8.9 Enhancing social inclusion through culture
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It is a central goal of Danish cultural policy that all parts of the population, including young people, should have access to culture. Danish cultural institutions provide a host of different efforts in order to give all parts of the population, including young people, access to culture and cultural activities. One of the purposes behind this goal is to enhance social inclusion and social coherence in society. In this respect, an important aspect of all the activities mentioned under section 8.4 is achieving social inclusion.
Key players with regard to social inclusion through culture are the voluntary associations, for instance within sport and scouting. These voluntary associations receive economic support from both the state and the municipalities and target in particular children and young people, and they play an important role in establishing norms and creating social skills and networks, thereby enhancing the inclusion of young people into the Danish society.
In April 2020, the government and all parties in the Danish parliament settled an agreement on initiatives to support socially marginalised people and people with fewer opportunities/special needs. The signatory parties allocated a total of DKK 131 million to measures targeting children and young people in 2020. Among these:
- DKK 10 million was allocated to voluntary organisations, cultural institutions, sports associations, and scouts associations. The funding supports the organisations’ outreach measures for vulnerable children and young people. The measures could be learning activities, leisure passes, summer camps and family friends.
- DKK 5 million was allocated to holiday camps (ferielejre), excursions, music and culture events for families, children and young people.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Culture administers two programmes, which enhance social inclusion through cultural activities.
The objective of the programme is two-fold:
- To offer children and young people from socially marginalised residential areas access to art and culture and thereby build bridges across differences.
- To support bridge-building between actors and institutions from the social housing sector and the cultural sector.
The idea is that culture can act as a positive catalyst for integration of minorities in the community and stimulate tolerance and social trust.
The programme funds partnerships between several actors and institutions from the social housing sector and the cultural sector.
Eight local cross-sectoral projects across Denmark participate in the programme. Seven projects target young people:
- Supertotal – film stories from Charlotteager: The project is a cooperation between the social housing organisation Charlottekvarteret, two film festivals (CPH:DOC and BUSTER), the primary and lower secondary school, Charlotte-school, and a leisure-time care facility. The target of the project is to strengthen young people’s democratic and creative voice.
- Home in the Art – in municipality of Fredensborg: The project is a cooperation between three art laboratories for children and young people from socially marginalised residential areas. The project uses art to enhance a positive dialogue and to strengthen communities in the local environment.
- Culture – we create history: The project is managed by the museum at the islands Lolland and Falster. The objective is to strengthen community and identity through involvement in history and in the local living area.
- Role-Play – the empire: The project is a cooperation between the organisation Role-Play Factory, municipal social services and local community actors. Through role-play, the project aims to strengthen community, cohesiveness and personal development.
- Team Peace: The project is a cooperation between Team Theatre and a socially marginalised residential area. For 3 years, the project will teach marginalised young people performative, creative, and productive subjects.
- The Potential Room: The project is a cooperation between a residential area and the culture house, Culture room. The objective of the project is to create learning communities and long-term cooperation between children and young people from the residential area.
- Culture changes: The project develops culture and leisure-time activities in eight socially marginalised residential areas in Aarhus. The aim of the project is to strengthen social inclusion and citizenship.
The total funding of projects is DKK 3.7 million.
The programme builds on experiences from the Cultural Bridge described above. From 2019-2022, the programme will allocate DKK 20 million to local culture projects. The programme is part of the former Government’s strategy to combat parallel societies in Denmark, and the overall objective is to strengthen integration and intercultural awareness in socially marginalised residential areas.
In the 2020 allocation of funds, four projects received funding. One of the funded projects targets children and young people. The project ‘Here where we live – children and young people’s voices in a cultural urban development in Nykøbing’s green corner’ actively involves children and young people in cultural activities, urban development, a children and youth festival and cultural expressions in public space. The involvement takes place in projects with local cultural actors and professional artists in collaboration with education institutions, youth clubs, etc. The project develops knowledge on how art, culture and the involvement of children and young people can be incorporated in the municipal strategic work with marginalised living areas. The project is funded with DKK 632,500.
The project 6705+ Danish Arts Foundation is a cooperation between the Danish Arts foundation and Esbjerg municipality. The residential area around Stengårdsvej in the city Esbjerg is characterised by a high unemployment rate and social problems. The project uses art and culture to build bridges and communities between people, cultures and social groups. The projects consists of several art projects, for instance:
The professional artist, Tina Ratzer, has arranged a range of workshops for local children, young people and residents in the residential area. A focal point in the workshops is colour. The material and inspiration from the workshops are used in a work of art that will adorn the residential area.
Residents in the marginalised residential area have chosen three theatre projects that will be produced and performed in the local area:
Professional artists along with children and young people from the area will create lanterns and sculptures of light. Furthermore, they will record sounds. The project will culminate in a procession in the local area with light and sounds in the winter darkness.
A group of residents along with a group of artists,will create an interactive walking performance through the local area. The performance will use five locations in order to develop a new understanding of the local area.
Battle of Generations. In a battle show, a team of young people will battle against a team of elderly people from the local area. The two teams will battle on assignments such as “name your generation” or “say how you will save the world in 30 seconds”. The theatre association, liminal.dk, will use the battle to point out the teams’ self-understanding, and what unites and separates them across generations, ethnicity, gender and culture.
DKK 3.6 million has been allocated to the project from 2019-2021
The minister for culture has allocated a further DKK 250,000 to the project Power to Children, which is part of the Music Action plan 2019-2022. With the extra funding, the project provides a targeted measure for children and young people in the Project 6705+ Danish Arts Foundation.
With the extra grant, children and young people at a municipal school in a socially marginalised residential area learn to compose music with iPads and apps as their instruments.
Art in Vaerebro Park
The Danish Arts foundation supports the project Art in Vaerebro Park. The marginalised residential area Vaerebro Park has been associated with gang crime. There are great economic and social differences between Vaerebro Park and the adjoining residential areas. The projects funds art projects in the local area, for instance an artist school.
The project has been funded with DKK 4 million.
Danish Arts Foundation supports the art project involving the galaxy pathway in the marginalised local area Vollsmose. The residents in the area have selected the art project, which is a pathway that connects the residential area with the local municipal school and the general upper secondary education institutions. Through workshops in the local library, youth clubs and municipal schools, children and young people create mosaics. The material and inspiration from the workshops are used in the galaxy pathway. The project has been funded with DKK 1 million by the Danish Arts Foundation.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Culture has established a special fund to promote the inclusion in local sports associations of people with special needs or who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, so that local sports will be available to everybody. The total funding is 19.2 million DKK.
In 2019, two out of three municipalities offer discount (fritidspas) in leisure activities for children and young people from socially marginalised families. The main part of the municipalities offer support to membership fee; however, the scheme varies from municipality to municipality in terms of the total amount of support, the duration of the support, target group, and who should apply; the association, the parents, a contact person etc.
Besides the initiatives mentioned above, there are no national programmes or projects that contribute to preventing and reducing poverty and overcoming cultural diversity and discrimination amongst young people.