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Introduction to Rural Forum

by Lene Noer og Birgitte Ejdrup Kristensen

RURAL FORUM was a three day long international conference organised by Lene Noer and Henk Keizer. The conference took place in the medieval castle Østergaard that stands directly beside a modern pig farm, roughly a kilometre outside Åsted.

While preparing the conference the residents of Fursund again showed their mettle, and it quickly became apparent that their practical abilities in arranging this type of event far exceeded ours. Therefore it was also the residents who stood as proud hosts and welcomed guests from near and far.

Participating in the conference were local residents, local farmers, bank staff, members of the European Parliament and local politicians, specialists from different professional backgrounds, researchers, artists and people from theatre who exchanged ideas and experiences on working in overlooked rural areas. The purpose was to examine arts role and potential in relation to future development of the geographically peripheral areas in Europe.