Tribune Bourges 2028 – European Capital of Culture: dare to make a humane choice!

Published on Friday 8 December 2023

150 million. That’s the number of Europeans who live in small and medium-sized towns. Towns on a human scale. And we believe that the future of our societies lies in the hands of these 150 million citizens, who live outside the big metropolises but are fully involved in the world’s development.

Faced with the challenges of the climate crisis, their commitment, necessary today, will be decisive tomorrow. Whether it’s a question of reconsidering our relationship with the living, changing our relationship with mobility or even reinstating new development capacities at the heart of our territories. And yet, climate scepticism and the sterile opposition between ecology and social issues find a certain echo here. In the face of the international migrations that are on the horizon, their hospitality, welcome today, will be crucial tomorrow. It is accepted that saturated metropolises can no longer provide a dignified and humane response, commensurate with the fundamental values we share.

And yet the rise of extremes and the rejection of others threaten. Finally, faced with the need to revive genuine European hope, their support, today shaken, will be essential tomorrow in order to democratically establish the next stages in the construction of Europe. And yet, year after year, the distance grows between citizens who have become distrustful and a European project that is too impersonal.

As artists, public decision-makers and citizens, we are convinced that we need to start rethinking our collective approaches to the issues that concern us all. Without dismissing the economic heartlands and regional metropolises, we believe that the response to these decisive challenges can only be heard if it comes from our streets, our small businesses, our towns, our territories…

The ambition of Bourges 2028 is very much along these lines. We’re convinced that this is the right place to make the major changes needed. And to demonstrate that artistic creativity can directly inspire positive change to our individual and collective behaviour. The centrality of the living in every artistic and cultural project, green stations, creative metros and RERs connecting central cities and rural areas… These are the horizons outlined by this first low-carbon European Capital of Culture. For the citizens of Europe, it’s an invitation to discover our region with a sense of responsibility. For the people of the Region, it’s an incentive to use everyday transport that’s made more desirable and accessible.

We believe that it is in this close relationship, from human to human, from human to non-human, that consideration of the Other and his or her expressions can fully regain meaning and life. From Budweis to Angoulême, it’s the right scale for nurturing creation in an intimate, personal relationship with local people and territories. From Matera to Bourges, via Evora, Avignon or Veszprem, it’s the right recognition of everyone’s contribution to the invention of new artistic languages, rooted in the times and their major challenges. And to do that, we need to give artists a new role in the Europe of the 21st century, to create the new positive and inclusive shared narratives and imaginaries that we need, 60 years after André Malraux inaugurated the first Maison de la Culture in Bourges.

We are convinced that it is from these towns on a human scale that a taste of Europe can and must be reborn. Driven by the values of mutual aid that have underpinned our shared history. Far beyond Bourges, much larger than the Centre – Val de Loire region whose heart is already beating to the European rhythm, a matrix has been born. Today, 17 sister towns surround Bourges, convinced that a creation on a human scale can revive European dialogue. 18 sister living areas are experimenting, sharing emotions and exchanging solutions to reveal and awaken Europe in action.

First signatories:

