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Focus '89: Breaking down Barriers

With the participation of Anda Rottenberg
08/10/09
On 9 November, 1989, the fall of the Berlin wall led to the reunification of Germany. Yet it also radically changed the whole of Europe in sociopolitical, cultural and economic terms. The conference ‘Focus '89: Breaking down Barriers’, organised by the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), in partnership with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the Council of Europe and Culture Action Europe, aimed to bring together recommendations made at recent seminars, including the Krakow Conference on Culture and Development, with a view to setting the course for future action by cultural bodies in a new Europe.
The conference compared European cultural policy before and after 1989, looking at how Europe managed to create a new European cultural civil society. It also explored the opportunities and restrictions thrown up by the cultural sector and its role in helping European societies to face the new challenges which have arisen twenty years after the fall of the wall. 
Anda Rottenberg is an art historian and critic. Since 1980, she has curated several Polish and international exhibitions. From 1993 until 2001, she was the director of the Zachęta National gallery of Art in Warsaw and in charge of the Polish pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Since 1997, she has also been in charge of the Polish contribution to the São Paulo Biennale. She co-organised the following collective exhibitions: Beyond Borders(Kwangju Biennale, 1995), Aspects-Positions 1949 - 1999 (Vienna-Budapest-Barcelona-Birmingham, 2000-2001), L'Autre Moitié de l'Europe (The Other Half of Europe) (Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2000). She was also a member of the first council which led to the Documenta 12 Manifesto, as well as a member of the selection board for the same project. From 2006 until 2007, she also worked as director of programming at the Warsaw Modern Art Museum and wrote a short history of Polish art (Art in Poland 1945-2005, Warsaw, 2006). She is a member of AICA (International Association of Art Critics), CIMAM (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art) and IKT (International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art).
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