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Research and Programmes

Culturelink review, no.28/August 1999 - contents - imprint - archive

Cultural Studies and Europe

Virtual Exhibition - A New Form of Research Cooperation

The Research Institute for Austrian and International Literature and Cultural Studies (INST) has developed a new form of research cooperation to meet the needs of today's scientific analysis and to meet the challenge of defining cultural policy functions - the virtual exhibition Cultural Studies and Europe. It is conceived as an initiative to promote scientific collaboration in the process of developing cultural policies for Europe and as a forum for the submission of proposals in line with research results.

The exhibition presents a programmatic concept which should establish cultural studies as a productive force in the twenty-first century. It includes five explanatory essays ('On the exhibition', 'Cultural Concepts', 'Language, Multilingualism, Images and Number Systems', 'Reality and Virtuality', 'Motto') and twelve presentations dealing with primary themes, as well as numerous sub-themes, covering a broad range of information. A Cultural Collaboratory has been set up to allow contributions to be sent to the exhibition's editorial office.

The Research Institute for Austrian and International Literature and Cultural Studies first brought together theses on the theme of cultural studies and Europe in 1996 in the St Petersburg Memorandum. The underlying concepts were further refined during the conferences on 'European Language and Literary Studies', held in Innsbruck in 1997, and 'Cultural Studies, Data Bases, Europe', held in Debrecen in 1998. Contributions to the conferences, as well as the conference resolutions, have been published in TRANS, the Internet journal for cultural studies.

Whereas conferences are usually limited, either in terms of the number of participants or their ability to communicate, or both, the Internet allows large numbers of those interested to participate almost at will. The exhibition should also be seen as offering different opportunities than a journal such as TRANS, which has already attracted around 1500 interactive users in the scientific communities of some 70 countries. In contrast, this exhibition offers the advantage of setting up opportunities for interactive discussion around interconnected major motifs. Rather than placing emphasis on critical examination of the current situation, the focus has been put on possible future developments. The themes are organized according to these primary motifs. Keynote concepts are to be presented in short textual passages, annotated access to other homepages will be provided, and links between science, images, numeric and architecture will be newly interpreted.

The exhibition is conceived as offering a platform for discussion, with the aim of modifying research and the framework within which research is conducted in Europe and internationally. This has to be done in line with the current and foreseeable conditions. The intention is to include the results of this discussion in the 6th Research programme of the EU, which should be passed in 2003, but also in the plans of UNESCO, private organizations and local and national institutions.

To allow those who have no access to the Internet to also take part in the discussion, the exhibition will be presented internationally and publicly via computer and beamer.

There are great opportunities for cultural studies in the twenty-first century. But whether that potential will be utilized depends, on the one hand, on the framework in which they are conducted, but, on the other hand, it is independent of that and is reliant on how clearly their importance can be spelled out. Nobody can deny the significance of cultural studies.

For more information, please contact: Research Institute for Austrian and International Literature and Cultural Studies (INST), Hauffgasse 2/1/19, A-1110 Vienna, Austria, tel.: 0043/1/7481633/11; fax:0043/1/7481633/15; e-mail: arlt@adis.at

Internet address of the exhibition: http://www.adis.at/arlt/institut/ausstellung/

Internet address of TRANS (Internet Journal for Cultural Studies): http://www.adis.at/arlt/institut/trans/

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Convergence, Digitisation and Culture: Employment, Representation and Access in the Digital Arts

Convergence, Digitisation and Culture: Employment, Representation and Access in the Digital Arts is an important new European project, supported by the DG V, the European Commission, and based at the London School of Economics (LSE), to examine new work patterns and working practices in the digital arts. This project has two main elements:

