Reading Corner | Intercultural Dialogue

This section is organised in reverse chronological order. Apart from individual publications and articles NEMO is collecting general resources, you can find them below the list of articles in a separate section. Resources may also include publication series that are constantly growing (e.g. periodicals that are being updated continuously or receive additions).

Visnja Kisic (2017): Governing Heritage Dissonance. Promises and Realities of Selected Cultural Policies: With Governing Heritage Dissonance Visnja Kisic touches upon a current subject. Her research in South East Europe brought together cultural policies and heritage studies and connected them to issues of difference, conflict and reconciliation. She analysed four examples of attempts in South East Europe to use heritage to re-forge consensus and unity and in effect asks why heritage dissonance is feared – must we always try to smooth it away, can its tensions be used constructively?
The book was made possible through the Cultural Policy Research Award, which Kisic won in 2013.

EUROCITIES (2016): Guidelines for cities on the role of culture in the integration of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers: The guidelines highlight the possibilities offered by local cultural policies for the integration of newcomers and all residents of a migrant background, irrespective of their formal status. Additionally, they provide recommendations to cities on developing a long-term strategy on culture for the integration of migrants, including information about how to include staff members in the process.

NEMO (last updated September 2016): Collection of initiatives of museums in Europe in connection to migrants and refugees: The document offers an overview of individual museum projects fostering inclusion and welcoming of refugees and migrants in Europe. It also includes a list of EU funded projects and guidelines and umbrella organisations who support projects and initiatives on the matter. The list is growing regularly with new additions.

IETM (2016): Creation and Displacement: creating new narratives around migration: The study is also a mapping of artistic European and international projects displaying engagement and solidarity with refugees, asylum-seekers and recently displaced persons. It offers resoruces, information, inspiration and contact points for those willing to connect with or support (other) artists and organisations, whether they are refugees themselves or not. Furthermore, the study provides arguments to support initiatives for intercultural engagement and dialogue, especially for arts funders and policy-makers at different levels. In the seperate  Annex, which is constantly being updated, additional cases are listed.

NEMO/German Museums Association (2016/2014): Museums, Migrants and Cultural Diversity: In light of the recent migration movements in Europe, EU Member States are struggling to find ways to deal with, adapt to and accommodate a changing and more diverse society. Museums have been place of intercultural dialogue since their inception and there is a range of good models how museums work with migrant groups and help to facilitate intercultural dialogue on different levels. The present publication, originally published by the German Museums Association and now adapted and published in English by NEMO, gives concrete and hands-on instructions for museums to find a multi-perspective and multicultural approach to their work and their collections in order to contribute to a healthy and diverse society.

RICHES (2016): European Policy Brief: European Minorities and Identities: strengthening relationships for a sense of belonging in the digital era: This policy brief discusses the main findings of the study conducted in RICHES (Renewal, Innovation and Change: Heritage and European Society), the 7th Framework Programme, about digital cultural heritage websites and their contributions towards the development of a European identity that encapsulates the diversity of communities across the continent. It offers a series of recommendations,  which can contribute to the understanding of a European identity and strengthen already existing relationships.



MAPSI (2016): Managing Art Projects with Societal Impact. Study Book for Students, Stakeholders and Researchers: The Study Book by the Managing Art Projects with Societal Impact project (MAPSI) offers ways to develop own strategies of managing such art projects. Through analysing current practices, skills and competences needed for successful interactions between arts and society readers can reflect on their own skill sets. Furthermore the publication offers multiple perspectives, theoretical approaches, case studies and tools that are left for the reader to rate as applicable or not.
MAPSI also provided a summarised version of the Study Book: Managing Art Projects with Societal Impact - in a Nutshell.

German Federation for Arts Education and Cultural Learning (BKJ) and the international foundation Creativity Culture and Education (CCE) (2015): Final Report: Creative Alliances for Europe: BKJ and CCE explored how the reach and impact of creative and cultural education in Europe can be improved, and how it might contribute to a strengthened Europe and collaborative working activities. The research included reviewing relevant literature, interviewing a wide range of individuals, a programme of round tables and a concluding conference, Polylogue III, as well as the study of a range of international strategies for creative and cultural education. In the final report it was concluded that a creative and cultural education has a specific and vital role to play in developing and motivating active and constructive citizens. It also recognised that the most important work in this field is developed and delivered locally, but to highten the potential better connections across Europe are necessary, including more opportunities for the exchange of young people and ways to develop the professional capacity of the sector, especially in the field of transcultural awareness and diversity.

Julien Dorra (2015): Building an open community: a new opportunity for scholarly projects: In this article Julien Dorra, whose brainchild was "Museomix", explains open communities, their strengths, importance and how to build them. He elucidates how open communities, especially through the internet, can become global networks that help create and grow projects. In the article Dorra gives advice on how to build these communities and what to keep in mind when developing ideas with them. Opportunities arise for museums when thinking about projects and new approaches to develop them with an engaged community.

Eurocities, KEA and ERRIN (2014/2015): Culture for Cities and Regions. Catalogue of practices: In 2014 the European Commission selected the large European cities network Eurocities, the consultancy firm KEA European Affairs and ERRIN (European Regions Research and Innovation Network) to implement the project 'Culture for cities and regions'. The initiative includes this catalogue of 70 good practices of European cultural projects related to cultural heritage as a driver of economic growth and social inclusion, culture and creative industries as a motor for urban regeneration and economic vitality, and culture for social inclusion, social innovation and intercultural dialogue.

More Europe Initiative (2014): Engaging the World: towards Global Cultural Citizenship: This report is the outcome of a Preparatory Action 'Culture in EU External Relations'. The inquiry covered 54 countries and has uncovered a very considerable potential for culture in Europe's international relations. It explored the ways in which culture and cultural expression have been deployed already by European actors in multiple relationships with their counterparts elsewhere and analysed how third country stakeholders have partnered with these European cultural actors and how they view their relationships with Europe. The cultural diversity in Europe, as well as the fundamental values and Europe's cultural and creative industries are highly valued outside of Europe and of interest to third country partners. At the same time Europe's privileged international positions face powerful and growing competition from other countries and regions. Thus it fully validates the European Union’s commitment to enhancing the role of culture in the external relations of the EU and its Member States and societies.

François Matarasso (2013): Bread and Salt. Stories of Artists and Migration: The publication explores issues of migration, identity and understanding through the experiences of 18 artists living in Europe, who began life and their creative practice in other parts of the world. It discusses the valuable role artists hold towards intercultural dialogue to support cultural diversity and develop an understanding of differences. Bread and Salt was published as part of the events marking 300 years since the Peace of Utrecht.

Politecnico di Milano (Luca Basso Peressut, Francesca Lanzand Gennaro Postiglione) (February 2013): European Museums in the 21st century. Setting the framework: The MeLa Project aimed to investigate the effects of contemporary phenomena such as globalisation, demographic movement, transformation of migration patterns, increased mobility of people, as well as of objects, ideas and knowledge on the form, organisation, mission and status of museums, and to explore the likely potential role of museums in the construction of an inclusive European identity by facilitating mutual understanding and social cohesion. In its third Volume the MelaProject looked at museums as cultural forces for the 21st century with a focus on local museums, war museums and temporary exhibitions. The series was published in three volumes.

Alexandra Bounia, Alexandra Nikiforidou,  Niki Nikonanou & Albert Dicran Matossian (2012): Voices from the Museum: Survey Research in Europe's National Museums (EuNaMus Report No. 5): This report presents visitor perspectives on what it means to be a national museum and relations between national museums and identities. A survey was carried out between May 2011 and September 2011 in nine national European museums resulting in 5356 responses. Overall, national visitors expect national museums to help them build national consciousness and collective identity, while non-nationals or visitors to a nation want them to help them understand differences and similarities.

MeLa Project (Christopher Whitehead, Susannah Eckersley, Rhiannon Mason) (August 2012): Placing Migration in European Museums: Theoretical, Contextual and Methodological Foundations: How might we understand and study museum representations pertaining to place, identity and migration in contemporary Europe? This question is addressed in this book, which is the first of a series produced by researchers at Newcastle University in the context of the EC-funded project 'European Museums in an Age of Migrations' (MeLa). The book sets out the theoretical and methodological premises for Research Field 1 of the MeLa Project. This Research Field focuses on Museums and Identity in History and today, and developed policy-relevant arguments concerning the cultural significance of place within museum representations for questions of contemporary European identities and notions of citizenship.

MeLa Project (Luca Basso Peressut and Clelia Pozzi) (March 2012): Museums in an age of migration: A collection of essays that offer a starting point for the MeLa Project, reflecting on the role of museums and heritage in relation to the contemporary global and multicultural world. International scholars and researchers interrogate themselves on issues of history, memory, identity and citizenship, and explore their effects on the organisation, functioning, communication strategies, exhibition design and architecture of museums.

Map for ID Group (Simona Bodo, Kirsten Gibbs, Margherita Sani) (2009): Museums as places for intercultural dialogue: selected practices from Europe: This publication grew out of the European project Museums as Places for Intercultural Dialogue (MAP for ID), which took place from December 2007 to November 2009, and was funded by the European Commission as part of the Grundtvig Lifelong Learning Programme. MAP for ID had the main goal of developing the potential of museums as places of intercultural dialogue and promoting a more active engagement with the communities they serve. Through examples, best practices and theoretical approaches the publication offers different perspectives, inspiration and concrete tools to foster intercultural dialogue in and through museums.

Lisa Chandler (2009): Journey without maps: unsettling curatorship in cross-cultural contexts: Over the past twenty to thirty years, many art museums have sought to incorporate a more inclusive approach in the development and presentation of exhibitions. This has led to the adoption of more varied curatorial practices as institutions have increasingly acknowledged the perspectives of some of the differing cultures they claim to represent. As a result, many curators have been striving for greater plurality in the presentation of particular exhibitions. While there are various examples in museum literature of projects seeking to incorporate diversity, dialogue and difference there is less overt discussion of the disjunction between these ideals and their practical application. This paper seeks to draw attention to this disparity by examining the evolving curatorial philosophy and practices employed by the Queensland Art Gallery in mediating cultural exchange at the first three Asia-Pacific Triennials of Contemporary Art. (text excerpt taken from abstract)


In the following paragraphs you will find general resources or series of publications.

Human Libraries is a project that wants to counteract exclusion and marginalisation. By applying the language and mechanism of a library, the project helps to facilitate conversations with members of communities who are at risk of exclusion. In order to lower prejudices and foster inclusion the social contacts should change attitudes and behavior between different members of communities.