Culture » Overview

exploring the transformative power of the arts – building bridges across cultures – supporting young cultural innovators

The Salzburg Global Seminar’s Culture and the Arts Program focuses on the transformative power of the arts, facilitates cultural exchange at multiple levels, and provides capacity-building opportunities through the annual Young Cultural Innovators Forum. Through multi-year projects and strategic convenings, the Culture and Arts Program seeks to secure a more prominent role for the arts on policy agendas and to support the continuously evolving needs of the creative sector – as a major driver of sustainable economic development and social improvement – through the multi-year Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.

 

Sessions in 2017:

The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewal 
February 7 to 12, 2017 

Salzburg Global Young Cultural Innovators Forum: Regional Fellows Event
April 27 to 29, 2017

Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV
October 14 to 19, 2017

For past sessions, click here


Doreen Toutikian: “It is not okay to say ‘it is not okay to say it’”
Doreen Toutikian: “It is not okay to say ‘it is not okay to say it’”
Alex Jackson 
“We weren’t doing painting or theater or deals with Syrian refugee camps, so our project didn’t really feel like it was one of the priorities” recalls Doreen Toutikian, the Director of the MENA Design Research Centre, when reflecting on establishing the roots of design research. Now doubts and uncertainties of investors are quickly being dispelled in the wake of her creative transformation. Over the past couple of years alone, Toutikian has become a formidable force in the design industry, heading up the specialist MENA Design Research Center, nurturing this program through projects including DESMEEM (a combination of the words ‘design’ and ‘tasmeem’ – design in Arabic), and successfully piloting Beirut Design Week, which will see its third installment this June. She is an educator, a designer, a pioneer; all achievements that are undoubtedly a testament to her tenacity, as she remarks that there needs to be more arguments to stimulate discussion.  “I think I might have provoked something upstairs in the discussion; but we need to challenge ourselves to tackle these problems. Is it relevant to discuss them here when we all have different views? If there are people here who are listening to me and saying ‘Yes what you are doing makes sense and is similar to what I am doing in this area and this is how we could learn, we can collaborate’ that is the best thing that we can hope for.” However, Toutikian’s determination to probe these issues stems from Lebanon’s refusal to address parts of its own history, stifling generational growth and hopes for future resolution. “There has been this ongoing conflict and it has been like that since the 70s in the region: it is bigger than the Arab Spring notion of 2011. “The problem is it has been over 30 years and people aren’t really talking about it. In Lebanon, some of the basic reasons things can’t improve is because all of the youth and all of the students in university have no idea what happened in the civil war. They’re not even OK with teaching it in schools. These kids really don’t know how to take on and tackle this as an issue because they have no information about it, which causes misunderstanding. “They know skewed or partial elements from family and friends; there now has to be a process of re-education, which is a difficult but essential task.” In order to explore the ‘other’, there has to be an understanding and a feeling with them. Toutikian reinforces the idea of empathy as one of the most important values for this process of relearning, as it provides a human framework that is nuanced in its approach – being simultaneously sympathetic, yet direct. “As a designer, there is room to be more lenient and to be more empathetic which provides new angles to express yourself. There isn’t so much political correctness. It is not okay to say ‘it is not okay to say it’. There are unturned areas being explored and being spoken about for the first time in constructive ways. Breaking down taboos allows a new genesis for the creation of creative ideas.” Of course, Toutikian’s steely resolve and determination in redressing these balances is likely the result of living at the nexus of James Thompson’s axes of war, with conflict a weekly reality. “We get bombs once or twice a week. I am on my way to work and there is a bomb. And people start to deal with it in this nonchalant manner, introducing ideas of denial. The problem is that then you don’t know where you stand, because part of you also wants to forget what is going on a daily basis.”  In a war-torn region, the temptation to uproot is overwhelming, yet the mass exodus of parts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region leaves a void and cultural hole that wreaks havoc beyond the scene of the war zone, causing in political, ideological and social realignments. “You’re in a daily conflict of ‘should I stay or should I leave?’ The most common questions tend to be: ‘What am I doing?’ ‘Is it worth it is it not worth it?’ Others have tried, others have failed; they have left the country. But it doesn’t mean that they have come to terms with the upset this has caused. But, this is an ongoing thing. The conflict stops me from being able to be the international person that says OK you’ve got a conflict, I understand, I am looking at you as an observer. I have to be involved.” The MENA Development Research Center formally gave Toutikian the opportunity to really grapple with the conflict from within the communities of those affected: “It started up as a think tank of a local branding and digital company and then became its own independent organization and initially we thought we would depend on funding and grants, but then we thought about doing something like Beirut Design Week, which actually sustains the center now and lets us go forward and live on.” Perhaps the key stumbling block in her journey was convincing organizations in the region that design, though not a traditional art form, was a valuable concept. “It was very difficult for us to explain why we’re doing what we doing and at the same time for funders to understand that this is not something that we are doing just for luxury purposes. Even though we are there to support the designers and to support the crafts industry that is emerging and growing in the region, we are not there to say that design is a luxurious thing that is just for the elite.” Clearly, this simplistic approach is something that Toutikian holds as a life mantra, as she is dressed comfortably, complete with trainers. Such touches make Toutikian much more relatable, regardless of her wealth of experience, and this is an important factor she finds when she meets new students and young designers.  “We try and get people to think of social issues, such as sustainable development, the environment, LGBT issues, in lots of fun and interactive ways; so we get lots of graphic designers, working with interior and fashion designers and we try to have them develop ways to understand the problem, before we then find ways to communicate that back to a wider audience. For this, we will do an exhibition or a video or give a talk. We try to find different ways to engage civil society with these issues, through the lens of a designer.”  The significance of her work was probably solidified when DESMEEM hosted a number of stakeholders, companies and organizations from the US as part of a three month project in Lebanon. Through actively involving these US firms in local NGOs, there was a personal foundation for conflict resolution. “The head of a big organization turned to me and said: ‘What I found really special was how designers are doing things that are so different from what people are doing in advocacy and policy making, and it is because they have a way of talking to people’s hearts and so they have a really emotional way of telling the story.’ It really encourages influential groups and organizations to engage in creative ways.” Beirut Design Week, now a name in its own right despite having held three events, came about as an offshoot of DESMEEM to deal with the unusual issue of a lack of funding.  “We said okay let’s do something like an event where we don’t just do an exhibition, but we get other designers involved as well and they can showcase their work. In Lebanon people are not going to trust young people and new designers coming in to display things so this was a real outlet for new potential and new design. The first year, we barely made it through.” Now, Beirut Design Week has other similar projects trying to use the cache of such a renowned group, right down to copying the name. “It is great proof that what we are doing is speaking to people and they are taking it on and really trying to get new meaning out of it.”
Doreen Toutikian was a session participant at the Salzburg Global Seminar session "Conflict Transformation Through Culture: Peace Building and the Arts", which was sponsored by the Edward T Cone Foundation and Robert Bosch Stiftung. You can read interviews with a number of the other speakers and participants of the session on the webpage: http://www.salzburgglobal.org/go/532
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Peace-building & the Arts - Day 2: Post-conflict Approaches
Peace-building & the Arts - Day 2: Post-conflict Approaches
Alex Jackson 
Arts and cultural approaches to conflict have undergone a massive transformation in identity and understanding in the past decade alone. In the post 9/11 world, there has been a socio-revival of ideas pertaining to humanism. Instead of political and economic frameworks, there are increasing examples where words synonymous with the ideas of home, identity, belonging, entitlement and rights are being brought to the fore. On the second day of the Salzburg Global Seminar session on “Conflict Transformation through Culture: Peace-Building and the Arts” the 63 Fellows from across the world discussed the differing post-conflict approaches to peace-building and reconciliation.  