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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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6. Criteria for a Culture of Cooperation. Prospective Cultural Policy Measures


Criteria for a Culture of Cooperation

Prospective Cultural Policy Measures

I believe […], that it should come to an encounter between two artists. And that depends in a large part […] on how intensively one prepares that. That is actually the most important thing. […] That is […] to prepare as carefully as possible for an encounter on both sides. (I_42: 30)

The goal of this qualitative investigation is to present a portfolio of cultural policy tools for the management of the prerequisites, processes and structures of the individual phases, areas and aspects of international cooperation work. The prospective measures presented here comprise options and alternatives for the successful conception of future artistic cooperations in the international sphere and for planning the fulfilment of their many requirements. They are presented in conjunction with the answer to the question: Which cultural policy framework conditions are necessary for cultural creators in order to actually bring one of the “foundational motives of the FCP” – the “principle of dialogue” (Schwencke et al., 2009: 38, cf. also Ch. 2.2) – as well as that of a dialogue of equals into practical reality? In other words – how is it possible to more closely approach the ideal of cooperation work? The results confirm that dialogue on an equal footing and a partnership-based cooperation cannot exist because, to date, the required cultural policy environment is lacking, so that cultural exchanges can only take place on a limited basis.

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