How members of the European Forum for the Arts and Heritage perceive and respond to the concept of cultural diversity.
Fra rapportens resumé:
‘Cultural Diversity’ has become what in English is referred to as a ‘Motherhood and apple pie’ concept. In other words, it is generally agreed to be a positive good, which cultural actors and organisations should necessarily support. However, the current enthusiasm for the rhetoric of cultural diversity hides a number of areas of uncertainty, of which two are relevant to our debate here.
First, do we know and agree on what we mean by the term? Second, is there a gap between commitment and action, between philosophy and practice? One-way to answer these questions are to understand better what the EFAH membership itself believes, support and practice.
The Mapping Exercise allows us to go someway to achieve this, with some inevitable caveats, which are outlined in this brief executive summary. Some of the issues that the Mapping Exercise hopes to illuminate include:
- How are diversity issues reflected in organizational, governance or membership?
- Do EFAH members have a diversity agenda guiding their work?
- What are the prevalent attitudes to this agenda?
- What external pressures do member organizations find themselves exposed to with respect to diversity?
- What are the cultural actors’ perceptions of the challenges in the field?
- What kind of projects are in preparation for the EU Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 and how is this initiative perceived?
A final word is needed on the relationship between this piece of work and the future agenda for Intercultural Dialogue. The Mapping Exercise is only a first stage piece of work; it seeks to understand some of the terrain, in terms of EFAH’s immediate constituency, and to set down some early foundations for our thinking. Although carried out separately form the emerging programme of the Rainbow Platform, some of the issues are very similar and a good case could be made to conflate the next steps suggested by the Mapping Exercise with the next steps of the Rainbow Platform’s work.