Cultural diversity

Newsletter
The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Vol.10, no 4, Monday, March 22, 2010

Efforts to implement the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions are underway!

IN THIS ISSUE :

Convention Update

Press Releases, Speeches, and Declarations

Recent Publications

Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices

Other News of Interest



Convention Update

Efforts to implement the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions are underway!

The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and the 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 directives for implementing the Convention. Since then, three ordinary and two extraordinary sessions have been held, for a total of five. A fourth ordinary session will be held in December 2010.

The second session of the Conference of Parties, which took place in Paris on June 15 and 16, 2009, saw the adoption of operational directives concerning nine articles of the Convention. The Intergovernmental Committee was mandated to continue developing operational directives.

At press time, 109 Parties (108 states and the European Community as a regional economic integration organization) had ratified the treaty. On March 10, 2010, Ukraine submitted its instrument of ratification to UNESCO, joining the States Parties to the Convention. 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.

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Press Releases, Speeches, and Declarations

International Fund for Cultural Diversity: a call for projects for 2010 is launched

The call for projects for 2010 for the International Fund for Cultural Diversity has been launched. According to UNESCO,

“The International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) is a multidonor fund established under Article 18 of the 2005 Convention. Guidelines on the use of the resources of the fund were adopted by the Conference of Parties in June 2009. This marked the beginning of the 36 month pilot phase for the fund.

The purpose of the fund is to promote sustainable development and poverty reduction in developing countries that are Parties to the Convention. It does this through support for projects and activities that aim to foster the emergence of a dynamic cultural sector.

Through an annual application process, funds will be provided for:

1. Programs/projects that are designed to

  • facilitate the introduction of cultural policies that protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions and, where appropriate, strengthen the corresponding institutional infrastructure;
  • provide capacity-building opportunities;
  • strengthen existing cultural industries;
  • foster the emergence of new cultural industries; and
  • protect cultural expressions at risk of extinction, under threat, or in need of urgent safeguarding.

2. Preparatory assistance activities that help to identify the special needs of developing countries that are Parties to the Convention and to assist them when preparing their requests for funding. This may include, for example, engaging in stakeholder consultations, undertaking a mapping exercise, research study, and/or situational analysis.

Deadline 1: Completed application forms must be submitted to National Commissions for UNESCO or other official channels designated by States Parties to the 2005 Convention. Applicants are to consult National Commissions for UNESCO for national deadlines. They shall review applications to ensure that projects are relevant, meet the country’s needs, and have been subject to consultation among stakeholders.

Deadline 2: National Commissions for UNESCO will then submit completed applications to the 2005 Convention Secretariat by June 30, 2010 (before midnight Paris time). Those received by the Convention Secretariat after this deadline will not be eligible for consideration in 2010.
International nongovernment organizations (INGOs) can submit applications directly to the Convention Secretariat providing that their program/project proposals are supported in writing by the States Parties concerned.”

To find more about the terms of this call for projects, visit the UNESCO website.

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UNESCO organizes an online discussion and symposium on “Funding Culture, Managing the Risk”

UNESCO has organized an online discussion on “Funding Culture, Managing the Risk: Limits and Opportunities for Development Cooperation” from March 16 to April 6, 2010.

“The online discussion organized by UNESCO’s Culture Sector is part of initiatives put forward to generate visibility for the culture and development agenda, as well as to encourage commitment and action. The online discussion will act as an interactive forum for individuals to share best practices and research, to collaborate, and to exchange and debate on related topics.”

The discussion is organized around the following three themes:

  • Week 1: Risk of Funding Culture: A Myth or a Reality? (March 16 to 22)
  • Week 2: Dealing with Risk: What Works? (March 23 to 29)
  • Week 3: How to Encourage Investments in the Culture Sector? (March 30 to April 6)

A two-day symposium on the same theme will be held at UNESCO headquarters on April 16 and 17, where key messages from the discussion will be shared with symposium participants in order to inform debates. To find out more about either activity, visit the UNESCO website.

