Sharing Knowledge

Advice on and research into gender and diversity

Policy-makers, journalists, producers and programme makers, and academics, too, are key players in society and as such they are, whether they like it or not, participants in processes of sensemaking and power imbalance. These processes have a gender dimension and also relate to ethnicity, sexuality, class, and age. The researchers at Utrecht University are specialised in gender and post-colonial studies and are able to show how these processes (unintentionally) intervene in policy proposals, texts, and images. They do this, for example, when companies or NGOs seek to appeal to new target groups or to find out how they can communicate more effectively with a diverse audience.

Projects
‘Je hebt een kleur, maar je bent Nederlands’ (‘You are coloured, but you are Dutch’): research for Stichting Adoptievoorzieningen Utrecht (‘Adoption Services Foundation’)

The ‘anniversary’ of the Adoption Act fell in the autumn of 2006, and in early 2007 this prompted a debate in various Dutch media outlets about the current arguments surrounding international adoption in relation to the various interests and perspectives of the parties involved in the adoption process. At the heart of this debate is the perceived universal interests of the child involved in international adoption, as formulated in The Hague Adoption Convention of 1993.  According to the convention, international adoption offers children who are unable to grow up in their own family, culture, or country the opportunity to grow up in an adoptive family. In the research project titled ‘Je hebt een kleur, maar je bent Nederlands’ (‘You are coloured, but you are Dutch’), Professor Emeritus Gloria Wekker, Dr Iris van der Tuin, Dr Cecilia Åsberg, and Nathalie Frederiks asked what or whose interests are served by the historic practice of international adoption.

The patronage of the future

The recession and the banking crisis have resulted in a sharp decrease in sponsorship of the arts since 2008. In response to this development a research project was launched on behalf of Stichting Geven voor Cultuur, to see whether the tide can be turned, at least partly, if cultural organisations were to enter into partnerships with businesses. If so, what form would this take? To what extent can the so-called autonomous arts learn from (partly) service-based art forms, such as fashion, design, and gaming? And which areas of the arts need alternative sources of funding, like patronage or crowdfunding?