This chapter discusses the problematized field of international development as a dominant imaginary (Anderson, 1983) through an exploration of how ‘development’ and other paradigms travel and take effect through international policy transfer. How development, initiated via large-scale cultural programmes and the creative industries, has played out in Brazil and Colombia is discussed in a critical case study to illustrate both the development imaginary at work via a discussion of multiple fields of power and the emergence of counter-hegemonic perspectives through art and cultural activism. Finally, the chapter proposes emerging ideas of the role of culture and cultural policy in shifting the imaginary of development, instead proposing theoretical and practical perspectives that could drive genuine, inclusive social transformation.