EU National Institutes for Culture - EUNIC

  • Mary Ann Cauchi

An immersion in different cultural contexts

As part of the EUNIC Mobility Scheme 2023-2024, Mary Ann Cauchi, Director of Funding and Strategy at Arts Council Malta, joined the global conversation at the Goethe-Institut in Munich, Germany.

As I walked into the vibrant heart of Munich, surrounded by its historic buildings and the rich tapestry of its cultural life, I arrived for the EUNIC Mobility Scheme visit, fully engaged and ready to immerse myself in a worldwide conversation about the power and significance of cultural exchange.

Organised by the Goethe-Institut, the three-day long visit in March proved to be a celebration of the belief in culture's power to bridge gaps and foster mutual understanding across continents.

EUNIC's mission to enhance cultural interactions was palpable throughout the days. The Mobility Scheme, a programme I was eager to engage with, offered me the chance to immerse myself in different cultural contexts, learn new approaches, and exchange insights on a wide array of subjects.

Throughout my participation in the diverse discussions and encounters that took place, I felt that this was not merely a meeting of like-minded cultural practitioners, but rather a melting pot of diverse cultural perspectives. The result of our interactions being an enriched collective dialogue that undoubtedly contributes to a more nuanced understanding of global cultural relations.

I was particularly drawn to the range of learning and exchange opportunities the mobility visit presented and appreciated the focus on hands-on experience and direct interaction. It encouraged me to dive deep into the essence and impact of various cultural projects, making my participation both personal and profound. I left the meeting energised, my mind bubbling with ideas that can be used to deepen our application of the guiding principles in Strategy 2025, which have artistic mobility as an intrinsic value deep in their core.

One approach I was very keen on was the ice breaking introduction whereby we got to share ‘who we are’ with an assigned partner - our partner then introduced us to the other participants in what turned out to be a fun, revealing and highly interactive take. Furthermore, I found it very interesting that each of us were given the task of moderating one session. This worked on so many levels, exposing us to different styles of moderation while keeping the proceeding diverse and interesting, engaging us and giving us the opportunity to participate. The theme I moderated was Creative Industries, and I appreciated the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience of what happens on the Maltese Islands, while also helping me understand my colleagues from other countries better.

Beyond the structured sessions and opportunities, the EUNIC Mobility Visit offered a profound celebration of culture's intrinsic value in promoting equality, dialogue, diversity, creativity, and curiosity.

I returned to Malta with renewed energy in our mission to promote and safeguard our creative and cultural sectors, eager to leverage everything that was discussed in Munich to pave the way for a more connected, empathetic sector.

Co-funded by the European Union Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.