Landscape, Language, Migration
For more than three years the Galway2020 team, with their national and international colleagues, developed a rich programme of projects based upon the themes of landscape, language and migration. While deeply embedded as concerns and inspirations in Galway City and County one cannot but see how these themes resonate with all our lives as Europeans. As Zygmunt Bauman wrote,
" It often turns out that in the matter of diversity of language, culture and society, very small distance, in the order of twenty kilometers, divides two completely different worlds... Europe will perish if it does not fight for its languages, local traditions and social autonomy.... Of Europe’s exceptional virtues, it is diversity, the wealth of variety, that he places above all others. Abundance of diversity is the most precious treasure which Europe managed to save from the conflagrations of the past, to offer to the world today. To live with Another, live as Another for Another, is the fundamental task of man - both on the highest and the lowest level ...therein perhaps dwells that specific advantage of Europe, which could and had to learn the art of living with others."
From these three themes were developed four "Flagship Programmes" (An Artist in Every Place, Hope it Rains, Small Towns Big Ideas, Windows on the World) and four "Project Suites" (Launching and landing, Weigh Anchor, Ship to Shore, Foreward Motion). The tapestry is rich and intriguing. During 2017 and 2018 I had the huge pleasure of working with artists and cultural practitioners in Galway and Ireland prepare for their special year in 2020. I wish them all the very best with their implimentation over the next few years.
Chris Baldwin. June 2018.