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Announcement of New Publication

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Culture at the Heart of Transition

The Role of Culture in Social and Economic Development: Lessons Learnt from the Swiss Cultural Programme

By Charles Landry, COMEDIA, London, 2006

This study commissioned by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Arts Council of Switzerland Pro Helvetia looks at lessons learnt within 11 innovative, long-term cooperation projects with a structuring impact on the culture sector, funded by the Swiss Cultural Programme Southeast Europe and Ukraine (SCP), a programme Pro Helvetia has been running for the last several years, mandated by SDC. English expert Charles Landry (COMEDIA London) compiled the experiences in conjunction with programme and cooperation project staff and summarized them in a report.

According to the study findings, cultural work strengthens diversity of opinion and promotes debate on socially relevant topics, besides helping to create alternative structures and networks and facilitating participation in political life. It also releases creative energy and triggers fresh stimuli. In a nutshell, it reinforces civil society and – indirectly – what are often still very fragile democratic institutions.

The full study may be downloaded from SDC's website. German and French version will be available in May.

Contact: Susanna Flühmann, Pro Helvetia Communication, tel.: 01 267 71 51, e-mail: sfluehmann@pro-helvetia.ch or
Thomas Jenatsch, SDC Spokesman, Cooperation with Eastern Europe and the CIS, tel.: 031 325 91 26, 079 300 48 63, e-mail: thomas.jenatsch@deza.admin.ch