  1. A pan-European research project to explore the experiences of content creators in the digital arts. Data will be collected via an electronic questionnaire and interviews to obtain information about:
    • the demographic and social profile of the sector (exploring questions of access, exclusion and equal opportunity);
    • organizational forms (small businesses, freelance work, commercial versus non-profit, contractual positions, etc.);
    • working practices;
    • training and professional development needs within the sector;
    • the aims and aspirations of digital artists;
    • the audiences and potential audiences for artistic work using new technologies;
    • legal and financial constraints and opportunities facing digital artists;
    • networks of support and innovation in the sector.
  2. A major conference (Cf. also p. 52, International Meetings and Conferences in this issue.) to be held at the London School of Economics from 12 - 14 November 1999 to bring together artistic content creators working in digital forms, arts organizations, academics and policy makers in order to discuss the findings of the research and to explore the opportunities and challenges generated by new technologies in the arts.

The leading partner is the Gender Institute, London School of Economics, in cooperation with the Artists Association of Ireland, Emplois Culturels Internationaux (France), European League of Institutes of the Arts (Netherlands), and EricArts (Germany).

To take part in the research, please contact: Diane Dodd (Project Researcher): diane.dodd@mx4.redestb.es or Dr Rosalind Gill, LSE, overall Project Director: r.c.gill@lse.ac.uk

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ECX - European Cultural Xchange

The European Cultural Protection Programme

Introduction

The ECX - European Cultural Xchange is a programme intended to provide selected artists, academics, curators, journalists and related cultural practitioners from the European conflict regions with an opportunity to continue their work in an open and secure environment. Under the auspices of host cultural and artistic organisations in Europe and beyond, the ECX will act as a guarantor of continued cultural and intellectual activity during and after the times of conflict.

In the framework of the ECX programme, internationally recognised cultural institutions will offer residency places to artists and other cultural practitioners threatened by conflict, inviting them to work on specific projects in a context of increased personal security and guaranteed freedom of expression.

Aims

The ECX will engage to actively support projects which:

  • foster and maintain open forms of artistic and cultural expression considered under direct threat,
  • act to further European integration and preservation of cross-cultural and multi-ethnic dialogue,
  • engage the experience and know-how of artists from crisis areas to develop ongoing cultural cooperation in Europe,
  • enable the re-establishment of basic civil, political and cultural structures upon the cessation of conflict in the region.

Structure

The ECX will establish a framework to provide technical assistance, day to day support, and a social space to allow networking with local artists, curators and academics, as well as with the public at large. This is considered as a fundamental function of the programme, leading to genuine working connections among European and international artists, cultural practitioners and media organisations. In the framework of the ECX, the host organisations provide:

  • cost of travel to the host organisation,
  • lodging during the residency period,
  • insurance, visa and general administrative support (which will also be supported politically and practically by the European Cultural Backbone),
  • per diems,
  • working space, access to technical equipment, technical and conceptual support, production and presentation opportunities.

Official regulations

Applications are processed by the host organisations. There is no age limit for participating in the ECX programme. Knowledge of English or the national language of the host country is preferable.

Selections will be made by the hosting organisations on the basis of their technical and organisational capabilities and the suitability of the project to the host organisation's work in accordance with the ECX's stated aims. Residency limits, per diems and the scope of cooperation and support will be established on a case-by-case basis.

The ECX will be coordinated by the European Cultural Backbone, a coalition of media cultural institutions in Europe.

For further information, please contact: Andreas Broeckmann, V2_ Rotterdam, e-mail: abroeck@v2.nl

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The Making of a Programme Diary

A Study of the Programming of Arts Presentation at Arts Centres in Britain

by Nobuko Kawashima, Centre for the Study of Cultural Policy University of Warwick, 1998, 116 pp.

The Making of a Programme Diary is a study that examines the framework, processes and mechanisms of arts centre programming defined as the presentation of professional arts and cultural activities. The study is focused on the function of professional presentation. The findings are based on qualitative research, consisting of both personal interviews conducted at nine arts centres in Britain and a review of the literature.

