Intercultural – Casestudies

Casestudy 1: Orchestre Partout, Alkmaar/Haarlem, The Netherlands

Case Study 2: Thuis in Hoogeveen, Hoogeveen, The Netherlands

Casestudy 3: Brunnenpassage, Vienna, Austria

Case Study 4: SOHO in Ottakring, Vienna, Austria

Case Study 5: The Association for Cultural Projects, Denmark

Case Study 6: Cultural Kaleidoscope, Denmark


Casestudy 1: Orchestre Partout, Alkmaar/Haarlem, The Netherlands

By Hans Noijens and Ingrid Smit, LKCA

Background of the project

In 2010, Ted van Leeuwen started the first music atelier in refugee center Alkmaar, as a joint initiative of 5e Kwartier and De Vrolijkheid. At the end of 2016, Orchestre Partout has become an independent foundation. In 2017 Orchestre Partout has expanded its activities. Besides refugee center Alkmaar she is now also organizing one music workshop in refugee center Amsterdam. In 2017 she reached dozens of refugees with her every week activities in the centers. The orchestra played 40 concerts for more than 4.000 visitors.

Orchestre Partout has a lot of craftsmanship and experience in house. In addition to the board, the organization has one highly qualified team of music teachers with diverse cultural backgrounds and a large number of volunteers. Orchestre partout cooperates with a growing number of partners which helps Orchestre Partout to achieve her goals. Ted van Leeuwen has developed in recent years a successful methodology. He regularly receives requests from the COA (Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers) and residents of refugee centers to organize a music workshop at other refugee centers as well.

Orchestre Partout offers a three-part program: music lessons, rehearsals and concerts. By the weekly lessons and rehearsals in the refugee centers musicians of different nationalities and ages share and develop their musical talent. In addition, the orchestra performs throughout the country. The musical skills of the participants grow, their social network grows and their talent becomes visible to a wide audience.

Eight conditions for a successful music workshop


1. Continuity

The music atelier in the refugee center is open several days a week throughout the year. The activities have a continuous and lasting character. The weekly regularity is important for residents, they have something to look forward to every week.


2. Inclusiveness

Orchestre Partout focuses its activities on all residents in the refugee center. Everyone can join. Passion is just as important as talent. All activities are freely accessible and are offered on different levels. Residents often come to listen to lessons and rehearsals. That’s how they come up a spontaneous way of contact with the band and some of them then participate.


3. Ownership & musical mixing forms

Each participant brings in their own music. The band members also play music that they don’t know, in other time signatures or musical styles. This creates a diverse world repertoire that stimulates and touches.


4. Flexibility

The workshops and lessons have a flexible character. They can start with one person and end with 15 people or more. The door is always open and guests are welcome. If a refugee center closes, Orchestre Partout moves with the residents to a new location.


5. Stepped program

Because of the intensive approach, refugees can develop themselves from a starting musician to a more experienced musician. Residents who don’t have a musical experience start with music lessons. Once people have some experience they are invited to the band rehearsals.

For talented residents or more experienced band members, the band offers a springboard to the professional music circuit. Some musicians from Orchestre Partout are studying at the Rotterdam Conservatory Codarts or work as a guest musician with the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble.


6. Professionalism and diversity

The lessons and rehearsals are guided by professional musicians with diverse cultural backgrounds. A few of them also have a refugee background.


7. Bridges between the refugee center and society

In addition to classes and rehearsals in the refugee center, the Orchestre performs with a common repertoire outside and plays concerts. Participants derive a lot of pride and self-esteem from the performances.

8. Chain of cooperation partners

Orchestre Partout can only achieve its objectives through cooperation with local, regional and national organizations/ partners. Together they are committed to opportunities for refugees.


Who is involved and what they have done

A variety of parties are involved in Orchestre Partout.

At first the board and the musical leader. They work together with a local network of the refugee centers, such as COA, foundation de Vrolijkheid (Happiness Foundation, organisation which brings arts and culture in refugee centers) and a local cultural institution.

But Orchestre Partout has also some national partners, like the Nederlands Blazer Ensemble, UAF, conservatories Codarts and AHK, Musicians without Borders and Sounds of Change.

