Museums, music, and social values — what do they have in common? They all form part of the valuable cultural heritage that we pass down through generations. With so many Americans able to trace their ancestry and origins back to Europe, the compositions and masterpieces of European writers and artists have become integral to America’s roots and identity. To highlight the importance of preserving our shared history, the EU has dedicated 2018 to be the European Year of Cultural Heritage. At South by Southwest, we’ll be showcasing this in a number of ways.
This festival is all about the convergence of culture, science and technology. If you visit our house at ‘Palm Door on 6th’ (508 East 6th St) between March 10 and 12, you can witness the future of museums with the EUseum — Europe’s first museum that can only be experienced through virtual reality — where you’ll get a completely immersive experience into the lives of some of Europe’s great artists and the history behind their masterpieces. We will also be featuring Atlas, an art/technology augmented reality project that has emerged from the EU STARTS initiative VERTIGO. With Atlas, you can experiment with architecture, build a virtual city, and rethink how we live in our environment.
These hands-on activities will be complemented by on-stage discussions led by experts from both Europe and the US. For instance, in our Virtual Storytelling panel, we’ll talk about how VR creators can use this new technology to tell stories in more memorable ways, fostering a sense of belonging and empathy around cultural and social issues. We’ll hear from virtual reality film experts like Michel Reilac, the Head of the Submarine Channel, who is a pioneer in VR filmmaking and a thought-leader for hybrid forms of storytelling. Also joining us are Astrid Kahmke (head of the Bavarian Film Center’s Virtual Reality Creator’s Lab) and Roelof Terpstra (Executive Director of The Virtual Dutchmen) in a discussion that will be led by American futurist/immersive technologist Rachel Ann Sibley.
Since music is also an important part of our cultural heritage, we’ll be hosting a transatlantic Music & Policy panel about supporting and protecting musical creation and distribution. Just as new technology has helped make it easier to share culture, it has also changed how music is consumed; digitalization is presenting the music industry with new challenges, and the EU wants to help. A debate hosted by Vickie Nauman of CrossBorderWorks will feature German, French, British, and American experts on music and tech discussing what initiatives like Music Moves Europe can do to help the industry adapt and benefit from digitalization to protect the future of music.
When it comes to social values, inclusion and diversity are especially relevant in the US and Europe today. On our Social Inclusion & Diversity panel, we’ll be talking about why inclusion is good for business and look at how cities on both sides of the Atlantic are putting new inclusive strategies into practice. Experts who have worked in cities across Europe and the US will share potential solutions, ranging from improving diversity at decision-maker levels, to the integration of refugees, to youth engagement, and even to digital inclusion. A special keynote address from Congressman Mark Takano of California will kick off this discussion on Sunday, March 11 at 4 p.m.
Interested to hear more about new ways we are working to preserve Cultural Heritage? The following EU@SXSW events are for you:
- Social Inclusion & Diversity (March 11 @ 2:00 PM) — See why cities around the world are turning to social inclusion of their diverse populations as a key element for building their own long term economic growth. (Link Here)
- Virtual Storytelling: How to Create Emotionally Resonant VR Experiences (March 11 @ 4:00 PM) — Explore how virtual storytelling can be used to connect emotionally with audiences like no other medium, creating immersive experiences that audiences won’t forget. (Link Here)
- Music & Policy: Can Government Help Music Face the Digital Age? (March 12 @ 3:00 PM) — This lively debate will assess what government and the music industry can do together to protect the future of music as it becomes increasingly digitized. (Link Here)
Not going to South by Southwest? Don’t worry — you don’t have to be in Austin to discover and experience our cultural heritage and efforts. We will be livestreaming our discussions and tweeting updates from our events; visit facebook.com/EUintheUS to access and view EU@SXSW programming.