Four Theses for an Audit of Culture

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1 Platform for Intercultural Europe Discussion Paper 3 Mark Terkessidis Four Theses for an Audit of Culture (Including reports on the meetings of this expert group) An input to the expert group on Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue ( ) under the Open Method of Coordination

2 Platform for Intercultural Europe For an equitable European community that values its diverse people, seeks positive dialogue with others and enables each person to make their distinctive contribution to society. Our mission is to be a legitimate and effective interlocutor between European institutions and civil society organisations committed to the values of intercultural dialogue. Platform for Intercultural Europe (PIE) Published 2013 This Discussion Paper was written by Mark Terkessidis on behalf of the Platform for Intercultural Europe. PIE s Discussion Papers are available free of charge in electronic version on our website: You are free to copy, distribute and cite this Discussion Paper under the condition that you attribute it to Platform for Intercultural Europe. The Platform for Intercultural Europe s Discussion Papers Aim to develop an understanding of the concepts behind intercultural dialogue in action. Other papers in the series: DP 1 - Intercultural Dialogue and free full and equal participation: Towards a new agenda for an intercultural Europe - Joel Anderson (2010) DP 2 - Engaged Europe: The role of intercultural dialogue in developing full, free and equal participation - Sukhvinder Kaur- Stubbs (2010) This publication has been realised with the support of the European Commission. It does not reflect the views of the European Commission and it cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. The Platform for Intercultural Europe acknowledges the support of the European Cultural Foundation. Platform for Intercultural Europe is an international not-for-profit association under Belgian law since

3 Platform for Intercultural Europe - Discussion Paper 3 Four theses for an Audit of Culture Mark Terkessidis Foreword Sabine Frank

4 Foreword Platform for Intercultural Europe s history is tied to the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue EU thematic years come and go; what s high priority one year, fizzles out in subsequent ones. PIE has stood against this trend and done its bit to keep the topic on the EU agenda. In this respect, the establishment of an expert group on Cultural Diversity & Intercultural Dialogue under the Open Method of Coordination 1 in the field of culture by the Council Work Plan was our most significant (if small) advocacy success (first demanded in PIE s Rainbow Paper 2, then in its later lobby paper 3 and its contribution to the 2010 review of the EU s Agenda for Culture 4 ). Recognised by the European Commission as a Structured Dialogue Platform ( ), PIE had a role to play in this OMC work, which this publication illustrates. PIE commissioned Mark Terkessidis 5 to write a paper, which could first be discussed by PIE s membership 6 and then presented as food for thought to the group of national experts assembled for the first time in September 2012 to tackle the topic The role of public art and cultural institutions in the promotion of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. It was subsequently presented to different sets of public officials trying to get to grips with diversity questions in public policies such as grant schemes. 7 1 The Open Method of Coordination was created in 2000 as an instrument of employment policy an d part of the EU s Lisbon strategy. It was later extended to social policy, education, youth & training, and in 2007 to culture. It is a method of intergovernmental policy-making (mutual policy-evaluation, peer-learning, establishing measuring instruments and benchmarking with a view to directing national policies towards certain common objectives) in areas where the EU only complements the primary competence of the Member States. Under the OMC, the European Commission only assists the Member States; the European Parliament plays no role in the OMC process. 2 The Rainbow Paper. Intercultural Dialogue: From Practice to Policy and Back (Platform for Intercultural Europe, 2008) 3 The Need for an EU Council Working Group on Intercultural Dialogue under the Open Method of Coordination, Platform for Intercultural Europe, May 2010, org/site/content/page/eu-structured-dialogue-field-culture-policy-history-and-record-our-involvement#overlay-context=content/page/political-role 4 European agenda for culture in a globalizing world, COM/2007/0242 final 5 Author of the book Interkultur, PIE OMC work group meeting April 2, 2012 in Brussels. Participants: Helena De Winter (Reseau Européen des Musiques Anciennes, REMA), Rani Kasapi (Riksteatern, SE), Dorothea Kolland (Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft, DE), Elisabeth Mayerhofer (IG Kultur Österreich), Niels Righolt (Danish Centre for Arts and Interculture), Chris Torch (Intercult, SE). 7 E.g. EEA grant administrators meeting, Oslo, June FOREWORD

