Discourses of Europeanness in the reception of the European Capital of Culture events: The case of Pécs 2010

  • Lähdesmäki T
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Abstract

Europeanness has been determined in various ways in academic, political and everyday discussions. The concept has become profoundly current in European Union (EU) policy during the past few decades: the EU is paying more and more interest in creating cultural coherence in Europe. The EU has various cultural instruments, such as the European Capital of Culture programme (ECOC), which aim to produce and strengthen Europeanness and cultural identification with Europe among its citizens. The ECOC programme creates an ideological frame for an urban cultural event: the frame directs the reception and experiences of the festivals, exhibitions and performances in the ECOC. Pécs – a city in southern Hungary – was selected as one of the ECOCs in 2010. In the article I analyse the discourses of Europeanness in the reception of the ECOC events in Pécs. The found discourses indicate how transnational spatial categories, such as Europe, and their spatial identities are constantly constituted in local settings through multiple processes in which sensory, perceived, materialized space is intertwined with linguistic and symbolic representations of space, and its subjective experiences, beliefs and uses.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Discourse
  • Europeanness
  • identity
  • space
  • the European Capital of Culture programme

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Authors

  • Tuuli Lähdesmäki

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