  • Hiam Abbass, actress and film director
  • Olivier Atlan, director of the Maison de la Culture de Bourges
  • Gil Avérous, Mayor of Châteauroux
  • Alexandra Badea, playwright, director
  • Bento, architects
  • Atelier Bivouac, landscape designers
  • Petra Blaisse, architect, designer, Inside Outside Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • François Bonneau, president of the Centre-Val de Loire Region
  • Xavier Bonnefont, mayor of Angoulême
  • Frédéric Bouix, president of the International Federation of Equestrian Tourism
  • François Busnel, journalist, media director
  • Anne-Laure Chamboissier, art historian, exhibition curator
  • Gilles Clément, artist, gardener, and landscape designer
  • Henrik S. Dagfinrud, programming director of Bodo 2024 (Norway)
  • Vinciane Despret, philosopher of science
  • Claire Diterzi, musical author, composer, performer, director
  • Floriane Facchini, public space artist
  • Perrine Fovez, actress, art and social transformation educator
  • Olivier Gacquerre, Mayor of Béthune, President of the Béthune-Bruay Artois Lys Romane Conurbation
  • Yann Galut, mayor of Bourges
  • Paula Garcia, coordinator of team Evora 2027, European Capital of Culture (Portugal)
  • Julie Gayet, actress and President of Ciclic Centre-Val de Loire agency
  • Claire Gibault, former Member of the European Parliament, conductor
  • Marc Gricourt, mayor of Blois
  • Christophe Haleb, choreographer
  • Hou Hanru, exhibition curator and art critic, San Francisco, Rome (United States, Italy)
  • Christophe Hay, chef, Fleur de Loire
  • Cécile Helle, mayor of Avignon
  • Keimis Henni, founder and director, Artagon
  • Rob Hopkins, teacher, founder of the international Transition Towns movement
  • Nancy Huston, novelist
  • Eva Jospin, visual artist
  • Evelyne Jouanno, curator, professor, NABA, Milan-Rome (Italy)
  • Mohamed El Khatib, author, playwright, director
  • Rem Koolhaas, architect, OMA, Rotterdam (Netherlands)
  • Anna Labouze, co-founder and director, Artagon
  • Gérard Lacroix, president of the Printemps de Bourges
  • André Laignel, Mayor of Issoudun 
  • Bruno Lajara, general Delegate, l’envol art and social transformation
  • Serge Lecomte, president of the French Equestrian Federation
  • Philippe Le Goff, mayor of Guiguamp
  • Lydie Lescarmontier, glaciologist, climate change educator
  • Hervé Le Tellier, novelist
  • Hermann Lugan, expert in decarbonization of culture
  • Seppo Määttä, mayor of Oulu, Vice President of Oulu Culture Foundation (Finland)
  • Eric Minh Cuong Castaing, choreographer
  • David Moinard, exhibition curator
  • Lola Molina, playwright, director
  • Pascale Obolo, exhibition curator
  • Corinne Ollivier, mayor of Vierzon
  • Giovanni Padula, General Director of the Matera Basilicata 2019 Foundation (Italy)
  • Emmanuel Perrodin, chef, artist
  • P.R2B, musical author, composer, performer
  • Arnaud Piraut, author, director
  • Gérard Pont, president of Francofolies
  • Gyula Porga, Mayor of Veszprém, and Veszprem-Balaton 2023, European Capital of Culture (Hungary)
  • Illia Razumeiko, composer, opera director, Kyiv (Ukraine)
  • Tiago Rodrigues, palywright, director of Festival d’Avignon
  • Jean-Christophe Rufin, doctor, writer, and diplomat
  • Pierluigi Sacco, professor, culture, economy, society, Harvard and Pescara (United States, Italy)
  • Sarkis, visual artist
  • Silly Boy Blue, musical author, composer, performer
  • Margaux Schwab, founder and director of foodculture days, Vevey (Switzerland)
  • Pierre Thys, general and artistic director, Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles (Belgium)
  • Camille de Toledo, teacher-researcher, writer
  • Boris Vedel, director of Printemps de Bourges
  • Jean-André Viala, president of Antre Peaux
  • Estelle Zhong Mengual, art historian, exhibition curator

New signatories:

