Resources > Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (IFA)
03 Jul 2011

Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (IFA)

The IFA(Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) is committed to a peaceful and enriching coexistence of people and cultures worldwide. It is promoting art and cultural exchange in exhibitions, dialogue and conference programs. As a competence centre for foreign cultural diplomacy, the ifa is connecting civil societies, cultural practices, art, media and science. It is initiating, moderating and documenting discussions on the international cultural relations.

IFA's Mission
The Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, ifa) promotes cultural exchange to assist peoples, nations and religions in learning from one another and living together peacefully. Cultures are changeable, movable and permeable, yet they are also conservative and restrictive. They can cause conflicts, but they can also transform and resolve conflicts.

Cultural exchange means commitment to peace. We are committed to achieving peace and justice, protecting human livelihoods and cultures and attaining a united Europe. Human rights, freedom of expression and freedom of information are objectives and cornerstones of our work.

Dialogue reveals cultural diversity as a valuable asset. Dialogue involves all people equally in shaping our future – in a process that is both open and meaningful. That is why we strive to bring people closer together.

IFA's Work

  • IFA initiates intercultural dialogue. A broad array of exhibitions, meetings, dialogues and conferences promotes exchange in arts and culture. Our conflict resolution programme helps build and maintain peaceful societies. Support projects for cultural minorities foster cultural diversity.

  • IFA is Germany’s international cultural and educational relations body, providing a link between practical issues arising in the field and the world of scholarship as well as the media. We initiate, analyse, moderate and document debates on international cultural relations.

  • IFA gives people worldwide the opportunity to find out more about Germany. Exchange programmes, exhibitions, books and magazines, lectures and visitors’ programmes offer innovative perspectives from contemporary Germany.


The IFA has a global network and counts on long-term cooperation. It is supported by the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, the state of Baden-Württemberg and its capital Stuttgart.

Awards and prizes:

  • Theodor Wanner Award: persons, who have achieved an outstanding reputation for the dialogue of cultures by their scientific, social, policital, artistic, entrepreneurial, financial or other dedication. The award has been donated by the friends of the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen and carries a value of 5.000 Euros.

  • Rave Research Award on Foreign Cultural Policy: announced annually by the Alexander Rave Foundation within the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen. It’s purpose is to honour an outstanding thesis or dissertation in the field of foreign cultural policy and to provide an incentive for further research in this field. The award is endowed with 3,000 Euros;

  • "IFA" – Intercultural Film Award: During the 2009 "Around the World in 14 Films" festival the "IFA" (Intercultural Film Award) was awarded for the first time. It recognizes excellence in content and aesthetics in a film dealing with issues of international understanding, peacekeeping and/or intercultural dialogue. The award is (still) without endowment.


Funding Programmes

  • Civil Conflict Resolution (zivik): Funding for international peacebuilding projects run by non-governmental organisations. zivik is part of the German Federal Government’s Action Plan "Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Peace-Building.";

  • Cross-Culture Internships: Funding for young journalists from Germany and from Muslim countries offering them an opportunity to develop their professional and intercultural competence. The aim is to strengthen the ability and willingness of German and Islamic cultures to engage in dialogue;

  • German Minorities in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe: Funding for projects and initiatives aimed at creating a cultural perspective for German minorities of the region;

  • Rave Foundation: The Alexander Rave Foundation supports education and training within the fields of social science research, the arts and culture. It does this through its annual Research Award for an outstanding thesis or dissertation in the field of foreign cultural policy, and through a scholarship programme for curators, restorers, museum technicians and cultural managers from developing countries and countries in transition.