The Speakers

Abdalla  DaifAbdalla Soliman ( Known as Abdalla Daif ) is a writer, theatre director and cultural manager based in Alexandria.

He has been working in theatre since 1997. He was involved in the organisation of the first independent theatre festival in Alexandria and has also worked as a researcher at Egypt’s National Centre for Theatre, Music and Folkore.

Since 2004, he works as Programme Manager at Gudran Association for Art and Development. He works using art as a tool for social transformation, encouraging audiences to discover, imagine and co-create possible new scenarios of social life. ‘My work seeks to bring contemporary artistic practices closer to people who are usually removed from cultural and social participation, in order to enable them to re-think their lives and our shared future in creative and critical ways’. His programs allow contemporary artists to work on the streets and other public spaces like cafes and markets, ‘establishing and developing a new generation of artistic spaces which can achieve a high degree of sustainability on both financial and intellectual levels’.

Abdalla has worked with different local communities and groups in Egypt, Italy, France, Malta, Cyprus, Jordan, Germany, Tunisia and Netherlands.


AAntonio  Gucciardontonio Gucciardo holds a Doctorate in Tourism Sciences (specialization in the economy of culture and cultural marketing), a Business Law degree (Laurea) from the Università di Palermo, Italy and a Master’s Degree in Inter-Mediterranean Mediation from the Università Ca’Foscari, Venice, Italy.  Since 2005 he is general manager of Interarts in Barcelona, a non-governmental organization specialized in international cultural co-operation. He is member of the commission for the adaptation to the European Space for Higher Education of the “European Master of Professional specialization, Inter-Mediterranean Mediation: Economic inversion and intercultural integration” (MIM) of the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain. He has worked in the information department of the Universal Forum of Cultures – Barcelona 2004, S.A and previously to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – Mission in Italy, coordinating office for the Mediterranean. During his career he has dabbled in publishing some articles (few) in the following areas: Tourism, Migration, International Relations, and Statistics.


Cristina Da MilanoCristina Da Milano  After the degree in Archaeology (University of Rome), she has been awarded the Diploma of Fine and Decorative Arts from Antiquity to 1450 (Royal Society of Arts, London); the MA in Museum Studies (Department of Museum Studies, University of Leicester); the MA in Technological Instruments for the Economic Evaluation of Cultural and Environmental Heritage (University of Ferrara).  She is a research fellow in the field of museum education and communication, with specific regard to the issue of culture as a means of social integration, subject on which she has published several papers.

From 1996 she is member of ECCOM (European Centre for Cultural Organisation and Management) and in 2010 she became president of it.

As member of Eccom, she has been part of several research projects at a national and international level on the issue of the social role of museums and of lifelong learning processes within museums. She has also managed many European funded projects within the framework of the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013 such as “LLML-Lifelong Museum Learning” (2005-2006), “VoCH-Volunteers for Cultural Heritage” (2007-2009); “Museum education for young people” (2007-2009); “ITEMS-Innovative technologies for European Museum Strategies” (2010-2012); “MuseumMediators” (2012-2014); “DIAMOND-Dialoguing Museum for a New Cultural Democracy” (2012-2014); “Open All Areas” (2012-2014), as well as in the Culture 2007-2013 funded project “She-Culture” (2013-2015).


Ida BurénIda Burén is the CeO of Intercult, a cultural organisation that engages in projects that combine an international outlook with an intercultural insight. Since 1997 she has been engagement in Intercult and has contributed to internationalise the Swedish cultural sector through a variety of projects.

Ida is a born projectleader, networker and a driven cultural activist. Apart from her work with Intercult, she´s been active in developing the independant performing art scene in Gothenburgh, in developing Cirkus Cirkus to become an international worldknown circus company and institution locally based in a suburb community, founding the circus company Sencirk with streetchildren in Dakar, Senegal and founding the SMartSe service for creative freelancers in Sweden.

Ida is also a social media activist, she tweets and she´s a frequent facebook user. She sees Facebook as a fantastic meetingspace where she can engaged, share views and discuss with people from her broad network; childhood friends, international contacts, politicians, relatives, collegues, the afro-swedish diaspora etcetera.


Bella LawsonBella Lawson has Master degrees in Political Science and French and is an Officer of Cultural Affairs in the region of Västerbotten (in the northern part of Sweden). She is a specialist in diversity issues and has been working with these issues within the cultural field since 2003. Starting off as one of seven Multicultural Consultants in Sweden, a position at regional levels launched in 2002 by the Social democratic Government.

