COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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National Cultural Canons as a Cultural Policy Response to Globalisation?

By Peter Duelund

30-09-2009

Discussions on identity, the nation-state and cultural policy as well as questions addressing globalisation and nationalism are often presented as closely interrelated. Everywhere in the world people are protesting the de-territorialising effects of globalisation and call for a revitalisation of nationalism as a defence against a possible loss of identity. Strengthening national or social cohesion as an answer to migration and multicultural challenges is argued as vitally important in the current national debates on social and cultural issues.

The national dimension of cultural policy has been strengthened in recent years. In Great Britain, the New Labour and political movements on the left proposed 'progressive nationalism' as a response to the cultural policies of Anglo-Saxon conservatives and their nationalist investments in social and cultural discussions. France gave birth to a new Ministry for Immigration and National Identity. Poland witnessed the creation of a new national self-awareness built on its Catholic faith. In Serbia, radical neo-nationalist movements have been nourished by myths and propelled by demands to legitimise the return of lost territories.

At the same time, the increasing importance of the link between identity and nation within defined borders has generated protests both in majority populations and in ethnic minority groups. In Turkey several hundred thousand people participated in protests because they fear a resuscitation of Islamic nationalism. 2006 saw one of the most severe crises in post-war Danish foreign policy when a newspaper published caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed causing violent reactions among the faithful. Fire was set to the Danish embassy in Damascus, the Danish flag was burned in public, there was a boycott of Danish commodities throughout the Arab world and official protests from Arab foreign offices were sent to Copenhagen. The Danish premier minister appeared on Arab TV in an attempt to make it clear that the publication of the drawings did not constitute a violation of religious rights but was an expression of the right to free speech in a secular democracy.

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A New Deal for Cultural Employment

by Carla Bodo

25-02-2009

Is the decline in public expenditure for culture having a negative impact on the dynamics of the cultural labour market and on the level of supply and demand for cultural goods and services?

Carla Bodo argues that it is. Her solution: European governments should introduce a "New Deal for Cultural Employment" inspired by Roosevelts experimental "Federal Arts Project" (1935-39), by the 1970s institutional reforms in Italy, by Jack Langs policies that led to a 40% increase in cultural employment between 1982 and 1995 in France.

A stimulus package for the culture sector requires more than just increased levels of funding. It also needs a clear mix of regulations, financial incentives and innovative policies in support of: artistic creativity and technical skills in the visual and performing arts, in the cultural and creative industries; new skills and competences in the conservation and enhancement of the historic and artistic heritage; and, last but not least, new intercultural competences aimed at fostering mutual understanding and social cohesion in our increasingly multicultural societies.

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 LabforCulture Online Debate: Surviving the Financial Crisis

Artists Trust Survey 2009: How the Recession is Affecting Artists Income


 

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