Still so Much to be Done: Challenges for Culture in Europe
European Festivals Association, 2006, 203 pp., € 15, ISBN 9789081140416 and
Still so much to be done (Il reste tant à faire) is the first book in the new EFA book series and is dedicated to Denis de Rougemont's dream of an integrated and tolerant European Union of the people. In fact, the title of the book reflects de Rougemont's famous last words that he left us with before he died on 6 December 1985. In 1952 he founded the European Festivals Association as to put his beliefs into practice by initiating a series of projects and initiatives which operate to this very day.
In this publication, five voices testify to the legacy of Denis de Rougemont on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Therefore, contributions by Anne-Marie Autissier (Paris VIII University), Frans de Ruiter (Royal Conservatoire in the Hague and former President of EFA), Rik Pinxten (Ghent University), Volker Hassemer (A Soul for Europe) and José Manuel Barroso (European Commission President) are to be found in the book.
The result is a thrilling collection of essays, rich in content, filled with personal remarks and particularly varied in its approach. Aside from reflections on de Rougemont’s life and work as well as personal encounters, the book offers a comprehensive overview of the development, changes and challenges of the arts and culture in Europe today and in the days to come.
Thus, in her contribution, Anne-Marie Autissier elucidates the figure of Denis de Rougemont and the basis of his importance to cultural Europe. The vision of him is limited to his incredibly valuable activities within cultural Europe but other aspects of his life (essayist, writer, philosopher, professor) fall outside the scope of this publication.
Frans de Ruiter knew Denis de Rougemont personally; therefore a special attention to their relationship is given in this book. In this way, the author gave a special shape of his contribution – he wrote several letters to de Rougemont, and received several in return. Through these fictious stories we gain a real vision, an insight into a cultural activity in Europe and into the need for artistic freedom.
A big leap from Anne-Marie Autissier and Frans de Ruiter is felt in professor Rik Pinxten's contribution which is in search of a current interpretation of culture.
Volker Hassemer's experiences, vision and above all accomplishments influenced the way in which Berlin realized the city's cultural importance of the international dimension after the fall of the Wall in 1989. Together with Nele Hartling, he initiated the Berliner Konferenz, which is also the main topic of his contribution to this book.
Jos6eacute; Manuel Barroso also held a lecture on the occasion of the first edition of the Berliner Konferenz in November 2004, where he said that "in the hierarchy of values, the cultural ones range above the economic ones", the sentence that possibly completes de Rougemont's "il reste tant à faire". Besides, Barroso is de Rougemont’s former student and thus indicates a new start for the culture in Europe.
EFA is, of course, at the centre of these stories since the festivals are the ideal partners to make a large public aware of the fact that Europe is also a cultural story.
For more information or to obtain the book, please contact: Kathrin Deventer, Assistant to the Secretary General, European Festivals Association (EFA), Kleine Gentstraat 46, 9051 Gent, Belgium, tel.: +32 9 241 8082; fax: +32 9 241 8089; e-mail: email@example.com