Culture topic of Stockholm conference
During a two-day conference organised late in February in the
Swedish capitol Stockholm, policy makers from various European
countries exchange their experiences with supporting culture in
developing countries. The objective was to better attune the various
In part the meeting was a follow-up on the inter-governmental
conference 'Cultural Policies for Development', which was also
held in Stockholm in 1998. 'But we especially wanted to take a
look at the future,' says Bhanu Bhatnagar, who is affiliated with
the Division for Culture and Media of the Swedish SIDA. 'A conference
for countries that contribute to development cooperation, a donor
conference, about culture and development cooperation had not been
organised for quite some time. It is important to know who is doing
what so that things are not done twice or certain areas are not
During the first day the donor countries presented their own strategies
and the cultural programmes in the developing countries they support.
They talked about results to date and challenges for the future.
The second day focused on combating poverty and the question of the
ways in which culture can contribute to the environmental objectives
for combating poverty. The donors also reviewed their collective
areas of interest and took inventory of the possibilities for cultural
cooperation in conflict areas.