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Culture and Development

Thursday 28 June 2012

Location: Baines Wing, Room 1.16

Within the context of international development the importance of culture is often overlooked, or even ignored. Culture does however play a strong role in attaining overall development goals. While this has been asserted by international organizations throughout the past decades, culture has remained a minor element in most development approaches.

It is in this context that the vision of Arterial Network is of a vibrant, dynamic and sustainable African creative civil society sector engaged in qualitative practice in the arts in their own right, as well as in a manner that contributes to development, to human rights and democracy, and to the eradication of poverty on the African continent.

Mike van Graan, the outgoing Secretary General of the organization, will provide an introduction to the activities of the Network since its foundation in 2007. More importantly, he will focus on the ways different actors throughout the field of international development could engage more actively with cultural issues. This will open up to a debate on the different ways researchers could engage more actively and constructively with culture for development.

More info on the vision of Arterial Network can be found here:

Mike van Graan • Outgoing Secretary General

Mike van Graan is the Executive Director of the African Arts Institute based in Cape Town.He recently served as the Programme Director of the 4th World Summit on arts and Culture, a project of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA).

Elected to leadership positions in a range of arts organisations and lobbies both before and after the demise of apartheid, he was appointed as a special adviser on cultural policy to the new Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology after the country's first democratic elections in 1994, where he helped to facilitate the drafting of  post-apartheid arts and culture policies.

He is an award-winning columnist, having provided extensive and provocative commentary on arts and culture developments in South Africa. He is considered one of the country's leading contemporary playwrights.


This event was made possible by the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, as they Invited Mike van Graan to deliver a keynote at their PSi 2012 conference. The event is organized by the Researchers in Development Network (RiDNet) under the University of Leeds Centre for Global Development.

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