International Cultural Cooperation - South Africa

International Cultural Cooperation

Finding solutions together

The guiding principle of the International Cultural Cooperation policy of the Netherlands is that cultural institutions and artists are responsible for shaping their own international activities abroad.  The Dutch government has opted for a sharper focus and structural cooperation with local partners, guided by demand from abroad. The principle ‘bring’ and ‘take’ is of great importance within the cultural cooperation: a two-way instrument. 

Let's connect

Our colleagues are happy to help you!

International Cultural Policy

The objectives of the international cultural policy of the Netherlands are:

  • Enabling leading Dutch institutions to operate at international level in order to cement their image at that level;
  • Helping Dutch artists and institutions to occupy a leading position in the international market. Dutch cultural institutions, artists, and designers need foreign clients if they are to operate successfully. This applies to all (main) segments, subsidized or otherwise. An appearance at prestigious locations and events raises audience awareness and thus the likelihood of success;
  • Strengthening Dutch economic interests by emphasizing the connection between culture, trade and the economy;

The power of culture plays an important role in foreign politics. Cultural diplomacy is using the arts and culture to benefit foreign relations. Music, dance, and architecture are all forms of cultural expression that tell a story and show the Netherlands in a different light, allowing people to relate to the country in a new, perhaps more personal way. In this way, culture generates new relationships and mutual understanding.

Shared Cultural Heritage

Heritage is often the basis for bilateral relations. The Netherlands has, in various countries, left behind many footsteps and fingerprints. In recent years the Netherlands has been working hard to maintain this shared cultural heritage by encouraging partnerships between Dutch and foreign institutions and experts, exchanging knowledge, supporting foreign initiatives and broadening the circle of interested parties. This includes making the archives of the Dutch East and West India Companies available, recommissioning historic buildings, attention for intangible heritage and providing training in underwater archaeology.

  • The shared cultural heritage program focusses on fostering cohesion between heritage programs in different countries, highlighting the relationship to economic and foreign policy, and boosting the international profile of the Netherlands.
  • Its aim is also economic spin-off for the partner country, e.g. new jobs, a boost for tourism and education, increased expertise on maintaining, managing and exploiting cultural heritage, as well as to raise awareness, increase knowledge exchange and strengthening local support for sustainable preservation.

For more information please contact us