Bella has always had a passion for human rights issues and founded in Umeå in 2005, together with two close friends, the Cultural Association Kulturstorm that aims to broaden cultural life in Västerbotten and engage underprivileged children and youth in culture, both as consumers and as producers. Bella has also been active in non-profit organisations such as Crossing Boarders that develops methods for gender equality and is today active in the Swedish Cultural Association TRYCK or PUSH in English, that consists of afroswedish cultural workers and humanities researchers and that aims at visualising experiences and stories that are missing today in Sweden.

Bella is multilingual and speaks fluently four languages Swedish, French, Finnish and English and understands Spanish and Mina (a language spoken in Togo) and has grown up in different countries (Sweden, Togo, Finland, Benin and Zambia). Bella loves to travel and meet new people. She has always had a special interest in issues concerning the African continent and was, during three years, between 2008-2010, the project manager for a large event called African Story Week in Västerbotten with lectures, seminars and workshops in visual arts, crafts and dance, music concerts etc. in different municipalities in the region. The aim was to broaden and problematize the common picture of the African continent as a continent filled with poverty, war and misery.


Karim DakroubKarim Dakroub Theater Director specialised in puppet theatre,  psychosocial expert and clinical psychotherapist, professor at Lebanese University- Institute of fine Arts. Consultant and trainer of using culture and performing arts for social dialogue in societies affected by wars and disasters. during last  years worked intensively with Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian refugees (In Lebanon, Syria and Jordan).


Luca BergamoLuca Bergamo has been the Secretary General of Culture Action Europe since March 2012.
For the first ten years of his career, Luca was a specialist in artificial intelligence and IT. Since 1994 he switched his focus to people. Along with Zone Attive, the company established by the city of Rome upon his proposal, Luca has conceived and driven some of Italy’s most revolutionary cultural initiatives. In 2004, he was appointed Director-General of the Glocal Forum, an international foundation promoting peace dialogue in post-conflict areas through local diplomacy and cultural cooperation. In 2007 he was called to lead the launch of the Italian National Agency for Youth (ANG). Under his leadership, the ANG started a global initiative to support youth activism for sustainable development worldwide. He built a coalition involving major United Nations agencies and over 1300 civil society organizations from 104 countries.


Mercedes GiovinazzoMercedes Giovinazzo holds a degree (Laurea) in Archaeology from the Università degli Studi “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy and a Master’s Degree in Arts Management from the École Supérieure de Commerce de Dijon, France. Since January 2005 she is director of Interarts in Barcelona, a non-governmental organization specialized in international cultural co-operation.

Between 2008 and 2011 she chaired the “Access to culture” Platform set up by the Education and Culture Directorate General of the European Commission in the framework of the structured dialogue process with the non-governmental sector foreseen by the “European Agenda for Culture”. Since October 2008, Chair of the Executive Committee of Culture Action Europe, the European political platform for the arts and culture (http://www.cultureactioneurope.org).

She teaches regularly in different postgraduate arts management courses on issues related with international cultural cooperation.

Previously, she has been Director of Services and Deputy Director of Customer Services at the Universal Forum of Cultures – Barcelona 2004, S.A. holding responsibilities in planning, contracting and management of general services and customer services; Administrator at the Division of Culture and Cultural and Natural Heritage, DG IV, at the Council of Europe, intergovernmental organization with 47 member States and its headquarters in Strasbourg, France, with responsibilities for the coordination and management of international cultural cooperation projects; and, director of the Mastère Européen Management des Entreprises Culturelles at the École Supérieure de Commerce de Dijon, France.


Michael WimmerMichael Wimmer. Working as director of the Austrian Cultural Service (ÖKS) for many years and with a background as music educator and political scientist, Michael Wimmer gained comprehensive experiences in the cooperation between the arts, culture and education.

He is a lecturer at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and on cultural policy at the Institute for Theatre and Media Studies, Vienna University. He is a consultant of the Austrian Ministry for Education, Culture and the Arts and since 2007 a member of the ministerial expert committee on the New Middle School.

On the international level, Michael Wimmer is an experienced consultant of the Council of Europe, the UNESCO and the European Commission, who asked him to join the EU Expert Network on Culture. He is also a member of the scientific committee of the International Conference for Cultural Policy Research (iccpr).


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