COA takes care of a place where Orchestre Partout can work (rehearse) and gives some financial support.

Together with de Vrolijkheid they recruit participants and organise jam sessions. Orchestre Partout recruits participants for the concerts of the Nederlands Blazers Ensmble. (NBE)

Every year the NBE organises a concert serie in which musicians from Orchestre Partout participate.

UAF, the Foundation for Refugee-Students supports highly educated refugees in realizing a suitable one social position. They assist them in their studies and in finding a job match their capacities.

Orchestre Partout serves as a springboard for refugees with a distinct musical talent.

We refer them to conservatories in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. CODARTS, the Rotterdam conservatory, has a good world music department.

Musicians Without Borders and Sounds of Change are organizations that use music as a ‘weapon’ against war traumas. We exchange knowledge with them.


How this delivers on the goals described as ‘bridging social capital’

The objectives of the project are to increase the social network of refugees and to build bridges between refugee centers and society. By participating in this project, the residents of the refugee centers can increase their social network. Making music acts as an outlet. Music transcends language barriers, it is an universal expression.

How this relates specifically to the theme of the compendia (inter cultural)

People of different backgrounds meet each other, and work together. By making music together, music from all over the world, people can learn from each other, and can relate to each other.




Case Study 2: Thuis in Hoogeveen, Hoogeveen, The Netherlands

By Hans Noijens and Ingrid Smit, LKCA

Background of the project

Loods13, together with the municipality of Hoogeveen and the province of Drenthe, has joined forces in using the theatre atelier in the integration program of the newcomers. The making of a theatre performance has been used as a means to let 22 refugees (re) discover their own power and to learn them to use their skills and talents in the Dutch society. This will make them self-confident to grow and it will be easier to find their place in the Hoogeveense society.

In the period from September 2016 up to and including December 2016, 22 newcomers have made a spectacular theater performance in an empty building in Hoogeveen.

When the refugees were just in Hoogeveen, they would very much like to dedicate themselves actively to their new contacts, to get to know the environment and to find work. After a few months this enthusiasm often diminishes through all kinds of walls that they run into by, among other things cultural differences, rules and legislation, incomprehension and language barriers. The municipality of Hoogeveen really wanted the theatre atelier to be a part of the integration.

That’s why, Loods13, a theatre atelier, was approached by the municipality of Hoogeveen, as partner for this project.

Artistic director Eva Wortmann has extensive experience with theatre workshops for target groups with different problems.

The municipality of Hoogeveen believes that to retain the enthusiasm, ideas and commitment and to help people get started in their new residence, participating in the theatre atelier, participants will get self-confidence because they (re) discover their own strength and learn to use their talents and skills in the Dutch society.

This is possible because the theatre makers work from the opportunities instead of the shortcomings.

What they have done

During three months, Loods13, has worked with 22 refugees with a status to become a Dutch inhabitant, for two days a week for a theatre performance. The refugees play with a lot of patience, trust and perseverance ultimately in the theatre or they work behind the scenes, something they often never have done. They may choose what they want to do, play theatre, cook, to work with lights and tech for the theatre play. Loods13 thinks the process is more important than the end product (the performance), but the artistic quality of the performance is great. The theatrical development of the participants is equal to their personal development. Another important thing is that the theatre atelier really integrates into the entire civic integration program of the municipality of Hoogeveen, so knowledge, experiences and successes are included in the follow-up process of the integration.

The whole project is part of their integration trajectory: this was an internship for them.

The theatre performance is visited by 400 visitors during four open rehearsals, and at the end of the period another 300 visitors attended the three end performances. The public from Hoogeveen got to know the refugees in a special way and also receive a great introduction with location theatre for the first time.

20 Persons from Hoogeveen and 20 persons from Syria were linked to each other, and worked together in a so called ‘language-tandem’.

The municipality of Hoogeveen and Loods13 organised a meeting for stakeholders of the municipality in the working field of refugees.

The success of this project depended on the inspiration and patience of the cultural professionals and the equivalent position from which they collaborate with the refugees.