5 Mark Terkessidis put forward Four theses for an audit of culture as a provocation: The promotion of intercultural dialogue through the arts & culture leads to a deep questioning of the traditional offerings of European cultural institutions: Are they still relevant? Are they the kind of culture into which participation by newcomers to society needs to be promoted by all means? The challenge of the intercultural opening of cultural institutions comes in an era where theatre plays, classical music concerts, opera and ballet performances lag far behind TV watching, cinema going and private music listening as forms of cultural consumption. At the same time, active cultural participation is stronger through TV shows, video-making, virtual game playing and craft activities than amateur acting and singing in choirs. Without even making this distinction between passive and active cultural participation, the 2013 Eurobarometer survey on cultural access and participation shows that the most common form of cultural participation in the EU is watching or listening to a cultural programme on television or radio (72% did this at least once in the past 12 months, a 6% decrease since 2007), followed by reading a book (68%, down 3%). The least popular activity is going to see an opera, ballet or dance performance (18%, no change). 34% of the EU population say they never or hardly ever participate in cultural activities, as 4% rise since Of course, the value of a cultural offer is not just determined by its actual use at any point in time. A cultural offer also has potential value, or existence value. 9 I might not go to the theatre often, but still want it as an option in my life and for the benefit of others. And specialist services are at hand to help cultural institutions target not only existing audiences, but also potential audiences (and even resistors and rejectors ). 10 Yet the challenge of the intercultural opening of cultural institutions is profound. In the words of Yoel Gamzou, Western art and culture started as a way of marking and creating identity and it is sadly stuck there. But art which isn t relevant and by relevant I mean that it affects not only its creator but also its receiver is not legitimate. 11 As the diversity of European societies and the complexity of individuals identity has received greater recognition and the reality of immigration into Europe has been politically acknowledged, public cultural institutions need to depart from their traditional authoritative role and become brokers of the relationships in current societies marked by diversity. 12 It was of course not possible for the OMC working group to take the depth of Mark Terkessidis questioning fully on board although individual experts have taken inspiration from it. The OMC working group was rather dominated by the challenge to distill meaningful conclusions from synthesizing experiences from a large field of practice in many countries. 13 PIE participated in and reported on every meeting of the OMC group to its membership and network. I recommend to any reader to assess whether this little sample 14 from the Open Method of Coordination supports the con As Hasan Bakshi, NESTA, explained to the audience at the European Culture Forum on 4th November See 10 As Andrew McIntyre explained at the European Culture Forum on 5th November htt p://mhminsight.com/ 11 Founder, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of International Mahler Orchestra, speaking at European Culture Forum 5 th November 2013; 12 PIE has used this formulation in its Brokering Migrants Cultural Participation project before /28 EU Member States were represented at the majority of meetings. 14 Cultural diversity & intercultural dialogue was the topic of the second phase ( ) of one of four priority areas in the Council Workplan of which were subject to the OMC. 3 FOREWORD

6 tention of Ulrich Beck and Edgar Grande that the Open Method of Coordination is one of three possible tools of differentiated European integration, which will cure the malaise of the European project by turning economic, social and cultural heterogeneity into an advantage. 15 I do have my doubts, but it is too early to have the last word on this. Sabine Frank Director, Platform for Intercultural Europe December Ulrich Beck and Edgar Grande, Cosmopolitanism: Europe s Way Out of Crisis, European Journal of Social Theory (2007), p FOREWORD

7 Contents Platform for Intercultural Europe - Discussion Paper 3 Four Theses for an Audit of Culture Mark Terkessidis 1. Moving the reference point: From the nation to the urban parapolis 2. Moving the reference point further: the new multiplicity of the postmigrant urbanity 3. General changes in the cultural world: shifting from emancipation, meaning, reception, autonomy, progress, knowledge/criticism to conversation, atmosphere, participation, disposal, simultaneity and affect 4. A task for the entire cultural domain: a Programme Interculture, a change in staff, organisational culture and the material conditions towards a future commonality p.6 p.7 p.9 p.11 p.14 Bibliography p.18 Open Method of Coordination: Cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue (Phase II) - Experts group meetings Meeting reports by Sabine Frank on behalf of Platform for Intercultural Europe p.19 Meeting 1: 24/25th September 2012, Brussels, Belgium p.19 Meeting 2: 11/12th December 2012, Brussels, Belgium p.22 Meeting 3: 18/19th March 2013, Brussels, Belgium p.28 Meeting 4: 3/4th July 2013, Brussels, Belgium p.35 Meeting 5: 10/11th October 2013, Brussels, Belgium p.36 5 CONTENTS

8 Platform for Intercultural Europe - Discussion Paper 3 Four Theses for an Audit of Culture Mark Terkessidis Mark Terkessidis Free author. Diploma in Psychology. PhD in Pedagogy on Das Wissen über Rassismus in der Zweiten Migrantengeneration ( Knowledge about racism in the second generation of immigrants ) - University of Mainz. Editor of the magazine Spex from Lecturer at the university of Cologne Since 2001 radio moderator at WDR (West German Broadcaster). Research scholarship (2004/5) for a project on migration and tourism in the framework of an initiative of the German Kulturstiftung des Bundes (federal culture foundation). Academic and journalistic publications on youth and popular culture, migration and racism examples: Interkultur (2010), Fliehkraft. Gesellschaft in Bewegung von Migranten und Touristen (2006), Die Banalität des Rassismus. Migranten zweiter Generation entwickeln einen neuen Begriff (2004). 6 FOUR THESES FOR AN AUDIT OF CULTURE

