Why collaborate internationally?
Internationalisation in arts and culture has been the topic of yesterday's panel discussion of the conference "SYNERGIZE! Culture in Democratic Action" celebrating the 10th anniversary of International Visitors Programme of NRW KULTURsekretariat. The conference has been very inspiring and has asked many important questions: What is the impact of international cultural relations on a democratic coexistence? Within these relations, how important is the personal encounter? And how can we expand intercultural networks, making them possible for everyone? All these questions apply directly to the biannual event of internationale tanzmesse nrw - especially taking into consideration that tendencies of exclusion, polarization and censorship are radically increasing. Also with the internet, digital technologies and expanding infrastructures, how important is the personal encounter for cultural workers and artists? One answer to this last question came from keynote speaker Mike van Graan: Personal relationships enable us to relate to the broader reality of a country and the given situation there. Art can foster empathy between cultures. But it is also important to find the right balance between personal encounters and responsible ecological actions. Another question we need to ask ourselves how encounters, exchanges and collaborations are made? Partners need to meet at eye level. Mike van Graan together with IETM, Dutch Culture and On the Move has published a tool kit on fairer international cultural collaboration: "IETM Toolkit Beyond curiosity and desire: Towards fairer international collaborations in the arts" (https://www.ietm.org/en/about/media-room/press/new-ietm-toolkit-beyond-curiosity-and-desire-towards-fairer-international-collaborations-in-the-arts) What are your experiences on international collaboration? On collaborations that have emerged through Tanzmesse encounters?