Today’s society is marked by diversity on all fronts: gender, ethnicity, age, class and sexual preference, as well as a variety of conflicting views on economy, politics, and religion. While these different perspectives can complement and enrich each other, they can also lead to prejudices. Differences among us are often used as a pretext for exclusion, which engenders inequality.
Diversity is also an important aspect of Dutch cultural policy. Indeed, the cultural sector is often criticized for its “one-dimensionality” and most institutions still seem to focus on a small and privileged group. To counter this tendency, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science wants to break open the existing “monoculture” to provide visibility for formerly excluded groups. Such new voices of criticism are primarily targeting traditional institutions that have so far disregarded the importance of stimulating diversity. At the same time, a number of artists are active have been committed to help these unrepresented groups by creating community art or “creolizing” the Dutch canon. Through such initiatives, artists give voice and visibility to groups and stories that are otherwise invisible and unheard in order to counter and undermine prejudices and tendencies of exclusion.
The Creative Culture Talk on 16 April will focus on such artistic practices. Our guest is artist and ACW-alumnus Richard Kofi, who will present his and fellow artists’ works. He also works for the National Museum of World Cultures, which is actively involved in the public debate on cultural diversity. Through concrete examples, they will further investigate what it takes to create a non-exclusive cultural sector. For example, how can we establish contact among people who normally do not meet each other on their own? What can we do to bridge cultural differences? How do people remain connected to one another? And what has improved in this regard so far? Artists – creative makers and thinkers – can help us find answers to these pressing questions.