There is little doubt that the phrase FOMO — Fear Of Missing Out — has become a behavioral trademark of our frantic cultural mood. Few things seem to steer our social existence as much as the fear of not necessarily missing, but rather being overlooked by the dynamic flow of organized activities, events, and experiences. For years if not decades, and noticeably accelerated with the advent of digitalization, FOMO wasn’t prompted by an intrinsic desire to constantly be everywhere, at once. If it may have become internalized as a craving, all it did in fact was harbor collective insecurity — and an entrenched, cultivated pressure to be continuously part of the society of spectacle. Needless to remind, things have taken quite a U-turn in the past year, and now that the world appears to be reopening, the FOMO phenomenon has nearly evaporated, leaving room for its anxious, introverted cousin — FOGO (Fear Of Going Out).
Oddly and fortunately enough, in spite of all adversity, it’s been an extraordinary ride. It’s hard to foresee a reaction to a challenge unless directly confronted with it. In our case, thankfully, the past year has demonstrated an unsuspected perseverance and adaptability to change — within less than a year, we’ve fully transitioned from live, staged to hybrid.
This past year, the challenges posed by the pandemic came coupled with several opportunities for fresh thinking. This has, in our methods, processes and output, taken the form of a new understanding of cultural production as open, modular and fluid. The Hybrid Culture worldview and creative approach have seen us through the worst of times for the live event industry. It has made us realize that the “normal” is dead — and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. How can our creativity adjust to a lasting, if not permanent, cultural shift?
Nancy Braun has been General Director of Esch2022 since 2018. She gained her first professional experience in the cultural field serving as Deputy General Coordinator of Luxembourg and Greater Region, European Capital of Culture 2007, before heading the Supervisory Board of Carré Rotondes. She then held the position of Administrative and Financial Director at the Luxembourg Bar Association for nearly six years, before joining the office of the Luxembourgish Democratic Party (DP) as General Coordinator. In January 2016 she was appointed Administrative Director of Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain.