Thursday, 17 February 2011

SUPERMARKET: Cultural Collaborations in new Constellations. A meeting between Sweden and West Africa

“African Talks”
in collaboration with: In Focus: Nordic and African Art in Collaboration.
February 19, 2 – 4 pm

Culture is a fundamental part of a society, and a fundamental factor in the development of a country. But culture is fragile when faced with economical, and political realities. If a society lacks stability, or an economical and political will, it is difficult for a culture to grow, and to develop freely. But: in places where culture is endorsed and given support, areas can flourish in ways that reaches far beyond the boundaries of art.

The fact that economically strong countries like Sweden support developing countries, and regions with scarce resources is for many people something axiomatic. But, it is a support that rarely focuses on culture. We know that anti-poverty programmes are necessary, but what other processes in a country are also important to support? A somewhat different view seems to be in practise in countries like France and Germany, where cultural support is broad and is being performed all over the world. This type of commitment must also be discussed. As a receiver of such support one might be faced with conditions that are not always suitable for the indigenous context. How does one maintain an independence and integrity in such a situation? How can an independent cultural platform be developed?

In a talk between artists and culture workers from Sweden, Mali and Nigeria we will discuss the conditions of cultural collaborations. What type of experiences do we have, and how do we develop a sustainable collaboration? What do we want to do in the future? The participants will share their own experiences from different projects and collaborations, together with representatives from cultural institutions.

The debate is organized by Supermarket and In Focus: Nordic and African Art in Collaboration, a politically and religiously independent organization that promotes collaborations between artists and producers of culture in the Nordic region and Africa, with a focus on West Africa.

African Talks is supported by the Swedish Institute. A special thanks to the association Afrikultur.