How this delivers on the goals described as ‘bridging social capital’

The refugees get the opportunity to learn new skills, to learn Dutch and to meet new people in this project. The ‘gap’ between inhabitants of Hoogeveen and the new inhabitants becomes smaller by this project.

How this relates specifically to the theme of the compendia

The project aims specifically at the new inhabitants, former refugees, of Hoogeveen. They want to make new connections between the Dutch people and the people from Syria.

Two cultures combine in this project.

Casestudy 3: Brunnenpassage, Vienna, Austria


By Aron Weigl, EDUCULT (Austria)

Background of the project

The building of the Brunnenpassage

The first example of an intercultural best practice chosen is the Brunnenpassage. It is an example of a Viennese cultural institution focused on co-creation and intercultural dialogue. This cultural organization in Vienna makes intercultural activities aimed towards segregated population groups. All of the activities are free; the participants encounter professionals and co-create with them. The range of the activities is wide: from classes, to workshop, to exhibitions from the participants.

The ArtSocialSpace Brunnenpassage was founded 2007 and is a laboratory and venue for transcultural and participatory arts. Each year more than 400 events take place in the venue, which is situated in the heart of a functioning street market in the outlying 16th district of Vienna, offering a manifold program of contemporary art in the genres of dance, music, theatre and film. All events are free to the public. It is a learning space where people can come into contact with each other. Artistic quality and political goals are combined to create new collective spaces for a heterogenic audience. As a model ArtSocialSpace, Brunnenpassage initiates numerous cooperations with large cultural institutions in the city, as the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Burgtheater and Weltmuseum Wien.

It is funded by a mix of public, private supporters, voluntary donations and sponsors. The organisation responsible for Brunnenpassage is Caritas Vienna. Based on the funding, the structure mixes bottom-up and top-down approach to sustain economically.

What they have done

The institution promotes diversity as well as access to art and culture. For this access, activities are free and co-creative. The participants design activities and interact with professionals or volunteers. The institution proposes a wide-range of activities. The institution organizes both “non-binding” workshops (without registration) and workshops with groups formed, towards an artistic goal in a period of time. As it is shown through the list of activities, Brunnenpassage focuses on non-verbal activities (dance, music…) but not only. The institution also has a multilingual approach, visible by its website in several languages, the activities are mostly in German but advertising is made in English, Turkish, and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian. The institution lists the language spoken by the team members as Albanian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Dari, Georgian, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovakian, Spanish and Turkish.

The main co-creative activities are:

  • In Music:

The organization has a choir (Brunnenchor) opened to all ages and all nationalities. The choir repeats every Thursday and but also perform on several occasions. Next to this, Brunnenpassage proposes several workshops, managed and guided by professional artists; such as “Stimm Dich ein” (open voice training), “Klangpassage” (instrument building, musical improvisation, experimentation with musical instruments), “Klangfabrik Mundraum” (human beatboxing).

  • In Dance:

Just as for music, Brunnenpassage has a dance group that is preparing a choreography, in order to later perform it. They created one class for youth and one for adults. Next to this group, there is an open dance workshop (Saturdance), which presents new dance styles every week, without any dance experience requisite.

  • In “Storytelling”:

These programs are conducted either in Brunnenpassage or in schools. The events are in German, but some of them are designed to help children improve their language skills. The program “Offene Erzählsession” is a story sharing activity, where people can share their own stories or listen to the others.

Other types:

The Brunnenpassage organizes a monthly breakfast, in which people bring their food and the organization furnish beverages.

Next to the co-creative activities, Brunnenpassage also have more traditional activities. For example, concerts are organized; storytellers are invited, or movies are projected. 

How this delivers on the goals described as ‘bridging social capital’

The activity “Klang Forum”

The intercultural dimension of the Brunnenpassage seems to be fostered by its openness. The place, the communication and the multilingualism of the staff makes it a good example of an intercultural initiative.

The activities are flexible: they are often changing, and do not require specific knowledge. Consequently, it can assess different cultures (example of dance) easily; with an emphasis on non-verbal activities (consequently more opened to non-German speakers).

