Bastia “European Capital of Culture”: “We are going to consolidate what exists and expand it”

Objective 2028. The city of Bastia competes to obtain the seal of “European Capital of Culture”. The association created to support this candidacy has just appointed a general curator, Pierre Lungheretti, and a project manager, Muriel Peretti. Meet

What if culture were the key to the development of a territory? This is the bet that the project leaders are making “Bastia – Corsica 2028” legitimately presenting his candidacy to european capital of culture. It is to Melina Mercouri, the Greek Minister of Culture, and her French counterpart, Jack Lang, that we owe this program to promote European cultures within the Member States. This project, launched in 1985, took its current form in 1999 under the name of European Capital of Culture. Since then, each year two cities in Europe have been designated after having published a call for applications. Four French cities have already obtained it: Paris in 1989, Avignon in 2000, Lille in 2004 and Marseille in 2013. In six years, one French and one Czech city will be chosen. With the support of the Community of Corsica and the Pascal-Paoli University, the city of Bastia applied, extending its candidacy to the entire territory under the name “Bastia-Corsica 2028”. The association in charge of the organization recently appointed a general commissioner, Pierre Lungheretti, and a project manager, Muriel Peretti, to fly the colors of Corsica.

For a participatory application

Originally from Antisanti and Corte, Pierre Lungheretti began his publishing career before serving as director of the Kallisté theater and director of cultural affairs for the city of Ajaccio. After a period as director general of culture for the city of Rennes, he joined Frédéric Mitterrand’s cabinet from 2009 to 2012, where he became deputy director and then director of the minister’s cabinet. After three years with the Albanian Minister of Culture, he became regional director of cultural affairs for Poitou-Charentes and director general of the Cité internationale de la bande Dessine. He currently holds the position of deputy director of the Théâtre national de Chaillot, a position that does not prevent him from being fully involved in the “Bastia-Corsica 2028” project. With passion, I can do anything, confirms Pierre Lungheretti. You just have to organize yourself and find the time. So I am not alone, it is a collective project, there is the association created for the occasion and Muriel Peretti who joins as project manager. » The latter, who grew up between Chisa and Propriano, passed through Aix-en-Provence and then Paris, where she notably worked for the prestigious Milan Records label. Still in music, she took charge of the Roma Europa festival for three years. He currently works at the French Embassy in Italy, although, for the purposes of this candidacy, he has put his role on hold.

The mission of this couple is to prepare the candidacy project in a dynamic of consultation and participation of the island society. They have until December to present the specifications, the true culmination of this first phase that will lead a jury of independent experts appointed by the European Commission to select four cities from among the many candidates. At the moment, they are mainly trying to make their mark: With Muriel, we are in a phase in which we find a maximum of cultural actors, but also environmental and social action.. The process is ongoing. You have to listen to them and ask them what this project awakens in them as they wish. » This extension of Bastia’s candidacy to all of Corsica leads them to work throughout the territory, as the commissioner insists: It is essential that this project be part of a global territorial development program where culture is a motor and a catalyst. It allows social cohesion, emancipation, knowledge, economic development through creativity and not only through tourism. The association’s board of directors has set us a set of conditions: to be able to carry out a project that allows us to combine all these issues in a coherent and global approach. »

see long term

The team is also interested in creating a dialogue between old and new, existing and future projects. A longer term perspective. This candidacy, regardless of the result, must be long-term. It is a project of metamorphosis, of evolution around contemporary issues such as biodiversity, inclusion or even social innovation. We are thinking about how Corsica can find a unique and specific path linked to its DNA. We want to include in this approach cultural actors, artists: safe and emerging values »says Pierre Lungheretti. Working with young people is also part of our objectives », adds Muriel. We will rely on the forces present, The commissioner insists consolidate the existing and expand it. It is very important because we are not going to reinvent everything. If youth is one of the strong axes of this campaign, the countryside also occupies a prominent place. » He pursues: The challenge is to promote access to culture for the youngest. Above all because in terms of education, the rural is less favored than the urban, which has more infrastructure. There are cultural Fabbriche like Casell’arte or Providenza but we have to go further. Our goal is to identify these initiatives and breathe new life into them. »

The project factory continues

To carry out their reflection, the couple also decided to follow the principle of a project factory like the one that took place last December. An important moment of collective reflection acclaimed by cultural actors and elected officials of the island. We are going to set up, with the same principle, five workshops on five major themes, around natural heritage, artistic creation, culture and social inclusion, says Pierre Lungheretti. Question, for example, how heritage dialogues with multilingualism and, based on these reflections, develop a real action program that is the backbone of our candidacy.. » Muriel Peretti insists: We do not want to exclude anyone. At the same time, we want to create a committee of sponsors that can include small and medium-sized companies. The know-how of the island must be highlighted. Not forgetting the diaspora! This degree of common involvement is essential. »

Both believe in the possibilities of this candidacy: We are convinced that the specificity of our heritage in terms of culture and creation is an important asset. Like multilingualism and this strategic geographical position of Corsica in the heart of the Mediterranean. »

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