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The Cultural Profiles are online country guides to the arts, media and heritage, published by Visiting Arts, the national agency from Great Britain, which promotes the flow of international arts into the UK, and develops international cultural relations.
The Cultural Profile is not only directed at culture producers, mediators, artists, and cultural institutions in order to promote international exchange and cooperation, but also at the general public interested in such information. The profiles will be drawn up, most of all, for countries where significant changes are taking place.
In 2003, commissioned by Visiting Arts, Linda Mazur traveled a large portion of Afghanistan, interviewing artists and the staff members of institutions. She made an inventory of the country’s culture, which cataloged the state of affairs in every artistic area, highlighting current possibilities and deficits. As emphasized by Cultural Profiles' editor Tim Doling: "The role which culture can play in reconstruction and development is often underestimated by economists and agencies. It is often forgotten that in the daily lives of the people living in adversity, culture is a constant and reviving presence, both healing and interpretative. Artists are often the most eloquent commentators on their people's situation.”
Supported with funds from British Council, the Afghanistan Cultural Profile was launched in October 2004. It includes:
- Introduction to Afghanistan
Background information about the country; its history, economy, people, government, language, religions and education system.
- Cultural overviews and directories
Summaries of each cultural sector with descriptions of key institutions and agencies including contact details.
Faced with the continual changes in the country, one hopes that the Cultural Profile on Afghanistan will soon be brought up to date as well as regularly updated. Egypt and Lebanon are among the next countries to receive a country profile.
Afghanistan Cultural Profile
Managing Editor, Visiting Arts Cultural Profiles