Rory Stewart opens our series on Culture, Conflict and Recovery in Asia, an eight-month programme of events addressing the practical role and impact of culture in recovery and development
16 December 2021
We are pleased to announce a series of events on Culture, Conflict and Recovery in Asia which we will be delivering jointly with Aleph Strategies, commencing with Rory Stewart, former UK International Development Secretary, author and founder of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, speaking online from Yale University.
Please join us for what should be a memorable start to the series on 16 December at 17.00 when, in addition to Rory Stewart, we will have presentations from Matt Reed, Aga Khan Foundation (who have generously supported this event) and Jonathan Rider, Aleph Strategies.
‘Culture’ is often overlooked as a means of social and economic development in fragile environments. Funds available for cultural programming in these contexts are often extremely limited. Even when basic needs such as shelter, food and water have been addressed following conflict or natural disaster, cultural activities are often viewed as a ‘luxury’ when ranked alongside other development priorities like education, healthcare, infrastructure and job creation.
We present an alternative viewpoint. Development is greatly enhanced when it works ‘with the grain’ of culture – whether this entails market development within the culture creative industries, health and wellbeing, peacebuilding, or social cohesion. This series will explore the ways in which culture plays a central role in driving social and economic development in countries affected by conflict and fragility.
Amidst wider policy discussions about the importance of culture in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals, this series provides an opportunity for funders, implementers and practitioners to reflect on the many ways in which cultural programming can contribute to peacebuilding and reconstruction efforts.
The series, run jointly with Aleph Strategies over the next eight months, will include contributions from the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, British Council, Community Jameel, International Organisation for Migration, ODI, Prince Claus Fund, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Turquoise Mountain Foundation, UNESCO and WHO. Look out for further details in the coming months.
The series will also form the basis of a special issue of Asian Affairs later in 2022.