Overall, an importance given to reaching different groups seems to be making the Brunnenpassage successful. First, it is done through face-to-face marketing, but also with collaboration with local actors (associations etc.) and with activities moved to specific neighbourhoods.

How this relates specifically to the theme of the compendia

The institution emphasizes the role of art for expressing one-self, and the lack of access of traditional subsidized art institutions in Vienna.

The location of the activities shows the transparency of the institution: it consists in exterior glass walls. The building complex is a hall with adjacent offices, originally meant to be a market hall. It is still located in a market (Brunnenmarkt, Vienna’s longest street market), in a neighbourhood characterized by his high percentage of people with migration backgrounds and socially disadvantages residents.

The institution also developed activities outside of its location named “Brunnenpassage on the Road”. With it, it can reach other districts, social spaces, based on the needs of the users. The KunstMobil’s purpose (a truck with a stage) is to move in Vienna to places with less cultural offer.

The Theater Projekt of the Brunnenpassage

The Brunnenpassage developed a face-to-face marketing strategy, giving only a small amount of flyers. They invite directly “specific members of certain communities” in order to have a more diversified audience. This diversifying goal is also reached through cooperation with local cultural associations, initiatives for migrants, as well as networking with local politicians, places of worship and youth centres.

When hiring new team members, Brunnenpassage focused on their artistic quality as well as their community work stills, their capacity to reach diverse target groups. The institution tries as well to promote migrant artists. Next to the team, the institution possesses a group of volunteers.


Case Study 4: SOHO in Ottakring, Vienna, Austria

By Aron Weigl, EDUCULT (Austria)

Background of the project

SOHO in Ottakring is a festival organized in the 16th district of Vienna. It is implemented in a working class area of the city, next to the Brunnenmarkt, just like the first case study Brunnenpassage. In this area of 8000 inhabitants, 40% have a migrant background. It describes its focus as:

“SOHO in Ottakring focuses on aspects such as urban living and development, artistic intervention and interaction in the local environment and public life.”

SOHO in Ottakring – 2014

One of the main themes of the festival is the re-interpretation of public space (even though it has other themes that change yearly; its programme is composed mainly of workshops, exhibitions, theatre and performances, film, cuisine and concert. This festival is describing itself as “socially and politically engaged”.

The project started in 1999, as an annual festival, to become biennial in 2011. SOHO in Ottakring is two weeks long. The festival is anchored in its neighbourhood “Sandleiten”, a part of the 16th district composed mainly of public housing, representative of the 20th century “Red Vienna”. This neighbourhood is facing the changing society issue; it has been built in the beginning of the 20th century in order to create housing space for the growing working class, and is now, since 2006, opened to non-EU immigrants residing in Austria for less than 5 years. 

What they have done

The festival includes the audience by interactive arts; that aimed at “getting involved”. For example, several programmes of the festival identified can be acknowledged as co-creative.

The festival organized events named “stffwchsl Werkstatt”, in which professional artists from different disciplines open their “artistic practice” to the visitors, who dialogue with them. Audiences participate and consequently co-create the final work of art, which is taken as a process instead of a finished product from the artist to the audience.

SOHO in Ottakring – stffwchsl Werkstatt, 2018

Another co-creative practice that could be mentioned is “Mangels Überfluss”. This artistic project consist in the opening of a temporary café (Café Mangel), based on donations from the audience, on the basis of the neighbours’ donations (the coordinators gave the example of “asking the neighbours for e.g. eggs”). During the festival, the public constructs its own space in common use.  The programme and the space of Café Mangel are constantly adapted to who is present and what the present people want.

The festival also presents an exhibition engaging local community. Through the duration of a temporary museum (for the duration of the festival), the inhabitants of Ottakring can expose photos of objects and stories. The aim of the “Chamber of Marvels in the Sand Castle” is to include the audience, the inhabitants of the neighbourhood in the cultural offer, in a bottom-up approach, at the opposite to the “Treasure Room” of the Imperial Palace in Vienna, example of a top-down approach.