9 The cultural sphere in Europe is currently confronted with significant challenges. These can be captured in four points: 1. Moving the reference point: From the nation to the urban parapolis The nation state has traditionally been the framework for education and culture. Without doubt a massive process of change took place within the cultural sector during the 1960s and 1970s, and also without doubt has today s culture become significantly more international, in terms of its professionals, its productions and agendas. The implicit point of reference has nonetheless remained the same as in the 19 th century the focus lies on national cultures. Actually, the nation state has not at all disappeared, but the model is under pressure due to globalisation, European integration and multiplicity 1 from within. In this respect it makes sense to adjust the reference point of cultural production. Ivo Kuyl from the Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg (KVS) has recently described how this theatre thoroughly analysed its own environment and as a result shifted its reference from the category nation to something like urbanity. 2 The term urbanity focuses on the above-mentioned developments and the term is by no means only suitable for big cities. Migration, mobility and multiplicity have always characterised life in cities movement is normal urban reality. But in the time after the Second World War, migration was treated as deviance. Then a return to the category of the nation appeared to take place during the 1990s, now an increasing awareness arises that in times of the so called globalisation, a policy of strict demarcations or of clearly defined cultural identities does not correspond with reality. Meanwhile cities are so much influenced by migration, mobility and multiplicity, that it does not make sense anymore to define the political community - as in the customary idea of the polis - by the settledness of the inhabitants. Rather, this should be done along the lines of the volatility of their geographic or cultural positions the city has become a multi-faceted parapolis. 3 The word describes the ambiguous, more or less illegitimate para -version of the term polis. Moreover, the modern Greek adjective para poli is hidden in it, meaning very much : One could thus speak of a place of the very much, a place of abundance. This parapolis needs institutions, which give consideration to the multiplicity of cities. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, in many states of Europe, not only the Eastern ones, a process of searching for the own started - in view of the new situation this was quite understandable, but at the same time also fruitless. This search usually became quite provincial and often enough led to the fact that the potentials of transnationality 1 I use the notion of multiplicity instead of diversity. It is a translation of the German word Vielheit which is more of a philosphical concept than a simple description of heterogeneity. 2 jah restag.php 3 cf. Mark Terkessidis: Parapolis, in: IBA_Hamburg (ed.): Metropolis: Cosmopolis, Berlin FOUR THESES FOR AN AUDIT OF CULTURE

10 Where are you from? were not discovered. This for example is the case with Germany. As late as 2007, a short story of the writer Herta Müller was published by the renowned publishing house Reclam in an anthology for educational purposes labelled Migrant Literature. The anthology contained an appendix in which not one article from the field of literature could be found, merely sociological essays about uprooting due to migration, integration into the system and - no joke - migration and criminality. 4 In 2009, the Romanian immigrant of German origin received the Nobel Prize of Literature - only two years after the Nobel laureate was imprisoned in a ghetto called Migrant Literature. Is this not evidence of an extensive waste of potential? In Herta Müller a person received the Nobel Prize who in Germany was constantly confronted with paradox expectations - as she wrote down in an article: On the one hand she was torn from reality, as she - like so many people with the famous migration background - was incessantly asked Where are you from? - and in her answer was supposed to identify herself as a foreigner. On the other hand, many literature critics demanded from her a kind of national normalisation: She was a great writer, undoubtedly, but could she not at last leave Romania alone and place her stories in Germany instead. 5 Similar experiences were made by writers in countries like Great Britain or France, even though the aspect of transnationality played a different role here due to the colonial history, and in the debate about postcolonialism in the 1990s, alternative cultural models were explicitly discussed. The creative potential of migration, mobility and multiplicity can only be exhausted when Herta Müller s Romania is seen as part of a new transnational, German cultural sphere. This is not a matter of covering up discontinuities, but of taking a closer look at cultural spheres, which are in conflict and deeply connected at the same time. For this, a definition of culture is necessary, which does not stop at national borders and does not relate cultural articulations to the national framework. Every cultural statement should be understood as a knot in a historical and current net of connecting lines. In this sense, Eduard Glissant has once spoken of poetics of relationships. 6 A return to the national framework is not possible anymore - the debates initiated by the state about an identité nationale in France have shown this. The cultural production, cultural politics, related fields of science and criticism have not yet properly dealt with the challenge this means for their organisation, their concepts of culture and their aesthetic criteria. 4 Peter Müller & Jasmin Cicek (eds.): Migrantenliteratur, Stuttgart cf. Herta Müller: Bei uns in Deutschland, in: Dies.: Der König verneigt sich und tötet, Frankfurt am Main cf. Eduard Glissant: Kultur und Identität. Aufsätze zu einer Poetik der Vielheit, Heidelberg FOUR THESES FOR AN AUDIT OF CULTURE

