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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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Foreword by Professor Dr. Wolfgang Schneider


As a form of cultural expression for communities, the arts were international from the beginning. Paintings are shown in exhibitions all over the world, books are translated into many languages, and architecture is a global phenomenon. But what about cooperation between artists? What interests them in working together and how do they find common ground? What kind of frameworks do they need to work in? The Foreign Cultural Policy (FCP) of the Federal Republic of Germany is based on the exchange of artists: it encourages dialogue and enables cooperative production. The FCP, though, is in the first place an instrument of foreign policy, which permits us to ask the question: which interests are behind its programs and projects? What does the FCP expect from artists and what do artists expect from the FCP? Theoretically, this all reads very impressively. The talk is of cooperation on equal terms, the equal rights of cultures, and the two-way nature of international relationships. But how are things in practice? How much cooperation is possible, how does one bring it onto an equal footing, and how sustainable is it?

Annika Hampel has taken as her object the study of the arts, cooperation, and cultural policy in order to find answers to the question of how cultural exchange can be successful, and which criteria need to be in place in order to make the processes of mutual understanding and cultural creation fruitful for both sides. In a long-term observation of projects at...

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