Cultural diversity

Newsletter
The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Vol.10, no 5, Tuesday, April 6, 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, 110 Parties (109 states and the European Community as a regional economic integration organization) had ratified the treaty. On March 16, 2010, Malawi submitted its accession instrument 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

Culture ministers urge for culture to be put at the heart of the E.U. 2020 economic strategy

E.U. culture ministers gathered for an informal meeting in Barcelona have unanimously moved “to put culture at the heart of the 2020 strategy,” which will act as a framework for a more competitive and sustainable economy during this decade.

“The statement was made at the end of the meeting chaired by the Spanish minister, Ángeles González-Sinde, who was responsible for announcing a document signed and supported by all of the European ministers of culture.

This document acknowledges the creative and economic potential of European culture and its creative industries, as well as the need for all Member States to work in a harmonized and sustainable way to adapt to the new business models arising from the change from analogue to digital.

To achieve this, they are proposing a series of initiatives relating to ‘innovation, competitiveness, the digital agenda, and social inclusion’ as well as a popular consultation among professionals and citizens to clear the future of European culture, as explained by the European commissioner for culture, Androulla Vassiliou …

They also stressed the need to implement common cultural policies as well as creating a European judicial framework for a sector that generates five million jobs and represents 2.6% of the GDP of all E.U. countries.

These will be supported by the data included in the ‘Green Paper on Cultural Industries by the European Commission,’ which will be published on April 28, 2010. ‘Culture is essential for strengthening Europe around the world,’ concluded González-Sinde.”

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The International Seminar on Culture and Development will take place on May 4-5, 2010, in Spain

The European Commission (E.C.) has announced the dates for the next International Seminar on Culture and Development. The event comes in the wake of the “Culture and Creativity, Vectors for Development” conference organized by the E.C. and the ACP countries (Africa, Caribbean, and the Pacific) in April 2009, which led to the adoption of the “Brussels Declaration.”

By organizing an international seminar in Girona on May 4 and 5, 2010, in conjunction with the E.C., Spain is proposing to further expand the E.U.’s cultural development cooperation. According to the event program:

“Taking into account the results and experiences stemming from the implementation of cultural development cooperation projects financed by the E.U. (Spanish Cooperation, other Member States, and the European Commission), the seminar’s primary target will be to encourage the agents responsible for cooperation in partner and donor countries, and in international organizations, to integrate culture in their development policies.

The seminar will review experiences reflecting that investing in culture is a way to attain diverse objectives in the fight against poverty, and will analyze a series of programs and projects that can serve as a collection of ‘best practices.’

The role of Spain as host country will be to share the large and fruitful experience of the Spanish Cooperation in this field. The seminar will be open to the contributions of Member States and key multilateral actors concerning their current lines of action toward this matter.

The European Commission will seek to further integrate culture into its development policies while emphasizing the key message that culture can be financed not only by establishing culture as a focal sector in the indicative national programs (INPs), but also by operating along horizontal cooperation lines such as ‘nonstate actors,’ ‘governance,’ etc.”

The international seminar program is available in English, French, and Spanish on the European Commission website.

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2010 Cultural Policy Research Award: Call for applications

The European Cultural Foundation, the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, and the European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centers have officially launched the call for applications for the 2010 Cultural Policy Research Award.

Designed to foster academic and applied cultural policy research and to explore issues facing contemporary Europe, the Cultural Policy Research Award aims to contribute to new competence-building among young scholars in comparative cultural policy research.

Applications must be submitted by May 24, 2010, using the online application form on the CPR Award website.

The winner of the €10,000 2010 CPR Award will be publicly announced on October 6 at the 18th annual ENCATC conference in Brussels, Belgium.

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“E.U.-China Civil Society Dialogue”: Call for proposals

The European Commission ­– Culture website notes that the call for proposals for E.U.-China Civil Society Dialogue continues until May 7. The area of focus is, among others, culture.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) and nonstate actors in the broader sense—such as NGOs, foundations, academia, media, private actors, and chambers of commerce—are all eligible for consideration.

To find out more, please visit the European Commission website.

