Hot Topic - How do Young Cultural Innovators help bridge divides in their communities?

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Oct 18, 2018
by Anna Rawe
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Hot Topic - How do Young Cultural Innovators help bridge divides in their communities?

Salzburg Global Fellows reveal what divides exist in their cities and regions and how their work helps bridge them Salzburg Global Fellows reveal what divides exist in their cities and regions and how their work helps bridge them

A select number of Fellows at the fifth program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators were asked: What divides exist in your city/region and how does your work help bridge divides? We have published their answers below.

“In my region there are divides… that are geographic in terms of the divides between the downtown core and the suburbs in Toronto, which is where I live. Those geographic divides are also representative of other divides like income, racial, cultural… so the city, although it is diverse, it’s also divided up so that that diversity often seems quite segmented. I think my work is about looking at those divides and that segmentation and seeing the innovation that happens in areas that are not part of the downtown core. A lot of resources and attention tend to go in the core of the city but not that much to the outer areas, and I grew out in a community that’s in one of those outer areas, so I really believe in cultivating the work that’s being done out there...”

Alyssa Fearon, Canada
Curator at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon, Manitoba

“There’s a lot of things going on right now back home about fake news and the government, so I think there’s a clear divide between those who support the government and those who actually oppose them. That’s one of the biggest problems we’re facing right now because there’s a lot of propaganda and political manipulation when it comes to information and communication of things. I think for us at the Design Studio we try to have different government agencies and NGOs to try to communicate their messages properly and to try to help them build a better strategy when it comes to saying things more clearly. It’s because these are the times that we actually need to properly address our causes, what we fight for, and the truth, more than anything else… so that’s what we try to help with...”

Reymart Cerin, Manila
Creative director at The Public School Manila Branding & Design Studio

“We have no places for gatherings, we have art centers, museums, exhibitions but for just a small gathering we don’t have a lot of spaces, so we tried to [renovate] abandon places like a senior citizen center, or a community hall or a public office, it’s really hard to find a good place to gather. Another challenge… because it’s the countryside everybody is too busy to have an arts education… To bridge the divide we [also] have to think about the poor people or disabled people, connecting to them to have them enjoy the arts, [so they aren’t] alienated from the arts. Our foundation has moving trucks which go to the mountainous areas or to the fishing villages. We go there and have performances and a moving exhibition system, so they can enjoy the arts for free... Another system is art vouchers, which is when poor people have to buy a book or go to a performance or an exhibition, the cost is really high so we have a discount, like 50%, which is 70 euros for one year, which is not that much but it helps them to have an opportunity to enjoy the arts.”

Namhee Joo, Seoul
Program manager at Chungnam Arts & Culture Foundation

“In my country there is not a different way of thinking - these kinds of things. They are very interesting people that are always searching for something new or something that can make diversity... We are one of the most peaceful countries because we live happily in what we trust and what religion we are.”

Anisa Papajani, Tirana
Senior sales account executive at Vodafone

“We have performances against bullying, on recycling, on emotions and how your reaction to things can affect other people, so I think that is one way that we are trying to bridge this idea of performance being only for the national theatre, the baroque stage kind of thing, to bring arts to everyone...”

Dorian Mallia, Malta
Artistic director at Moveo Dance Company


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators V is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Arts Council Korea, Asia-Europe Foundation,  Bush Foundation, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Foundation Adelman pour l’Education, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation, the Llewellyn Thompson Memorial Fellowship, Robert Bosch Stiftung, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Nippon Foundation, World Culture Open, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the program can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.