Citizen participation through a call for project proposals: free interpretations and compulsory readings of participation, identity and village conviviality?
Since 2013, The King Baudouin Foundation made calls for project proposals that aim to stimulate innovation, citizenship,rural identity and “the working together for a better society”. This may be seen as another form of citizen participation.As member of the Jury, I scrutinized both the calls and the projects collected to enlighten the interpretation of rurality andtrends concerning rural life. I noticed difficulties to succeed without external help because the projects had to be innovativeand include elitist and even urban concepts. This led to the reinventing of the countryside, which seems difficult to define.Professional actors increasingly substitute the “normal” citizens and the amateurishness of the local committee who simplywants… to meet together and have a drink.
Keywords: participation, rural identity, citizenship, call for projects, countryside, Wallonia.
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