Cultural Mobility 2 : Taking those first steps
The dream is the easy part
You know why you want to travel. (if you don’t, read part one of the series to understand why this is the very first question that needs answering)
Now for the practicalities.
While biggest question that tends to enter everyone’s mind is “how on earth am I going to afford this”, there are even more issues to address; the administrative process, the language issue, the time difference, the cultural shock, what information you need and where to get it, the time required before, during and after the project (for instance to catch up with your other projects), to name a few.
Stay calm, breathe into a paper bag if you need to. This series attempts to help you prepare for these challenges by breaking them down and addressing them individually. In addition, it’s important to keep a positive outlook. When things start to feel overwhelming, remember that the reward for all this groundwork is incalculable. In addition to the unforgettable experience, you will likely come away with new inspiration for your artistic practice, an expanded network, invitations for collaborations, and more potential for your work to travel even further abroad.
Getting to know the ‘how’
So next step is to start exploring the ‘how’. This short list of three pre-pre-preparations will make everything else you need to do go much more smoothly.
- Start close to home with what and who you know. Discuss your ideas with your friends, colleagues, friends of friends in your artists’ (extended) community. Get feedback from who already know something of the country, region, festival, event, etc. that you’ve set your sights on.
- Get to know platforms, online information resources that may help facilitate your research. (Yes, we will be giving you some ideas in later instalments)
- Have your project well-documented. This is especially important when you approach international resources platforms (in case they provide tailor made services of information sharing) and / or funders. Don’t assume everyone is familiar with your country, the context of your project and work. Not all people are familiar about Malaysia (as you may not be familiar with countries like Hungary or Estonia in Europe) but this is why such international projects are important for cultural diversity.
This series was prepared in partnership with On the Move, a cultural mobility information network active in Europe and worldwide.