Culture as a force for freedom, exploration and inclusion
Text: Amanda Lind, Sweden’s Minister for Culture
Why is culture important? Well, the concept is self-explanatory: culture exists, and it’s important for us as human beings. Culture exists in how we express ourselves – it is aesthetics, our language and our lifestyle. It is part of being human. Culture has to be a free, independent and exploratory force. As the Minister of Culture in Sweden, I see it as my task to protect the freedom of culture, to stand up for its intrinsic value and create the best possible conditions in which culture can grow.
An ambitious cultural policy creates opportunities in which cultural forms that might have a small audience today turn into a huge success tomorrow. It creates opportunities for the type of culture that might never be successful commercially, but which has a raison d’etre because of the force of its artistic value. It creates opportunities for a not-so-shy, maybe even provocative culture, but one which says something about the society in which we live.
Since culture is so vital for us as human beings, it has to be available to all. For me, as the Minister of Culture in a feminist government, it is obvious that I should work for equality between men and women in the cultural sphere. Sweden is one of the most equal countries in terms of equality between women and men, and this needs to be reflected in our cultural life, too. It is important for me and for the Swedish government that cultural heritage, performing arts, music, literature, crafts and other forms of culture are available to everyone in our beautiful and elongated land, on equal terms, regardless of who one is and where one comes from.
Sweden is a culturally rich land. Whether you are here as a tourist, you are visiting Sweden because of your work, or you live here, I do hope that you’ll take part in the multitude of cultural experiences that exist in our country.
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