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Commonwealth Connections International Arts Residencies: call for entries ends March 31

The Commonwealth Foundation website notes that the call for entries for the Connections International Arts Residencies programs runs until March 31.

Six residencies will be offered for a period of between three to nine months, to be taken up by January 2011. Each residency is worth up to £8,000. Application is open to all professional visual artists who are citizens of a Commonwealth country.

The residency must be taken up in another Commonwealth country, preferably in another Commonwealth region. Please note that Commonwealth Connections residencies are not available for travel between any two of the following countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

To learn more about the terms of this call for entries, please visit the Commonwealth Foundation website.

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Recent Publications

The Accords bilatéraux et diversité culturelle newsletter

The latest issue of the Accords bilatéraux et diversité culturelle newsletter features articles on the following topics of interest:
Trade Policy

  • American trade policy: exports key to economic recovery

Intellectual Property – Electronic Content

  • ACTA: treaty sparks controversy
  • Google Books: the controversy rumbles on
  • Apple iPad: another electronic revolution?

Cultural Policy Challenges

  • Jump in European cinema figures benefits Hollywood
  • France’s cultural diplomacy reform: a new strategy and lack of continuity
  • Circulation of artists back in the spotlight: two filmmakers denied visas
  • Cultural cooperation protocol: Kader Arif makes a statement to the European Parliament

Recent Publications

The Accords bilatéraux et diversité culturelle newsletter is produced by CEIM (Centre d’études sur l’intégration et la mondialisation) for International Organization of La Francophonie.

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The 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics

UNESCO has just released its 2009 Framework for Cultural Statistics, described as follows by the organization:

“The 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics (FCS) proposes concepts and definitions to guide the collection of comparable data in the area of culture. It also supports the development of indicators and analytical research in the field.

Accurate, comparable data are needed to better measure the impact and relevance of cultural policies and initiatives. The 2009 Framework for Cultural Statistics addresses this need by defining culture for statistical measurement purposes. Developed by the UIS in close collaboration with UNESCO’s Culture Sector, the framework replaces the 1986 version. It is the result of a comprehensive four-year global consultation that has benefitted from the contribution of many scholars, statisticians, and experts in the field, including representatives from several ministries of culture, national statistical offices, and international partner agencies.

Designed for international and national application, the main goal of the 2009 framework is to facilitate comparisons through a common understanding of culture by using standardized definitions and classifications. It reflects global changes in technology, our understanding of fundamental cultural issues, advances in measurement, and progression in cultural policy priorities that have occurred since the 1986 framework. The methodology is based on new and diverse perspectives on cultural statistics.”

The framework is available in the following languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic.

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Compendium on Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, March 2010

The March 2010 issue of the Compendium on Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe newsletter is now available. The issue is a goldmine of information on a number of subjects of interest, including ethical issues and cultural policy, organizational reforms put in place in a number of countries, new legislation, policy developments, statistical data, and local and regional action plans.

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The Regulatory Framework for Audiovisual Media Services in Russia

The European Audiovisual Observatory has published The Regulatory Framework for Audiovisual Media Services in Russia as part of the IRIS Special series. “Russia is by far the largest European television market outside the area where E.U. law applies. The country’s approximately 17% share of the entire European population means that the Russian television market has remarkable economic potential. Against this background, it is also all the more considerable how little information has been published outside Russia on the legal bases of, and conditions applying to, this market.

“This publication entitled The Regulatory Framework for Audiovisual Media Services in Russia in the IRIS Special series closes this gap. It provides a detailed analysis of the bases and regulatory framework for broadcasting in Russia and discusses in this context the adaptation of the legal framework to new audiovisual media services, drawing attention to the big differences between the E.U. and Russia and pointing out that these differences are due to the fact that the pace of development of digital media services in Russia is still slow.

“The publication, which has been written by Andrei Richter, director of the Moscow-based Institute for Media Law and Media Policy and one of Russia’s outstanding media specialists, provides a comprehensive and precise picture of the regulation of broadcasting in Russia,” according to the European Audiovisual Observatory.

