Policy Labs #3 Policy Labs #2 Policy Labs #1
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Policy Labs #2

Culture, Social Resilience,
and Well-Being

12—14 April 2023, Vienna

From the onset, the war has utilised heritage and culture to divide people by spreading propaganda and mixed messages concerning ethnic minorities in Ukraine. However, it is noteworthy that it has also served as a temporary unifying force for the Ukrainian nation. On a grassroots level, it has strengthened solidarity and demonstrated its healing power to Ukrainians in the war-torn country and abroad. This underscores the significance of recognising the role of culture, including cultural heritage, as a tool for supporting those at the forefront of the conflict now and for rebuilding and stabilising transformed Ukrainian society in the future. The seminar purports to support the efforts of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine (MCIP) to prepare for the reconstruction of the country and assist in promoting culture as an essential element of Ukraine’s future on its way to EU integration. Participants consider ways to help the MCIP carry out its mission: “increase the impact of culture and create conditions to convert it to a key element of the sustainable development and awareness of self-identity of Ukrainian society”.


#1Social Resilience through Culture

An expert presentation “Forging New Futures – rebuilding society and reusing heritage” by Hanna Szemző (Metropolitan Research Institute in Budapest, Hungary), opened the first session. Key takeaways included the importance of having an open and flexible process to be ready to adapt, as well as pulling from various resources rather than relying on just one, such as state funding. The first presentation was followed by Oksana Dovgopolova’s reflection on “Memory, Culture and Social Resilience: dimension of the war”. Professor Dovgopolova is co-founder and curator of the memory culture platform Past / Future / Art in Ukraine. Her intervention pertained to memorialising as a natural human response to a tragic shock and an opportunity to retell an imposed historical narrative. After a short Q&A, the participants moved on to the setting of breakout rooms to discuss protecting heritage and its potential to absorb adversities.

#2Culture as a Source of Emancipation and Well-Being

The second objective of Day 2 was to explore the potential of culture, including institutions, artistic interventions, and cultural heritage, as an increasingly crucial asset in addressing global and local issues, including public health or sustainable urban planning.

#3The required policy and institutional framework

The deliberations on the final theme were enriched by a two-day program that included a panel discussion and two insightful interventions by experts. The discussions encompassed a range of case studies, specifically focusing on the film industries in the USA, Croatia, and Ukraine. Additionally, attention was directed towards collaborative and systematic approaches to developing cultural hubs and city branding.


Konstantin Akinsha

Founding director at the Russian Avant-Garde Research Project and guest curator at Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Hungary/Ukraine

Elmira Ablyalimova-Chyhoz

Crimean Institute for Strategic Studies

Tsveta Andreeva

European Cultural Foundation

Yana Barinova

ERSTE Foundation

Florian Bauer

Director for »Social Finance, Sustainability, and Innovation« at ERSTE Foundation

Airan Berg

Circus of Knowledge at Johannes Kepler University in Linz

Luisella Carnelli

Fondazione Fitzcarraldo and the Cultural Observatory of Piedmont

Ilona Demchenko

House of Europe, Goethe-Institut

Lina Doroshenko

Department of Cultural Heritage within the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine

Oksana Dovgopolova

Past / Future / Art and Odesa Mechnikov National University

Kateryna Filyuk

University of Palermo

Elly Harrowell

Coventry University

Natalia Kryvda

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Paul Mahringer

Federal Monuments Authority in Austria

Ksenia Malykh

PinchukArtCentre Research Platform

Boris Marte

CEO of ERSTE Foundation

Zhenia Moliar

Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History in Rome

Simon Mraz

Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of the Republic of Austria

Ievgen Mushkin

VDNG, national complex »Expocenter of Ukraine«

Natalia Pivchuk

Department of Culture, Nationalities and Religions at the Bucha City Council

Levente Polyak

Eutropian Research & Action

Mykhaylyna Skoryk-Shkarivska

Irpin City Council and deputy mayor of Bucha

Hanna Szemző

Metropolitan Research Institute

Monica Urian

European Commission - Directorate General Education and Culture

Karol Wasilewski


Katherine Younger

Institute for Human Sciences, IWM Vienna

Rarita Zbranca

Cluj Cultural Centre


Philippe Kern

Founder and managing director at KEA European Affairs, Belgium

Aleksandra Ćwik-Mohanty

Senior Consultant at KEA European Affairs, Belgium