By Nadia von Maltzahn, Research Associate at the Orient-Institut Beirut and member of the Working Group on Cultural Policies in Lebanon
In Lebanon, the perception that there are no cultural policies is widespread. People’s first thought goes to the Ministry of Culture and its perceived lack of action in the field of culture. However, cultural policies do not only pertain to the work of ministries of culture, but rather are determined by a variety of actors and actions.
In this new article, entitled “What Cultural Policies?”, I apply the concept of explicit and implicit cultural policy to the case of Lebanon, and extend the terms so that the former does not only include cultural policies designated as such by the state, but also those created by civil society and other non-state actors, and that the latter does not only include political strategies, but also encompasses practices that in the end determine cultural policies. By looking at different ways to talk about cultural policies in Lebanon, I aim to show some of the power struggles between multiple actors involved in culture. Cultural frameworks are negotiated by a multitude of actors on the basis of both explicit and implicit policies, but also unwritten laws and practices. Continue reading