10th Futurological Symposium, Amsterdam June 24-26th 2023
Over the last fifty years, quite a number of Free Cultural Spaces (FCS) have been created, developed, spatially embedded and administratively tolerated. The presence of FCS makes the existence of the political and administrative system an environment in which it is more pleasant to be human, regardless of where in the world. FCS-initiatives have always existed and always will. Many have since disappeared, others survived and new ones are in the making.
We note, however, that under pressure from primarily economic considerations in many parts of the world, FCS have less and less room to be created, developed and maintained in order to enjoy their fundamental cultural and social rights to the same extent as, for example, the established cultural expressions.
Rights and regulations
There is at least a moral and social right to have, hold and maintain free cultural areas and thus FCS. These are there for everyone. But the simple
moral and social appeal is no longer sufficient. Given the increasing pressure on international Free Space Culture, now is the time to
embed FCS in political and/or administrative discourse. Even though this is
precisely a contradiction in terms from the rationale of FCS, it is currently the only way to prevent further international erosion of FCS.
We consider that government bodies and administrations want to linger in these spaces just as much as citizens and country folk actors. The need to transform moral rights into a slightly more regulated body, to embed free cultural spaces in the system, therefore seems feasible. Freedom, Culture and Space are part of society, make room for free culture and embed FCS in the administrative landscape.
Some rights are hard-won, precisely by and for members of a society that should not be overlooked. Some of these rights, for example those on cultural freedom, are so obvious and common that it is sometimes forgotten to actually notice them. This also goes to, for example
rights of equality and inclusiveness. Acknowledging the rights on cultural freedom by recording and anchoring them could thus be helpful.
The existence of declarations and manifestos on fundamental human rights and on cultural uniqueness, lead to the thought that the fundamental rights on FCS should also be embraced by the international ruling community, in this stage no matter if consent is expressed by signature, ratification or accession. Naming freedoms, giving culture a place and putting space on the map are sufficient reasons to articulate the right to FCS, to enshrine it and to assert it in the administrative system, just like Plato’s Akademia, the Artes Liberales and the concept of Freiraum.
Free Cultural Spaces contribute to a society and thus are part of that society and precisely that is reason enough for the integration of its concepts. In fact it is the re-introduction of FCS in society, since FCS have been silent witnesses from long times past, but have actually never gone away and have never ceased to exist. Nevertheless many FCS-initiatives have not been given the attention they deserve. Some of the FCS have been dissolved, others are endangered, new initiatives sometimes meet compatible interests, but incompatible interests too.
Embedding the concepts of FCS in United Nations guardianship is a way to ensure the continued existence of the current and the development of new Free Cultural Spaces by means of political and administrative preconditions.
This edition we’ll discuss the Declaration and it’s implementation as an instance of the Epoch of the Symbiocene…