05 Jun 2019

Brokering Intercultural Exchange Network Meeting

‘Democratising the Arts and the Arts Sector’ at University Heilbronn

by Lydia Amoah

As part of the SDG Graduate School exchange to Hildesheim from May to July 2019, the scholarship holders are mandated to attend conferences to present their research work or in other cases research work that fits into the theme of the conference. Thus, Ms Lydia Amoah, Ms Sabina Appiah-Boateng, Ms Zainab Musa Shallangua, Mr Amos Asare Darkwah, Mr Alasambon Nyingcho, Mr Umar Lawal Yusif participated in the Annual Gathering of the Brokering Intercultural Exchange Network held at the University of Heilbronn from the 23rd to 25th of May 2019. The students were accompanied by Ms Meike Lettau, Mr Eric Eyram Kwesi Fiagbedzi and Mr Chris Mtaku; the German, Ghanaian and Nigerian coordinators respectively. All students except Ms Amoah presented papers in different sessions.

The first day began with the journey from Hildesheim to Heilbronn.  Upon arrival we were directed to the Schwabisch Hall where registration and snacks was ongoing. The opening lecture on culture and international development was delivered by Prof J.P Singh from the George Mason University, U.S.A. His lecture was focused on managing participatory voices and the need for infrastructure to enhance culture and international development with references or aspects and experience from his native country of origin India. After that was a gallery tour at Kunsthalle Würth. By the evening we had dinner whilst interacting with other participants mostly from countries such as United Kingdom, United States, Canada and other European countries.

Day two of the conference, sessions took place at the main campus in Künzelsau. Papers presented were centered on arts management and its sustainability and were expected to speak to themes on cultural spaces and places, cultural diversity and inclusion and cultural diplomacy.

The final sessions on the third day ended with two presentations by Annetta Latham and Anne Frost on intercultural/international exchange and by Raphaela Henze on the ethnocentrism of the arts management reference frame. The concluding session was meant for us to network, give feedback and brainstorm about the future of the next conference. Raphaela seized the opportunity to inform us about plans to host Winter School for Master and PhD students taking place in Berlin in November 2019.

We did observe that we were the only group that was made up of students from mixed backgrounds and from Africa. Thus the organizers were pleased that Meike got us registered whilst they hope for more Global South representation for subsequent meetings. We realized that most of the presentations though interesting, were mostly focused on arts management but in an European context. Other aspects of arts management with experiences from the Global South should be even more encouraged in the future.