11 2. Moving the reference point further: The new multiplicity of the postmigrant urbanity The theatre Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, opened in Berlin in 2008, describes its own productions as postmigrant. In addition to urbanity, this term is quite attractive as a further point of reference. Already in 1997, Homi Bhabha asked the polemic question: Post-this, post-that, but why never post-the-other? 7 But the term creates also a continental European framework beyond the framework of postcolonialism : In many parts of Europe multiplicity is not a question of colonial subjects re-emerging in the process of migration, but is the history of striving for conquest, spheres of influence, movement of populations and displacement. Moreover, postmigrant stresses the point that migration has long taken place. This finds its expression in a partly dramatic demographic change. It is known that the Federal Republic of Germany stuck to the fiction of a homogenous nation state until But since the Federal Statistical Office compiles data on the criterion migration background, it has been acknowledged that in the cities, children with a migration background have become the majority in the age group below 6 years. In Frankfurt on Main, currently 67 percent of that age group have at least one parent who themselves immigrated to the Federal Republic of Germany. Additionally, the patterns of present-day migration have changed: for quite a while already, immigrants do not only come through a contractual recruitment of workers for the lower jobs; migration nowadays has become difficult to control and takes place in all segments of the employment market with strongly differing perspectives concerning the duration of their stay. In today s cities, people live as foreigners although they have actually been resident for decades; commuters, who stay on average for half a year; tolerated persons, whose further perspective is deemed half a year even after a decade of living there; persons without documents, having entered the country as tourists and whose existence is being completely obscured by official statistics. One can find numerous students from other countries, staying for a certain time in a city; expatriates of every kind, having come to a certain city because of work, love or a new perspective of life; owners of secondary residencies, whose families live in another town, or also tourists, who penetrate the texture of the city in an unprecedented way with their repeated weekend trips and knowledge of the local scene. The status of these persons is often ambivalent in relation to their connection to the place, political subjectivity and economic positioning. So maybe mobility has long been the appropriate expression. Whether we talk of migration or of mobility, it does no longer make any sense to adhere to the ideas of integration, which were developed in the 1970s: That those groups of people who have come from elsewhere are considered to have deficits and should usually be integrated into existing structures with the help of compensatory special measures. 7 Homi Bhabha: Editor s Introduction: Minority Maneuvres and Unsettled Negotiations, in: Critical Inquiry 23 (Spring 1997), p FOUR THESES FOR AN AUDIT OF CULTURE

12 In the face of the demographic facts and new movement patterns, these ideas have become obsolete. To describe a society as postmigrant means to acknowledge the multiplicity within it as a fact and as a challenge and creative task. In many states of Europe, heterogeneity is often enough connoted negatively. And indeed multiplicity is not about romantic transfiguration it often comes along with conflict and has to be developed. But only if multiplicity is seen as normality can its potentials become visible. Sure there is a need for specific adaptations but action should not be directed to marginal groups but to the accommodation and innovation of the institutions of society with regards to multiplicity. This relation to the whole proves to be productive also because the cultural sphere has a problem with the demographic development on a variety of grounds. The traditional clientele the well-educated middle class is shrinking and is highly unsure of its self-image: Currently, parts of the middle class are in fear of To describe a society as postmigrant means to acknowledge the multiplicity within it as a fact - and as a challenge and creative task. losing their economic status or cultural interpretative authority. Obviously, the so-called high culture has in practice lost contact with the next generation. The trend research institute T-Factory has recently interviewed persons between 11 and 39 years of age and questioned them about their cultural terminology and cultural interests. The research shows that the interview partners still categorise culture along its high cultural forms of expression like classical music or theatre. But at the same time, 95% of the teenagers state to have never been to an opera or ballet, only a quarter has once been to a theatre. 8 Young people experience the traditional cultural scene as exclusive. The research director explains: For most young people, the opera is an old house in which old people watch old things. For many this is something more or less belonging to an exclusive circle of adults and where teenagers just don t have access. 9 Here the relevant question arises in which way the cultural sphere currently organises access for persons who do not belong to this exclusive circle and who do not meet its requirements. The results of the research also show an enormous contradiction between cultural understanding and present practice. A traditional terminology of culture is being maintained, while films, series, comedy, computer games, sport and life style dominate daily behaviour. Such a discrepancy can also be found with regard to the nation. In his research, Jens Schneider discovered for Germany that a traditional, quite stereotypical understanding of being German persists (secondary virtues, German depth ) which is in no way compatible with the experiences of every day life anymore. 10 This clinging to national stereotypes in the face of very atypical living circumstances can be observed throughout Europe. Change therefore has to start by defining postmigrant urbanity as an innovative factor. 8 Keine Lust auf Hochkultur, Wiener Zeitung ibid. 10 cf. Jens Schneider: Deutsch-Sein. Das Eigene, das Fremde und die Vergangenheit im Selbstbild des vereinten Deutschland, Frankfurt am Main FOUR THESES FOR AN AUDIT OF CULTURE

