The art of integration: probing the role of cultural policy in the making of Europe
Karaca, Banu (2010) The art of integration: probing the role of cultural policy in the making of Europe. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 16 (2). pp. 121-137. ISSN 1028-6632
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10286630903038899
Mirroring Jacques Delors' much quoted 'No one falls in love with a common market,' there has been an increased emphasis on 'culture' as a vital tool in the European Union (EU) integration process. Yet, how these programs for 'cultural exchange and dialogue' affect artistic production, and reception, is rarely discussed. Drawing on interviews with actors in Berlin and Istanbul who engage with cultural policy in the European arena (2005-2008), this paper aims to illuminate the tensions that this nascent European cultural policy has engendered, not least with regard to the EU stipulations on national cultural sovereignty. I argue that while EU cultural initiatives indeed produce a kind of 'Europeanization,' they do so mainly through thematic and institutional incorporation. However, this type of integration tends to recast power differentials within the EU and beyond, despite proclaimed goals to the contrary, as cultural exchange programs tend to reinforce distinctions between 'art proper' and 'ethnic cultural production.'
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