The study starts with the outline of the context in which professional presentation at arts centres works. It then proceeds to describe empirical findings and evolves into analytical and theoretical arguments. The unit of analysis is firstly arts centres in relation to arts companies and artists, and then the work of arts centre programmers. Finally, the scope of discussion is widened in the last chapter to examine arts centres as a whole in the larger cultural production system.

There are three major parts in the study, each of a different nature, which may serve a different primary readership as follows:

  • Part 1 seeks to give a basic understanding of the ways in which the presentation of professional arts is programmed at arts centres in the UK. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between arts centres and visiting performing arts companies. This part is largely descriptive and explanatory and meant to form a foundation for the later discussion. Those who are not very familiar with the work of arts centres in Britain may find the details useful.
  • Part 2 analyzes the making of programme diaries by examining the behaviour and discourse of venue programmers. This part is explanatory and analytical. It may well be helpful for artists and administrators of arts companies in particular, as it offers an insight into programme making.
  • Part 3 draws on the findings presented in Parts 1 and 2 and develops a theoretical and conceptual discussion. Its focus is on arts centres as a whole and an examination of the arts centre 'sector' in a wider context. This part may be useful for policy-makers in the arts funding system and practitioners in arts centres, as well as for cultural policy academics and students.

The study aims to contribute to the following two research fields in different but interconnected ways:

  • to the study of cultural policy by providing insights into how arts centres construct their programme diaries and by analyzing their place in the larger cultural production system, and
  • to the sociology of culture by highlighting the distributive aspect of the arts and culture, a phase of cultural production relatively under-researched in the literature compared with the phases of creation and consumption.

The study seems primarily academic in nature rather than for immediate use in practice, but the author's aim has been to generate research whose findings and implications will prove useful for strategic thinking on the part of practitioners in the cultural sector.

To obtain the research report or for more information, please contact: Kate Brennan, Secretary, School of Theatre Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom, tel.: 44 1203 523020; fax: 44 1203 524446.

Note: If you are interested in arts and cultural centres, please consult also the Culturelink Special Issue 1995 devoted to cultural centres in Central and Eastern Europe.

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Two New ETN Projects

The European Textile Network (ETN) has started two projects to improve co-operation among ETN members:

  1. Artists on the NET
    The digital connection of designers, craft makers and artists with the organisers of textile events in Europe was first activated in 1997. About 20 designers', crafts' and artists' associations are currently involved. The circle of participants can easily be enlarged.
  2. Virtual European museum itineraries
    A network of 10 leading museums cooperate to strengthen regional textile culture and economic development in an exemplary way, as a role model for an enlarged textile routes programme planned for the years to come. Here too the circle of participants can be enlarged.

For more information, please contact the ETN Secretariat: ETN-NET Secretariat P.O.Box 5944 D-30059 Hannover, Germany, tel.: +49 511/817006 fax: +49-511/813108; e-mail: ETN@ETN-net.org; http://www.ETN-net.org

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Information for Cultural Industries Support Services (iCISS) Research Project

Information for Cultural Industries Support Services (iCISS) is a two-year research project with a policy component, run by the Manchester Institute for Popular Culture (Manchester Metropolitan University) in partnership with the Agendum (Sweden), the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki), and the Centro per lo studio della moda e della produzione culturale (at the Catholic University, Milan) and co-funded by the European Social Fund (ADAPT programme), January 1998 - December 1999.

The main aim of this project is to assess the dynamics and needs of the cultural industries sector at a local level in eight European cities - Barcelona, Berlin, Dublin, Göteborg, Helsinki, Manchester, Milan, Tilburg - and one rural region, Jamtland (Sweden).

For the purposes of this research, the term cultural industries covers a wide range of creative small and micro businesses, such as (fashion) designers, multimedia firms, video producers, publishers, and the music industry with all its subsectors - from musicians to record labels and clubs, including training agencies and professional associations. The case studies of Berlin, Helsinki and Dublin focus on the local music scenes and industry, and, furthermore, the project includes a study of European music policy and assesses the needs of the music industry in the different EU countries.

