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NICE Award Nominee Pakhuis de Zwijger about "Europe by People"

The EU2016 Arts & Design programme Europe by People looked into contemporary social issues through arts and design, by providing solutions for everyday living and by being a canvas on which creatives and citizens painted a picture of Europe’s future. The organisation Pakhuis de Zwijger explains the inclusive potential of its project.

© Phile Deprez

In your own view, what challenges does your project address?

We have exhausted the resources of our planet, and gaps between races, genders, classes and religions continue to exist and even grow. At the same time, we are developing new technologies, means of communication, transport and forms of producing energy and food. Our (urban) environments are complex, manmade systems, bringing out the best and worst of human beings. EBP focused on finding sustainable and local solutions for our global urban problems through the arts and design.

In how far do culture and creativity contribute to your project’s innovative and inclusive character?

EBP was based on the belief that art has the power to enrich our society, to make it a more inspiring and better place to live, with a stronger economy. We have established numerous new connections and collaboration between makers and creatives. With over 1,000 projects and programs, we have shown indisputably that culture can add something in this time and create an interaction between Europe as a political union and as a society.

Please describe the transformative potentials of your project and explain its innovative character.

It was the objective of EBP to show the impact of culture in times of major changes and transitions, by initiating innovative and cross-disciplinary projects and programs. The project has reached over tens of thousands of visitors, students, entrepreneurs, officials, EU professionals and others. Together we have generated a huge amount of perspectives on 'the future of everyday living'. And above all, many new meetings have taken place, experiences have been shared, knowledge has been exchanged and a large number of special collaborations and concrete projects have arisen out of EBP.

Europe by People is nominated for this year's NICE Award. All shortlisted projects can be seen here.