A Commitment to Pluralism
Introduction to the discussion
It is easy to say that you understand the need for pluralism. What is important however is what you do with your opinion. Instead of using the word ´pluralism´, then, I would rather talk about ´interculturalism´, since this word implies an active strategy for increasing dialogue. Interculturalism has had a place in art for a long time. One can speak of a dialogue between artists with differing backgrounds and between artists and the public. But we will not only talk about art here. It is also a question of culture. During recent years in Europe culture has become infected by malaise and scepticism. This was why I was so pleased to hear, during the discussion on the new media, that in future culture would once more be accorded an important place. That it would become the driving force behind the economy.
Dragan Klaic teaches Arts and Cultural Policy at the University of Leiden and serves as a Permanent Fellow of Felix Meritis Foundation in Amsterdam. Educated in dramaturgy in Belgrade and with a doctorate in theater history and dramatic criticism from Yale University, Klaic has been lecturing widely in Europe and America, took part in numerous conferences and symposia and worked as theater critic, dramaturg, festival and production advisor, editor, researcher and trainer. Before leaving Yugoslavia in 1991 he was Professor at the University of Arts in Belgrade and the founding Co-Editor of Euromaske, the European Theater Quarterly. From 1992 until summer 2001 he was Director of Theater Instituut Nederland in Amsterdam and from 1998 to 2003 Professor of Theater Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Currently, Klaic moderates the Reflection Group of the European Cultural Foundation, develops modes of “applied theater” for the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture and Eurocare (Brussels), researchers the ongoing festivalization of the everyday life and takes part in other research and artistic projects in Europe. As President of the European Forum for Arts & Heritage (EFAH, Brussels) he is a staunch advocate of the cultural dimension of the European integration. Among his books are several works published in the former Yugoslavia as well as Terrorism and Modern Drama (co-edited with J. Orr, Edinburgh Univ. Press 1990, paperback 1992), The Plot of The Future: Utopia and Dystopia in Modern Drama (Michigan Univ. Press 1991), and Shifting Gears/ Changer de vitesse (co-edited with R. Engelander, TIN Amsterdam 1998). His articles and columns appeared in many periodicals in several languages and a memoir book Exercises in Exile will be published in Amsterdam by Cossee in March 2004. Klaic is a Contributing Editor of the Theater magazine (USA), board member of Praemium Erasmianum (Amsterdam) and Transeuropeennes (Paris), a trustee of the Russian Institute for Cultural Policy (Moscow) and member of the advisory boards of the Nexus Institute (Tilburg), the Fund for the Central & East European Book Project (Amsterdam) and of the Marcel Hicter European Diploma training program (Brussels).
Dragan Klaic is international advisor for the pan-European project SEAS Balticum-Adriatico 2003-2005.
Exercises in Exile- The reshaping of an expat at the Ikea-table
A combination of intriguing memoir of an Belgrade intellectual of Jewish origin and profound analysis of the completly new conditions and requirements of today´s exile, Exercises in Exile contributes important insights into the condition humaine of this new century.
This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.
The SEAS Platform 2008-2010
(02 December 05 - 31 December 10)
(19 January 05 - 19 January 07)
(26 April 04 - 26 September 04)
Speech from The Power of Culture Conference, November 1996 in Amsterdam
Ministry of Culture - Denmark
Essay by Dragan Klaic
Theater Systems in Europe: Traditional Models and Tentative Alternatives