Led by panelists Jacqueline Bertrand Lessac, executive producer and founder of Global Arts Corps in New York, Nigel Osbourne, emeritus professor of music at the University of Edinburgh, UK, Phloeun Prim, executive director of Cambodian Living Arts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Paul Smith, director of the USA office of the British Council in Washington, DC, the Fellows considered why this shift in tone is resonant of a change in attitude that sees the arts as baring a power of international reconciliation, offering alternative mediums and means by which to explore our pasts and our futures in equal measure.  These modes are as diverse as they are engaging: from music and dancing, to film making and free journalism, the exponential explosion of a new language by which to address conflict resolution allows artists and activists alike to probe fundamental questions that might be otherwise out of bounds. In order to fully explore the perimeters of this new space, artists must acquiesce on the historical gravitas of conflict. Many communities are ravaged by the horrors of war, not just resulting in an immediate loss of physical historical and cultural reference points, but also creating disjuncture between generations, class boundaries, and races.  In the case of Cambodia, for example, 90% of artists were killed as a result of the Khmer Rouge and this threatened traditional dances that were taught from generation to generation. In Pakistan, the drawing of countries lines by politicians that did not understand, nor took the time to comprehend the magnitude of, divisions, has resulted in a huge displacement and distrust of opposing religions.  In order to understand how these pivotal moments have deeply affected the present, there have to be authentic voices, not just actors playing roles. In this sense, a nation must know itself before it can develop itself and explore itself. Moving forward, culture needs to be considered not as a side project to diplomacy in rebuilding, but a complementing and parallel avenue by which people that have lived through these traumas can be part of an organic process of local, national and international redevelopment.  Speakers testified to the fact that in regions where there were generational gaps, youth coming of age had grown up with the legacy of conflict, yet misunderstand the legacy. This leads to a sense of uselessness, a settling anger, confusion, resentment and a further cycle of conflict. Rebuilding in a positive manner is crucial in tackling this ‘genocide generation’ head-on. They are a watershed in post-conflict reconciliation; if they are not reached, then it becomes increasingly difficult to unlearn false histories.  This process of relearning allows a de-otherization of perceived enemies and proffers a negative space in which to proactively discuss how problems arose and how they might be resolved, often in ways that turn the table, giving minorities a voice, and leaving aggressors overwhelmed by a real sense of empathy. Culture projects not only provide the context for breaking ground on these most obvious of boundaries, however. They also work to heal the more invisible struggles in post conflict regions, readdressing biological concerns. Traumatized populations, particularly children, tend to have higher heart rates, but this can be regulated by exercise opportunities. Those suffering breathing arrhythmias also stand a better chance of improvement if they are active in an environment where they can sing, increasing the lung capacity and regulating the heart too. Movement dysregulation can be tackled through dance. In a multifaceted approach, arts tackle both the physical and the psychological scars that stem from conflict. Through their approach, arts projects humanize ideologies and redress the past in ways we can understand and affiliate with today. If there is a passion for creative means, then there is a passion for recreating the self, and exploring the potential of that self. This has to be done through a process of collaboration so as to create a genuine dialogue. Communities can’t craft well if they don’t master the art of listening.
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Peace-building & the Arts - Day 1: Time/Space Continuum
Peace-building & the Arts - Day 1: Time/Space Continuum
Louise Hallman 
There are two key questions that face James Thompson, lead researcher of InPlaceofWar.net and professor of applied and social theater at the University of Manchester in the UK, in his research: why do people continue to practice and engage in theater during times of war and conflict? And, conversely, why do people assume that they do not? Speaking at the opening of the Salzburg Global Seminar session “Conflict Transformation through Culture: Peace-Building and the Arts”, Thompson introduced the 63 Salzburg Global Fellows gathered in the Great Hall to his time/space matrix. At the nexus of these two axes – time in one direction, space perpendicular – is the ongoing war or conflict (“the bombs are landing on your head”).  