KulturLink: Building a ‘mental bridge’ through cultural projects and intercultural dialogue

KulturLink has promoted territorial cooperation between Germany and Denmark in the Fehrmambelt region. A total of 27 joint cultural projects have been carried out promoting intercultural dialogue and cross-border creative industry cooperation, as well as the development of a strong cultural network. The cooperation involved cultural organisations, schools and businesses.

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KulturLINK supported cultural projects aiming at strengthening territorial cooperation © Nicola Lucas KulturLINK supported cultural projects aiming at strengthening territorial cooperation © Nicola Lucas

" The EU-project 'kulturLINK Fehmarnbelt region' brought together cultural players on the German and Danish side of the Fehmarnbelt region. We have established the first cultural network of the Fehmarnbelt region and were able to deepen the cross-border cultural cooperation using EU funding. The 'mental bridge' has been achieved, because kulturLINK has supported the establishment of a regional consciousness. "

Nicola Lucas, Marketing Manager, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Lübeck

The project partners established a cultural board, which consisted of a total of 12 cultural operators from six different fields: visual arts, theater/performing arts, music, literature, film and heritage. Each field had a Danish and German partner.

Building a ‘mental bridge’

The project was based on three main activities. One of the most successful elements was the thematic network, which was supported through several meetings, with a particular emphasis on the participation of young people. Despite language barriers and long distances, 360 cultural players were brought together in network meetings. 

A virtual network was created to deepen personal contact, this included a digital network map where the different organisations could establish a profile and place it on the shared map. The creation of the virtual network was very helpful in generating project ideas and finding partners for developing these ideas. This network is now well-established and will continue to develop.

A second element was the creation of ‘Ambassador projects’, which were set up to support already existing cross-border projects. The projects covered a wide range of cultural areas including literature, heritage, film and music. The literature project, for example, was developed from a micro-project which involved cooperation between libraries in the Fehrmambelt region. 

Finally, KulturLINK also supported micro-projects. The aim was to back smaller cross-border cooperation projects that support the development of networks between cultural actors.

Overall KulturLINK has supported the establishment of a ‘regional consciousness’. The organisers acknowledge that the creation of a cultural ‘identity’ is a long-term process, nevertheless the EU’s support has played a very strong role in building cultural links and developing inter-cultural dialogue.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “KulturLink” was EUR 1 148 754, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 686 700 from the Operational Programme “Interreg IV A Fehmarnbelt Region” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

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