13 3. General changes in the cultural world: Shifting from emancipation, meaning, reception, autonomy, progress, knowledge/criticism to conversation, atmosphere, participation, disposal, simultaneity and affect These difficulties have of course already been recognised in the cultural world. However, many debates and measures still remain in the logic of integration; which shows in the central role given to cultural education and to imparting cultural knowledge with a strong imperative from the political establishment. While cultural education is not wrong, it nonetheless suggests that the cultural sphere is intact and only the audience is in need of reform. Due to the lack of presence of persons with a migration background or minorities, it is often argued that these persons just do not fulfil the right conditions they do not speak the particular language correctly enough, only watch commercial TV-programmes, are only interested in their own culture etc. If these opinions predominate, then education, imparting cultural knowledge and audience development obviously serve the enlightenment of persons with deficits and their introduction to the canon of the bourgeoisie and well-educated middle class. But with this twist of perception the cultural sphere avoids the problem that its own cultural terminology and canon have become unclear in the meantime. For the cultural world is immanently confronted with what in the political sphere is called the crisis of representation. The changes which have taken place since the 1960s have led to a considerable spreading of topics, forms and cultural milieus as well as to an enormous extension of cultural life and its offerings one could actually speak of an overproduction. At the same time, legitimacy of the cultural institutions has been questioned and uncertainty has grown for what does art exist, what are the criteria for its promotion and quality, who produces and who benefits from art? At the moment, this uncertainty is often still being grasped in form of very traditional oppositions, in which the demands of an aesthetically valuable high culture are being defended against the approaches of socio-culture or community arts on the one hand and commercialisation on the other. But at the same time, the publicly funded cultural institutions carry on by offering spectacular events to keep the middle-class audience - the latter being increasingly oriented towards cultural wellness - and to be able to compete with light art forms such as musicals. The principle of an event culture for the cultural bourgeoisie is being extended, which is defined by institutional forms and fixed by political orders, notes Pius Knüsel, director of the Swiss arts foundation Pro Helvetia. 11 But the big questions are being avoided. Even though the discussion about mobility and multiplicity would be a good reason for an aesthetic readjustment, there is still not much discussion about the adequacy of the ideas of enlightenment and modernism, which still rule. 11 Pius Knüsel: Weniger ist mehr. Raum für Entwicklung, in: Kulturpoltische Mitteilungen, Nr,133, II/ FOUR THESES FOR AN AUDIT OF CULTURE

14 Actually, certain reference points of cultural production have been considerably modified: emancipation, meaning, reception, autonomy, progress, knowledge/ criticism. The cultural sphere in Europe has its roots in a narrative of bourgeois emancipation. But after decades of neoliberal rhetoric, individuals do not have the impression that they need emancipation they consider themselves to be already free. It is questionable whether they are indeed so but it is obvious that emancipation has lost its attractiveness for cultural production and consumption. Accordingly, neither are the production and decoding of meaning in the centre of focus anymore. The subject no longer has the need to express itself emphatically Culture is increasingly not being received passively-intellectually as by the well-educated middle class, but is being experienced activelyaffectively in a process of exchange. against restrictions, but rather shows a desire for aesthetical production which creates an atmosphere in the sense of the German philosopher Gernot Böhme. 12 This can be observed for instance in the popcultural total work of art of Lady Gaga. It would not in the least make sense to search for any coherent expressive meaning in her various embodiments rather, she creates atmospheres, which enable sometimes dramatic aesthetic experiences. Altogether, the whole sphere of aesthetical production has expanded. People may not be interested in culture by definition, but they still have an aesthetical practice, as day after day they create their individual atmosphere with the help of fashion, design or cosmetics. Thus, culture is increasingly not being received passively-intellectually as by the well-educated middle class, but is being experienced actively-affectively in a process of exchange. Young people in particular make videos to broadcast new dance steps on Youtube, write and read blogs about fashion, handicrafts or gardening; they design elaborate sites for social networks. Commercial projects like Etsy.com give private individuals the possibility to offer their own products. Television, a medium classically enforcing passivity, has reacted to its own loss of significance by offering (doubtlessly exploitative) participation opportunities: casting-shows, reality TV etc. incidentally, all of these are formats in which the participation of persons with a migration background or coming from minorities seems to be no problem at all. In these forms of expression it also becomes apparent that the value of autonomy is not central anymore nowadays practices of showing-oneself and being-in-public are more relevant, at the expense of the conventional idea of privacy. In the field of culture, the idea of history has much changed too. There is no longer any succession of vanguards - the discussion about progress itself has become historical. The web has ensured that an enormous archive of cultural publications is constantly available. So individuals live in a cultural sphere of simultaneity, in which modular components from very different eras and cultural spheres become available. This can definitely evoke feelings of being unable to cope with the variety of possibilities. At the same time, new systems of peer-to-peer advice have been established, often based on subjectivity and similarity, which replace the old dominance of (expert) knowledge/criticism. Instead of reacting to these processes with disapproval or complaints, it might be worthwhile to invest in a new coordinate system that uses the parameters of conversation, atmosphere, participation, disposal, simultaneity and affect. In his book Conversation Pieces, Grant H. Kester has criticized the modernistic approach of the artist who changes the perception of the consumers via shock. He suggested a concept of dialogical aesthetics. Actually, art has already moved away from object 12 cf. Gernot Böhme: Atmosphäre. Essays zur neuen Ästhetik, Frankfurt am Main FOUR THESES FOR AN AUDIT OF CULTURE