The space axis reaches to the next town away from the fighting, to refugee camps, to countries over the border offering asylum, eventually reaching diaspora communities. Time reaches from the current situation to months, years and eventually generations later. Within this matrix lie many time and space combinations: the diaspora or refugee community at the time of war, or the next generation now living in the original place of conflict are just two examples. For these different groups, in different spaces and times, there are different reasons why they engage in theater or indeed any other artistic or cultural pursuit; as either outsiders assisting this artistic expression or insiders in the communities we need to recognize and respect these different motivations and interests. If the assumption isn’t just simply that art doesn’t happen in times of war (a false conception Thompson discovered in his research ahead of a trip to northern Sri Lanka in 2000 when another academic posited in her book that theater doesn’t happen in the Tamil areas because of the war despite the dynamic and diverse theater scene that existed in the conflict-riddled towns and villages), then the often, equally misinformed, assumption is that the art that should exist in this particular space and time is that which directly addresses the ongoing conflict. Thompson’s 14 years of research have found that this is often not the case – the closer people are to the conflict, in both their space and time, the less likely they are to center that art around the conflict. In fact, in this space and time the vast majority of the art created, be that theater, music, dance, or any other medium, is focused on anything but the conflict, with the purpose of forgetting about the war around them. They are not creating art because of the conflict, but in spite of it.  It is also in this space that one often finds a lot of art aimed at children, enabling them to distance themselves from the conflict that engulfs their daily lives (or in the case of northern Sri Lanka, providing theater directors with an audience and outlet before the nightly curfew was imposed).Donors and artists seeking to help these communities in the thralls of war should take this need to distance themselves from war into consideration when they formulate their programs, advised Thompson. Moving away from the center of this matrix, however, allows for differing needs and perspectives, but some of the typical arts and peace-building projects found in these other times and spaces also encounter difficulties. Many arts projects in the same space but at a later time as the original conflict focus on justice and reconciliation, often as if the two terms were totally complimentary or even synonymous. But in truth, these two themes are not always naturally aligned. To achieve a sense of justice for one community can be at the expense of establishing reconciliation with another. And to seek reconciliation can sometimes leave some victims without a sense of justice for past grievances. Sometimes we have to suspend one to achieve the other, and we have to realize that sometimes we fail the communities we’re trying to serve by either foisting one or the other upon them or hindering the development of both. Further along the time and often also the space axes is art that focuses on remembrance and commemoration. These are often focused on the predominant narrative of available testimony, which can be problematic for those who feel excluded from that narrative. Focus on remembrance and commemoration also leads to the dismissal of projects that aim to help communities forget the conflict. Communities are frequently told they must remember, they must commemorate past conflicts – and they must have a right to this – but equally they must have the right to not do so; they must have the right to silence. But that is not to say that non-remembrance must be a passive silence – it can be loud and joyous. Much like the art at the nexus of the time and space and war – it can be a celebration of life, rather than a commemoration of the dead. In communities that have faced long divisions, there exists in peace-building art the “disease” of “Romeo and Julietism” or “Romeo and Julietitis,” warned Thompson. There have been a multitude of theater productions that center around the idea of a Palestinian girl falling in love with an Israeli boy, or a Hutu with a Tutsi, or a Northern Irish Catholic with a Protestant, and so on. Whilst these productions have the noble idea that they are exemplifying the overcoming of division, they are also reaffirming that division and helping to maintain the very narrative the art is trying to change. There are in fact many other divisions within communities, such as generational, that are overlooked in these stereotypical narratives. Addressing these divisions can offer the possibility of overcoming the main division. Also, there is nothing wrong with focusing on helping one community to heal, before expecting it to address its issues with the other. Ultimately, many of these issues surrounding what art is appropriate at what point stems two problematic core teachings, argued Thompson. One is Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which places creativity at the top of the pyramid, meaning this should only be satisfied once the basic physiological and safety (as well as love and belonging and esteem) needs have been met; needs that the most under threat in times of war and conflict. The second stems from Theodor Adorno’s saying “To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric”. Adorno implied that to create art about suffering was to denigrate that suffering. Both these teachings deny the importance of arts during and after conflict. But time and again it is proven that even when their basic needs are not being met, people still crave outlets that allow them to escape the misery they live in and to remember the experiences they have endured. Thompson closed with a quote from Pablo Picasso, who famously depicted the horrors of the Spanish Civil War with his painting Guernica: “Painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war.” Just as art can help communities and individuals distract themselves or heal the scars of war, it too can be a weapon. “Not all art is positive,” warned Thompson. 
