With their newly-found independence, central Asian countries want to reconstruct their identities and reinterpret their histories. In this regard, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan consider Art and Culture a powerful tool for conveying these values.
Switzerland recognizes Art and Culture as an important component of good governance. It actually considers supporting cultural activities as an integral and indispensable part of development. The Regional Art and Culture Programme covering both regional and national projects is implemented by the Swiss Cooperation Offices in Dushanbe, Bishkek and Tashkent.
Switzerland has successfully supported cultural projects in Central Asia since 1998. This assistance was formalised in 2007, when the SCO offices in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan launched the Central Asia Art and Culture programme (CAACP). Building on the vision of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, it has been an innovative, effective and context-adapted tool to promote universal values such as democratic principles, openness and diversity.
The programme promotes cultural diversity and showcases shared values, and is regarded as another way to help establish peaceful, inclusive and democratic societies.