Marseille, European Capital of Culture 2013 in s and off s: A case for rethinking the effects of large-scale cultural initiatives

Publication Type:
Journal Article
French Cultural Studies, 2015, 26 (3), pp. 302 - 316
Issue Date:
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© SAGE Publications. Recent studies on urban change have emphasised the importance of culturally driven initiatives in the development of economic and social change. Concerns, however, have been raised in popular urban studies discourse that these strategies prioritise the economy and tourism over and above the needs of local residents and lead to the redefinition, and even the eradication, of local cultures. This paper looks at the case of the French city of Marseille as host of the European Capital of Culture programme in 2013. It analyses some of the cultural practices that arise at the intersection of a transnational cultural programme and localised cultural acts, and documents how some of Marseilles residents have responded to the European cultural event through cultural performances that address and highlight community concerns.
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