Tagged: intercultural practice exchange

Belfast 3  Belfast 4  Belfast 5

PIE’s 6th Practice Exchange in collaboration with Arts Council Northern Ireland was dedicated to exploring the role of the arts in bearing witness to The Troubles, in being an antidote to despair, in offering alternatives to sectarian identities and in increasing social cohesion. The programme featured The Troubles Archive, the Reimaging Communities programme, and several prime examples of participatory and community arts from different arts domains. Policies for equality were examined with arts practitioners and politicians.

We had also wanted to know “how the experience of reconciliation between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland has affected the reception of newcomers in Northern Ireland.” With immigrants making up an estimated 4.4% (around 80 000 people) of the population of Northern Ireland, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has begun to unroll an Intercultural Arts Strategy (2011-2016), which seeks to increase the access and participation of minority ethnic communities in the arts.  Yet one conclusion of the event was that grappling with the ‘diversity of diversity’ is a field for more work: “‘interculturalism’ – to the extent that it is a policy concept in Northern Ireland, has until recently focused exclusively on addressing the segregation of the two white majority communities - Protestants and Catholics - through intercultural initiatives … Those from minority ethnic and faith communities brought by migration in particular have tended to disappear into a statistical vortex.”

 Ljubljana dragon bridge   Ljubljana ladjica   Ljubljana city hall and cathedral  

Case Study: Slovenia

Local projects in European perspective – this was the guiding principle for looking at a variety of problems with “hierarchies of cultures” during our 5th Intercultural Practice Exchange in the Town Hall of Ljubljana. A project on media training for young Roma prefaced a nearly all-Roma panel on Roma inclusion in Slovenia compared to elsewhere in Europe. Romani programmes on national television and on radio made by Romani journalists were highlighted as crucial to changing the majority perception of Roma. Yet critics countered that any emphasis on showing “that Roma are normal people” is a tragedy in itself – Roma should claim their right to a lifestyle different from the majority, and all media had a “duty to demonstrate discriminations”.

London Practice ExchangeBritain is often viewed as being particularly progressive among European countries in terms of its policies and practice around ethnic and cultural diversity. But the current economic crisis has created a climate where anti-immigration attitudes affect the treatment of British citizens of foreign descent, and severe cuts in public spending are likely to hamper work for community cohesion and integration. The close of 2010 therefore was a particularly appropriate moment for the Platform for Intercultural Europe to mount the first of its Intercultural Practice Exchanges in the UK, building on previous work in Sweden, Austria and Italy.  

Rome PE    Rome PE 2

The work place as a primary place for intercultural engagement and the negotiation of rights and entitlements of immigrant workers – this was the topic discussed by over 70 participants made up of CGIL officials and members, as well as representatives of civic organisations. Particular attention was paid to how becoming a “multi-ethnic trade union confederation” has both affected CGIL’s classical trade union work and lead to new kinds of socio-cultural and training activities. Yet consensus emerged that intercultural dialogue at work is challenged by the Italian legal context, political climate and media discourse.

Plenary discussion in Vienna

Our second Regional Practice Exchange was a meeting of minds from the cultural sector and from minority and migrants’ rights organisations - mostly from Austria, but also from Hungary and Romania. It was hosted by IG Kultur Österreich and took place at WUK Werkstätten und Kulturhaus in Vienna. In two days of lively debate, we explored:  

Flip chartOur first Regional Practice Exchange brought together professionals from artistic and cultural organisations from across the Nordic Region. It was hosted by the Nordic Forum for Interculture and held at Spiritus Mundi. Guided by the goals we set out in the Rainbow Paper’s chapter on intercultural capacity-building in organisations, we looked in depth at:

  • ways of diversifying the recruitment to governance positions in cultural institutions (based on the example of the project Styrende Mangfold from Norway),
  • cultural institutions broadening the constituencies they work with and include in their workforce (based on the example of the Copenhagen City Museum),
  • theatres rethinking their audience relations to include the before and after of peoples’ theatre experience (based on the example of the Taastrup Theatre in Copenhagen),
  • opening established cultural spaces to a greater variety of cultural groups (based on the example of Union Scene in Drammen, Norway).
Nassar Meer and Tariq Modood, 2012 - article

How Does Interculturalism Contrast with Multiculturalism?

in Journal of Intercultural Studies, Vol. 33, Issue 2, pp. 175-196, DOI: 10.1080/07256868.2011.618266

This paper examines the positive contrasting of interculturalism and multiculturalism. The authors argue that encouraging communication, recognising dynamic identities and promoting unity and critiquing illiberal cultural practices are main features of both political interculturalism and multiculturalism.

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