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


Grants Awarded to Innovative Arts & Sustainability Projects
The winners of the "particle accelerator" grants (clockwise from top left) Roesch, Flörkemeier, Intrachooto and Toutikian
Grants Awarded to Innovative Arts & Sustainability Projects
Salzburg Global Staff 
Salzburg Global Seminar in collaboration with the David Rockefeller Fund has granted “particle accelerator grants” to two projects borne of connections made at Session 561 | Beyond Green The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability. The spirit of collaboration and innovation that characterized the gathering in Salzburg will be taken forward in the form of two projects emerging from the gathering, selected from twenty post-session project submissions. The projects are: “Creative Sustainability Workshops at Universities” to be implemented by Anaïs Roesch and Torben Flörkemeier, and “Beirut Design Week meets Scrap Lab” to be implemented by Doreen Toutikian and Singh Intrachooto. The “Creative Sustainability Workshops at Universities” project aims to create a pan-European network of young professionals to develop and facilitate workshops at the art-culture-sustainability interface.  The target groups of these workshops are students in art schools, graduate programs focused on sustainability, and cultural management programs. The “particle accelerator” grant will go towards a preparatory workshop in July 2016 organized by Roesch and Flörkemeier that will bring ten artists, cultural managers, and sustainability scholars together to build a network and design an interactive one-day workshop that can be implemented over the course of the following year in university settings across Europe.  The “Beirut Design Week meets Scrap Lab” project will support the participation of Intrachooto - Founder of Scrap Lab and Head of the Creative Center for Eco-Design - in the Beirut Design Week in May 2016, which is organized by MENA Design Research Center, of which Toutikian is the director. The grant will also enable Intrachooto to conduct a workshop with youth groups, architecture students, and design professionals to develop sustainable and recycled materials for larger scale projects in Lebanon. While in Beirut, Intrachooto will map existing infrastructure and help guide the development of strategic sustainable projects that focus on the needs of the Lebanese waste crisis. "Salzburg Global is delighted to facilitate these two projects as immediate outcomes from the Beyond Green session," said Salzburg Global Program Director Susanna Seidl-Fox. "We also looks forward to continue collaborating with all session participants and the Arts and Sustainability network that has emerged from the gathering in Salzburg."  
The Salzburg Global session Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability is part of Salzburg Global’s long-running Culture and the Arts series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Bush Foundationthe David Rockefeller Fund and Red Bull Amaphiko. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/561.
READ MORE...
Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts Forum: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities
Tuol Sleng Museum - picture by Phalinn Ooi
Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts Forum: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities
Patrick Wilson 
A landmark collaboration with Cambodian Living Arts and Salzburg Global Seminar Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts Forum: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities took place between March 10 to 12 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The three day event, sponsored by the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, connected arts activators and change makers from twenty countries and drew together insights from Salzburg Global's multi-year programs on Culture, the Arts and Society, Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention, and the Young Cultural Innovators Forum.  Just over 40 years ago, the Khmer Rouge regime launched its genocidal regime in which nearly 2 million Cambodians died – including 90% of the artists working in the country. In 2016, with 60% of the country’s population under 25, Cambodia’s first post-genocide generation has the opportunity to work with and through the arts to rebuild community, renew unique cultural traditions, and foster resilience and economic innovation. This three-day workshop addressed critical challenges faced by many countries during and after mass atrocities by exploring ways to overcome mistrust, preserve heritage and collective identity, and build supportive partnerships with government and other organizations.  Participants created the basis for an international network of advocates using the arts to transform pre and post conflict societies, advanced the notion of culture as a vehicle for peace and promoted dialogue as a driver for inclusive development. In addition to the workshop, Salzburg Global hosted a special evening event at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum entitled "Place of Memory." The museum is a former high school where some 17,000 people were imprisoned and tortured during the Khmer Rouge regime from its rise to power in 1975 to its fall in 1979. Panelists, including Salzburg Global Vice President and Chief Program Officer Claire Shine, guided discussions that were informed by Salzburg Global's highly-respected work on Holocaust and Genocide education and remembrance, through which we have built a major international network to foster dialogue, promote tolerance, and share knowledge and resources. Both Salzburg Global and Cambodia Living Arts will be posting more information on our respective sites and are proud to have partnered together to create a means of dialogue and networking to aid conflict transformation and avoid the mistakes of our pasts. For more information see: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/Fellow56
READ MORE...
