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).

EU funding for cultural work with refugees: towards the next programme generation

Rosanna Lewis & Polly Martin (2017):Research for CULT Committee - EU funding for cultural work with refugees: towards the next programme generation provides an analysis of current EU programmes 2014-2020 that support cultural work with refugees in Europe in the field (DG Education and Culture and DG Migration and Home Affairs), along with case studies of EU-funded projects. It offers feedback from these projects, recommendations on the future programme generation, and suggests actions for the CULT Committee and its Members in order to inform and influence the future EU programme generation beyond 2020.

EU funding for cultural work with refugees: current practice and lessons learned

Rasoul Nejadmehr (2017): Research for CULT Committee - EU funding for cultural work with refugees: current practice and lessons learned. This in-depth analysis is an overview of publically funded cultural projects with refugees as target group. These projects are analysed in the light of two interconnected challenges in contemporary Europe, the challenge of good governance of cultural diversity and refugees’ aspiration to a good life in Europe. It asks the fundamental question of what it is to live a good life together in Europe today and how cultural interventions can contribute to this aspiration.

Why cultural work with refugees

Alison Phipps (2017): Research for CULT Committee – Why cultural work with refugees. Cultural work with refugees has a long history. It is a contentious area. Instrumental approaches to cultural work with refugees raise significant issues. This briefing outlines the contentions, provides a theoretical basis for the work, gives leading examples of cultural work with refugees, including work that promotes intercultural understanding and work that promotes fear. It outlines key findings and recommendations, which have a substantial focus on ethical engagement, aesthetic importance and societal wellbeing.

The Inclusion of Migrantes and Refugees: The Role of Cultural Organisations

Maria Vlachou (2017): The Inclusion of Migrantes and Refugees: The Role of Cultural Organisations. Migration is not a new phenomenon. However, the current refugee crisis has drawn attention to a situation of greater proportions than those we have known so far, which is complex and urgent. In this context, many professionals in the cultural sector have been questioning their role and that of the cultural organisations they work for in the effort of our society to include people who are forced to migrate or to seek asylum outside and far from their countries. Where to start? What do we need to know? What to do and how? With this publication, Access Culture aims to contribute to answering some of these questions. It includes interviews, a manual with recommendations, useful contacts and bibliographical references and others. The publication is available in English and Portuguese.

How Culture and the Arts Can Promote Intercultural Dialogue in the Context of the Migratory and Refugee Crisis

European Union Expert Working Group (2017): How Culture and the Arts Can Promote Intercultural Dialogue in the Context of the Migratory and Refugee Crisis. The report prepared by a Working Group of the European Union explores the ways culture and the arts can help to bring individuals and peoples together, and increase their participation in cultural and societal life, as well as to promote intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity. It focuses on three topics: Empowerment, Intersectoral and Evaluation and takes on questions of how culture and the arts contribute to intercultural dialogue, and what strategies and options are in place to do so. Additional case studies offer examples of successful projects and approaches.

Heritage and Peacebuilding

Diana Walters, Daniel Laven, Peter Davis (editors) (2017): Heritage and Peacebuilding. Heritage and Peacebuilding explores one of the most critical issues of our time: whether heritage can contribute to a more peaceful society and future. It reflects a core belief that heritage can provide solutions to reconciling peoples and demonstrates the amount of significant work being carried out internationally. Based round the core themes of new and emerging ideas around heritage and peace, heritage and peace-building in practice, and heritage, peace-building and sites, the twenty contributions seek to raise perceptions and understanding of heritage-based peace-building practices. Responding to the emphasis placed on conflict, war and memorialisation, they reflect exploratory yet significant steps towards reclaiming the history, theory, and practice of peacebuilding as serious issues for heritage in contemporary society. The geographical scope of the book includes contributions from Europe, notably the Balkans and Northern Ireland, the Middle East, and Kenya.

Governing Heritage Dissonance. Promises and Realities of Selected Cultural Policies

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.

Guidelines for cities on the role of culture in the integration of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers

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.

Initiatives of museums in Europe in connection to migrants and refugees

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.

Creation & Displacement: creating new narratives around migration

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.

Museums, Migrants and Cultural Diversity

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.

European Policy Brief: European Minorities and Identities: strengthening relationships for a sense of belonging in the digital era

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.


Managing Art Projects with Societal Impact

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.

Final Report: Creative Alliances for Europe

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.

Building an open community: a new opportunity for scholarly projects

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.

Culture for Cities and Regions. Catalogue of practices

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.

Engaging the World: towards Global Cultural Citizenship

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.

LEM Report 4: Museums and Intercultural Dialogue

LEM - The Learning Museum Project (editors: Ineta Zelca Simansone, Ann Nicholls and Skrivanek Baltic) (2013): LEM Report 4: Museums and Intercultural Dialogue. The fourth report in the series that were published during the LEM - The Learning Museum Project that ran from 2010-2013, deals with the museums' responses to changing societies. The museum landscape is varied, and so are the challenges that museums have to face. Demographic change and coexistence in an increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society confront museums with new target groups, activities and tasks. This report takes an indepth look at different factors and examples from Europe.

Bread and Salt. Stories of Artists and Migration

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.

European Museums in the 21st century. Setting the framework

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.

Voices from the Museum: Survey Research in Europe's National Museums

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.

Placing Migration in European Museums: Theoretical, Contextual and Methodological Foundations

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.

Museums in an Age of Migrations

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.

Museums as places for intercultural dialogue: selected practices from Europe

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.

Journey without maps: unsettling curatorship in cross-cultural contexts

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.

Resource: Human Libraries

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.

European Crossroads: Museums, Cultural Dialogue and Interdisciplinary Networks in a Transnational Perspective

MeLa project (Perla Innocenti) (August 2012): Europen Crossroads: Museums, cultural dialogue and interdisciplinary networks in a transnational perspective: This volume collects a series of essays and interviews exploring diverse European perspectives on interdisciplinary collaborations between cultural institutions. International scholars and practitioners discuss cross-domain partnerships, cultural identity and cultural dialogue, heritage for the arts and sciences, European narratives, migration and mobility, and describe real-life case studies in museums, libraries, foundations, associations and online portals