key findingThe transnational movement of artists and cultural professionals is critical to foster cultural exchange between Asia and Europe. Issues and challenges surrounding cultural mobility were discussed by 40 funding organisations from Asia and Europe at the ASEF-supported ‘Platform for Asian and European Mobility Funders’ on 5-6 June 2013 in Prague, the Czech Republic.
A key finding was that cultural mobility not only impacts travelling artists, but also the communities they engage abroad. Hence, the cultural, social and environmental impacts of mobility on the host need monitoring and evaluation. A warning was sounded against superficial ‘mobility tourism’ that does not allow for meaningful connections with the local context.
Funders were called upon to support greater bi-directional mobility (from Europe to Asia and vice-versa) through the establishment of reciprocal arrangements. The importance of non-monetary exchange in supporting mobility was also highlighted. An important recommendation in this regard was the call to local arts bodies to serve as ‘interface organisations’ and facilitate ‘fair exchange’ by providing visiting artists with valuable local information and contacts.
The participating organisations will continue to work together to address existing gaps by, among others, improving access to information platforms; documenting good advocacy models to support mobility; forming a network of interface organisations in Asia and Europe; and developing a special mobility fund for Asia-Europe exchange.
The initiative was supported through ASEF’s programme ‘Creative Encounters: Cultural Partnerships between Asia and Europe’ and was one of only 6 projects selected through a competitive open call that received over 250 applications.
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