chapter  9
31 Pages

Organizing Postmigration in Cultural Institutions: Diversity Work as Intrusion, Potential or Fact?

WithSabrina Vitting-Seerup, Frauke Wiegand

The chapter looks at how Danish and German cultural institutions work with diversity from a postmigrant perspective. Critical diversity, understood as the awareness of multiplicity and difference, encompassing a critical attitude towards structural discrimination, is a central feature of the postmigrant condition and the imbedded calling for representations of the cultural pluralist actors shaping the work in art and cultural institutions today. Based on an investigation of different institutions’ discourses of diversity as they emerge through institutional texts, public debates and in research interviews, the chapter offers an overview of different forms of diversity work in Danish and German contexts – diversity work defined as practices pointing towards active transformation of institutions. Diversity is revealed to be approached by institutions in three different ways, ranging from intrusion, to problem to fact. These are not exclusionary categories, but rather different views on diversity that influence the ways in which cultural institutions come to actually work with diversity in specific situations. All three categories may exist within the same institutional framework over a stretch of time, as is shown through two specific case studies, focusing on 1) the national film founding body, the Danish Film Institute and 2) SAVVY Contemporary, a non-profit art space in Berlin.