Another component of the project is the relationship between cultural industries (development), cultural policy and urban regeneration (policies). In many cities cultural quarters have evolved in disused industrial or commercial districts or buildings, and in some cases this has led to official involvement to promote the district - its culture and economy, which in turn has a positive impact on the whole city. Examples of this are the Northern Quarter in Manchester, the Cable Factory in Helsinki, the Veemarktkwartier in Tilburg, and Temple Bar in Dublin. Cultural districts without official support are the Ticinese in Milan and LaRibera and Poble Nou in Barcelona. This project examines urban development issues and the role that cultural producers could play, or actually play, within them, and how urban policy measures affect the development of these businesses.

The dynamics and needs that are being investigated relate mainly to networks, both formal and informal, and to training in business/management skills and information and communication technologies. There are not enough courses available that target specifically the needs of creative entrepreneurs. Generally, there exists a lack of awareness of this economic sector, which has resulted in its omission from promotional strategies and in obstacles that other businesses, with non-cultural products, do not encounter. The results of this research will be compared on a European level and inform local, national and EU policy on urban, cultural and economic issues, in order to promote cultural industries development.

In a conscious attempt to complement existing statistical information about the cultural industries sector(s), this research is based on qualitative methods. Through in-depth interviews with small businesses, their networks, development and needs are being assessed and put into perspective within official surveys of the sector and existing programmes (or lack thereof). Thus, three groups of people are involved in this project: researchers, entrepreneurs and policy makers.

One of the practical aims of iCISS is the development of a network of researchers with links to policy makers and trainers and with the involvement of creative businesses. The project website is the first component in this programme, constituting a base of information resources which includes a database of useful contacts for businesses. A discussion e-mail list is also being set up. Apart from virtual contacts and information exchange, there will be seminars in most of the project cities later in 1999 to provide a forum for the different agents involved, where the research findings will be presented and discussed.

For further information, please visit the iCISS website: http://www.mmu.ac.uk/h-ss/sis/iciss/index.htm

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Specialized European Master's Degree in Management of Cultural Enterprises

Created in 1990 by the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles and conducted in cooperation between the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Dijon and the Institut Claude-Nicolas Ledoux of Arc et Senans, the Specialized European Master's Programme in Management of Cultural Enterprises is a high-level professional training programme for the field of cultural management, including heritage, live performances, and cultural action on regional or municipal levels, with special emphasis on its European dimension. In 1995, the Master's Programme opened a sub-branch in Bucharest for the whole of Eastern Europe by launching the EcumEst programme (See Culturelink nos. 17/November 1995, p. 30 and 19/August 1996, p. 48.) in cultural administration, which unites a number of institutional partners (Institut Français de Bucarest, Soros Foundation, British Council, Goethe Institut, French Ministry of Culture, European Union), who recognize the growing managerial needs of the Eastern European countries in the field of culture.

The Master's Programme aims to train managers capable of managing high-level interdisciplinary cultural centres or private foundations, creating and developing cultural tourism projects for prestigious European sites, managing enterprises in the cultural industries sector, or developing interregional or trans-European cultural cooperation projects. Based on case studies and simulations, the course is organized around three major points: the institutional environment of culture and European public policies in the sector, managerial techniques applied to specific sectors, and concepts and utilities for institutional management, strategies of enterprises and international projects. Taught in the form of theoretical study and practical training, the programme is concerned with cultural enterprise, management, marketing and communication, environment and cultural enterprise strategies, cultural and economic evaluation of heritage. In its nine years of existence, 123 diplomas have gone to 22 European countries.

