Participation: the new cultural policy and communication paradigm

by Anne Scott Sørensen (Denmark/Thematic Session)

In this panel, we aim to address the current shift in cultural policy in late modern welfare states towards “participation” (Bennett, 2013), taking the Nordic and in particular Danish national context as our example. On the ground of theories of government, democracy and cultural citizenship (Agamben et al., 2011; Ingram, 2002), on the one hand, and on conceptualizations of “participation” on the other (Carpentier, 2011; Delwiche & Henderson, 2013;), the panel will identify and discuss the participatory paradigm and its translation into various levels of cultural policy (national/local), in and across various types of institutions (media, museums, archives, libraries) and in non-institutional, civil and urban initiatives. The hypothesis, grounded on more-than-representational analysis (Lorimer, 2005; Thrift, 2007), is that the new paradigm is to be understood as a complex and also heterogeneous assemblage of agendas, practices and agents, striving to define and direct it. The hypothesis will be pursued through case studies on the so-called regional cultural contracts, recent curatorial and artistic co-productions and audience involvement in art museums, the digital and interactive national cultural heritage project/archive – and the European Melodi Grand Prix/Eurovision 2014 in Copenhagen.

Beside Anne Scott Sørensen this thematic session will be presented and discussed by Mette Thobo-Carlsen, Hjørdis Brandrup Kortbek, Bjarki Valtysson, and Louise Ejgod Hansen.


Photo: The artwork skyLINE by Jesper Konshaug, made for European Melodi Grand Prix 2014/ Eurovision 2014 in Copenhagen, photographer Ulrik Jantzen.