Posts Tagged 'Conference'

Conference in Pictures

Images from the Conference

We’ve been busy taking pictures at the Intercultural Cities conference. Some of the best are on Flickr here:

If you also have pictures to share, please upload them to and tag them with “interculturalcities” and other relevant tags. Enjoy!



Conversations with Conference delegates

2. Bhikhu Parekh

“Multi-culturalism has been a great success in India and Canada. In Britain it served us well in the 1980s and 1990s but it took a slightly disturbing trend when it became a way of supporting minorities that meant we couldn’t criticise. The Rushdie affair played a big part in that shift because the country was so shaken. White society didn’t want to create problems even though the Muslim community were perfectly prepared to hear criticism, but we created a climate where ‘hands off minority communities’ became the common policy…

“I would say multi-culturalism has been fairly successful policy, but it certainly needs changing. Every 10 or 15 years we need to take another look at it and move in the direction of a more responsible culture; a version of multi-culturalism which is open to common values.

“I don’t know what Inter-culturalism means. If it means we want people to be talking to each other, my immediate question is that they do that anyway.

“It could be a step backwards towards assimilation, because interculturalism could be another form of mono-culturalism, which is ‘We will not tolerate differences because we want everyone to be talking and engaging in dialogue.’

“So if you have a person who is perfectly happy to say ‘I live in my tradition and I am happy to interact with other people, meet them in market-places, cinemas, sport grounds, but by and large I live my life in my own tradition,’ the Interculturalist would say: “Oh you blighted man, we’ll have to come and civilise you.”

As someone from India I know the danger of a ‘civilising mission’ and we should avoid that. Interculturalism, in my opinion, could be very claustrophobic.”

Intercultural Photos

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