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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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7. Art, Cooperation, and Cultural Policy. Conclusions and Outlook


Art, Cooperation, and Cultural Policy

Conclusions and Outlook

With regard to the cultural policy prospects presented in Chapter 6, it “could be argued against them that a great number of projects have in the past arrived at a similar condition or are doing so at present.” (Lechner, 2004: 295)1 Lechner’s position is seemingly strengthened by Lehmann’s description of the program work of the Goethe-Institut in the following terms:

Cultural exporters are like space ships. They fly to a country, open the doors, show off the culture, and then close the doors and fly away again. In contrast, we know the local conditions, how to take the pulse on the ground, and we are also able to bring in the inspiration of the German cultural scene. We work in the long term. That is the only way to gain people’s confidence. The network that arises from that has its own quality. (Lehmann in: Breukelchen, 2010: 51 ff.)

Against this description, this thesis on artistic cooperations in the FCP illustrates that fair cooperation work can be further developed – from being the stated goal to the operative principle of the German FCP. Each cooperation project with its individual actors is unique (cf. Lehmann, 2010: n.p.), and there can be no panacea for reshaping global cooperation. The personal encounters which take place within each cooperation require a sensitive and individual approach.

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