Mauricio Delfín is the founder of Realidad Visual, a Peruvian organization which occupies itself with the promotion of media art and the development of cultural policy. With the slogan + cultura – pobreza (more culture, less poverty) he launched at the beginning of 2009. For the Prince Claus Fund he makes a report about the 4th World Summit on Arts and Culture (Johannesburg, 22-25 September 2009).

Mauricio Delfín: "Peru is ready for in-depth investments in culture"

September 2009 -

"Cultural production in Peru, in which the government is scarcely involved, is fragmented and inarticulate. The programme, part of, launched early in 2009, is therefore intended to result in an active social network. With the help of a content management system, independent cultural production in Peru will first be mapped, after which it will be possible to supply information about cultural activities and to stimulate cooperation among organisations and artists", says Delfín.

Mauricio Delfín

"For some time now there have been discussions in Peru about the relationship between culture, policy and development. In August 2009 the National Institute for Culture, in cooperation with the Spanish Development service AECID, launched the campaign Culture is not a luxury. The premise is actually the umpteenth repeat of something that we all have agreed on for a long time. Moreover, too few people from the cultural sector are involved in the campaign, which I believe is not in keeping with the broad, public objectives of that campaign."

"It cannot be denied, of course, that the campaign is sending a positive message that will make a certain sector start to think differently about culture. I am afraid nevertheless that this is a publicity campaign that will trigger little structural change. There are not many people who have the capacity to bring change through culture. In that respect, culture is rather exclusive by nature. This is why Peru is ready for more fundamental, extensive investments that will actually bring about social integration. It is therefore important to articulate general interests via art and culture, in order to stimulate gradual processes of change."

"Let me make a comparison with Brazil, where the Lula government launched the campaign Vale Cultura not so long ago. The Brazilian government is using this to stimulate a broad consumption of art and culture by subsidising 'cultural gift certificates' together with the business sector for families with a low income. An important detail is that these families must also contribute a small sum. Thus the inhabitants are asked to make a minimal investment, but in exchange they receive books, films, tickets to the circus, all kinds of things. In that case it is truly a mechanism that will lead to social integration through the production and consumption of culture."