SOHO in Ottakring also presents more traditional activities, such as various exhibitions, installations, projections. Nevertheless, it keeps this grassroots identity by continuously including the participants’ perspective. For example in 2018, through the events “Am Rand: Die Stadt – Wien in privaten Filmen”, SOHO in Ottakring presented Vienna with private films, gathered from people (cell phone videos, Youtube clips).

This inclusion of different perspectives makes it intercultural, especially based in a multi-cultural place of the city, aiming at bridging different backgrounds through the co-creative activities. The activities prove as well that co-creation can take other forms than only workshops or volunteering; in a more traditional setting (projections, exhibitions) different cultures can be voiced. This approach is truly bottom-up and shape the activities based on the user needs, as they present themselves the outputs (films, stories, objects) through the structure of the festival.

How this delivers on the goals described as ‘bridging social capital’

SOHO in Ottakring promotes social inclusion through a strong link to its neighbourhood. It is an example of a bottom-up practice by the fostering of local inhabitants’ participation. It is then an illustration of a successful multi-perspective/narrative festival; by constantly referring to the various perceptions of the neighbourhood inhabitants.

It puts a strong emphasis on public space, which can be used as a tool for intercultural good practice, as it is linked to the local population needs.

How this relates specifically to the theme of the compendia

SOHO in Ottakring is attached to its neighbourhood: several programs linked to the inhabitants, the local community, are organized to present the history of the area. For example, in 2013 through the Working Conversations, experts from history, sociology, architecture and art combined with residents as “local experts” presented Sandleiten.

The themes of the festival are based on today’s societal issues. In 2018, the festival addresses the question of democracy, its link with community, social justice; in this context, the festival believes in its role of art to gather society:

“When a democratically organized, “safe” world feels threatened and a nation state is caught in the whirlwind of world events, the neo-liberal system reveals its destructive force. Under the cover of democracy, it continues its path of human exploitation and resource destruction – in a post-colonial tradition, as long as it may.

In this context, working on the community has a special significance. The commitment of Civil Society is essential for solidarity and social cohesion. The power of solidarity experienced during the “refugee crisis” in the fall months of 2015 is an example.

In small steps and with patience, trust and the desire for sharing must grow again. The creative potentials of art can provide a concrete impetus for new forces to unfold.”

From SOHO in Ottakring description of the festival’s theme





Case Study 5: The Association for Cultural Projects, Denmark

By Bente von Schindel, KSD (Denmark)

Background of the project and who was involved

The Association for Cultural Projects (FFPP) was created by immigrants in the municipality of Fredensborg on the basis that the Danish culture associations are not “immediately understandable for children and adults with an immigrant background”. The association would like to change that by starting an association for emigrants and then more and more work with the local cultural councils and their member associations, so that the result would be, that the immigrant would end up being members of Danish associations.

The association describes itself with the following keywords for the goals and activities it stands for:

  • Being a part of the cultural center
  • Being a part of the Youth school
  • Start visiting services to the elderly in order to make them join the cultural associations
  • Start “Social Girls”
  • Being homework helpers
  • Giving language stimulation
  • Arrange singing and vocal training for young girls
  • Arrange singing and vocal training for young boys
  • Arrange common dining
  • Arrange the Eid Festival
  • Arrange lan parties and evening-plays for young people

It can also be mentioned that the association actively participates in the “Together and Different” event organised by the local cultural council once a year. 

How this delivers on the goals described as ‘bridging social capital’

The association will:

  • Cooperate with the cultural council of Fredensborg
  • Participate actively in debates and events that relate to the members’ terms in the Municipality of Fredensborg
  • Gather the immigrant and the Danish families about useful activities for body and mind
  • Contribute to creating greater security (locally) with less violence, vandalism and crime
  • End up being members of Danish associations 



One of the projects that the association has faced deals with help for young people, so they engage more in voluntary work. At meetings for local youth they are informed about what an association is – what are the articles of an association, what does the treasurer do, what does the work of the individual board members consist of etc.

At the meetings you also deal with issues like coaching and the challenges that may arise. The questions are examined in the form of quizzes, tests, etc., for which young people participate actively.

