The Prince Claus Fund partners from Uganda, Kosovo, Ukraine and India discussed the future of Cultural Collaboration. Moderated by Bertan Selim from the Prince Claus Fund, the Panel discussion brought together Teesa Bahana, Linda Llulla-Gashi, Hanna Tsyba and Pooja Sood.
During the lockdown due to novel coronavirus, it was Arts and Culture that provided joy and kept the communities hopeful and resilient. In the first relief efforts, only few countries included support to the cultural sector, leaving the independent cultural sector and majority of cultural workers out of the relief programs. And different cultural organizations had to find their way to continue their work and activities.
Bertan Selim explained that The Prince Claus Fund is focused, especially in these times, in supporting culture and arts in the world were culture and arts is most vulnerable, “also because of shrinking public spaces or where freedom of expression is more limited”.
Linda Llulla-Gashi presented DokuFest and its projects, as well gave insights about the online edition of this festival. “It has been hard for us to accept this online version of festival, but so far we are really glad that we did this, because it was better option than cancelling the festival. And we are really happy with the participation of people. Until now approximately 25.000 people visited us”, she said.
Teesa Bahana explained that 32° East Ugandan Arts Trust provides a space for artists to meet, connect and to collaborate, as well as it hosts a public arts festival, which was supposed to be held on August.
“We decided to postpone it”, said Bahana, reminding that pandemic brought a lot of challenges for artists and cultural workers.
Hanna Tsyba from Visual Culture Research Center (VCRC) in Kyiv pointed that the pandemic crisis influenced a lot cultural workers in Ukraine and added that the arts and culture communities should think about solutions and scenarios how to survive and overcome this situation.
Pooja Sood, director of Khoj International Artists’ Association said that this institution exists for artists and that during the sharp lockdown had to go out in its neighborhood to provide aid to people, which struggled during that period. “It was heartbreaking experience”, she said.
Regarding the future of Cultural Collaboration she mentioned exploring the possibilities for collaboration in digital sphere, which can help build a discourse, but also stressed that we also should be aware of its dangers.
“You can’t change suddenly everything that we do and go digital. We can prepare for it and understand different platforms, said Sood.
Bertan Selim praised all the panelists for being true in their work and carrying on, despite the unexpected challenges they face.
You can watch the entire talk here.