text by Sonja L. taken from the contribution for the thesis “El puente_lab: from a charity collectivity to a creative industry association” by Daniel U.P., Colombia 2012.
Sunny but busy day. I am working on the Collaboration Grant from the European Cultural Foundation for the two projects Trans-Cultural Dialogues and ARTivists 4 Change. Working on these applications means a lot of thinking, analysing, writing and calculating (oh mon dieu le budget!).
Below a text I wrote for the thesis by my dear friend working on culture and social transformation in Colombia.
‘Intercultural dialogue’, ‘cultural exchange’ or ‘art for a social transformation’, all of them are keywords which are “en vogue” once again. Often cultural projects aim to introduce culture on the political agenda and to use arts and culture in non artistic / non cultural context. One of the main reason is to get art and culture out of the galleries and onto the street, where creativity and inspiration are needed. Art, creativity and culture should not be seen as a privilege of some people but a right for everyone. The right to culture belongs to the third generation of Human Rights and there is a urgent need to make politicians more than ever aware of this, since art and cultural exchange are an essential part for a peaceful society.
With the European crisis culture has become a secondary topic on the political agenda, therefore one of the tasks of a cultural manager is to convince sponsors about the need to invest in art and culture and to show, that these give people the creative tools to develop their abilities, to participate in cultural and why not political life, to become fully aware about the power they have as citizens, as creative citizens and hence participate in political life.
I believe that culture goes beyond politics and economics, it is the common factor every human beings shares. It is about the creative energy and power every human beings carries within him and herself. One of the problems I see in Europe is that ‘cultural exchange’, ‘intercultural dialogue’ and ‘art for social transformation’ have become trendy words, that show how open minded and different a project, an organisation is. If we develop and promote this creative power ‘cultural exchange’ could become a constant in social life instead of being a vogue word. But the principal problem lies in how to involve citizens in these projects, specially the ones left out of cultural production. Because for many it is more important to have a roof over their head instead of participating at a workshop about cultural exchange.
When working on funding for cultural projects it is necessary to actually calculate the benefits, to obtain a specific ‘return on investment’. Most of the people who decide whom to fund and whom not, are coming from the economical sector and have other values and factors in mind to quantify a good project. There is a huge need for a common language when applying for funding without losing the cultural aspect.
Sehr sonniger Tag draußen. Trotzalledem bleib ich heute zu Hause und arbeite an den Finanzierungsanträgen der European Cultural Foundation für die zwei Projekte Trans-Cultural Dialogues and ARTivists 4 Change. Dieses bedeutet viel Analysieren, Formulieren, Schreiben und Rechnen (ohhh mon dieu le budget!).
Den Text über Finanzierungsanträge im Kulturbereich oben habe ich letztes Jahr für die Thesis von einem sehr guten Freund von mir geschrieben, der in Kolumbien im kulturellen und sozialen Bereich arbeitet.