Sacha Kagan

Sacha Kagan, picture taken by my colleague Christoph Behnke in 2005

Please see my personal website/blog for more updated information (activities from 2007 onwards):

Sacha Kagan is a founding member and coordinator of the International Network Cultura21. This self-presentation page tells a bit more about the individual, his affiliation and his current projects.

about Sacha Kagan (autobiographic profile)

Before saying who I am, let me say who I would like to be: I am trying to become a transdisciplinary researcher and activist. I am therefore active in a variety of different projects and fields, and I always find it difficult and hurtful to put one label on myself...

So I will tell about my own life at some length, rather than putting some sort of CV summary down here...

I was born in France, in the beautiful Dordogne countryside, in 1980. I have been active as an environmentalist very early on: At the age of 8, I was collecting money for a French ecological NGO, the STPN, for their ‘save the elephants campaign’. At the age of 12, I was elected as representative of my “collège” at the Youth County Council and I launched a campaign (with help of local media) for the creation of a control commission (CLI) for the local nuclear power station (while the county council was reluctant to create that commission). Between the ages of 13 and 14, I was the representative of the youth at that commission, and saw from very near how the French nuclear mafia refuses to do research on the consequences of nuclear power stations for the health of local populations... Between the ages of 15 and 19 (i.e. 1995-2000), I was active on the internet and did a lot of work with fellow youngsters and our supervisor Jacqueline for the website of my highschool, Lycée Magendie. (We even got invited by President Chirac to his garden party in 1999 because of our website!)

After highschool, I studied History at the University of Bordeaux for two years, then started after one year to study in parallel at Sciences Po Bordeaux (interdisciplinary school of political sciences) which took me four years including one year as exchange student at the University of Rotterdam (where I met Hans Dieleman, following his courses on ‘environmental management’ and, already, on ‘art & sustainability’). I then came again to Rotterdam to do a ‘Master of Arts in cultural economics and cultural entrepreneurship’ (which was a great experience thanks to the teachings of Arjo Klamer, Hans Abbing, Ruth Towse, Wouter de Nooy and Dirk Noordman).

My relationship to the arts has a strong personal basis in my habitus. I was indeed raised in a family of artists (my father is a visual artist; my mother has been a contemporary dancer at the Nederlands Dans Theater, then a dance teacher, and now prepares a research on dance together with me; my two brothers are a photographer and a comedian; my Dutch grandmother is a former violinist; my uncle is a painter and her daughter, my cousin, a pianist).

During my university studies, I took part in some projects (see the ‘past projects’ below). After my studies, I first worked for 5 months as communication officer for the “Service Culturel” (arts programming office) of the University of Bordeaux III, and then moved straight to Germany, to the University of Lueneburg, where I am a ‘collaborator’ of Prof Volker Kirchberg. I am doing some teaching and research there, preparing a PhD and working on some projects.

Click here for a more formal self-presentation, on the website of my department:

about current projects

Of course, one of my main projects is to foster the current network. But besides that, I have some other specific projects in preparation.

  • In partnership with the French NGO ACTED (David Knaute), we are starting a European level “awareness raising campaign about development issues”, about the situation of the Karamoja region and Karimojong people in north-eastern Uganda. The project is supported by the European Commission (Europaid). The project will involve 4 Universities in 4 European countries (Lueneburg, Bordeaux, Groningen, Prag). It will start with a documentary film in Karamoja (by Steffen Keulig and myself), that will serve as material for the realisation of a campaign by students across Europe... More details available to network members in the red zone at this page...
  • I am preparing a phD on the subject of ‘art and (un)sustainability’, with Volker Kirchberg as first supervisor, and as second supervisor Hans Dieleman... The phD should be realized by 2010: The objectives of the research will be : 1. To identify a culture of sustainability, and its contrast to a predominant culture of unsustainability. This exploration will limit itself to a general overview and attention will be thereafter focused on how far and why these dimensions of cultures of (un-)sustainability may be present in the arts.

2. To explore the roles of the arts (recognized as agents of the development of western culture) in relationship to these 2 competing cultures in the contemporary context of Europe and the USA. Attention will be focused on discourses in the art worlds and on art worlds agents (and especially artists) as change agents _understood as entrepreneurs in conventions.

about some past projects

The date indicates when the main events took place...

Please see the following page on my personal blog for more updated information (activities from 2007 onwards):

March 2007 (Lueneburg, Germany)

 Sache Kagan and Bettina Steinbrügge during the ESA Arts Conference, March 2007

  • Organizer and co-curator of “Everything will be fine / alles wird gut”, Art Program realized in collaboration with the Halle für Kunst of Lüneburg (Bettina Steinbrügge)
  • Member of the scientific committee and of the organizational committee of the 8th ESA Arts conference in Lüneburg (Chairman: Volker Kirchberg)

May 2004 (Rotterdam, the Netherlands)

  • Producer-Organiser (together with Lyudmila Petrova) of the dance and art-management workshop ‘The energy of intercultural dance for social inclusion’ (Erasmus Genootschap voor Cultuurmanagement, Stichting Cultuurfonds van de Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten and Deelgemeente Noord Rotterdam)

April 2003 (Bordeaux)

  • Maker of Paroles nomades, video-documentary about the life of Gypsies on the University Campus of Bordeaux (together with David Knaute)

2002 (Rotterdam)

  • Co-Creator of Ego Travels (installation/performances). Performed on May 24th 2002 in Rotterdam (fake travel agency: ‘social sculpture’). Supervised by Hans Dieleman. Weblink:
  • Report and workshop on: Cultural Communication about Sustainability with young people in Rotterdam; in the framework of AIDA (Atelier voor Interactieve Duurzaamheid Activiteiten) for MileuBeleid Rotterdam

Last Update:Sacha Kagan 2009/09/03 12:04

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