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Recent Publications

CapsulesMonde newsletter, mars 2010

The March issue of the CapsulesMonde newsletter features a number of articles of interest on topics like globalization and culture. We would like to draw our readers’ attention to the following pieces:

New Technologies

  • International – Does the informal economy enhance access to culture?

Cultural Identity

  • France – The government takes the first steps on the road to action.

Cultural and Creative Industries

  • International – History of a firmly rooted concept

Diversity of cultural expressions

  • UNESCO – Measuring culture: new and improved methodology

The CapsulesMonde newsletter is published by LEPPM (Laboratoire d’étude sur les politiques publiques et la mondialisation).

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Canadian Conference of the Arts March 22, 2010 bulletin

The March 22 issue of the e-newsletter published by the Canadian Conference of the Arts (CCA) takes a look at the Canada/E.U. Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement plan and its possible impact on culture.

CCA notes that “Canada has the most comprehensive cultural policies in the world. Governments at every level and parties of all stripes have implemented policies that try to level the playing field for Canadian artists, cultural producers, and distributors.” It calls on the government to keep Canadians fully informed of what exactly is being negotiated.

The newsletter is available in English and French in the Canadian Conference of the Arts – Advocacy Resources – Bulletins section of the CCA website.

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A Textbook of Cultural Economics

The International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) website introduces A Textbook of Cultural Economics as follows: “What determines the price of a pop concert or an opera? Why does Hollywood dominate the film industry? Does illegal downloading damage the record industry? Does free entry to museums bring in more visitors? In A Textbook of Cultural Economics, one of the world’s leading cultural economists shows how we can use the theories and methods of economics to answer these and a host of other questions concerning the arts (performing arts, visual arts, and literature), heritage (museums and built heritage), and creative industries (the music, publishing, and film industries, and broadcasting). Using international examples and covering the most up-to-date research, the book does not assume a prior knowledge of economics.”

A Textbook of Cultural Economics is available from Cambridge.org.

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Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices

3rd Science Days on the Theories of Cultural Diversity and Globalization

The Academic Agency of La Francophonie’s DCAM (Diversité des expressions culturelles et artistiques, et mondialisation) research network has published the provisional program for the 3rd Science Days on the Theories of Cultural Diversity and Globalization to be held in Beirut on May 3 and 4, 2010.

The event seeks to “examine theoretical conceptions of cultural diversity and globalization and field test them in the complex environment of the French-speaking world,” according to the DCAM network.

Jointly organized by Saint Joseph University in Beirut and the DCAM network, the meetings will focus on four main areas:

  • Culture and diversity
  • Cultural diversity and globalization
  • Cultural and linguistic diversity
  • Cultural diversity: between heritage and creation, resistance and invention

The provisional event program may be consulted on the DCAM network website.

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May 17: Information day on the European Commission Culture Program

The European Commission (E.C.) has announced that an information day will be held on May 17 to spread the word about the main European financing opportunities available in culture. Infoday Culture May 17, 2010 is an E.C. initiative presented in concert with the Education, Audiovisual, and Culture Executive Agency, which takes care of the day-to-day management of most of the culture program.

Information on registration and a detailed program for the day is available on the European Commission website.

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Other News of Interest

Mexico guest of honor at the Québec City International Book Fair

Over 900 authors and nearly as many publishing companies will take part in the Québec City International Book Fair from April 7 to 11. An array of activities are planned for this year’s event, including roundtables, meetings with authors, and youth programs.

“To mark the 100th anniversary of the Mexican revolution, Mexico is this year’s featured country. The fair will host about thirty Mexican authors and publishers, thereby giving visitors a chance to better appreciate the richness of hispanophone literature,” according to the Ministère des Relations internationales du Québec (MRI) website.

For the full program, visit the Québec City International Book Fair website.

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Literature from the Congo Basin at the Paris Book Fair

The 30th Paris Book Fair, which ran from March 26 to 31, showcased books and authors from the Congo. The International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) notes on its website that “the Congo booth invited visitors to discover thirty-odd writers from the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and Cameroon. The booth seeks to popularize central African literature, which is rich but little known to the general public, and is an initiative of the Congolese ministry for culture and the arts and Les Dépêches de Brazzaville in conjunction with OIF.”

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