In the cultural sector, working with international artists and culturally diverse communities has become second nature. This article outlines the value and contribution of Diaspora communities, obstacles for engagement – including stereotypes across all sectors, and how we can better understand these communities. You’ll find a series of recommendations including implementing two-way communication, creating a balance between the contemporary and traditional, and revising perceptions.
A lack of understanding is one of the main barriers to working effectively with artists and groups from Diaspora communities – and funders can be criticised for their sometimes scant knowledge in this area, but what does this lack of understanding actually translate into?
Do we need to re-think, too, how we view not only the needs of the Diaspora communities, but audience development itself? Successful audience development frees itself from assumption, and works across communities. There is, for example, a case that one of the audience segments in most need of engagement is White British (particularly economically deprived groups).