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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is cutting international cooperation

MIDDLE EAST: What significance does it have that the authorities have cut cultural support for a number of Norwegian actors working internationally? For example, Kirkelig Kulturverksted i Midtøsten?

The record company and the cultural communicator Kirkelig Kulturverksted (KKV) no longer receives their annual support of two million from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) – which they have had since 2012.

Conservative foreign policy adviser Alexander Zlatanos Ibsen explains MODERN TIMES the reason for this reprioritisation: “It has to do with our desire to direct cultural aid more directly to partners in recipient countries. This means giving fewer transfers to Norwegian players. Such a reorganization is in line with the OECD's criteria for development assistance, which states that the contributions must aim to promote economic development or welfare in developing countries. "

Kirkelig Kulturverksted

Owner and CEO Erik Hillestad (pictured) in KKV emphasizes to MODERN TIMES that there is now talk of a total of fewer funds: «The figures they operate with are a bit distorted because in the beginning they had two departments that have now been merged. One worked on human rights and the other on culture. I would argue that in practice there has been an estimated halving of the cultural budget for the South – from 128 million previously. "

Alexander Zlatanos Ibsen

Conservative Ibsen further says that Norwegian cultural assistance will strengthen the conditions for cultural life in developing countries. He points out that there may be many good reasons for promoting Norwegian artists and cultural actors abroad, but that it is more difficult to justify this as a development policy purpose: “It is ultimately about something so prosaic. . .

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Pinar Ciftci
Ciftci is a journalist and actor.
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