Global Cultural Relations Programme
7 Jun 2022

How was your GCRP experience? Testimonials from our alumni.

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The Global Cultural Relations Programme (GCRP) is our flagship training programme and aims to connect cultural professionals from all over the globe. The programme is designed for cultural and creative practitioners with an interest and experience in international collaboration. It develops participants’ skills and supports them to engage in international cultural relations through tailored peer-to-peer learning, cross-cultural collaboration and global networking. The key objectives of the GCRP are knowledge sharing and community building

What is it like to take part?

The testimonials below look back at the fifth edition of the Global Cultural Relations Programme (GCRP) in 2022, in Istanbul, Turkey. Get to know how participants benefited from the experience!

“GCRP was a unique and powerful opportunity to meet talented people working around culture in very different parts of the world. The program was helpful in knocking down barriers and finding creative ways to communicate what is important in our different contexts and build values and pathways collectively.

The program brought us together, gave us great tools, and since then, we’ve been finding ways to strengthen what was built. It’s like having eyes in different parts of the world to build a better understanding for your work locally. I’ve even started collaborating with some of my peers on projects! Thank you to the GCRP team for all the hard work, it was an amazing and eye-opening experience.”

Isabel Gil

GCRP participant 2022, Mexico

“The Global Cultural Relations Program is unique in its structure and how it unites a great number of people from different parts of the world! The GCRP provided an incredible opportunity to understand this world better and more closely through the prism of creative and talented people. In a short but very intense period, within a very friendly atmosphere, you come to the understanding that we are all concerned about the same problems (lack of funds in the field of culture, conflicts, oppression, corruption).

However, despite all these issues each of us in different parts of the world continue to believe in the power of art and culture, no matter what, to make this world kinder and more beautiful. This program inspires and makes it clear that we are not alone in our aspirations! Furthermore, it is important to mention that the structure of the trainings and the way in which it was organized was truly democratic! The GCRP team created favorable conditions for generating our own ideas, discussions and initiatives! GCRP  inspires, triggers dialogue, and unites!”

Gunesh Khodjakuli

GCRP participant 2022, Uzbekistan

“The GCRP2022 was not just an international meeting point where people from various backgrounds had the chance to exchange, it was a place of the heart. It felt somewhat like a crossroads leading up to something new and fresh. I retain a myriad of feelings from this experience, of joy but also certainty. After two confusing years of the pandemic, this was much needed to reconnect with the world, echo previously hibernating ideas and genuinely set the anchor in a relevant network.”

Mohamed Biyjeddiguene

GCRP participant 2022, Morocco

“It is hard to summarize the GCRP experience in only a few sentences because it had such a great impact on many different levels. I found it inspiring to reflect on power dynamics and my role and responsibility in international cultural collaborations, and I loved to meet people with whom I can fight together for equity between the global north & global south in cultural cooperations. And as a result, I have one sentence stuck in my mind from a panel discussion: we don’t need another toolkit for fair cooperation, we just need to start changing things in practice. And that is my mission now, which I try to implement at work and in everyday life.  I am grateful that I have met all these inspiring people at the GCRP and looking forward to the next meeting.”

Nele Tast

GCRP participant 2022, Germany

“Coming to GCRP to mingle with so many people after two home-bound years due to the pandemic, I simply did not know what to expect. It was all driven by a pure desire to make friends and to learn from cultural professional peers, and their diverse cultural backgrounds. Within a short time I found myself at ease in the company of very like-able people, gaining snippets of life, in far-away countries that I myself had never thought of setting foot in, and discovering common musical interests in spite of our linguistic differences. We enjoyed being present for each other through dancing or shared walks to discover the beautiful city of Istanbul and its people. Aided by the array of activities that GCRP brought in to facilitate the conversations, we have collectively defined our own culture of international collaboration, one that is based on mutual respect, understanding, learning and a common desire to work better and more equitably together. I am forever grateful to GCRP for facilitating these lifelong intercultural connections and look forward to seeing its fruits in the future.”

Mai Nguyen

GCRP participant 2022, Vietnam

“Listen! The GCRP2022 was life changing for me, and I mean it with every fiber of my being! Meeting all of the participants from 39 other countries not only broadened my perspective about culture, it also broadened ME as a person/individual. Everyday we can be so focused on our own small part of the world that these sorts of platforms are crucial to help in our expansion.

We learned not only through the well designed workshops but also through conversations with each other. This was my opportunity to form close ties with people from all over the globe and I’m so glad I was selected. I know how many great things will be born after this trip and one is already underway.

I am left filled with gratitude, curiosity, confidence but also a lot of possibilities.

The best gift I received, of course after the wonderful people I met, is this quote: “Ask what you need, and give it to yourself”.

Dominique Uwase Alonga

GCRP participant 2022, Rwanda


Find out more about the programme here.

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