Vol. 14, no 2, Monday, February 3, 2014
Efforts to implement the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions are underway!
IN THIS ISSUE :
The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions came into force on March 18, 2007. At the first session of the Conference of Parties to the Convention in June 2007, the Intergovernmental Committee was given a mandate to develop the necessary operational guidelines for implementing the Convention. Since then, seven ordinary and two extraordinary sessions have been held, for a total of nine.
The fourth session of the Conference of Parties, which took place in Paris, June 11 to 13, 2013, saw the approval of operational guidelines governing the use of the emblem of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions as well as the revised guidelines on using the resources of the International Fund for Cultural Diversity. In total, twelve articles of the Convention now incorporate operational guidelines.
At press time, 134 Parties (133 states and the European Union as a regional economic integration organization) had ratified the treaty. Efforts to implement the treaty are well underway, but the mobilization campaign to encourage Member States who haven't already done so to ratify the treaty must continue with commitment and conviction. The Convention's legitimacy will be directly proportional to the number of countries from all parts of the world that ratify, accept, approve, or join the treaty.
The Coalition for Cultural Diversity has now published the final summary and activity report on its September 2013 conference entitled "The Convention on Cultural Diversity: Up to Expectations or a Disappointment?" The conference was held in Montréal and examined progress on implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
Workshops were held to consider, discuss, and make recommendations on implementation of the Convention. One workshop addressed the question of the diversity of cultural expressions and trade agreements, another digital issues and cultural exemptions. A third workshop dealt with governance and citizen relations.
The conference was first of a series involving academics, government, public servants, and other civil society participants. The second will be hosted by Centre d'études sur l'intégration et la mondialisation (CEIM) and the Coalition for Cultural Diversity on March 14, 2014, and will address "Culture/Trade Linkage in the Digital Era." Further details will appear in an upcoming newsletter.
The summary of main findings and recommendations and the conference activity report are both available on the Coalition for Cultural Diversity website.
The Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank (IBD), and the British Council commissioned this study from Oxford Economics to examine the impact of the creative industries on the economies of countries in the Americas. The report was presented at the 6th World Summit on Arts and Culture, held January 13 to 16, 2014, in Santiago, Chile.
The study puts the 2011 value of world creative goods and services exports at $640 billion, with 14% of this value originating in the Americas. Data from 34 countries in the Americas was compiled, with benchmark data from 10 countries elsewhere in the world. One notable finding was the variation by country in the creative industries' contribution to GDP. Contributions from the creative sector vary for example from 2% of GDP in Chile to 10% of GDP in Brazil and the United States.
The three sponsoring organizations mentioned in their presentation of the study the creative sector's significant economic development potential. They also pointed to the importance of developing more harmonized and rigorous policy mechanisms in order to ensure that the needs of the creative sector are taken into account.
To read the report, visit the Organization of American States website.
The Confederation of British Industries (CBI) has just launched a report entitled "The Creative Nation," examining possible measures for supporting the creative industry in the U.K. Such measures mainly involve cooperation between the U.K. government and industries.
Data is cited that demonstrates the importance of the cultural industries to the U.K. economy. The music industry for example generates £3.5 billion per year in profit and provides over 100,000 jobs. In all, the creative industry contributes £71.4 billion a year in added value to the U.K. economy.
CBI makes numerous proposals in the report, among them provisions for mechanisms to ensure that cultural firms can access the financing needed. It also notes the importance for the industry of adapting to technological change, for example by developing Web platforms for delivering cultural products. Other recommendations include bringing in new apprenticeship systems and attempting to "tilt the playing field" to support expanded exports.
The report is available on the CBI website.
The Confederation of British Industries speaks for over 240,000 companies of every size and in every sector, including creative and communications. Its mission is to promote the conditions in the U.K. and internationally in which U.K. businesses can prosper.
The conference, entitled "How to Adapt Fiscal Policies Applying to Cultural and Audiovisual Goods and Services in the Digital Era?" will be hosted by the European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity and take place February 11, 2014, at the European Parliament in Brussels. The digital revolution and its challenges for the cultural sector will be examined and considered.
The first order of business will be the integration of digital multinationals into tax regimes and the creative economy, after which tax policies in the cultural sector will be discussed with a view to deciding whether the most appropriate fiscal policy is being applied.
Details on the conference are available on the IFCCD website.
