Counterpoint, the think tank of the British Council, held a two day as part of their, The Inner Lives of Cultures project. Taking place conference February 25-6, 2010 in Brussels, it brought together keynote speaker Tzvetan Todorov, leading lights from the academy in all its many shades, filmmakers, authors, translators, and cultural relations practitioners, from around the world.
They were there to talk about the Inner Lives of Cultures, in the hope that, by exploring the whispered, or tacit, discourses of individual cultures, the dialogue between us all can become deeper, more informed, and more productive.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta is President of the Center for Policy Research, New Delhi.
He warns of a need to shift the debate from descriptions of Cultural identity to how these identities are mobilised, potentially in "discourses of intolerance".
In his own words, “The issue is not what cultural identity is, whether it’s multiple or single, plural or hybrid, liminal, whatever your favourite description is, it is what needs and motivations do particular identifications serve in particular situations.”
To find out more about the Inner Lives of Cultures project, Counterpoint, the British Council, and the wider thought-world of cultural relations, visit counterpoint-online.org