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Conflict Transformation through Culture: Peace-Building and the Arts
Conflict Transformation through Culture: Peace-Building and the Arts
Alex Jackson 
“Painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war,” or so believed Pablo Picasso. Perhaps it is telling then that no European artist has risen to the same international prominence as the Spaniard, following more than 60 years without armed conflict in Western Europe. But there is much to be said for the role of culture and its impact upon the art of warfare. Art draws inspiration from the world around it and reflects on cultural, political and social moments to pass comment and critique. It is important then that this dialogue is not isolated, but that the artwork, be it in film, music, painting, literature or beyond, feeds back into the society and creates ripple effects, galvanizing change, instigating movements and rousing protests. In a multimedia age, there has been a proliferation of materials that aim to highlight social problems and what we are able to learn from these mistakes. Consider important films such as ‘The Manchurian Candidate’, which focused on espionage, conspiracy, assassins in a perfect anecdote to the Cold War; ‘Apocalypse Now’ which exposed the blood-chilling horror of Vietnam in excruciating and surreal detail by envisaging a self-destructive world inhabited by troubled and lost men; and ‘Paths of Glory’, reminding us of the difficult and near impossible decisions we must make not just to save ourselves but our wider social and cultural spheres, and a harsh indictment of the gap between leadership and soldier. Novels – including ‘La Peste’, a social commentary on Nazi occupation and being left stranded amidst this ‘infestation’; ‘1984’ which rightly prophesized the continual surveillance and suspicion that has come to tinge 21st century lives well after the Cold War; ‘Catch 22’, a stark reminder that the definition of sanity, particularly for those that have suffered at the hands of their political or social positions, is extremely flexible – have all become synonymous with the lingering threat of war and an almost inherent mistrust of different social structures. Such examples of art have gone on to influence millions of people around the world, and are just a snapshot of 20th Century reflections on a world that has been twice plunged into devastating World Wars, only to be further divided and threatened both physically and ideologically in the latter half of the century. If there were ever a power that can unite different continents it's the arts; the unilateral appeal of a true work of art can make a person stop, take stock and reflect on social progression. Salzburg Global Seminar is of course the perfect location to breach this issue of promoting peace through alternative means. Not only has Salzburg Global Seminar long sought to foster better international relations, not only economically and politically, but also culturally, following decades of destructive war, having been formed in 1947 to develop as a “Marshall Plan of the Mind”, but its home at Schloss Leopoldskron, in rooted in both art and conflict. Having been built by an Archbishop who became most well known for his expulsion of 20,000 Protestants from Salzburg, the palace was later bought by theater impresario Max Reinhardt, who established Schloss Leopoldskron as a cultural hub before he, as a Jew, was forced to flee the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938. During the war, the Schloss was occupied by the local Nazi party and was damaged when a bomb landed in the neighboring lake. The scars of shrapnel can still be seen in the Chinese Room.   