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Wolfgang Tillmans and Rem Koolhaas call on European creatives to rebrand the EU

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Photographer Wolfgang Tillmans and architects Rem Koolhaas and Stephan Petermann are inviting European creatives to examine “what has gone wrong in the communication of, and about the EU and how to make a new and powerful beginning” in the wake of Brexit. As part of the Forum on European Culture from 31 May – 3 June, which focuses on the strength, impact and value of art and culture in Europe, the trio are holding a series of workshops titled Eurolab to examine the successful and unsuccessful projects over 25 years of communicating Europe, and collect ideas for how “cooperation and solidarity can be spoken for in a fresh and compelling way to large audiences.”

The open call asks for proposals for communicating the advantages of cooperation and friendship among people and nations, which can take the form of drafts, designs, photos, poems, words and short film scripts that can be developed and contribute to a clear yet multi-faceted campaign across all media.

“In an increasingly interconnected world, voices that create division between people and peoples, have gathered momentum and try to unravel the achievements of cooperation and solidarity,” say the trio in a statement on the forum’s website. "Europeans, in particular, are challenged by nationalist and divisive language from outside and from within the EU.

“How can the European Union be valued by its citizens and be recognised as a force for good, rather than as a faceless bureaucracy?

“We need messages, how the Union works and how life would be without it; – how it was without it. And we need ideas how to challenge the organisation itself, how to make it better. Alert us of the failings of the EU. Alert us of the successes of the EU. Also welcome are ideas that are not focused on the EU itself but on its values, and how they play out amongst people in everyday life in non-political ways.

From the workshops and a series of interview sessions, the trio aims to compile “a comprehensive toolbox of arguments, strategies, and ideas” to be applied to campaigns across different demographics and used by different professional groups, for example, Teachers for Europe.