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Fair Cooperation

A New Paradigm for Cultural Diplomacy and Arts Management


Annika Hampel

European cultural policy is based on the exchange of artists. It has devoted decades to the objective of encouraging dialogue and enabling cooperative production; especially between the countries of the so-called ‘Global North’ and ‘Global South’. Cultural policy makers and agents in Europe, such as those working in cultural institutions and at the ministries responsible for cultural relations, constantly stress their claims of a ‘dialogue of equals’. However, if and how cultural cooperations really are in practice brought to life on equal terms is an open question.

Annika Hampel analyzes the working conditions of partnerships to understand how current artistic collaborations function, what structures and processes they involve, on what premises and within what frameworks the collaborators work, and what challenges they have to cope with.The foundation of her reflections are the experiences and insights of actors in cooperative projects who are responsible for the implementation of the goals of the European Cultural Policies in practice.

Annika Hampel uses five case studies, which offer insights across the spectrum of artistic cooperation, to display the wide range of Indo-German collaborations in the arts. From her analysis of the practical reality, Annika Hampel develops and proposes cultural and political measures to foster a new culture of international cooperation on an equal footing. The author shows how to minimize power relations, promote cultural diversity, and exploit the underused potential of cooperative work.

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1. Art, Cooperation, Cultural Policy. An Introduction


Art, Cooperation, Cultural Policy

An Introduction

This is the time for groups and collectives to work together to pool their ideas and resources, share experiences, and build networks thus making every rupee work harder and longer for them. (Ghosh, 2013: n.p.)1

Globalisation increases the “complexity of social challenges” in a diverse and fragmented world (Holzberg, 2009: 41). To respond to global questions2 there must be, in the opinion of contemporary scholars and politicians, an international cooperation towards collective processes of understanding and cultural creation, which takes a variety of perspectives into account (cf. e.g. Kettner, 2009: 241 f., German Federal Foreign Office, 2000: 4 f.). Indeed, such fundamental principles as the participation of previously uninvolved actors – above all those from civil society – in decision-making processes, as well as cross-cultural communication and cooperation in all areas have been declared indispensable across the scholarly literature (cf. Heinrichs/Kuhn/Newig, 2011, Sennett, 2012). In this sense, the growth of diversity can be seen as an opportunity: it demands and supports the intensification of cooperative and network-based activity, processes of exchange, dialogue, and development (cf. Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission e. V., 2005, Trunk, 2011: 9). At the same time, there are risks associated with the need for multinational cooperation. In the face of social and cultural differences, globalisation can also be felt to constitute “a threat to the individual identity” (Trunk, 2011: 8). This can lead to a reach for regional traditions, inherited cultural forms, and national values in order to...

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