The Utopian Society of Euxine is a non-governmental organization founded in 2021 with the mission of preserving, interpreting, promoting and creating new art inspired by the common heritage of the Extended Black Sea Region. This includes the member states of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC): Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. Just as the region itself is complex, interdependent and poly-cultural, so too is our organization. In this sense, we are creating a network of collaborations and partnerships to develop an international community of artists and skilled cultural operators to combine the creation of new art, and the preservation of the region’s artistic heritage.
The vision of Euxine will reactivate the international heritage of the region, increasing the circulation of ideas, people, material and cultural works. This will reinforce the unique symbiotic relationships amongst the people of the Black Sea that connect the European and Asian continents. Bolder still, the Euxine articulates an imaginary, dynamic and paradoxical territory. Not merely the Black Sea that was, and is, but a utopian Black Sea that can be.
The idea of a transnational imaginary homeland on which the vision of the Utopian Society of Euxine rests has its origins in the program of the cultural newspaper “Silver Coast” of the Free University of Balchik, conceived by Octavian Moșescu and first published on April 2, 1928 in Romanian, Bulgarian and Turkish. Thus, the program of artistic and curatorial residencies, exhibition projects and curatorial interventions, networking events and workshops will aim to capture this inspired publication and contemplate how the world could have been, if the movement conceived of by the Silver Coast has flourished.
The Euxine values are:
- Free Movement. The Black Sea has been a path for human movement since the earliest cultures flourished on its banks. In this way, the Black Sea is a mirror to today’s most dramatic cultural shift: the remarkable free movement of ideas and knowledge across the globe through technology. A mobility of the mind, open to the masses. And a mobility of the body open to travelers, nomads, refugees, the stateless, and more people than ever before. Our society embraces these two mobilities and cherishes them.
- Hospitality. The Greeks called the sea Euxenios, from the word for “hospitable.” This was used with irony, since the Black Sea was less hospitable than the Aegean. Despite the Greek’s euphemism, one of the most powerful shared cultural characteristics across our region is a deeply shared culture of hospitality, and a duty to the visitor. Our society cherishes these values, and promotes the tools of intercultural mediation, an instrument of interest to those who travel globally in the interest of business, as well as for those who are interested in understanding how national perceptions are shaped.
- Innovation. The harshness of the Black Sea, like all challenges, inspired humans to improve. Euxine believes that cultural evolution is possible as long as there is a culture of innovation, able to address political fragmentation and hostile relations between the countries around the Black Sea coast. In this sense, rethinking the curatorial practice as an institutional narrative, the Euxine curatorial office aims to develop tools, interventions and working models that facilitate mutual understanding between neighboring cultures in the Extended Region of the Black Sea.
These three principles are at the core of our movement, and are amongst the most widely shared human values globally and regionally. They are also some of the values most in jeopardy in today’s world.