Colloque international politiques culturelles et ordre social 1968–2018

In May 1968, a French national forum for culture was held at the Théâtre de la Cité de Villeurbanne, with Roger Planchon and Francis Jeanson at the forefront: a landmark manifesto was drafted, entitled Déclaration de Villeurbanne. Lyrical and forward-looking, the Declaration was the creation of a collective authority made up of twenty-three directors of popular theaters and cultural centers. Together, they supported a plan to break with the past as well as gain power, while describing a fragmented public arena – in short, a sort of political ethic. The document was destined for a special fate, both as a focal point and a variable point in political discourse on culture and the social role of art, especially regarding the theater (Delhalle 2006, 2017).

The Declaration is still used today, though ambiguous and prone to varying interpretation, helping us reflect on the continuities and breaks that influence contemporary cultural practices, policies and productions. Yet if we are to look critically at current affairs in the art world and cultural initiatives, we need to do away with meaningless categorizations and begin working together to denaturalize lingering, resistant language and practices that in a variety of ways declare democratization, emancipation and the alternative. Other themes may provide food for thought: the concept of risk, for example (what about involvement today or the conformism of cultural actors?) ; the issue of globalization (what about the internationalization of practices and the rise of local?) ; or the very process of politicization (what about culture’s political role in the face of economic arguments?).

Much research has been conducted on these topics in multiple fields of knowledge: theater studies, information and communication technology, sociology, history, political science, etc.In keeping with this research, the symposium is open to contributions from a variety of disciplines within the humanities and social sciences. These contributions will take a critical, problem-focused look at cultural policies, productions and/or practices, regardless of the artistic or cultural sector in question (performing arts, circus arts, heritage, books, etc.).