Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Intercultural dialogue: arts policy and practice in Europe

Graham Jeffery, Reader in Music and Performance, is a participant in Platform for Intercultural Europe's Practice Exchange at Rose Bruford College in London on the 15th and 16th December. His presentation on Thursday afternoon will explore whether the transformational claims that are often made for arts practice can be shown to be more than convenient rhetorics. Are there circumstances in which artistic interventions can be regarded as substantial social actions, which might be genuinely participatory and inclusive, and catalyze meaningful social change? Or are all such claims to be treated with justified suspicion as the 'instrumentalization of culture', and terms like 'social inclusion' or 'neighbourhood renewal', associated under the UK's previous government with significant public investment in cultural activities, simply to be treated as discredited slogans?

The arts are often celebrated as addressing and catalysing issues of cultural difference, providing grounds for transmitting and expressing cultural identity, developing conversations between strangers, or publicly provoking difficult questions which are ignored elsewhere in society. But in a febrile atmosphere of shrinking public funding, with policy now more ambivalent towards claims that the arts might contribute to intercultural understanding, what spaces, places and approaches are there that might offer some hopeful pointers?

Other presenters include Jatinder Verma, Dan Rebellato, Eugene Skeef, Hardish Virk, and Helen Burrows.

The full programme is available here


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