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The Strength of Culture for Development

Why Culture Matters in International Cooperation

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Edited By Pascaline Gaborit

On the global scale, the challenges surrounding development are massive and complex, as inequalities in living conditions between the richest and poorest countries become greater. Development is a global challenge on a par with the financial crisis and environmental concerns. The participation of local communities and towns in development programmes may result from a desire for influence at an international level, rather than the idea that they can bring some measure of stability, like the large NGOs.
In this context, culture remains an omnipresent factor. Indeed, culture takes on a multifaceted front for it is not solely limited to the organisation of cultural activities or the protection of heritage, but also about the values, significance, and everyday actions of human communities. It contributes to the well-being of local populations. Using culture as a transversal tool to solve the development issues means tackling those issues from a different angle: bringing solutions to some multicultural questions that exist in rich countries.
This book brings together a selection of articles by researchers and experts in this area from a wide variety of backgrounds, disciplines and countries.
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Cultural Intervention, a Co-Construction to Build on Trust

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Interview with Florent LEDUC

Independent Consultant

Can you give some information about the organization? What is your role and responsibilities?

I started working 15 years ago in the “culture and development” field. I have been cultural project coordinator for UNESCO in Central Asia “covering” Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan and Tajikistan, then director of a cultural and education centre in Tajikistan (Bactria Centre), for the NGO ACTED. I have lived in Brussels since 2006 from where I have been involved on different projects, notably for the European Commission, under the ARCADE project. Besides this international commitment on culture and development, I am also acting locally, as being grounded is a crucial necessity for me.

In this respect I work on the promotion of local musicians and ensure the organization of music festivals, as director of the NGO “Biennale de la Chanson française.” I also collaborate with local authorities as a consultant ← 201 | 202 → and trainer on the evaluation of cultural projects. As for the AWARD project, I am providing expertise in training, with a concrete training session for local authorities organized with our partner Alt Empordà.

What is, in your view, the role of culture in international development/cooperation? Is culture a tool for development cooperation, or rather an obstacle?

We face a question of terminology with the notion of tool. This term “culture as a tool”, sometimes makes no sense for artists. A sculptor produces a sculpture because...

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