Beyond Cultural Diversity, commissioned by Arts Council England, offers a timely and uncompromising investigation of what has gone wrong, and why, with state-sponsored cultural diversity policy in Britain. The Report argues that state funding of cultural diversity can result in cultural ghettoisation.
The Report goes beyond criticism to propose a new concept of creative diversity to promote a culturally integrated British society. It proposes a radical shift of historical perspective in a ten-point programme of institutional, educational and policy reforms to develop a culturally whole Britain.
The Report bases its case on a model of creativity and diversity already seen in British art after World War II. African, African Caribbean and Asian artists contributed decisively to the modernist canon of British art from the 1950s to the 1970s. This model of so-called ‘ethnically diverse’ artists working interactively within the British mainstream artworld has been wilfully ignored. The Report restores it to the centre stage of Britain’s cultural heritage.
Beyond Cultural Diversity marks a first significant advance since Naseem Khan’s 1976 report The Arts Britain Ignores. Thirty years on the question is even more urgent.
Our report is a platform of independent views expressed by cultural practitioners from institutions such as art colleges, Tate Britain and the Arts Council. Their proposals concern a simultaneously diverse and integral public culture that is increasingly under threat today.
We would hope to broaden the debate by eliciting responses from our wide variety of readerships in the field of cultural practice. This Report is a trial platform on which to develop a special issue of Third Text aimed at the global story of creative diversity in contemporary art. We can say that the Report is indeed a ‘call for papers’ from our readers.
A conference on the Report will take place on 23rd March 2011 at City University, London. This micro-site is dedicated to expanding debate about the creative case for diversity, will run through to the launch of our new website at the end of June 2011. We will develop an open forum through which our visitors can contribute their views to the creative case for diversity. A free online version of the Report will be made available on this site in due course.
Third Text can be accessed online by from Routledge
Richard Appignanesi is an editor of Third Text and reviews editor of the future studies journal Futures. He was a co-founder and editorial director of Writers & Readers Publishing Co-operative and Icon Books. He has served as a curator, lecturer and conference organiser for the British Council. He is the author of the fiction trilogy Italia Perversa: Stalin’s Orphans, The Mosque and Destroying America (1983–1985), the novel Yukio Mishima’s Report to the Emperor (2003) and other non-fiction writings.
230 x 165mm
Illustrations: 15 colour, 6 b/w
Publication date: January 2011