Cultural diversity

Newsletter
The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Vol. 10, No. 19, Monday, November 15, 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. The fourth ordinary session will be held November 29 to December 3, 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, 116 Parties (115 states and the European Community 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.

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Press Releases, Speeches, and Declarations

Culture et Développement supports music entrepreneurs in Africa through a new website and blog for ARPEM

Through ARPEM, a program to support the creation and networking of music businesses in Western Africa, Culture et développement launched the ARPEM blog and website on October 20, 2010.

The blog and the website are aimed at partners of the program as well as the entrepreneurs who are the lifeblood of the West African music sector and the organizations that support its development. According to a press release:

"This new tool was made possible through the support of the E.U.-ACP Support Program to ACP Cultural Industries and a number of local, national, and international partners. The website features a description of the ARPEM program as well as practical tools to support the efforts of local cultural organizations, including

  • A database of all musical businesses in Abidjan, Dakar, and Ouagadougou
  • Useful information on trades and practices in the music industry

The ARPEM blog provides a forum for discussing and sharing ideas and experiences with issues related to creating and managing music businesses."

The ARPEM program is being implemented in three West African cities (Abidjan, Ouagadougou, and Dakar) in an effort to support local economic development. Its purpose is to help create and connect fertile business environments in the music sector by leveraging the expertise of its Jamaican and South African partners.

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Brussels : a study day in Brussels regarding the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

On December 1, 2010, the Flemish Research Centre on International Policy (Steunpunt Ondernemen en International Ondernemen) and the Centre for Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication (IBBT-SMIT), with the support of the Flemish UNESCO Commission, will hold a study day in Brussels regarding the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

This day will be devoted to discussing the changes that have occurred since the Convention was adopted, marking its 5th anniversary (October 20, 2010), and considering possible future developments. The program will include discussions on interinstitutional dialectics between UNESCO and the WTO, E.U. external trade relations and cultural cooperation protocols, and the role of civil society.

The study day will bring together academics, policy makers, and media practitioners to discuss a number of fundamental topics related to the past, present, and future of the Cultural Diversity Convention. Ample space is foreseen for debate and discussion among the speakers and the audience.

For the full program, visit the IBBT-SMIT website.

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Québec takes part in the "Culture and Sustainable Development" Forum in Paris

The Québec@monde newsletter reports that the French Ministry of Culture and Communication invited the Québec government to give a presentation on Québec's approach to sustainable development at the "Culture and Sustainable Development" Forum held on September 30 at École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Paris-Belleville (Paris-Belleville national school of architecture). The event was attended by cultural players from the public and private sectors. According to the newsletter:

Discussions during the day focused on

  • Culture as a gateway to territorial development
  • Cultural industries and sustainable development
  • Heritage and architecture: components of living environments
  • Cultural and linguistic diversity, creation, and social cohesion: active ingredients of a sustainable society

In his opening address, French Minister of Culture and Communication Frédéric Mitterrand acknowledged the participation of Michel Audet in the Forum. Mr. Audet is the Québec government's representative within Canada's permanent delegation to UNESCO.

"Exchanges and cultural cooperation play an essential role in establishing, expanding, and extending any sustainable development policy. It must be a two-way concept: we have much to learn from foreign examples and also a great deal to share beyond our borders. The opening discussion with the Québec Delegate (Michel Audet) and Jean Musitelli will deal precisely with this issue. It provides me with an opportunity to underscore the similarities between the ministerial strategy for sustainable development that we are proposing and the strategy of our Québec cousins. The Québec strategy has already been implemented and is an excellent example of openness to diversity. Clearly, we could also draw from this approach to ensure that the European Union's future sustainable development strategy, which is slated to be developed and negotiated in 2011, is an ambitious strategy that adequately addresses these issues," said Minister Mitterrand.

During his presentation, Michel Audet focused on the legislative aspect of Québec's sustainable development approach as well as on objectives and topics selected for adopting an Agenda 21 on Culture for Québec and linking the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression to sustainable development.

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Recent Publications

The November 1, 2010 issue of the Accords bilatéraux et diversité culturelle newsletter

The November 1 issue of the Accords bilatéraux et diversité culturelle newsletter features articles on the following issues:

Trade policy

  • ACTA: Nearing finalization
  • The issue of cultural exemption remains unresolved in negotiations surrounding the Canada-E.U. free trade agreement

Cultural industries

  • Filmmakers meet in Dijon: The European film industry faces the challenges of dealing with new technology
  • Digital technology has flooded the Québec film industry
  • Telecom taxes: France and Spain defy Brussels
  • The American music industry takes aim at illegal downloading
  • YouTube and SACEM sign an agreement on artist royalties

Cultural diversity

  • Round table discussion on the future of the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
  • UNESCO and cultural development: new publications
  • New publication: La Convention sur la protection et la promotion de la diversité des expressions culturelles : Premier bilan et défis juridiques

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

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Book entitled Arabitudes launched to mark the 10th anniversary of Festival du monde arabe de Montréal

Les Éditions Fides has published a book entitled Arabitudes, l'altérité arabe au Québec. Henda Ben Salah is the driving force behind the book, which was created to mark the 10th edition of the daring Festival du Monde arabe de Montréal (FMA). It offers a guided tour of this unique North American event devoted to cultural interaction. Based on the themes of the FMA, artists, guest writers, and organizers provide personal points of view on complicated situations that can result in harmonious and rewarding relations.

