Mobility of Imagination

A companion guide to international cultural cooperation
$21.95 / €18.95 / £15.95
Published by CEU Center for Arts and Culture, and The Budapest Cultural Observatory, distributed by CEU Press
Publication date: 
164 pages, out of print

This concise guidebook explains the purpose and expected benefits of international cultural cooperation, its risks and strategic issues, models and success factors. International cultural cooperation is analyzed here as a trajectory of professional development of individual and institutional operators and as a strategy to build an integrated, inclusive cultural space that will enhance the notion of European citizenship. Examples are offered from all parts of Europe and all disciplines.

Cultural cooperation has been traditionally conceived as a matter of national governments and national cultural and foreign policy, not in a broad supranational perspective and not from the point of view of cultural operators themselves. Students previously had to rely on occasional articles and some governmental and academic studies of a rather narrow focus and national perspective.


Cultures beyond borders
Common cultural traits
Nation, ideology and politics
Culture as propaganda
Word War II and post-war reconstruction
Cold War restraints
Challenges of multiculturalism
European Union as a cultural factor
Post-communist "transition"
International organizations and networks
Cultural consequences of globalization
A crowded field of players
Cultural realms
Cultural industry: global oligopolies
Cultural heritage: vulnerable and endangered
Contemporary creativity: localized and nomadic

Why international cultural cooperation?
Professional development
Beyond prestige: professional and institutional development
Political interests
Economic motives
In search of distinction
Cooperation is more than promotion
Peace, stability and macro-regional cooperation

Forms of collaboration
Exchange, not cooperation
Stimulating international curiosity
The role of the presenter
The changing function of festivals
Programs with a national label
Professional reflection, debate, training and research
Creating together

Where and how to start?
Strategic overview
Preparatory adjustments
Orientation, information and analysis
Organizational form and legal status

The art of partnership
International networks
Pursuing the leads
Nurturing trust
Tensions, disputes and failures

Developing a collaborative cross-border project
Presenting a project
Exploitation and distribution

Politics and public funding
Political context
Public authorities
Intergovernmental organizations and programs
European Union

Private funding and alternative financing
Private-public partnership
Cultural entrepreneurship

Trends in the international cultural cooperation
From incidental to continuous
From presenting to (co-)producing
From bilateral to multilateral
From networks to consortia

Strategic issues
Sustainability, autonomy, continuity
Values and ethics
Cultural dimension of European integration
European and global

Key words: a glossary
Key players: web addresses of major institutional, governmental and intergovernmental organizations
Key references: bibliography of most important books and documents
About the author