Report on Fair International Cultural Cooperation - Climate Change

Broken Circle and Spiral Hill (1971) by Robert Smithson in Emmen/The Netherlands
Gerardus via Wikimedia Commons

Report on Fair International Cultural Cooperation - Climate Change

DutchCulture gathered 40 international experts in Amsterdam to discuss values and practicalities of fair(er) international cultural cooperation.
By Maarten Bul

On December 6th 2019, DutchCulture gathered a group of 40 international experts at Broedplaats Lely in Amsterdam to discuss values and practicalities of fair(er) international cultural cooperation. This closed meeting followed the first gathering about this topic that was inspired by the publication of the toolkit Beyond Curiosity and Desire: Towards Fairer International Collaborations in the Arts earlier in 2018 by IETM with On the Move and DutchCulture.

The first gathering focused on funding, the second gathering evolved around climate change, more specifically about the questions whether and how international cultural cooperation can be organised in a way that is fair to the climate? This report is a summary of the discussion on December 6th focused on climate change.

Mutual understanding
- We acknowledge we don’t fully grasp all perspectives on (changing) climate change.
- We recognize the notion of justified international exchange needs to change.
- We understand the need to reinterpret the idea of what we exchange and in which direction.
- We accept the moral responsibility to change our own practice and share our learnings.
- We accept the responsibility that comes with the influential status of the arts.

Practical recommendations
- Change your paradigm.
- Incorporate fair and ecological thinking into you practice.
- Embrace locality.
- Focus on ecologically fair collaborations.
- Address the power of funders and those who are well funded.
- Don’t forget systemic change is needed.
- Harness the power of education.


The full report can be read via this link - or downloaded on the left side of this page.


Next steps

Following the Fair meetings, EUNIC has decided with their members to develop a toolkit for fair international cultural cooperation, which proves how fruitful the exchanges have been. The next Fair international cultural cooperation gathering is on friday 18 September 2020 and is about language International cultural directors, artists, thinkers, scientists, critics, policymakers and funders with a focus on language issues and who are actively invested in the topic of fair international cultural cooperation, are called upon to apply for the gathering on September 18.  

When working abroad and collaborating internationally, cultural practitioners enter a space which is already characterized by cultural differences and structural power inequalities. One of these inequalities arise from the use of language. During the gathering in September 2020, we will be asking ourselves: how might we arrange international cultural cooperation’s in a manner that can be considered to be fair with respect to language?

Read more about the gathering and the Open Call on our website. The Open Call is also available in Arabic, Hindi, Mandarin and Spanish. In case you are interested please apply via the online form. The gathering will take place in Amsterdam with options to join online because of the current coronacrisis. Please note that the deadline for applications is July 2nd.

Did you find this information useful?