“The West” vs. “The Rest”?: Festival Curators as Gatekeepers for Sociocultural Diversity

Lisa Gaupp (2020)

In: Victoria Durrer & Raphaela Henze (eds.)

Managing Culture. Exchange in a Global World. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 127-153.

Excerpts. “This chapter analyses how sociocultural diversity is standardized through conventions in the performing arts. It examines how sociocultural diversity is curated at renowned international performing arts festivals. [… But most often in an art world conventions only change very slowly (Gaupp & Kirchberg, 2017). Following a French strand of sociology, conventions are not understood as fixed standards or traditions but rather serve as a socioculturally based logic of action that enables the participants to coordinate themselves actively in situations characterised by conditions of uncertainty in order to realize a common intention. Conventions serve participants in situations as a collective interpretative frame for the evaluation of appropriateness and the value of actions, persons, objects and conditions. […] If an innovation does not refer to any standards within this art world—no matter if this reference involves conforming to or breaking the rules—it is highly unlikely to be included into a festival programme. Perhaps even more urgent is the question of what happens to critical or subversive art forms when they become an ‘innovation’ in the art world they were once opposed to (Boltanski & Chiapello, 2007).”

p. 127/137/147

Link to the book