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less global – more international

Are creativity and internationalism interdependent?  Does culture wither on the vine, thistle or Egyptian lotus without intercultural refreshment, and can positive links between nations be sustained without socio-cultural empathy and appreciation?

We have national, we have global and we have trading blocks.  Well that’s how it seems to look to the Government officials at the recent ‘Back to the Future’ event at Coin Street, discussing civil society engagement in the EU Structural Funds.  Here we had a stark contrast between the Scottish and Welsh approach of using European investment to empower communities to the English ‘money out, money in’ command and control approach.

The mediation of international relations by national governments also surfaced as an issue at the Creative Scotland International Think Tank in Edinburgh.  Almost all participants (mostly from Scotland and Nordic countries) were signed up to the importance of intercultural dialogue.  Yet Scottish culture is often simply folded into negative UK responses to European cultural investment.   Bongiwe Ruth Mautla (skyping from South Africa) talked of the importance of the artist in expressing the relationship of people to the land.  Views that resonate across rural Scotland.

Dialogue across national boundaries is a tangible cultural activity.  Let’s hope that Creative Scotland manage to keep up the momentum towards a more outward looking and international culture that, in time, will energise both creative output and cultural economy.

Duncan Higgins talked about his work on Solovki Island
Duncan Higgins presented some of his work created at Solovki (Solovetsky Islands) in Northern Russia at the Creative Scotland International Think Tank in Edinburgh

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