Interview with Viola Karsten (Goethe-Institut Amsterdam)

Viola works in cultural programming, initiating ideas to stimulate intercultural exchange and build projects across diverse cultural mediums. Read on to find out all about role at the Goethe-Institut and how her work contributes to the wider EUNIC Netherlands network.

(image courtesy of © Janine Schrijver)

  1. What role do you play in your institute/embassy?

I work in the cultural program at the Goethe-Institut in Amsterdam, where I plan and coordinate cultural events and other projects that stimulate intercultural exchange. For this, I stay in close contact with local partners in the Netherlands and simultaneously keep an eye on cultural impulses from Germany. My job is very diversified, as I am involved in many different projects from different fields, which range from literature to music, theatre, and cultural – as well as political – discourses.

  1. How do you contribute to EUNIC?

As one of the EUNIC members, the Goethe-Institut is involved in different working groups. I am currently working on the European Literature Night, which will take place in June, and a program under the topic “Fair P(l)ay” for Europe Day on the 9th of May. Besides that, the Goethe-Institut holds this year’s presidency of EUNIC Netherlands.

  1. What is the best aspect of being a EUNIC Netherlands member?

What I most enjoy about being a member of EUNIC Netherlands, is the international environment, which enables us to design programs that include many different European perspectives. As a network, we can share resources and use our collective experience as Europeans. Together, we can set accents and carry topics into the world that are important to us. A good example is the great work of the Safer Space Working Group, which uses the combined knowledge and skills to make our programs more accessible, particularly for marginalized groups.