Demographic change inevitably means cultural change, and challenges that nowadays resonate widely across borders. They bring up complex and vital questions – if human rights can conflict with national coherence. If ’multiculturalism’ was ’a mistake’, or if it has been misinterpreted. If group rights differ from individual rights.

Naseem Khan has worked with many international working parties, and contributed to and chaired many conferences and seminars. Topics have ranged from the broad (globalisation, social inclusion) to the specific (new definitions of heritage, ways of forming community partnerships).

As Head of Diversity at Arts Council England, she was responsible for formulating a national policy for cultural diversity, in conjunction with artists and funding officers in the regions. An action plan resulted and a series of major international conferences that sought to place diversity in the broader context of social and international change. ’Whose Heritage?’ with Stuart Hall’s ground-breaking keynote (reprinted in ’The Politics of Heritage’) generated energetic developments within the museums sector itself.

She has explored ideas around theories of ’Super-Diversity’; for Iniva (International Institute of Visual Arts) in early 2010, and suggested an important distinction between social diversity policy and cultural diversity policy, for Kirklees Council (2010). She chaired an opening session of the EU’s Year of Intercultural Diversity’ in Ljubljana (2009) and the Victoria and Albert Museum’s conference, ’From the Margins to the Mainstream’ (2009)

Policy work:
UK representative on the Council of Europe’s transversal study of cultural diversity and cultural policy, 1999-2003.
- Member of UK official delegation to UNESCO’s World Summit on Culture, Stockholm 1997.
- Drew up framework for the Mayor of London’s Commission on African and Asian Heritage, London 2003-4.
- Chair for Arts Council of Wales consultation day on diversity policy in Wales, Cardiff, 2003.
- Speaker/chair: ‘Citizenship and Globalisation’, Deakin University, Australia. Dec 2002; Runnymede’s ‘Community Cohesion’, London 2002;
- European Forum for Arts and Heritage annual assembly, Berlin 2003.
- Summing up Chair for Arts Council England’s international carnival conference, London 2003.
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