A Workshop, a "Canvas", a New Language and New Ethics
The Fellows and staff of Session 561 | Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability
A Workshop, a "Canvas", a New Language and New Ethics
Patrick Wilson 
For five days, 58 participants from 28 different countries came together at Salzburg Global Seminar for the program: Beyond Green: The Arts as Catalyst for Sustainability. After intense and often contentious discussions, Fellows concluded the session with proposals for new ways the arts can be a catalyst for sustainability, ranging from a workshop and a "canvas" to a new language and new ethics. Practitioners and thinkers, all committed to promoting social, economic, and environmental sustainability through the arts and cultural innovation, convened at Schloss Leopoldskron for a series of discussions and group work that aimed to foster innovative strategic approaches to achieve greater and longer-term impact in sustainability goals. Over the course of the five-day program, daily sessions saw participants present successful projects they had worked on, as well as project failures and pitfalls, with the aim to help their peers see what areas can be improved upon or avoided in their own endeavors. Other panels focused on ways to improve the spreading of messages such as a presentation on the way the human brain retains memories and ideas, while another considered the role design has to play in advancing sustainability. A major theme of the talks throughout the session was the power of the arts to both raise awareness of social injustices and to generate public engagement and bolder policymaking to help find solutions. The underprivileged and major events often can go under the radar of the general public, and the discussions encouraged those working in the arts to tell these stories and raise awareness. Another key talking point was an attempt to redefine the term “development.” One Fellow felt the term development has become “poisonous” with many lamenting the way development has been focused for too long on economic growth rather than other aspects such as cultural growth. Fellows remarked that such a narrow-minded focus was not helping to achieve sustainable development as one Fellow said: “It’s a very one dimensional view for a multi-dimensional problem.” Stigmas of a narrowly focused economic development viewpoint were also discussed as one Fellow said: “Economy has become so hegemonic that people think if you’re not developed economically, you’re not developed in any other fields of life.” Fellows hoped to use the arts to help expand the term development by raising awareness of the developed cultures of developing countries and making culture a greater focus on development agendas. Following the diverse input from the plenary discussions, the Fellows also convened in small groups to work together. One group explored the role of the “creative industries” (an admittedly contentious term), with many calling for the shift in consumer behaviors to think about responsible sourcing and fair labor practices, with key idea being moving from “extractivism” to “regenerativism.” This change of ideology encompasses a broad spectrum of issues from food systems and the fashion industry to health and social cohesion, and decentralized economies and the commons. The Fellows believed there needed to be a profound change with one Fellow remarking: “We need a new language and new ethics.” Other groups, in addition to holding some in-depth and introspective discussions, put forward plans to develop new tools and approaches for future work and collaboration. One such proposal was a post-session follow-on workshop to expand and strengthen new alliances for sustainability. The group admitted that they needed intermediary characters outside of the art field to have greater impact on change, and sought to facilitate this through their workshops.  Raising awareness and engaging the public was the focus of the second project proposal. The Fellows acknowledged a need for inclusive communication to engage stakeholders and the public by focusing on creative changemakers. The Fellows believed there was a lack of communication between sectors, and understanding how to approach and engage stakeholders is vital. To achieve this aim they proposed a “Creative Communication Canvas” tool (possibly an app or a website) that would enable effective communication, the ability to build relationships and create inclusivity amongst partners. The challenges facing the idea included the need for greater research and creating wording that can be globally understood as well as a broad scope in the concept. The Fellows intended to follow up after this Salzburg Global Seminar program by addressing these challenges, identifying partners by leveraging personal networks, and promoting cross-sector involvement. With projects still in their early stages and huge tasks and questions facing the participants as they left, they took an African saying to heart: “Until the lion finds their storyteller, hunters will always be portrayed as the hero.” 
The Salzburg Global session Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability is part of Salzburg Global’s long-running Culture and the Arts series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Bush Foundation and Red Bull Amaphiko. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/561
READ MORE...
“Has ‘development’ become a poisonous word?”
Fellows speaking at Session 561 | Beyond Green:
“Has ‘development’ become a poisonous word?”
Patrick Wilson 
“The word ‘development’ was an economic term but economy has become so hegemonic that people think if you’re not developed economically, you’re not developed in any other fields of life. For me this is simply wrong... That’s why I think the term ‘sustainable development’ is poisonous; its meaning has been nailed to growth rate. The economic idea has even been used to measure other parts of life which is wrong.”
Marco Kusumawijaya Director, Rujak Center for Urban Studies, Jakarta, Indonesia
(
Read our full interview) “Development is now in many ways considered a bad word, also in Asia. We need to work out how to make people understand the value of sustainable development. In many ways we are very romantic about the past but it is coming to the point where you have to see the urgency to have change.”
