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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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4. German-Indian Cultural Encounters


German-Indian Cultural Encounters

Cultural relations between India and Germany have a long tradition. They are stable and institutionalised (cf. Spiess, 2009: 16, Wagner, 2005: 17).1 The 19th Century German tradition of Indology, has been the most significant influence on this close connection (cf. Niklas, 2005: 73 and Ch. 2.2.2).

The basis of German-Indian cultural exchange is the bilateral cultural agreement between Germany and India, which has been in force since September 1969, and on the basis of which the activities of German cultural institutions and brokers in India take place (cf. Wieck, 2006a: 2 f., Niklas, 2005: 41). This agreement envisages a regularly-occurring German-Indian cultural consultation, whose commission should audit activities under the remit of the cultural agreement, and recommend the pursuit of projects and exchange mechanisms in the fields of art and education. The most recent cultural consultation took place in October 2005, and the cultural agreement has not been renewed since that year (see here Ch. 3.1 and 3.3).

Alongside cultural mediators and institutions, civil society initiatives have a significant role in determining cultural relations between India and Germany.2 These are able to contribute to the revision of the traditional image of the Indian subcontinent by offering insights into modern India and its rapid development (cf. Wieck, 2006a: 2). The Deutsch-Indische Gesellschaft (German-Indian Society – DIG) with its more than thirty branches in Germany is worthy of mention.3 The DIG was founded in Stuttgart in 1953, where it maintains its headquarters to...

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