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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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3. India: a Cultural-Political Orientation


India: a Cultural-Political Orientation

In order to investigate German-Indian partnerships in the arts, the context in which these encounters take place needs to be surveyed (cf. Ch. 6.7). This approach is in accordance with the fourth rule of field research according to the Austrian sociologist and cultural anthropologist Roland Girtler: “You should acquire a solid knowledge of the history and the social structure of the culture with which you are concerned.” (Girtler, 2008: n.p.) Contextual dependencies in the form of situational influences and structural frameworks help shape the structure of a cooperation, meaning that the individual perspectives of the actors need to be supplemented with an overview of the whole structure in order for the cooperation to be understood within the concrete spatial, temporal, and socio-cultural context in which it is conceived and constructed. Martin Holzberg, researcher into cooperation in business administration, speaks of a “situative approach”, whereby local contextual conditions determine the variables of a cooperative relationship, and thereby influence its success or failure (Holzberg, 2009: 23 f., 79). It is only with the help of this holistic approach, which pays attention to external, as well as internal factors, that alternative ways of structuring cooperations can be discerned. The following pages will therefore present the domestic and foreign cultural policy of India, including their specific characteristics and cultural-political challenges. The consequence of these conditions is the concrete reality of work and life for artists in India, which their German partners are required to share when their work...

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