It may be difficult for Newcomers to engage in volunteering. You meet many new and different people and form relationships that you are not used to. Being a volunteer has its own challenges and dilemmas and it can be difficult at first to be all by yourself. The meetings therefore provide some tools that can push the participants in the right direction and that can help the target group to better integrate into voluntary work, whether it’s social or cultural.

Girls and speakers

Most of the participants in the activities are local young girls. The girls are undoubtedly motivated via their network in, among other things, the group “Social Girls”. The two lecturers from Palestine are both work in coaching. 

About the project 


To create an association for immigrants in order to give them knowledge of the work and the culture in Danish associations.


Create an association in ´the Danish way` which is democratic elections of boards and activities decided by the participants themselves.


The local cultural center which has access for everyone.


Immigrants and citizens in the municipality of Fredensborg

How this delivers on the goals described as ‘bridging social capital’

The target is determined to be that immigrants and Danes will be members of the same association.

How this relates specifically to the theme of the compendia (Inter-cultural)

  • Members are not forced to only cultivate Danish culture
  • The multi culture is in front




Case Study 6: Cultural Kaleidoscope, Denmark

By Bente von Schindel, KSD (Denmark)

Background of the project

Museum of art, Trapholt, in the Danish town Kolding has through one year completed a dissemination project called “Culture’s Kaleidoscope”. The project should provide knowledge of the foreign cultures found in Kolding, and what dreams, resources and experiences the multicultural Kolding holds, but which the public does not know. The motivation for the project has been a curiosity after hearing what new citizens from other countries want to tell and how they, with their cultural experiences, look at Danish art. The result is three exhibitions created by migrants in Kolding – a result that tells important stories from the newcomers’ life in Denmark, while showing new ways of perceiving what art can and should be used for. The meeting between the groups and the art creates something new and interesting. Art can be seen and experienced in many ways.

Who is involved and what they have done

The focal point of the project has been the art and which stories it hides and the art at the museum is used as an approach to foreign cultures and customs.The exhibition series shows the results of a project where three different groups of newcomers in Kolding through art tell about their everyday lives, wishes and dreams. The art becomes a speaker of the participants’ stories. As you can see through a kaleidoscope, the art opens up to new shades and interpretations that do not involve art history and styles but the participants’ interpretations of themselves, their culture and their perception of Denmark. The newcomers have looked at the museum’s paintings and sculptures to tell their personal stories. They come with other life experiences and other aesthetic experiences and have not grown up with the Danish culture tradition. The newcomers have chosen a number of works based on a self-chosen topic in relation to their cultural background. They combine and put the works together in a new way, creating a new and interesting tale about them.

I Danmark er jeg ikke født, der har jeg hjemme – In Denmark I wasn’t born, but I’m at home[1] 

In the first exhibition “In Denmark I wasn’t born, but I’m at home” the stories are the same, even though the participants have been in Denmark from 2-25 years.

How is it to follows your love to Denmark, leaving your country, your family, your language and everything you know to go into deep water in a new culture?

Four women from Germany, Ireland, France and the United States open the first show in the series. Common to the women is that they have married Danish men and have come to know each other at a school in Kolding.

The French woman says about the project: “The art is a very international media and a good platform to speak from. It gives me the confidence to know that there are some artists before me who have formulated the same feelings as I have. ”

A woman has chosen the painting “Evening in father’s studio”, painted in 1919 by a famous Danish female painter, Helga Ancher. She tells about cohesion with the painting: “It was a bit of a shock to come to Denmark and find out that I could not use my master’s degree from France. It was a big shock indeed. So I had to train myself again. So in the evening while everyone was asleep, I was sitting at the old desk, which we inherited from my husband’s family, and did my homework.”

The exhibition brings guests a colorful expedition through the women’s interesting but also challenging journey to Denmark. As in an adventure, the journey begins with an expectation of exciting and enchanted experiences in the new Danish country. But along the way, a couple of obstacles emerge where the feeling of being an elephant in a porcelain store and being a stranger in both the new and the old world affects them all. Despite the obstacles, women find the right track, and the journey ends with the comment “In Denmark I’m at home”.