For further information, please contact: Mastère Spécialisé Européen, Ms. Corina Suteu, Director, Pôle d'Economie et de Gestion, 2 Bd. Gabriel, B.P. 26611, 21066 Dijon Cedex, France, tel.: +33 3 80 39 52 51; fax: +33 3 80 39 52 59; e-mail: ecume@axnet.fr

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Theatre for Development

MA/Postgraduate Diploma Course

The MA/Postgraduate Diploma Course in Theatre for Development at King Alfred's University College Winchester (See Culturelink no. 25/August 1998, pp. 41-42.) is a one year full-time programme which combines theory and practice of making theatre with communities with a study of issues in development as these relate to working on processes of representation for self-development with marginalized or oppressed groups. The aim of the programme is to produce development workers who are skilled in using culturally based communications to facilitate the social development of communities.

Students gain experience of theatre as a social tool for a more effective implementation of development goals identified by the community and as a developmental process in itself, fostering group identity, cohesion, and capacity building.

In addition to the full-time mode based at King Alfred's College, the programme can also be run in three ten-week blocks over two years in any place where sufficient numbers are recruited from a particular region or country.

The MA Course forms part of the work of the Centre for Development Communication, which exists to develop courses, research projects, networking, archives, consultancies, and conferences in development communications.

King Alfred's University College Winchester offers also other MA courses: Archaeology, Contemporary Culture, Education, English, Health, History, Religious Studies, Theology.

For further information, please contact: Tim Prentki, Programme Director, King Alfred's University College Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 4NR, United Kingdom, tel.: 01962 827251; fax: 01962 827492; e-mail: T.Prentki@wkac.ac.uk; http://www.wkac.ac.uk

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Graduate Programme in Cultural and Media Studies

University of Natal, Durban
Course work MA in Media Studies

The new Graduate Programme in Cultural and Media Studies at the University of Natal, which replaces the Centre for Cultural and Media Studies, offers an MA in Media Studies with an African and Third World emphasis. Core courses offered include Political Economy of the Media; Media, Development and Democracy; Sociology of the Media; Theories of Meaning and Ideology; and options such as Narrative Film and TV; and Documentary Film and Visual Anthropology, amongst others. Skills courses include Educational Multimedia and Development; Desk-Top Publishing; and Video Production. The course is designed for media workers seeking theoretical refreshment in their professional practices. There is a strong emphasis on research, strategic thinking, and problem-solving.

Research thesis MA and Ph.D in Media and Development and Public Health Communication

In addition, the new Programme now also offers MA and Ph.D thesis under the auspices of its newly established Development, Media and Arts Research Unit. This Unit is geared towards action research relating to public health communication (using print and broadcast media, participatory drama, etc.) and related development support communication issues in the Southern African context. The Unit works with schools and grassroots community organisations, especially on life-skills and HIV/AIDS prevention and education. The research project is based and designed to teach senior students to work in the field on actual projects, benefiting communities in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.

Ph.D in African Media and Cultural Studies

The Programme continues to offer a Ph.D course in media and cultural studies in general. Candidates can expect to work in a vibrant community of graduate students drawn from all over Africa and the rest of the world.

The Programme offers a dedicated lecturing faculty/staff who teach at graduate levels only within the Faculty of Human Sciences' newly established School of Graduate Studies.

For further information, please contact: Prof. Keyan Tomaselli, Graduate Programme in Cultural and Media Studies, University of Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa, tel.: + 27(31) 260-2505; fax: + 27(31) 260-1519; e-mail: ccms@mtb.und.ac.za; http://www.und.ac.za/und/ccms

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Funds for International Travel for Artists

International Residencies for Artists (IRA) has funds to help artists attend residencies at artists' communities 'abroad,' meaning in some country other than one's own.

It can also assist visual artists who wish to attend the openings of their own 'one-man' exhibits abroad, or composers whose works are being performed abroad. Because there are so many possibilities or situations that might qualify for such support, IRA does not have an application form but ask that artists who wish to apply write a letter directly to IRA providing detailed information on the residency, exhibition, or performance for which they would like a travel grant. (Travel grants will usually be for 50% of the cost of the cheapest form of transportation.)

IRA can be contacted at the following address: International Residencies for Artists, c/o William Smart, 13A, 222 W. 14th St., New York, NY 10011, USA; e-mail: wsmart@earthlink.com