms of the survival of the production company, a surest sign of 'cultures at war'. These kinds of films underline that a cultural desire is not within reach for ordinary mortals, that is never fulfilable. All the power - financial, legal and technical - is on the side of those committing crime to get things done, while the morality exempting them from punishment is the claim that it is already sufficient punishment for the person having to do the 'dirty work', i.e. kill someone. In such a frightening world, the utopian dream of the short distance as opposed to the long distance runner is to get to the goal before other cameras (technical eye witnesses) could take the pictures. It is like Superman flying ahead to catch in his hands the bullet shot at him. That relates then to the new heroes of the world: the makers and their practical influence upon the technological possibilities of the system.

Finally, there is the practical issue of the Media being more discussed due to the kind of outbursts of violence by even mere kids. Here it is supposed that they are exposed already for too long a time to what the media shows. It leaves ethics, love for life, and freedom at the mercy of the arbitrary usage of the media. Berlusconi's ascend to power in Italy in 1994 has rightly so many worried about this new level of participation: passive spectators of media spectacles becoming suddenly the 'acting subjects', even though merely in the illusion of being acting subjects capable of shaping their own destiny.

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