Discover New Horizons: Festival Studies von 03. bis 05. Mai 2017 an der FH Kufstein Tirol
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Discover New Horizons: Festival Studies, from May 3rd to 5th, 2017 at the FH Kufstein Tirol

Between tradition and innovation: festivals as a driver for sustainability

21.03.2017 | General
FH Kufstein Tirol presents the symposium "Discover New Horizons: Festival Studies". During the three-day event from May 3rd to 5th, 2017, expert speakers will discuss strategies to achieve sustainability.

By the 1980s, festivals had established themselves as cross-sectoral institutions with individual rules and effects within a cultural organization. In the fields of performing and fine arts, they act as producers of culture by commissioning work, amongst other things. Film and music festivals transcend boundaries between high culture and popular culture and break down barriers between artists and their audience by making use of places and space outside of the traditional stage landscape. Festivals represent a state of exception and as such they are agents of aesthetic and social change.

During the second edition of the symposium “Discover New Horizons”, to be held in English, international speakers will discuss the potential festivals have in promoting cultural sustainability by raising awareness about ecological, social and socio-political correlations.

Experts in implementation and research as event speakers

The FiSahara film festival is one of the most extraordinary festivals in the world. Taking place at the Dakhla refugee camp in Algeria since 2003, the event is designed to raise awareness about the situation of the refugees living in the camp. María Carrión, organizer of the festival, will outline how successful the festival has been in terms of cultural sustainability. The Tollwood festival in Munich has chosen a more "Western" soil to stage its pioneering event on sustainability. Stephanie Weigel, Head of the Department of Sustainability, will concentrate on programmatic strategies of social and environmental sustainability.

Szilvia Nagy from Locop, a research platform for cultural sustainability in European Capitals of Culture, will present results of practical research. Tanja C. Krainhöfer, a media researcher and initiator of Film Festival Studies Germany, will analyze the Berlinale's diversity principles at the interface between cultural policy and the film industry. Two speakers will discuss the definition and significance of folklore in different cultural contexts: Estrella Sendra from SOAS University London will focus on the FESFOP festival in Senegal and its role in preserving traditions. Petra Streng, an ethnologist from Innsbruck, will reflect on the relations between Tyrolean traditions and innovation at traditional festivals. 

Side events: Future Lab and Science Busters

Two exclusive side events will take place for the first time at the symposium. The Future Lab on festival tourism in Tyrol has been organized in cooperation with the Kufsteinerland tourism office and is designed to promote collaboration between actors in tourism and culture. Ulrich Fuchs, EU jury member in the selection process of Europe's Capitals of Culture, will hold a keynote speech, followed by an open workshop format with members of the Austrian National Tourist Office and Alex Erler, initiator of the Austrian Wiesenrock festival, as facilitators. Registration for the Future Lab is open until April 12th, 2017.

Another highlight will be the Kufstein debut performance of the scientific cabaret group Science Busters at the event "Kultur.Mut" at the FH Kufstein Tirol on May 4th, 2017 at 7 pm.