Contemporary histories of Europe in artistic and creative practices

Specific Challenge


Culture is the most cherished and valued shared European asset of EU citizens according to surveys. Europe has been associated with and represented by iconic artistic and literary works since Antiquity. From the ancient Greek myth of Europa to Tolstoy's depiction of Napoleonic Europe in "War and Peace" and to Beethoven's 9th Symphony passing by medieval sacred arts or iconic European films, the list of artistic and literary expressions that represent Europe for many Europeans or non-Europeans is open-ended. Even without an official consensus about a repertory of these artistic and literary representations of Europe, they form the backbone of a European cultural identity and cultural heritage for many Europeans and for visitors coming to Europe for admiring its unique cultural heritage. However, the creation of cultural heritage is a never ending process. Today's culture is tomorrow's cultural heritage in the making. In this perspective, the specific challenge of the topic is to critically investigate - with the help of social sciences and humanities - the evolving representations of Europe in contemporary artistic and creative expressions in the light of changing societal, historical and cultural contexts.



Research under this topic will examine various contemporary artistic and creative practices such as literature, cinema, music and dance, in order to identify and assess their representations of Europe, European identity and Europeanisation. It should have a comparative approach and a wide European geographic coverage. Research should clearly distinguish between positive and negative depictions of Europe and the European Union, and investigate the reasons for such representations. The definition and selection of the artistic, literary and creative manifestations representing Europe should cover various European regions, including post-2004 EU Member States, and potentially from neighbouring countries. Research should consider the role of curation, language, translation and digitalisation in terms of accessing these representations. It should consider implications for perspectives on European culture and cultural heritage and the possibilities to channel research results into formal and informal education in Europe through innovative learning material adapted to contemporary media and art consumption patterns. The early involvement of networks of cultural and/or education institutions should contribute to the efficient uptake of research results.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 2.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact


Research will result in better knowledge of cultural Europeanisation in the making and in new, innovative tools and material for formal and informal education. The results and their dissemination will contribute to the renewal of cultural narratives of Europe that speak to Europeans of different languages, cultures, religions and origins beyond national borders. It will contribute to enhanced cultural inter-comprehension among Europeans. Research outputs and dissemination means will be adapted to contemporary art and literature consumption patterns in Europe.

Cross-cutting Priorities

Socio-economic science and humanities

Application date
Social sciences