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Chapter 22 Belonging and Unbelonging, The cultural purpose of festivals

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-15-9-2636

ISBN: 978-1-910158-15-9

Published: January 2015

Component type: chapter

Published in: Focus On Festivals

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-15-9-2599



This chapter illustrates the inherent dualism of the European festival traditions and how these have translated into contemporary arts festivals. It is not a history, and focuses primarily on contemporary practice, whilst drawing attention to the continuities of cultural purpose which could be interpreted as fulfilling fundamental human and cultural needs – the need to embrace community and identity whilst at the same time giving license to subversion, challenge and the unfamiliar. In its central section, this chapter examines the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, which enabled a diversity of national and regional identities to be expressed through its programmes of work. It also enabled important new art works to be presented by a number of partner festivals across the UK. But most significantly, the four year Olympiad’period (2008-2012) enabled projects to be grown from ground level upwards and grand ambitions to be realised, demonstrating on a large scale, a previously hidden trend towards ‘slow art’: the long-term embedding of partnerships between artists and communities.

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  • Tessa Gordziejko (Author)

For the source title:

  • Chris Newbold, De Montfort University (Editor)
  • Christopher Maughan, Freelance writer (Editor)
  • Jennie Jordan, De Montfort University (Editor)
  • Franco Bianchini, Leeds Beckett University (Editor)

Cite as

Gordziejko, 2015

Gordziejko, T. (2015) "Chapter 22 Belonging and Unbelonging, The cultural purpose of festivals" In: Newbold, C., Maughan, C., Jordan, J. & Bianchini, F. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-15-9-2636


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Published in Focus On Festivals

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