There is a (new) lovely country[2]

What happens to one’s personality and identity when you have to leave your country of birth and move to a new country with a completely different culture? How does the ancient culture unite with the culture of the new lovely (?) country? Three new Danes from Kolding have a suggestion for that art in the exhibition “There is a new lovely country”.

Three folk school teachers from Kolding with roots in Bosnia, Lebanon/Palestine and Greenland have been discovering in Trapholt’s art collection and found works that illustrate their lives in Denmark. Despite the different educational backgrounds of the three teachers, Trapholt’s paintings become a common starting point for their individual and collective tales about the journey to the “new lovely country” called Denmark.

A man from Bosnia says about the project: “At first, I was a little afraid to say something wrong because I do not know much about art. But I have discovered that art also speaks directly to one without you need to know something. It has surprised me how some of the paintings speak to me and can put pictures on my life.”

The Danish painter, Niels Macholm’s picture, “Red Wood”, is one of the artworks that has been selected for this exhibition, and has opened up new interpretations. A woman from Lebanon/Palestine, who has chosen the work, says: “The cultural identity is prominent in the picture because there are many symbols. The moon is very Islamic. The church symbolises Denmark. The door is reminiscent of Arabian gates. And the roads and arrows act to find a way between the two cultures.”

At the opening of the exhibition, cultural events were offered, including Arabic belly and chain dance, Greenlandic kangaroo, Bosnian music and folk dance as well as tastes of ethnic delicacies. 

The bell is ringing for New Year’s celebration[3]

Afghanistan is a country of celebration, colors and strong traditions – especially around 21 March, where the Afghan New Year, Nowruz, is celebrated. The Afghans New Year was celebrated at the Trapholt Art Museum through the exhibition “It is ringing for New Year’s celebration” where five Afghan women told of the tradition-rich feast through the museum’s paintings and sculptures.

The five Afghan women who reside in Kolding celebrate the colorful, Afghan New Year with the exhibition.

The meeting with the Afghan women gives insight into and shows new sides of Afghan culture, revealing that spring, the color green and seven dinner dishes, all starting with the letter “s” play an important role. This is all told through the museum’s art.

The Afghan-born woman tells us what it meant for her to be able to tell about her culture and the Afghan New Year through the art: “It has made it easier to express the things we would like to tell about our new year. One of the paintings that has been selected for the exhibition is “The Gardener” by the Danish/Finnish painter Seppo Mattinen. The Afghan-born woman explains why:

“His painting is a symbol of New Year in Afghanistan because agriculture is preparing for its crop in March when the New Year and spring begins.”

At the opening of the exhibition, cultural events were offered – including Afghan music and folk dance.


The purpose of the project was to make the public aware of the many nationalities and cultures that exist in the municipality of Kolding, that art is universal, and which dreams, resources and experiences you can find in the intercultural.


During one year Trapholt completed the dissemination project Culture’s Kaleidoscope consisting of 3 exhibitions in order to get an insight into the cultures, found in Kolding.


The art museum Trapholt in Kolding has invited a number of volunteer migrants to look at the museum’s paintings and sculptures to tell their personal stories.


The exhibitions took place at the Kunstmuseum Trapholt in Kolding, where a large room was dedicated for the purpose. The works of the museum of art were used.


All – but special citizens in Kolding.

How this delivers on the goals described as ‘bridging social capital’

The collaboration has worked well and many have made it possible for art to be interpreted in many ways and put into many different contexts. That despite the diversity there are many similarities when it comes to considering a work of art.

The cooperation between volunteer immigrants, the public and museum staff has been exemplary in terms of bridging between different cultures. 

How this relates specifically to the theme of the compendia (here: Inter-cultural)

The project is inter-cultural because

  • Many nationalities are part of it together with the people from the Art Museum of Trapholt (employed and volunteers).
  • The contributing migrants have had the opportunity to view and interpret Danish art based on their own prerequisites, thus telling their own personal immigrant history.

The project was supported by The Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration and the Heritage Agency.

[1] Title of a Danish song

[2] The title of the Danish national hymn is “There is a lovely country”

[3] Title of a Danish song