Europe-China Cultural Compass: An Orientation for Cultural Cooperation between Europe and China

Cover for Europe-China Cultural Compass. Title text in red, with Chinese translation behind in white.

Are we meaning the same, when we say the same? — This was the leading question at the start of the EUROPE-CHINA CULTURAL COMPASS project, an initiative by partners of EUNIC in China, the Goethe-Institut, the British Council, and The Danish Cultural Institute.

After a year of research, including over a hundred interviews and discussions cultural practitioners on experience of collaboration between Europe an China, the result is a publication (ca. 300 p.) not only containing a glossary with selected intercultural key-vocabulary, but a broad range of knowledge relevant for cooperation: context knowledge on Europe and China (history, society, media, value systems, etc), information on how the cultural sectors work differently, case stories of cultural practitioners, a project cycle analysis crystallizing challenges, learning and practices, and an extensive resource-chapter.

The EUROPE-CHINA CULTURAL COMPASS project is part of an ongoing dialogue between Europe and China. It responds to the need to document this dialogue, to reflect on it, for a continuous improvement in the process. It wants to contribute to the understanding of Europe-China cultural cooperation. The intention is to help prepare cultural practitioners for collaboration.

The COMPASS addresses both Chinese and European readers. To meet the different needs of the two target groups, two separate publications were produced, one in Chinese and one in English.

The concept and creation of the COMPASS was commissioned to an intercultural working team headed by Katja Hellkoetter as editor-in-chief; experts in the team included Shen Qilan, Katelijn Verstraete, Emilie Wang, Judith Staines, Yi Wen, Roman Wilhelm, and many more external authors and contributors from China and Europe.

The editorial board was headed by Peter Anders (Director of the Goethe-Institut in Beijing), Eric Messerschmidt (Head of the The Danish Cultural Institute in Beijing) and Joanna Burke (British Council, China Director, Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Beijing).