Festival du monde arabe was held October 29 to November 14.

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The cultural practices of young people examined during the 5th Journées internationales de travail des observatoires de la culture held in Turin

Observatoire de la Culture et des Communications du Québec has posted online the content of six presentations on the cultural practices of young people. These presentations were made during the 5th Journées internationales de travail des observatoires de la culture, held in Turin, Italy last September. The presentations address the following issues:

  • "The Impact of the Digital on the Cultural Practices of Young Quebecers," by Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec (French and English)
  • "Youth and Cultural Consumption in Piemonte," by Osservatorio Culturale del Piemonte
  • "French Findings Regarding Youth and Culture and New Questions," by France's Ministry of Culture
  • "The Cultural Consumption and Practices of Young People in Catalonia," by Catalonia's Minister of Culture and Media
  • "Cultural Habits in Teenagers and Youth Adults in Galicia," by Observatorio da Cultura Galega
  • "Young People, Culture, and New Technologies," by Kulturaren Euskal Behatokia

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Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices

Culturesfrance: The deadline to apply for the Visas pour la création and Dispositif Caraïbes programs is November 30

We wish to remind our readers that the deadline to submit portfolios for the three Culturesfrance programs is November 30. The three programs are as follows:

  • Visas pour la création Caraïbes 2011 (residency program for Caribbean artists)
  • Visas pour la création Afrique 2011(residency program for African artists)
  • Dispositif Caraïbes 2011 (support program for Caribbean art projects)

For terms and conditions, visit the Culturesfrance website.

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Abdesselam Cheddadi awarded the Prix de la traduction Ibn Khaldoun-Senghor

Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) has announced that the Prix de la traduction Ibn Khaldoun – Senghor 2010 has been awarded to Abdesselam Cheddadi, a research professor at the University Institute of Scientific Research at Mohammad V University in Rabat for his Arabic-French translation of L'Autobiographie d'Ibn Khaldoun. According to OIF:

"This authentic work is an exhaustive compilation of the exciting life of Ibn Khaldoun. It details how his personal life intermingled with that of his teachers, fellow disciples, and friends. It is made all the more exciting by a broad political and historical context that eventually encompasses the countries of the Maghreb, Andalusia, and Egypt, providing a glimpse into the lives of the princes of the age.

The Prix de la traduction Ibn Khaldoun-Senghor en sciences humaines was created in 2008 by Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and the Arab League Educational Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO). Its goal is to promote cultural and linguistic diversity and encourage cultural and literary exchange between the Arab world and francophone culture. It is awarded for one French-Arabic translation and one Arabic-French translation.

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The Lumières d'Afrique film festival joins the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of OIF

The Lumières d'Afrique film festival was held in Besançon, France November 6–14. Founded in 1996 through a partnership of 18 institutions and citizens groups with connections to Africa, the festival is celebrating its 10th edition this year.

According to the Lumières d'Afrique website, the festival features 5 sections:

  • Full-length fiction competition: Open to films shot in Africa by African filmmakers in the last two years
  • Short fiction competition: Open to films shot in Africa by African filmmakers in the last two years
  • Documentaries: Films addressing timely topics and providing fresh, new points of view on the realities of Africa
  • "Blank screens": A space available to activist associations from Besançon working with Africa to present their involvement through documentaries and full-length films
  • "Memories of Africa": A look back on the first works of film fiction from African nations by a national filmmaker (past editions featured Madagascar, Côte d'Ivoire, Algeria, and Burkina Faso)

One of the goals of the 2010 edition was to ensure a rich variety of short and full-length fiction films for the competitions.

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Cambodia : National awareness-raising workshop on the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

A national workshop organized by UNESCO and the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and the Arts was held October 19–20 in Phnom Penh as part of a Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund program to support creative industries. Copies of the Cambodian edition of the Convention information kit, which has been fully translated into Khmer, were distributed at the event.

For more information on this event, visit the UNESCO website.

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Other News of Interest

Colombie en fête: a journey through Colombia's cultural diversity

To mark the celebration of Colombia's bicentennial, France is hosting an event entitled "Colombie en fête" November 8–20, 2010. The event is a journey through various forms of Colombian artistic expression, including film, theater, music, and literature. It is an opportunity for France to discover the rich diversity of Colombian culture.

The event will also feature twelve Colombian writers—poets, novelists, and essayists—at a literary festival entitled "Les Belles Étrangères 2010."

According to the event website: "Planned and organized by Centre national du livre since 1987, 'Les Belles Étrangères' promotes the discovery of foreign literature and authors who are relatively unknown in France. It functions in harmony with the Centre national du livre policy to support translation, publishing, and circulation. Its basic principle is to invite, in November of every year, a group of writers from the same country or linguistic area and organize a series of events across France over two weeks in bookstores, libraries, universities, theaters, and cultural associations partnered with the Centre."

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