Text topic: Studies
Text author: Милена Драгићевић Шешић
This text is a compilation of entries from a research diary created during field research in Cambodia (summer 2012). The objective of the project was to strengthen the system of governance for culture in Cambodia, complying with international trends specifically regarding the UNESCO Convention on the Promotion and Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The mission has tried to accomplish its goals using many research methods from observations to interviews, but also applying “action research methodology” by raising many questions, provoking expressions of needs and interest of local authorities as well as civil society and the professional sector in culture. The aim was to develop participative actions to enhance further development of ideas and concepts related to cultural development. This text is not an analysis, it is a research diary which documented interviews, visits, observation and other methods of collecting data, with first impressions about cultural situations and cultural potentials of Cambodia. As the expert task was to assist Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to prepare the grounds for development of cultural sector, paying special attention to development of performing arts (which in Cambodia include mostly traditional performing art forms) and crafts, this diary, although shortened, gives insight into crucial moments of the research mostly linked to policy discussions. The specific objectives which could be read “between the lines” were attempts of two researchers (Vesna Čopič and Milena Dragićević Šešić) to help the Ministry redefine the position and role of culture in society; to provide cultural policy recommendations for empowerment of cultural policy effectiveness; to identify institutional and human resources in order to enhance its creative potentials; to suggest reform of arts education and educational system in the country through inter-ministerial cooperation; and to provide recommendations for strengthening the sector - raising professionalism and entrepreneurialism through capacity building programs.