Ten years of the Culturelink Network
It is ten years now since, in June 1989, UNESCO and the Council of Europe decided to jointly establish a network of networks for research and cooperation in cultural development, to be headquartered at the Institute for International Relations in Zagreb, Croatia.
The disintegration of Yugoslavia, the war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and now the war in Kosovo, have not prevented the Network from doing its work. Despite all difficulties, which at times looked insurmountable, the Network has continued to pursue its stated objective - the linkage of cultures. Our constant source of encouragement has been the ever-growing volume of communication exchanges and the steadily increasing membership. At present, the Network has over 1,000 members on all the continents. Their assessment of the quality and value of our work is sometimes expressed in a single sentence, such as 'Thank you for your continuing good work' or 'You are doing a great job and I must thank you very much', and at other times in more elaborate evaluations and explanations of what Culturelink means to them in their work. All of this justifies the existence of the Culturelink Network.
The Network's contribution has been recognized by the Federal Chancellery, Republic of Austria, whose State Secretary wrote a letter of appreciation in connection with the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Council of Europe. The letter is published in the original German and its English translation in this issue of Culturelink. We are particularly pleased to see our work described as being 'of great significance for Europe'. This is greatly encouraging, and we would like to believe that the Network is equally significant also for other cultures on other continents.
As usual, the present issue carries information about scientific, scholarly and cultural activities of the Network's members (did you know, for instance, what Creative Exchange, BASA or Axis were doing and where you can get an M.A. degree in Cultural and Media Policy?). Equally, the issue reports on the activities of its founders - UNESCO (for instance, the important Forum on Development and Culture held last March) and the Council of Europe (Policy Notes Series, with a number of valuable publications). Finally, you will find here a number of conference announcements, book reviews and surveys of periodicals.
Our Dossier continues the discussion of borders, identities and cultures - this time in the context of MERCOSUR. We are grateful to the Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Pensamiento Latinoamericano, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and its dedicated staff for preparing the contributions for the Dossier. The issues discussed go well beyond MERCOSUR and concern the development of our world as a whole and the problem of intercultural communication on the threshold of the new millennium.