15 and representation in the 1960s. So art could currently be understood as a mode to create a space, which serves as a platform and laboratory for unconventional thinking and design in collaborative forms. As soon as the word participation is uttered, many advocates of high culture anticipate a loss of quality. But why should dialogical aesthetics inevitably go hand in hand with a loss of quality? And who defines the quality criteria? The notion of quality has been the most effective bludgeon on the side of homogeneity in the modernist and postmodernist periods 13, as Lucy Lippard rightly stated already in Often enough, conservational powers in the educated middle class are legislators, prosecutors, judges and people gaining profit through distinction all in one. Of course this is no matter of simply dropping expert knowledge and informed criticism. The question is how to connect knowledge and criticism to physical experience. They are still considered to be solely intellectual work, but this is underlining habitual codes of belonging to a particular social class. How can we use the affective potential of art to support learning and change? When politics deals with education and integration, its demands of the subsidised cultural field are often instrumental the cultural field is supposed to make up for the deficits of regular schooling. Barbara Mundel and Josef Mackert from the Freiburg theatre rightly emphasise: We have to deal with these demands. They admonish the nonsensical separation of the administrative fields for culture and education on the level of cities and provinces. 14 Thus, purely instrumental demands have to be rejected while at the same time the challenges need to be accepted. There is a need to break radically with the still implicitly ruling ideas of the artist-genius who produces lonely while the audience is supposed to come together afterwards. And if it does not show it has to be prepared through cultural education. How would a cultural sphere be constituted, in which artistic production processes are thought from the start in terms of their relationship with their audience, their potential educational tasks and the forms of impartation. At the same time the educational system needs to bring together knowledge acquisition and artistic practice. Just like Jack Lang tried it in his mission at the beginning of the 2000s in an interesting attempt to bring aesthetical practice to schools as a creative alternative to traditional lessons. This disintegration of the static borders can establish the cultural sphere as a place, where a self-image of society can be negotiated and individuals may find orientation anew. A simple return to the nation is plainly not feasible anymore the division of society would be the consequences of such politics. A commonly developed selfimage would be based on the active citizenship of the individuals specific individuals whose preconditions, backgrounds and frames of reference differ from each other. Marsha Meskimmon has recently published a book in which she explains the term cosmopolitan imagination by using the examples of current art works: (These works) all engage productively with the processes and practices of inhabiting a global world, they all constitute a form of `being at home that is simultaneously marked by movement, change and multiplicity. 15 This energy of a mobile imagination is however not new. If one recalls the 1950s and 1960s, a cultural scene characterised by migration and cosmopolitanism already existed I would only like to mention the names of Iannis Xenakis, Mauricio Kagel, David Medalla, Nam June Paik, Takis etc. 13 Lucy Lippard: Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America, New York 1990, p Barbara Mundel und Josef Mackert: Das Prinzip für die ganze Gesellschaft, in: Theater heute, 8-9/2010, p.41f. 15 Marsha Meskimmon: Contemporary Art and the Cosmpolitan Imagination, Oxon 2011, p FOUR THESES FOR AN AUDIT OF CULTURE

16 4. A task for the entire cultural domain: A Programme Interculture, a change in staff, organisational culture and the material conditions towards a future commonality Considering the challenges of multiplicity, the logic of integration also prevents general questions connected to the organisation of. The organisation of the cultural sphere undoubtedly differs a lot in the states of the European Union. While in many countries the topic intercultural opening has already been discussed for a while, it has mostly been related to the police, social services and administration institutions considered in contact with persons who have a migration background or with minorities. In many cases, the opening merely consists of intercultural competence -training for the autochthonous staff members often resulting in the passing on of something like an ethnic knowledge of recipes. A change of personnel has until now been tackled only very hesitantly. There is a need for a systematic Programme Interculture as a task for all institutions, therefore also for the cultural sphere. Interculture in this process has to be a program for the entire field and not only for a particular field covering certain groups. To put it in slightly exaggerated terms, publicly funded cultural life in Europe has so far found three versions of the integration of others. The first is the compensatory model: it is based on the assumption that those having come along have cultural deficits, which have to be corrected through special treatment. The second could be described as a reservation model: migrant cultures are being supported, often enough producing dancing or singing events of unclear quality which are regarded as part of a tradition. The third is the street model; it is the well-meant but often enough ethnographical-theatrical exhibition of the own life, mostly performed by young people allegedly coming from the streets, usually via hip hop. All three models have in common that they reduce migrants and minorities to imperfection and authenticity. This prevents the development of an intercultural terrain in which mixture and development could take place. First of all one has to become aware of the following: a migration background or minority can be used only in the most limited way as cultural categories of description. In the first place, they are heuristic designations for persons who are potentially affected by affiliations, discriminations or limited opportunities to act or gain access. Being so affected often does not result from people s ethnic background but to the same extent also from their belonging to a certain social class. In the face of multiplicity, an earnest programme interculture is paradoxically forced to find a way to consider the category origin on the one hand and on the other hand to let it become trivial. In this sense one principally should not work with the assumption of normal and other, i.e. the integration of certain groups into existing structures, but generally work on the basis of individuals and their backgrounds, prerequisites, frames of reference and potentials. This does not mean that collectivity based on ethnicity is not allowed or would not play a role anymore. However, it should mean that ethnicity no longer constitutes an unquestioned category, but that individuals actively integrate it into their personal 14 FOUR THESES FOR AN AUDIT OF CULTURE