The 68 page document is available in English, French, and German. It may be ordered from the European Audiovisual Observatory.

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UNESCO: draft minutes for Intergovernmental Committee and Conference of Parties sessions

UNESCO has posted a detailed draft summary record of the third ordinary session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Paris, UNESCO headquarters December 7 to 9, 2009) on its website. Committee members may submit comments by October 18, 2010.

The detailed summary record of the second ordinary session of the Conference of Parties (June 15 to 16, 2009) is also available from the website. Parties and observers may submit their comments by June 1, 2010.

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Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices

Rethinking Cultural Policy: Implementing a New Paradigm

The Council of Europe, in partnership with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), Culture Action Europe, the Budapest Observatory, and the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA), is organizing an international conference on “Rethinking Cultural Policy: Implementing a New Paradigm.” The conference will be held from June 10 to 11, 2010, at EESC headquarters in Brussels and is being supported by the French Community of Belgium’s Ministry of Culture. The conference is one of a series of events organized as part of the Council of Europe’s CultureWatchEurope initiative.

“The conference will seek to explore not only the direct impact of the financial crisis on the cultural sector in terms of threats and losses, but also to question the state’s role as a substantial provider of culture. This theme touches on related issues such as the need to redefine certain current cultural practices, the changing roles of cultural institutions, and the potential of alternative governance models, new forms of partnerships, and multistakeholder approaches to help meet the ensuing challenges. Related topics include possible new responsibility paradigms for culture and new frameworks for public policy in the cultural domain. Given the importance of this issue in Europe, it seems appropriate to approach the subject both from a wide intellectual angle and very practically in terms of measures and proposals that might be considered.

“The conference is aimed at senior policymakers and practitioners who operate at national, regional, and local levels and who are responsible for the content, management, or implementation of cultural policies,” stated the Council.

To find out more about the event, visit the Council of Europe website.

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This April Zurich will host a conference of experts on cultural policy and diversity

The Compendium Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe website has announced that a conference entitled “What Cultural Policies for Diversity?” will be held on April 9 and 10. The meeting will be held under the auspices of the Council of Europe and ERICarts, in conjunction with the CultureWatchEurope public forum. The conference is hosted by the Swiss Federal Office of Cultural Affairs in cooperation with Zurich University of the Arts.

To register for the meeting and for a preliminary program, visit the Compendium website.

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Other News of Interest

La Francophonie turns 40

International Day of La Francophonie was marked this year by celebrations surrounding the 40th anniversary of International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF). “Two hundred million French speakers around the world and the seventy states and governments belonging to La Francophonie … will join in the celebrations under the banner of La diversité au service de la paix (Diversity in the service of peace) and solidarity with Haiti by way of a diverse, cultural, and festive program,” according to OIF. The program has been underway since March 20, International Day of La Francophonie, and will run throughout the French-speaking world right up until the 13th Summit of La Francophonie in Montreux, Switzerland, in fall 2010.

The 20mars.francophonie.org website is a platform for information and discussion on all the events organized worldwide for the occasion.

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The International Festival of Films on Art brings 230 films from 23 countries to Montréal

The 28th edition of the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) is underway in Montréal, Canada, from March 18 to 28, serving up 230 films from 23 countries to cinema buffs. The international competition will feature a selection of 43 films from 14 countries.

The artistic disciplines on display include architecture, contemporary art, comic books, dance, design, art history, jazz, literature, fashion, music, painting, photography, media arts, and cinema.

FIFA describes itself as “a nonprofit organization devoted to the worldwide promotion and presentation of films on art and media art. Its principal activity is an annual 10 day festival held in Montréal, the most important event of its kind in the world, which presents the finest productions from around the globe. The competitive festival, whose prizewinners are selected by an international jury, is a mecca for artists and artisans working in the fields of art and cinema, as well for art and film enthusiasts.”

To find out more about event programming, visit the FIFA website.

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