Cultural Mobility Forum 2022


The first yearly Forum is hosted physically by Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki, Finland and online by Howlround, both On the Move members.

Registration below for the online event (you can choose to attend the whole Forum or the panels of your choice).

For people based in Helsinki, there is a number of limited places available. Please contact Yohann at

Why a cultural mobility forum?

On the Move is the international information network dedicated to artistic and cultural mobility, currently gathering 60+ members from 27 countries and representing the interests of 1870+ affiliated organisations and individuals in Europe and the world. Co-funded by the European Union, On the Move aims in 2022-2024 to support all mobility stakeholders to build responsiveness to global interdependencies and challenges, including social and societal ones.

As part of its multiannual programme, each year On the Move proposes a Cultural Mobility Forum to collectively investigate international artistic and cultural mobility trends. As a unique knowledge platform, the network works together with its members and partners to design thematic panel discussions. These in turn address the main points from On the Move’s annual Cultural Mobility Yearbook monitoring mobility opportunities and funding schemes, analysing flows and obstacles, and raising awareness of burning issues.

Focus 2022: digital mobility

The Covid-19 crisis has brought transnational cooperation almost to a halt. As researcher Milica Ilić has written, this disruption is bound to have consequences that will mark the sector for years to come. With little or no international travel, arts professionals are turning to their local environments, further changing the landscape for transnational work, and accelerating a trend which in some countries was already in motion due to political shifts or ecological concerns. The full effects of these changes are yet to be understood but could potentially have lasting consequences for a generation of artists, in particular those from less privileged environments where mobility, more than a choice, is a necessity.

Covid-19 and the lockdowns, curfews and closed borders that have come with it have deeply impacted international cultural mobility, with most on-site cultural activities shut down. New and/or revisited forms of transnational cultural projects have taken place online but offer only a very partial replacement for what existed before the pandemic, and often offer very limited funding support for the artists involved. Nonetheless, we have seen many forms of digital cultural mobility arise, and felt the need to discuss the changing nature of working practices and mobility flows in the culture field.

As On the Move President Marie Fol has observed, there have been many debates on the value of international mobility and physical encounters, as well as on digital practices – their limitations and challenges as well as their joys and opportunities. While acknowledging that cultural mobility has suffered from a wide range of problems in the past – ranging from unequal access to funding to unnecessary administrative burdens – several voices have observed that digital mobility could open new pathways and answer pressing needs in relation to issues such as diversity, inclusion, access, and the need for more balanced power relations. Is the digital shift providing all that it seems to promise?

Schedule (subject to change)

Wednesday 25 May 2022, 9.00-17.00 (EEST TIME)
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Venue Nordic Culture Point, Kaisaniemenkatu 9, Helsinki
Online Howlround,
8.30 Opening registration desk for participants
9.00-9.30 Welcome speeches and introduction
Marie Fol, President of On the Move
Ola Kellgren, Director of Nordic Culture Point
9.30-10.45 Panel: ‘Digital cross-border artistic collaboration’
Moderator: Chiara Organtini, performing arts curator and project manager (Italy)
Speakers: Petra Hannus, culture programme, Goethe-Institut (Finland); Alma Salem, independent curator and founder of Sixth Space Contemporary Arts Touring Curatorial platform (Canada)
11.00-12.15 Panel: ‘Digital international professional development’
Moderator: Marta Keil, performing arts curator and researcher (Poland)
Speakers: Hege Knarvik Sande, director of Performing Arts Hub Norway; Abi Tariq, independent artist and communication manager at and AFIELD fellowship (France)
12.15-13.15 Lunch break
13.30-14.45 Panel: ‘Digital environmental sustainability’
Moderator: Irene Garofalo, advocacy officer at ELIA (The Netherlands)
Speakers: Gwendolenn Sharp, founder of The Green Room (France); Piia Rantala-Korhonen, director of Oulu2026 (Finland)
15.00-16.15 Panel: ‘Digital inclusion’
Moderator: Sophie Dowden, project and fundraising manager at the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat (Germany)
Speakers: Ceyda Berk-Söderblom, artistic director of MiklagardArts (Finland); Yamam Al-Zubaidi, independent researcher (Sweden)
16.30-17.00 Conclusions and perspectives
Marie Le Sourd, Secretary General of On the Move
Ouafa Belgacem, CEO and co-founder of Culture Funding Watch, host of the 2023 Cultural Mobility Forum in Tunis
Mary Ann DeVlieg, Founding President of On the Move
17.00-19.00 Celebratory cocktails to mark On the Move’s 20th anniversary

Download the full event programme

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