17 frames of reference in very different ways. Due to this, though, the perspective changes: it is no longer taken for granted that problems lie in the deficits of the others, but in the barriers of the institutions; in the composition of personnel, their culture of organisation and material circumstances, the design of the facilities. The staff members of the publicly funded cultural institutions do in no way represent the multiplicity of society seen from the point of reference formed by postmigrant urbanity, this personnel truly is something coming close to a parallel society. This leads to a lack of correspondence with the audience and often to a distortion in perception, too. It is not really astonishing that migration and heterogeneity mainly appear under the category problem in the media if one considers the fact that only one (!) percent of the journalists and staff members of the daily press in a country like Germany are of non-german origin. 16 For the journalists it is difficult to describe a society of immigration as normal because this normality does not take place in their every day life neither in their jobs, nor in their neighbourhoods or in the kindergartens or schools of their children does the postmigrant urbanity show; their environment is to a large extent homogenous. If cultural institutions are supposed to serve the whole society, then the whole society has to be represented in their personnel. Currently, this is not even the case in countries like the Netherlands, where diversitystrategies have already been tested since the 1980s: Here the change within the staffs should be realised proactively, according to clear aims. Tokenism should If cultural institutions are supposed to serve the whole society, then the whole society has to be represented in their personnel. be avoided, in which persons of certain backgrounds are being instrumentalised to be exclusively responsible for integration, i.e. to supply the unchanged institution, which produces the same programme with new clients. Furthermore it should be possible for employees with a non-autochthonous or nonmiddle class background to contribute their experience of barriers to the work of the institution. If a code dominates which demands the adaptation to the conversational and social codex of the well-educated middle class, nothing will change. The German educational offensive of the 1970s has certainly brought many persons from working class families into higher positions, but it happened at the price of denying their specific proletarian knowledge and experience. Without doubt a change of organisational culture is a difficult process, but it launches the institutions into a process of innovation. At the moment though, further tendencies of outsourcing can be detected. Naturally, the curatorial and artistic personnel of museums or theatres emphasise that their efforts were directed towards everybody in society, but in many institutions a consensus about the audience exists implicitly especially about their educational level - and it should be added that the so called educational disadvantage is principally being identified in the context of migration. A short time ago an evaluation of the London Tate Modern has shown that many mistakes were made with regard to the diversity question. Special educational programmes were targeted at specific ethnic groups, who did not only not take them up, but actively rejected them people just do not want to be categorised like that anymore. 17 Especially with regard to the intellectual orientation of the cultural sphere, the separation between the aesthetic demands of high culture, the communication function of a meeting place, the pedagogical forms of cultural learning, and 16 cf. Rainer Geißler u.a.: Wenig ethnische Diversität in deutschen Zeitungsredaktionen, in: Rainer Geißler und Horst Pöttker (eds.), Massenmedien und die Integration ethnischer Minderheiten in Deutschland, Band 2, Bielefeld Andrew Dewdney & David Dibosa & Victoria Walsh: Britishness and Visual Culture, London FOUR THESES FOR AN AUDIT OF CULTURE

18 commercial distraction do not in the least make sense any more. As long as this separation is being maintained, persons with a migration background and minorities will usually find themselves on the side of social work and commerce. They are not under-represented in the many pedagogical projects in which aesthetical expression has an instrumental function: These projects are financed by governmental social programs and optionally serve as therapies for disadvantaged people, for dialogue between cultures or even as preparation for the labour market. Even though such projects are sometimes quite challenging from the artistic point of view, their results are still only seen from the perspective of help for every day life. Likewise, persons with a migration background are not under-represented in the field of commercial offerings especially in those being orientated towards participation like the search for the superstar, the top model or talent. Of all cultural places, persons with a migration background are underrepresented in the state-subsidised cultural institutions. These cultural separations must be overcome - and it will be helpful to take an interest in the way institutions in other domains have changed. A questioning approach would be necessary that leaves both the ideological blinkers of high culture and the contempt for commerce behind. In order for postmigrant urbanity to become the central reference, cooperation, networking and consultation are needed. In the German speaking parts of Europe, the directors of big theatres are at a loss with regard to intercultural opening, whilst dozens of intercultural theatre projects exist in their cities to which they have never paid attention. They ask themselves with which topics and methods this unknown urban society can be reached while not actually involving this urban society. Participation has become a buzzword, which often only serves the purpose of letting the people give their blessing to a programme already determined in advance. It is crucial to involve persons in cultural programming who have different backgrounds and come from different disciplines. The KSV mentioned at the beginning has replaced the directorship through a committee of 8 persons. In the Rotterdam theatre at the Zuidplein, the former director Ruud Breteler has set up a commission in which the audience could decide on the programme. It is the aim of such measures to bring together expert knowledge and manifold cultural interests and demands; to pass on responsibility without simultaneously expecting too much from people. At the same time, consultations help to establish networks in urban societies and understand the various communication structures of the parapolis. Equally important are the material conditions of cultural institutions, their design. Do thresholds exist? What impression does the building make from the outside? What is in the entrance like, what kinds of people are seen going to it? Are there spaces for socialising, which are unconnected to the reception and production of art? Are there in between-spaces, membranes between the institution and public space? Does the institution have to come out of its shell and work in a more mobile and ambulant manner? In the past decades, several attempts have been made in different places in Europe to design cultural spaces in a more multifunctional, open and communicative way. Nonetheless, the existing cultural institutions are being seen as places, which have codes that seem exclusive and off-putting. In fact, in many institutions a code of conduct still dominates which does not correspond to the reality of life the demands for discipline, silence and control over movements are enormous and hard to meet especially by teenagers. But a reorientation is only possible when institutions like museums modify their self-image. The administration and exhibition of an art collection may not necessarily have continual priority over the subjective needs and 16 FOUR THESES FOR AN AUDIT OF CULTURE

