Inge Ruigrok

Colombia

August 2006 -

Despite the relentless war, significant attention is devoted to the arts in Colombia. The government is utilising culture as a weapon against ‘fear, forgetfulness and violence’. The population is invited to embrace ‘democratic, cultural citizenship’.

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Brazil

July 2006 -

Development policy based on stimulating creative thinking and on cultural networks is the key to success in the current era of globalisation. This policy philosophy, as exemplified by the Brazilian Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, determines both the national and international approach to culture in his country.

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São Tomé and Principe as cultural hub

July 2006 -

These days every self-respecting country has its own Art Biennale. So naturally, this includes São Tomé and Principle, a group of African islands off the coast of Nigeria. Under the motto 'from slave trade outpost to cultural hub' this management of this Art Event wants to demonstrate that culture can contribute to sustainable development.

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Cuba

June 2006 -

The objectives of the Communist revolution of 1959 were utopian, in response to the decadence, corruption and violence that preceded it. One of the first measures taken by the new government was the definition of a cultural policy that strongly influenced the island state’s artistic climate.

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Xhosa finally part of South African literature

June 2006 -

Despite the country’s eleven official languages, virtually all books published in South Africa are in English or Afrikaans. Poet and author James Matthews, owner of publishing house Realities, is trying to change that. With support from the Ministry of Art and Culture he is publishing a series of books in Xhosa. Sindiwe Magona’s book Abantwana Baba Ntwana Bam, launched at the end of April in Cape Town’s Langa Township, is the second in the series.

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Culture's importance in social transformation

May 2006 -

What is the value of culture and the arts in international cooperation? The recent publication Culture at the Heart of Transformation delves into the experience of seven countries.

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Jamaica

May 2006 -

Even though it is one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean, Jamaica is not without ambition. Its national cultural policy prescribes that the country become a "cultural super power".

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Dutch Secretary of State Nicolaï: 'Culture directly promotes tourism'

April 2006 -

Overseas cultural legacy is gaining significance in the Netherlands. But would developing countries not prefer to forget reminders of the Dutch slave trade and colonialism? Secretary of state Atzo Nicolaï: "Most Dutch people are completely unaware of the monuments that we have left in other parts of the world."

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Vietnam

April 2006 -

For a long time, communist ideology determined the limits of cultural expression in Vietnam. Even though culture still serves social development, artists have enjoyed more artistic freedom for a decade now.

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Thailand

March 2006 -

Every province in Thailand has its own arts council. The 76 regional departments develop their own culture policy based on national guidelines, attuning activities to the local needs.

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