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The Role of Culture in Social Change Symposium 25.4.2009

Culture: Social Responsibility, symposium ii
Verkatehdas Arts and Congress Center, Hämeenlinna (Finland), 25 April 2009

Culture can refer to all aspects of human life concerning being, living and self-expression. Culture is an open and everexpanding concept. Art in various art forms can be seen as the nucleus of culture, but culture also encompasses entertainment, as well as gaming and virtual worlds developed by information technology.
Interaction in general can be seen as a characteristic of culture.

The symposium will look at manifestations of culture in various historical, political and
social situations. Although fixed boundaries of time and locality are difficult to draw, time and locality play a role in defining culture. Our environments shape
our culture and our culture shapes our environments. Local and global, past and present are simultaneously present in our culture, either in harmony or conflict.

The need to speak, show and be heard is part of human nature. These acts become
cultural practice because they are done consciously and deliberately to another, to an
audience. Today the forms, models and achievements of these cultural practices are
quite different from what they were a few hundred years ago. Makers of culture want to speak about different, yet also similar issues. The relationship between humans and nature, ugliness and beauty and good and evil are forever present in cultural practices.

Today´s world is full of talk of individual choices, marketization and globalization,
but also of happiness, community and freedom. Is culture conforming to politically
neo-liberal mainstreams or will it aspire to bring about something that is more sustainable and not measurable by economic indicators? What is the meaning
of culture for today´s people and society? Can culture play a part in uniting people from different places to a shared world?

The 2009 symposium Culture: Social Responsibility at the Verkatehdas Arts and
Congress Center is dedicated to the 370-year-old city of Hämeenlinna. Hämeenlinna
holds a strong belief in the individual and communal significance of culture.

The entry is free. The languages used are Finnish and English. Simultanius interpretation Finnish-English-Finnish is available.


More information:
Jouko Astor
tel. +358 40 570 1821

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