At the session, Conflict Transformation through Culture: Peace-Building and the Arts, hosted from April 6 to 10 at Schloss Leopoldskron, participants will be invited to consider the role of cultural institutions, from museums and art galleries to film studios, can play in post-conflict reconciliation and forgiveness. By uniting important players from NGOs, the arts, the media, and cultural hubs, it is hoped that the session, sponsored by the Edward T. Cone Foundation and the Robert Bosch Foundation, will foster a new attitude towards the way art presents itself as a catalyst for social impact and social change. Participants will reflect on inspirational examples of art that have helped create social change and peace, and will consider whether the lessons presented in these cases can be improved upon and put into practice in wider contexts. Often, we find that the element of empathy and honest humanity are key factors in introducing a space for dialogue and debate on wide ranging issues, to find mutual grounds and common understanding. Diplomacy is something advocated at large in these works. By depicting repressed groups, those under threat of war, the greed of humanity, the staggering scale of injustice, those who interact with art are often prompted to find alternative diplomatic solutions to these problems. The aim of the session is to develop and implement up to five “Building Peace Through Arts” pilot projects in critical conflict-ridden regions around the world over the next five years. It is hoped that these art forms will not only highlight methods by which aggression and hostility can give way to forgiveness and reconciliation, but will also be able to tackle root causes of divisions and heal the traumas of conflict ridden and culturally bankrupt societies. It may be said that every true artist is at war with the world; their work is at war with the cultural moment in which it finds itself, and has to defend itself against criticism, rebuke, mockery. In generating the debate, the lessons of art and war are intertwined, and art stands as a constant reminder of the lessons of the past and the direction of the future.      
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Salzburg Global 2014 Program now available online
Salzburg Global 2014 Program now available online
Oscar Tollast 
Salzburg Global’s 2014 Program will feature over 25 distinctive sessions and workshops inspired by three interdependent values: Imagination, Sustainability and Justice. The three values underpin Salzburg Global’s new program ‘clusters’ and aim to form the foundations for global citizenship. Under these ‘clusters’, a number of topics will be discussed. For example, participants will be asked how societies can renew their education, how to improve life chances for present and future generations, or examine how societies can reframe responsibilities. The 2014 Program brings together distinctive multi-year projects and partnerships with the common goal of promoting vision, courage and leadership to tackle the most complex challenges of a globalized society. The Salzburg Academies – covering Global Citizenship, Media and Global Change, and the Future of International Law – will continue to prepare outstanding young people with the skills to drive change. Salzburg Global Seminar remains determined in breaking down barriers separating people and ideas. It spans the world’s regions and challenges countries at all stage of development and institutions across all sectors to rethink their relationship and identify shared interests and goals. The program is available for download as PDF. 2014 Program Brochure
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Promoting the Next Generation of Cultural Entrepreneurs
Promoting the Next Generation of Cultural Entrepreneurs
Susi Seidl-Fox 
Building on the success of our 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum - which brought together forty-seven young cultural leaders from thirty-seven countries around the globe for an intensive leadership development program convened in partnership with National Arts Strategies - Salzburg Global Seminar is committed to evolving the Forum into a global focal point for international exchange and innovation around creative, cultural entrepreneurship. Salzburg Global is convening leading thinkers and practitioners for an October 2013 strategy meeting to critique and fine-tune the 10-year program plan. Attendees will include several participants from the Young Cultural Leaders Forum, as well as established cultural entrepreneurs, and potential partners and donors. Participants will engage in strategy sessions, creative idea development, and the sharing of experiences and lessons for the benefit of the program design. This global group of participants will consult together and act as a focus group on needs assessment, designing impact, fine-tuning program components, establishing effective networks, and measuring success. Participation in the Strategy Meeting is by invitation only.
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Belisa Rodrigues: “We are very open to engaging with our partners”
Belisa Rodrigues: “We are very open to engaging with our partners”
Oscar Tollast 
