WDCD's attention for refugee issue serves as an example for the power of culture in international relations

WDCD fits in Dutch cultural policy plans

Published in Culture, Politics & WDCD by

The Dutch government is going to deploy cultural resources to address the ring of instability that surrounds today’s Europe. In a letter to parliament in which ministers Bert Koenders (Foreign Affairs) and Jet Bussemaker (Culture) describe their International Cultural Policy What Design Can Do is mentioned as an example of international cultural collaboration.

In their letter sent last month unfolding the Dutch international cultural policy for the period 2017-2020, Koenders and Bussemaker state that next to political, military and humanitarian collaboration the Netherlands will intensify cultural collaboration with countries surrounding Europe.

‘The Netherlands has a powerful and innovative culture,’ minister Koenders said. ‘Through it our identity, norms and values are expressed strongly. It also creates a necessary bridge to the rest of the world. For me international cultural policy is therefore crucial especially in these times.’

Activation of designers

As an example of the sustainable collaboration that the government is pursuing with countries around Europe including Egypt, Mali, Russia, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Morocco and Turkey, the ministers mention What Design Can Do and the fact that the platform activated designers to think about the improvement of the circumstances refugees live in.

‘This is a challenge to big for governments and social organizations alone,’ minister Bussemaker is quoted. ‘We need all the thinking power available. Designers can think of the design of reception centres, find smart solutions for re-use of materials and deal with cultural integration in creative ways. Their creativity and skills can make the crucial difference.’


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