19 modes of usage of the people. The inhabitants will only accept the museum as a place of learning, if its spaces and activities offer them convenient possibilities of adoption. But all these measures will only be possible, if the organisation of an institution and its subsidising are reassessed. Not the demands for more money for integration should come first, but the idea of a reform of structures, which orientates the institution towards new conditions and which will finally be of benefit to everybody. Intercultural opening is not just a question of exercising intercultural competence with regard to people from other cultural areas anymore, but of creating barrier-free institutions and doing so in order to develop an experience-based and flexible knowledge of the context of individuals with highly differing frames of reference. Before a process of opening is being initiated, it is also necessary to measure or to map the potentials of an institution and its environment and not until then to go into concrete planning. For such planning, conceptual ideas have been mentioned, but only with the basis of empirical data can strategies and specific measures be developed. The intercultural orientation of an institution does not start from zero; it is a matter of learning from the experience of other institutions through networking and of coordination so as to avoid competition, repetition and replacement. Best Practice has become a popular term, but if one takes a look at best practice collections, one mostly finds half a page of description outlining the success of a project in a very cursory way. In order to enable a true transfer of learning, much more detailed descriptions are needed, which include explanations of difficulties and mistakes. The German sociologist Erol Yildiz once noted that the extension of life-styles, which often are described as postmodernism really are a structurally developed multiculturalism. 18 At the same time he pointed out that this postmodernism is divided in half with regard to ethnicity origin represents the form of marker which constantly drops out of the accepted normality of multiplicity. So it is a matter of extending i.e. adjusting the term normality. When cultural institutions where created, they have contributed to negotiating and defining the self-image of society as bourgeois and national. Now they have to engage in the difficult process of negotiating the selfimage of the parapolis or the intercultural city. 19 In the multiplicity of postmigrant urbanity only a short period of shared history exists, but there is a long common future. In a process of intercultural alphabetisation this is a question of inventing the community of the future. It is a creative situation, in which everybody learns a new language. At the moment, the process itself is more important than immediate results. One can currently get the impression that the reaction of the cultural sphere to these challenges is overproduction. But reflection may be more important. To change the structures of art production the artist Gustav Metzger called for a form of artists strike - it was the proclamation of years without art in the 1970s. As to be expected, nobody followed. On a symbolic level, it is a good idea. Translator (German into English): Sonia Schmitz - Editor: Sabine Frank Platform for Intercultural Europe and Mark Terkessidis, Erol Yildiz: Die halbierte Gesellschaft der Postmoderne, Opladen 1997, p cf. Jude Bloomfield & Franco Bianchini: Planning for the Intercultural City, Stroud 2004; Council of Europe: Intercultural Cities. Towards a Model for Intercultural Integration, Strasbourg FOUR THESES FOR AN AUDIT OF CULTURE

20 Bibliography Bhabha, Homi: Editor s Introduction: Minority Manoeuvres and Unsettled Negotiations, in: Critical Inquiry 23 (Spring 1997). Bloomfield, Jude & Franco Bianchini: Planning for the Intercultural City, Stroud 2004; Council of Europe: Intercultural Cities. Towards a Model for Intercultural Integration, Strasbourg Böhme, Gernot: Atmosphäre. Essays zur neuen Ästhetik, Frankfurt am Main 1995 Dewdney, Andrew & David Dibosa & Victoria Walsh: Britishness and Visual Culture, London Geißler, Rainer u.a., Wenig ethnische Diversität in deutschen Zeitungsredaktionen, in: Rainer Geißler und Horst Pöttker (eds.), Massenmedien und die Integration ethnischer Minderheiten in Deutschland, Band 2, Bielefeld Glissant, Eduard: Kultur und Identität. Aufsätze zu einer Poetik der Vielheit, Heidelberg Gregg, Melissa and Gregory J. Seigworth (eds.): The Affect Theory Reader, Durham & London 2010 Knüsel, Pius: Weniger ist mehr. Raum für Entwicklung, in: Kulturpoltische Mitteilungen, Nr Lippard, Lucy: Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America, New York Meskimmon, Marsha: Contemporary Art and the Cosmopolitan Imagination, Oxon 2011 Müller, Herta: Bei uns in Deutschland, in: Dies.: Der König verneigt sich und tötet, Frankfurt am Main Müller, Peter & Jasmin Cicek (eds.): Migrantenliteratur, Stuttgart Mundel, Barbara und Josef Mackert: Das Prinzip für die ganze Gesellschaft, in: Theater heute, 8-9/2010 Schneider, Jens: Deutsch-Sein. Das Eigene, das Fremde und die Vergangenheit im Selbstbild des vereinten Deutschland, Frankfurt am Main Terkessidis, Mark: Parapolis, in: IBA_Hamburg (ed.): Metropolis: Cosmopolis, Berlin Yildiz, Erol: Die halbierte Gesellschaft der Postmoderne, Opladen FOUR THESES FOR AN AUDIT OF CULTURE

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