The cultural strategy of Bourges 2028
© Dane Apache

To carry out its project, Bourges 2028 wishes to rely on prototyping. Prototyping is understood as a concept that translates an idea into reality but is not complete without user feedback. We do not simply want to “create” Territories of the Future from an intelligent design process. Our approach is to bring ideas to life and create prototypes so that people can co-create, try and give feedback on the process, project, product, and program.

In this sense, we have imagined 4 major themes in our artistic program!

Lots of Neighbours

From the first days of the application, we wanted to make a participatory and collaborative project. The Bourges 2028 project was built at the end of several participatory workshops carried out during the year 2021, in 2022 we continued this initiative with our 3 European conferences. By imagining a European Council of Citizens for Culture drawn by lot on the model of the Citizens' Assembly of Bourges, we want to bring the neighbours of Bourges together and make them contribute to the future of their city. Our neighbours are also reflected in our desire to integrate the biodiversity and living things that surround us into the application. We want to create in Bourges a Parliament of rivers by taking advantage of the developments of the Parliament of the Loire, a wild river classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bourges 2028 also means bringing us closer to our European neighbours. We will find solutions together!

The Language of Europe

Umberto Eco said: “Translation is the language of Europe.” Beyond this good word, we want Bourges 2028 to question a new common language in European artistic production. Bourges 2028 wanted to put the artist and the author at the centre of its project by imagining in Bourges a European city of artists and authors. This city intends to become a real resource centre for artists and authors by offering support services in the legal fields of intellectual property, intellectual rights and copyrights de la propriété intellectuelle, des droits intellectuels and droits d’auteurs, mais aussi un service de traduction dans les 24 langues de l’Union européenne, un service dédié à la mobilité internationale et d’autres supports concernant les droits sociaux (congés parentaux, retraites, logements). 

On a Humain scale

We have already said it and we will say it louder: small and medium-sized towns are Territories of the future and are the backbone of the European Union. We have designed a network of 15 cities on a human scale, in the Centre-Val de Loire region, in France and in Europe, to discuss common issues, learn best practices and imagine the city of tomorrow together.

Here and now

More than ever we must defend and reinvent cultural rights in Europe. It is Right Here and Right Now that everything is at stake for a better representation of women in the history of Art, to write a pan-European history around new positive stories and to fight against climate change.

The commitments and values of our program The Bourges 2028 cultural program is strongly committed to a low carbon impact and follows the 2030 climate and societal objectives of the European Union. We will set up a dedicated team within our governance in charge of the carbon footprint as well as monitoring projects from the design phase to execution. With this approach, we intend to reduce the carbon emissions of our events by 50%, supported by the French think tank the Shift Project. The use of existing “as found” buildings and digital technologies rather than the mass transport of works for most of our main exhibitions allows us to develop low-carbon strategies. For our exhibitions, we will rely on the good practices of partner institutions, in particular the Tri Postal in Lille 3000, Kanal Center Pompidou in Brussels, and the Biennale de Lyon. Bourges 2028 will be free for young audiences aged 14 to 20, and the youngest. As we show in the chapter on the scope of the project, we value above all that people participate in and co-create the program. Our prototyping vision inherently contains participation and co-creation as crucial elements. Many of our exhibitions will be integrated into the collection of the Digital museum of the Micro Folies network - initiated by La Villette and the French Government and deployed throughout Europe - allowing our exhibitions to be widely disseminated in various types of often remote territories. European cities, in 1000 places in France and Europe by 2028.