4th World Summit on Arts and Culture

Johannesburg, South Africa



Intercultural dialogue through the arts and culture?


IFACCA is pleased to release a discussion paper, Interculturaldialogue through the arts and culture?, in preparation for the 4th World Summit on Arts and Culture.

IFACCA, with support from the National Arts Council of South Africa, commissioned Andreas Wiesand and Danielle Cliche of the ERICarts Institute to prepare this report. A final report will be published following the World Summit (www.artsummit.org).

Respondents to the survey were asked to comment on a proposed definition of intercultural dialogue (ICD) and to provide examples that could illustrate what they consider to be relevant ICD policies, programmes and practices in or for the arts in their country. In addition, they were asked to reflect on key challenges, the current and future development, implementation and promotion of ICD activities by governments and arts institutions.

The conclusion to the report notes: As a rule, respondents called for intercultural activities involving the arts to be given priority, first of all, on the local level. This does not mean that national or international strategies are to be dismissed. They provide important frameworks and funding resources from which programmes and projects can emerge. Survey respondents urge all stakeholders to work together – different tiers of government, non-governmental and private actors – to foster intercultural dialogue at a level closest to where people live and work.

Some issues that participants of the 4th World Summit on Arts and Culture may consider are: 
• the creation of a grass roots debate on ICD concepts that is rooted in project experiences;
• how to reconcile artists’ roles with their potential function as intercultural mediators?
• how to translate the spirit of community based participation aimed at fostering dialogue through the arts into the development of structural reforms and artistic programmes of larger arts and cultural institutions (the latter of which did not receive great support among survey respondents)?

The topic page on intercultural dialogue [link] provides other news, publications and events related to this topic.