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Strategies of ECF funds

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One of EU cultural funding institution is European Cultural Foundation (ECF). From their web-page: “We believe that culture engages and inspires people to transcend boundaries. The connecting power of culture is essential for creating open, inclusive and democratic societies, and is invaluable for building Europe.”

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Both positive and suspicious criticism can be turned to question of boundaries and to connecting power as it seems by the overview of granted projects from the past that projects envision “barbaric”, “primitive”, “outlandish”, “fringe”, or in most cases “exotic” cultures showcasing in dominant one: Roma, Balkan, etc. in EU.

Is ECF creating a showcases for cultures that have been, or will be included in EU dominant one so as to create atmosphere for domestic/dominant cultures to acknowledge them and thus make less space possible for nationalist forces build up on preconceptions? Maybe that would be the entrance point for ECF grant? There is no explanation what are the boundaries, so one has to envision them according to information on ECF in order to transcendent them accordingly.

“Connecting power” can be loosely interpreted as networking structure of actors in cultural scene: artist and cultural workers. Personal impression is that the artist here is portrayed as “aesthetics design worker” that will create representation according to the cultural worker visions (management in the cultural world where artist becomes a meager discussed by Brian Holmes, Gerald Rauning and others springs to mind). So it is not connections of the artists, but connection of interest groups specified by the cultural managers and cultural industry.

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