The manager of a pan-African arts association has said she is open to exposing its networks to Salzburg Global. Belisa Rodrigues manages the day-to-day operations of the Arterial Network and is the general manager of the African Arts Institute based in Cape Town, South Africa. The Arterial Network is a pan-African association of artists, cultural activists, creative entrepreneurs and cultural policy experts represented in 40 African countries. Ms Rodrigues said: “We’re looking for sustainability strategies in order to show that these networks flourish and are strengthened. “If the idea is around cultural hubs, rotating seminars or getting the conversation to move around – if we can help in that – whether it be online or whether it be a physical space, we are very open to engaging with our partners and making that possible.” Ms Rodrigues was speaking to Salzburg Global during the recent strategy session on ‘Promoting the Next Generation of Cultural Entrepreneurs: Planning for Success.’ Participants convened at Schloss Leopoldskron to discuss ways in which the 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum could evolve into a 10-year program, a session which Ms Rodrigues attended last year. She said her invitation to last year’s forum was a great opportunity to be in a global environment. “Often in our context when it comes to African representation in international forums, there’s normally one or two representatives and their voices get lost amidst the other international players. “This was a very strategic opportunity for us to represent the continent through our networks and through my representation for Africa.” Participants at this year’s strategy session focused on how the 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum was organized, as well as assessing its methodology and teaching styles. Ms Rodrigues said: “We’ve managed to break it down and analyze it and put forward some recommendations that will be useful for the next session and for the next 10 years in terms of how entrepreneurship is taught in the cultural field. “The biggest takeaway for me was involving the participants themselves more intimately in the teaching methodology – using participants as live case studies.” She praised Salzburg Global for picking out themes that were relevant to the cultural sector, including the role of arts organizations in society. “I think for the next seminar series in terms of entrepreneurship, it’s very important to be able to understand the geopolitical and economic context in which we are operating in. “That’s a unique role that the Salzburg Global Seminar can present because it’s about getting big picture thinking and then finding how to navigate in this global environment.” During the session, Ms Rodrigues spoke at a fireside discussion about the geopolitical and economic context of Africa and the creative economy. She said: “I was able to provide some examples of cultural entrepreneurs who are doing it despite the constraints on the continent and in their countries.” The strategy session followed on from this year’s African Creative Economy Conference, held in Cape Town, which inspired Ms Rodrigues’ lecture. “My talk was basically trying to take some of [the conference’s] recommendations and some of the thinking around this topic into this international platform which is exactly what the Salzburg Global Seminar series should be doing, which is capitalizing on the knowledge of its participants.” Ms Rodrigues has a passion for the development and sustainability of the creative and cultural sector on the African continent and its ability to effect change in society. Prior to her work at the African Arts Institute, she worked in the private sector for a number of years as Operations Manager for a global FMGG brand, and has also been involved in various freelance arts projects. She describes herself at a “middle-management level” in her career, helping to support her manager to do more representative work. However, Ms Rodrigues suggested she was beginning to enter a new phase of influence. “I see myself now transitioning in that area where I’m presenting more in terms of personal career development [and] personal goals. I’m stepping more into those spaces. “Even though I’m an administrator, I’ve now become more aware of policy development and actually influencing the field.” Ms Rodrigues recognized the significance of being involved and connected with global thinkers at Salzburg Global. “Being invited back is testimony to the fact that we have a unique role to play on the African continent, but recognizing we’re not operating in isolation. “I think if we can insert or influence agenda, I think that is a really relevant and particular role I can see for the seminar.”
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VOICES FROM YOUNG CULTURAL LEADERS

How should cultural institutions approach the creation and articulation of value?
Albino Jopela, archaelogist and lecturer at Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique suggests that considering the values of all of the stakeholders in a community will help ensure relevance and sustainability.


Why is it important for arts leaders to engage in cross-cultural conversations?
Jimena Lara Estrada, program coordinator for the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, talks about connecting with other leaders and the hope that it instills.

How do you articulate value of arts in a society where it is largely seen as a commodity?
Eyad Houssami, founding director of Masrah Ensemble in Lebanon, talks about the challenges of making a case for the arts in a society where the concept of public value is very limited.

What role should orchestras play in their communities?
Mark Gillespie, general and artistic manager of Orchestra of the Americas and Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders Fellow, suggests that orchestras should connect with youth at a very early age so that musicians grow out of the community.