The European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity is an informal network of national cultural diversity organizations. Its members include the French, German, Swiss, and Belgian Coalitions for Cultural Diversity. It meets twice a year and works to promote European policy that encourages culture and the diversity of cultural expressions. For more information on the European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity, see the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity website.
The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) has selected seven projects for support under its 2014 Creative Encounters and ASEF Creative Networks programs, based on the call for projects sent out in June 2013.
Four projects were selected by ASEF under its Creative Encounters program to support artistic collaborations between Asian and European cultural organizations. Among the projects selected for 2014 is a roundtable to be held in Helsinki for professionals in the creative industries. ASEF also selected a workshop for European and Asian film producers who have films in development. Two multidisciplinary artist residency programs will also be supported.
Three projects were selected for support through the ASEF Creative Networks initiative, launched in 2013 in recognition of the importance of networks in nurturing cultural linkages between Asia and Europe. One selected project is to support a number of organizations in establishing a network of experts on cultural heritage, while another supports a series of professional development events for cultural sector managers. The third project to be supported is to establish the Asia-Europe Creative Residency Network, a sub-network of Res Artis focusing on artist residencies promoting cultural exchange between Europe and Asia.
The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) builds ties between Europe and Asia through cultural, intellectual, and people-to-people exchanges. ASEF was established in 1997 and has since implemented over 600 projects involving more than 17,000 participants. The organization's work encompasses all areas, including governance, culture, and sustainable development in pursuit of its larger mission.
More information on the organization's work can be found on the Asia-Europe Foundation website.
The International Opportunities Fund is part of the creative strategy of Wales Arts International (WAI). WAI provides advice and support for artists and artistic organizations in Wales in order to promote Welsh art internationally through collaborations, projects, networks, and communication. The International Opportunities Fund was created by the organization to help defray the expenses of artists presenting works outside the country and to nurture and grow the arts in Wales.
The On the Move (OTM) network evaluated the International Opportunities Fund to gauge its impact on the mobility of professional artists. Although the Fund has been operating for 8 years, only the last 4 were considered in the evaluation process. In that period 193 trips were funded, involving 68 different countries and covering an average of 45% of project budgets. OTM found that funded projects yielded benefits not only for the participant artists but also for other Welsh artists with whom they shared their experiences. Long-term benefits to artists' professional development were also found.
The study can be found on the On the Move website.
On the Move (OTM) is a worldwide cultural mobility information network of 37 member organizations active in various domains, mainly in the performing arts and multidisciplinary sectors.
The president of Mexico's National Council for Culture and the Arts (Conaculta) has announced a new program for 2013–2015 designed to promote equal access to culture, incorporate new technology, and stimulate Mexican creative actors. It will be built around 5 strategies.
The first point in the program involves measures to ensure equity and social inclusiveness in all cultural actions. The idea was put forward that culture ought to buttress the government actions aimed at fostering social development, safety, and prevention. Another point deals with heritage and infrastructure protection through archaeological zones and museums, and another relates to modernizing infrastructure by integrating technology into various forms of expression. This point dovetails with another relating to the use of technology to promote universal access to culture. The plan also acknowledges the importance of the cultural sector to the Mexican economy–thus justifying the government's support for the cultural sector. The program will also promote cultural exchange, including through participation in international forums.
The National Council for Culture and the Arts (Conaculta) was created to coordinate cultural and artistic policies, organizations, and agencies. It supports, sponsors, and promotes cultural and artistic events. It also serves as guarantor of artists' creative freedom while encouraging artistic expression from the country's various regions and social groups in order to promote, preserve, and enrich the artistic, cultural, and historical riches that constitute Mexico's heritage.
The University of Coimbra's Centre for Social Studies is calling for submissions to be presented at "Mapping Culture: Communities, Sites and Stories," an international conference and symposium to be held May 28 to 30, 2014. The conference will deal with cultural mapping, which is defined as the identification and documentation of local cultural resources by communities, which can then develop and implement projects drawing on these identified cultural resources. The principal value of cultural mapping is that it gives communities the opportunity to recognize and support cultural diversity for economic, social, and regional development.
Key themes of the conference will include cultural mapping as an agent of community engagement; cultural mapping as a tool for local development policy; and cultural mapping processes and methodologies. The event will be made up of panels, presentations of papers, and artistic performances on this topic.
The conference will be held at the Centre for Social Studies, a state associate laboratory at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. The organizers are open to personal projects from all interested persons, who may also take part in panels and workshops.
To read the call for proposals, click here.