Margaret Shiu Founder & Director, Bamboo Curtain Studio, Taipei, Taiwan “It’s an interesting point because I’m interested in the redefinition of the word development rather than thinking of it as economic development. We should start thinking of it as a holistic human development and what does it mean to invest in holistic individual societal development and evolutionary development.”
Alexis Frasz Researcher & Strategist, Helicon Collaborative, New York, NY, USA “Nowadays, not only in Argentina but all over the world, development is still very much connected with growth of GDPs and economic development and that is exactly the disease. It’s a very one dimensional view for a multi-dimensional problem. I think we still don’t understand what the goal is, economic growth could be important but it is not the goal. The goal of development is for people to flourish.”
Christian Tiscornia Biaus Founder & President, Amartya Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Salzburg Global session Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability is part of Salzburg Global’s long-running Culture and the Arts series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Bush Foundation and Red Bull Amaphiko. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/561. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSculture.
READ MORE...
Enablers of change
Rise Wilson at the session "Beyond Green"
Enablers of change
Louise Hallman 
If we want to enable and sustain positive change, we need both the rabble-rousers and the insiders. Post-COP, there is now a sense of urgency – but also a sense of paralysis. What do we do next to seize this moment and accelerate change? Artists can help ask questions about our “inconvenient truths” and disrupt the current power structures. But artists can also prompt and facilitate difficult conversations between diverse actors. Under oppressive regimes, it can often be valuable to work with or around the system, and learn how to look about society but without touch politics – and avoid being silenced. Artists and creatives, institutions and custodians, policymakers, and audiences all have vital roles to play but they don’t always know how to speak to or help each other. Organizations, such as Julie’s Bicycle in the UK, can help support artists, institutions and policymakers looking to foster change in multiple ways. Julie’s Bicycle provides resources such as “how to green a festival,” conducts research such as carbon footprinting the whole of the UK’s music industry, and hosts events where like-minded artists, organizations and individuals can come together. These activities not only provide artists with the means of greening their own behavior, but also provide valuable evidence for policymakers. To have lasting change, “We need to come together, amplify our voices and talk up” to power structures, not just to each other. Funders also have a key role to play in helping artists working to enact change, and not only by strategically investing funds; they can also offer a “bird’s eye” view of what else is happening and help artists collaborate. The two notions “to change everything it takes everyone” and “the front lines of crisis are the forefront of change” may seem conflicting, but climate change offers the chance for equity and solidarity: “We will soon all be in the same boat, for a change.”
The Salzburg Global session Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability is part of Salzburg Global’s long-running Culture and the Arts series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Bush Foundation and Red Bull Amaphiko. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/561. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSculture.
READ MORE...
Marco Kusumawijaya - Change happens “community by community, postcode by postcode”
Marco Kusumawijaya at Salzburg Global session "Beyond Green"
Marco Kusumawijaya - Change happens “community by community, postcode by postcode”
Patrick Wilson 
The city is often cited as a driver of change, but it is important not to overlook the role the communities within those cities can play in delivering that change.  One Fellow determined to highlight the role of the communities within cities at the Salzburg Global program Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability, was Marco Kusumawijaya, the director of Rujak Centre for Urban Studies (RCUS), based in Jakarta, and founder and director of the Bumi Pemuda Rahayu (BPR) sustainability learning center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Speaking on a panel on “The City as a Driver of Change,” Kusumawijaya spoke of the role the community can play as an important intermediary to promote change. Change that begins with one person, can spread to their family and then into the community, and onwards. Change happens “community by community, postcode by postcode,” he told the gathered Fellows. The community thus acts as intermediary level between individual behavioral changes and systemic change.  “While I don’t see one as more important than the other, I think there’s a role I can play more successfully,” he explains. “I don’t have the power to make change from above at a governmental level but I think I can do it at a community level because I have the skills to organize people and encourage engagement.” Kusumawijaya directs RCUS’s main program “Citizen Urbanism,” where he is responsible for co-production of urban knowledge in eight Indonesian cities with different communities and partners. “We do research but we call our way of working a ‘co-production of knowledge,’” he told Salzburg Global during the session. “We encourage and work with communities to co-produce knowledge about their own cities, organize exchanges and encourage initiatives.” Kusumawijaya believes that more work can be accomplished when we acknowledge that human beings always live in a group and are essentially social animals. In addition to Citizen Urbanism, this manner of thinking also comes across in projects such as The Artist in Residency (AIR) program at BPR. The biannual project invites Indonesian artists from a variety of disciplines to live at BPR for three months making work with the local community in relation to their practice. Programs like this, he believes, allow us to recognize the right of citizens to participate in the formation of the future of their cities through learning about art and new skills to promote development in cities and new ideas.   “We see art as a way of knowing, as a way of researching and as a way of touching the hearts of people and communities,” he explained. “It allows us to encourage doing things that are fun but also at the same time critical and promote deeper thought.” Something that requires deeper and more critical thought, according to Kusumawijaya is the word “development.” While frequently used when talking about countries in the Global South and in terms of creating more sustainable societies, for Kusumawijaya the word has negative connotations. “The word ‘development’ was an economic term but economy has become so hegemonic that people think if you’re not developed economically, you’re not developed in any other fields of life. For me this is simply wrong,” says Kusumawijaya. “Somehow we moved from a sense of general welfare for all to measuring our governments by what rate of economic growth they deliver.  “I think one of the most important revelations from the research of many fields is that growth has nothing to do with equity. The largest amount of growth goes to the smallest amount of people.  “It’s wrong to base development theory on growth.  “That’s why I think the term ‘sustainable development’ is poisonous; its meaning has been nailed to growth rate. The economic idea has even been used to measure other parts of life which is wrong. For example, I don’t think our dance tradition is underdeveloped – our classical Javanese dance or West Sumatran dance is very well developed. Of course it is different to ballet and Western traditions, but it would be wrong to say it’s underdeveloped as compared to it.” Whilst his work is challenging, Kusumawijaya has found support in the community of Fellows in Salzburg. “There are so just many ideas being shared and passed around by the Fellows,” he said. “I think I only knew maybe one or two people in the group before coming here so one of the most important parts for me is to meet all these people who are thinking, working and experimenting with brilliant ideas to promote change. While I still have to digest them all, the mere fact there are so many people, thinking and working with the same aspiration of change as me is incredibly heartening.” 
Marco Kusumawijaya was a participant of the Salzburg Global Seminar program Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability, which was supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and the Bush Foundation. More information can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/561
READ MORE...
Political food - Voting with our forks
Prairie Rose Seminole speaks at the fireside chat during Beyond Green
Political food - Voting with our forks
Louise Hallman 
“If we are what we eat, then tonight we are all small Austrian dumplings!” The mood might have been jovial and the topic – food – familiar, but the purpose of the post-dinner fireside chat at Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability was serious: what role can food play in improving sustainability?  Food is indeed important. It is both a commodity and a commons; a connection between rural and urban communities; able to make us healthy and sick; and a source of conflict – but also a basis for connection.  Everyone has their own (love?) story with food, and communities frequently connect around food. As Fellows supped on cups of Native American herbal tea, panelists from the USA, Austria and Lebanon shared their own stories of food, communities and sustainability. Native Americans have long had a deep connection to their land and what it produces [see our interview with Prairie Rose Seminole], using herbs, roots and leaves as natural medicines. These practices are being lost as communities are uprooted and now live in “food deserts.” Many rely on food banks or gas stations for food on their reservations if they’re unable to make the several hours’ drive to the nearest well-stocked super markets. Organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of the Three Affiliated Tribes in New Town, ND are now making sure their heritage and understanding of the land is passed on to future generations, to promote self-sufficiency. Austria’s Wastecooking has grown from one man’s dumpster-diving interest to a documentary series and even a “Free Supermarket” – stocked with still perfectly edible food discarded in dumpsters across Vienna. Although the store was shut down by the authorities, Wastecooking continues to highlight the issue of food waste (90 million tons in Europe alone) and how we can make the most of our leftovers, through more film showings and cooking demonstrations. In Lebanon, food has provided a way for the heavily divided post-conflict society to come together. Starting with a farmers’ market in Beirut, Souk el Tayeb went on to take the (consumers’) market to the farmers with weekly food festivals in small villages, selling not only produce but also producing local speciality dishes. Later capacity building activities were organized so that the local chefs (often women) could produce these dishes for larger numbers, and most recently helping the most disadvantaged – the large but diverse refugee communities – build up their cooking skills. But Souk el Tayeb is not really about food – “it’s conflict resolution through cooking.”  (Or as their social media posts say: #makefoodnotwar!) As Fellows were reminded: “Food is a political act – we vote with our forks!”
The Salzburg Global session Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability is part of Salzburg Global’s long-running Culture and the Arts series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Bush Foundation and Red Bull Amaphiko. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/561. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSculture.
READ MORE...
Displaying results 43 to 49 out of 115

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.