  • Christophe Bouffil, Tita Productions
  • Alexandra Laminne, Petit Paradis
  • François Chaudier, Théâtre du Chêne Noir
  • Monia Triki, Yalla Culture
  • Marie Miramant, Agence Marie Miramant
  • Rodolphe Laminne
  • Anne-Laure Liégeois
  • Yves Vasseur, Mons 2015
  • Marie Laminne
  • Mathilde Cocq, Bourges 2028
  • Arnaud Boschet, La Confiserie
  • Eve Lombart, Festival d’Avignon
  • Frederic Poty, Classe Départ Avignon
  • Théo Recoules, SARL SABIR
  • Laureline Calastreng, SARL SABIR
  • Pierre Bauchard, SARL SABIR
  • Delphine Leverrier
  • Jeanneau Agathe
  • Ludovic Azuar, Directeur Agence Tourisme & Territoires du Cher et Office de Tourisme de Bourges
  • Sébastien Minchin, Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Bourges
  • Bruno Lageline, Hôtel de Panette
  • Farah Al Shoufi, Hôtel de Panette
  • Guillaume Lecluse, Hôtel de Panette
  • Pierre-Emile Lageline, Hôtel de Panette
  • Corentin Chauveau-Michon, Hôtel de Panette
  • Melina Briand, Hôtel de Panette
  • Vincent Sinbandhit, Hôtel de Panette
  • Céline Fabre, Hôtel de Panette
  • Dominique Bourg, Université de Lausanne
  • Thierry Falvisaner, Théâtre Charbon
  • Marine Calmet, Wild Legal
  • Joanne Textoris, Conseillère municipale, ville jardin
  • Daniel Danis
  • Pol Mielcarek, Hôtel de Panette
  • Pierre Holemans, La Manufacture/Collectif Contemporain/Avignon
  • Joëlle Damois
  • Vincent Larche, Cabinet Immorevente
  • Stéphane Prault, Cabinet Immorevente
  • Michel Keiser, Michel Keiser
  • Deborah Boyé-Longeau, Cabinet Immorevente
  • Caroline Leclerc, Hôtel de Panette
  • Georges Ollinger
  • Julia Stein, La Mirande
  • Waddah Saab, Dramaturge
  • Blandine Savetier, Longtemps je me suis couché de bonne heure
  • Marc Dozier
  • Mundiya Kepanga
  • Frédéric Roels, Opéra Grand Avignon
  • Isabelle Du Mortier
  • Véronique Boisroux
  • Céline Bellenguez, Agence Immorevente
  • Fabien Lemassu
  • Stéphanie Notebaert
  • Marie Lecouvey-Braille, LBD Consulting
  • Pascale Obolo, Curatrice
  • Louis Minchin Mézard
  • Léna Miquel
  • Pierre Miquel
  • Sophie Bouakkaz, Les Mystères de Bourges
  • Anaïs Smart, Paris Mozart Orchestra
  • Anne-Lucie Clausse, Solen Angels et Hubtech CVL
  • Denis Dupon
  • Simon Rousselle, L’Envol-Art et Transformation Sociale / Resp. du Développement
  • Stéphanie Colin
  • Sarah Larcher, Compagnie Marteau
  • Claude Souvignet
  • Sarah Banmouha, Bonjour Sassou
  • Juliette Bigarré
  • François Vallée
  • Nathalie Sabatier Vallée
  • Violette Dubreuil, Divant de Psy
  • Barbara Daguenet
  • Barbara Moreau
  • Carole Arcega, Gandiva Projet
  • Caroline Delaporte, Pensée Nomades
  • Kevin Lognoné
  • Marie-Claude Latimier
  • Paul Derridg, Association de théâtre amateur
  • Serge Aubrun
  • Brigitte Denizault
  • Annik Friderich, Chercheuse en minéralogie
  • Philippe Walker
  • Alain Bosco, Bonsai Club de Bourges
  • Cédric Menindes, Conseil Régional Numérique
  • Jean-Baptiste Pasquier
  • Lucien Petit
  • Mary Doyle Miquel
  • Anyel Mokrane
  • Agnès Zoppé, Biocoop Au Bourgeon Vert
  • Fouad Chehady, Caisse d’Epargne Loire Centre
  • Raissa Kim, CCN Orléans
  • Amélie Kestermans, Aka Amélie K
  • Emilie Grossery, Le Coron des arts
  • Isabelle Riffet
  • Christine Olivier
  • Jacques Marquet, Banque
  • Gérald Dumont, Compagnie du théâtre K
  • Mael Le Goff, CPPC
  • Marie Noble, Palais des Beaux Arts
  • Dominique Deyber, Commissaire d’exposition
  • Anne Marie Lafay, Art Thérapie
  • Laurence Blasco-Mauriaucourt, Association Céramique La Borne
  • Clément Bouakkaz
  • Catherine Van Hemert-Richard, Musicienne- Animator stop motion
  • Macha Hrdy, Education Nationale
  • Barrere Olivier, Cie Il Va Sans Dire
  • Suzanne Catin
  • Mailis Renouard, Paris Mozart Orchestra
  • Séverine Bablet
  • Yamina Valdenaire, Ze Com
  • Gwen Lepoutre
  • Julien Laz
  • Willing Reine, DocUwize
  • Claude Fouchier
  • Aurélia Thietart
  • Régis Espannet, Studio E.R.E
  • Sandrine Aguilera Lozat
  • Jean-Daniel Dubois
  • Christian Betrancourt
  • Véronique Chabarot
  • Elisabeth Delval, Antre Peaux
  • Frédéric Marciniak
  • Alexis Luberne
  • Sandrine Salzard
  • Danielle Jouffin

And the member cities of the Matrix: Bourges, Châteauroux, Blois, Vierzon, Issoudun, Avignon, Angoulême, Nevers, Guingamp, Béthune, Matera, Bad Ischl, Bodo, Oulu, Evora.

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Last news

ERIC-LEGOUHY

Following obtaining the title, the Bourges 2028 team is structuring itself for the rest of the project. We will see you at the end of March with a completed operational team. Until then, you can contact us at contact@bourges2028.org and follow us on social networks