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Cultures of We

One hundred years old, but really lively: Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) is presenting the fruits of its cultural endeavours in the form of exciting events in seven cities. Take part!

© ifa - CrossCulture Workshop

Like a champion, Biennale winner Anne Imhof held the “Golden Lion” aloft. What does that have to do with the ifa? The latter’s cultural endeavours are most spectacularly evident every two years in Venice, as on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office the ifa coordinates Germany’s country contribution to the International Art Exhibition.

Cultural exchange against crises, conflicts and war – that has for a century now been the ifa’s key mission. 

Cultural exchange to foster peace

This is only a small part of the very diverse and broadly networked international commitment. Many strands come together at the ifa head office in Stuttgart: Alongside cultural exchange, the ifa brokers discussions between civil society and government bodies, supports democracy, education and peace, and bestows a research prize.

Moreover, the ifa runs its own research programme on culture and foreign policy and is home to a wealth of information open to all: The ifa library is a unique scholarly library world-wide, covering foreign cultural and education policy. It contains over 430,000 volumes and 1,000 magazines.

For a sense of Us world-wide

This year, the ifa is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Founded in 1917, when the First World War was shattering Europe, in 2017 the institute finds itself operating in a period when tensions are fierce all over the globe. “The pressing issues of tomorrow, migration, wars, climate change and the impact of globalization, cannot be overcome nationally. They require viable multilateral cooperation.” That is the ifa message in its jubilee year – put in a nutshell: “Cultures of We”.

Decisive internships

The CrossCulture Programme (CCP) forms a key part of the ifa’s work. It enables committed young people to spend several months working in a different country. They experience the society, culture and working life of the host country and return home with those insights and new ideas. The focus is on exchanges between Germany and the Muslim world; in the course of the last 12 years a network of over 500 alumni from 35 countries has evolved. 

100 years of the ifa – Interview with Secretary General Ronald Grätz