Cultural diversity

Newsletter
The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Vol. 10, No 21, Monday, December 13, 2010

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

Happy Holidays!

The team at Secrétariat gouvernemental à la diversité culturelle would like to thank you—our News Bulletin readers—and wish you all the best for the holidays and coming year. The Cultural Diversity News Bulletin will be taking the festive season off, but we'll be back on January 10 with our biweekly selection of news on the diversity of cultural expressions. See you then, and in the meantime, our website is right here whenever you need it. Happy reading!

IN THIS ISSUE :

Convention Update

Press Releases, Speeches, and Declarations

Recent Publications

Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices



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, four ordinary and two extraordinary sessions have been held, for a total of six. The fourth ordinary session took place between November 29 and 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

UNESCO funds two projects presented by groups associated with the international movement of coalitions for cultural diversity

The International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD)'s press release revealed that the Intergovernmental Committee of the UNESCO Convention recently approved funding for 31 projects from amongst some 254 project proposals received, including two presented by groups associated with the international movement of coalitions for cultural diversity.

"One of these two projects involves organizing an ‘Inter-Americas Meeting on Cultural Diversity' in Toluca, Mexico, in May 2011, to consider the challenges facing the implementation of the Convention locally, nationally, regionally, and internationally. The meeting is intended for civil society in the Americas, and in particular, young professionals, students, and researchers active in cultural policy matters, who belong to the U40 Americas (Under 40 years old) network. This will be the second meeting of its kind following the initial meeting held in Montreal in May 2010. The project was presented by an active member of the U40 network, Ms. Gabriela Sanchez Villegas.

The Coalition for cultural diversity of Mali will also be granted financial support for communications initiatives designed to foster the implementation of the Convention and the development of a draft communal cultural policy. More than 200 key cultural stakeholders are being targeted across the country. The project was developed by the President of the Malian Coalition, Mr. Adama Traoré.

‘I am happy to see UNESCO recognize the expertise and capacity to take action of the actors in civil society, who are associated with the international movement of coalitions for cultural diversity. This financial support will provide the movement with means to continue our activities that support the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions. My most heartfelt congratulations go out to Ms. Gabriela Sanchez Villegas of Mexico and Mr. Adama Traoré of Mali for their sense of initiative,' commented Mr. Rasmané Ouedraogo, President of the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity.

Meanwhile, the Federation welcomes the announcement of financial support to another initiatives designed to foster the implementation of the Convention. Bangladesh will likewise be able to organize a meeting of Cultural Ministers from the Asia-Pacific region, with the participation of international experts, in November 2011, so as to encourage more States from this under-represented region in the number of ratification to do so. This meeting could also, we hope, bring greater recognition for the role of civil society.

The International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD) is the voice of cultural professionals worldwide. The Federation brings together 43 national coalitions comprised of over 600 organizations."

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U40 International Forum in Istanbul: Publication of "Network in Action"

The Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity has released its Network in action, which sums up the discussions and recommendations from the International Forum of U40 Fellows, in Istanbul, October 21 to 24. Here is an excerpt:

"The following actions were discussed and agreed on as short- and mid-term goals of the U40-network:

  • Publish the compilation ‘Mapping Cultural Diversity – Good Practices from Around the Globe' in November 2010
  • Create a U40 Website to include general information on the network, its action plan, and member profiles with long term goals of establishing a database of good practices, an online library of relevant documents in the context of the Convention, and an interactive tool for targeted discussion on cultural diversity. The site is envisioned as a worldwide "go to" knowledge resource platform on cultural diversity
  • Initiate a strategic workshop to sharpen the profile of the network in order to foster the network for long term activities and to facilitate public relations and future cooperation
  • Form specialized subgroups on, for example, the Convention and Cultural Rights, Media and Visibility, and Fundraising
  • Prepare further meetings to reinforce knowledge exchange between the U40 Fellows (e.g. Inter-American Meeting, Toluca, México (May 2011); Learning Journey, Brazil (October 2011)
  • Continue knowledge transfer and Fellow expertise by organizing meetings and conferences to share experiences, ideas and projects, publishing on specific issues of the Convention, fostering the realization of the Compendium in new countries, and discussing and realizing specific research projects on topics like culture and development (MDGs); and
  • Expand the Network in currently underrepresented regions (i.e., recruitment of additional Arab and Asian experts, the latter with the support of the network and contacts of the Asia-Europe Foundation".

The complete text of Network in action is available on the Coalition for Cultural Diversity website.

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Open call for applications for the upcoming session of the European Diploma in Cultural Project Management

ADCEI (Association pour le développement culturel européen et international) notes that it will be receiving applications for the upcoming European Diploma in Cultural Project Management session until January 15, 2011.

This pan-European diploma program is organized and administered by Association Marcel Hicter. It is part of a movement to promote cultural diversity and cultural exchange both within and outside Europe.

Each year, the program brings together some 20 culture professionals from many European countries in a virtual laboratory in cultural cooperation. Since its foundation in 1989, some 500 professionals representing 41 countries (mainly from Europe but also the Middle East, Canada, and elsewhere) have taken part in this program. It is funded by the Council of Europe. For more information on terms and requirements, visit the ADCEI website.

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Recent Publications

New documents concerning the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions now available on the UNESCO website

As part of the fourth meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) in Paris from November 29 to December 3, new documents have been posted on UNESCO's Convention website including

  • The webcast of the Opening Ceremonies, hosted by Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO where some of the founding fathers and mothers were invited to share their reflections on some of the milestones achieved to date. Distinguished guests included
      • Mr. Gilbert Laurin, Chairperson of the first and second IGC (2007–2008) and of the second Conference of Parties (2009). Mr. Laurin is former Ambassador of Canada to UNESCOM.
      • Ms. Vera Lacoeuilhe, Chairperson of the second extraordinary IGC and the third IGC (2009). Ms. Lacoeuilhe is Minister Counsellor, Deputy Permanent Delegate of St. Lucia to UNESCO.
      • Ms. Nina Obuljen, Chairperson of the fourth IGC (2010). Ms. Obuljen is Croatian Secretary of State for Culture.
  • Un Online resource hub providing access to resources on creative and cultural industries worldwide. Numerous reports, studies, inquiries, and maps are available in their original languages.
  • As part of the Information session "Cultural expressions: Innovative Approaches and Data Collection Tools," professors Françoise Benhamou of Université Paris-XIII and Henrik Van der Pol, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, presented their studies, entitled " The justification and methodology for measuring the diversity of cultural expressions" and "2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics," respectively.

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Actors strategies and construction of international normative frames: From cultural exception to cultural diversity

Mr. Antonios Vlassis, Consultant to CEIM (Centre d'études sur l'intégration et la mondialisation) entitled his doctoral thesis: "Stratégie(s) d'acteur(s) et construction des cadres normatifs internationaux : de l'exception culturelle à la diversité culturelle" (Actors strategies and construction of international normative frames: From cultural exception to cultural diversity).

The abstract of this thesis, submitted to Université Montesquieu - Bordeaux IV Institut d'études politiques de Bordeaux, reads

"Over the last twenty years, cultural exception and cultural diversity are at the core of an even more globalized debate on the balance between trade and culture. In 1993, during the GATT international negotiations, cultural exception is seen as an appropriate term for certain actors in order to protect the legitimacy of cultural policies and to withdraw the cultural products and services from the GATT agenda. Twelve years after, the Member States of UNESCO adopt the Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions, meant to be a mechanism of international regulation on the "trade-culture" interface. Norms and normative issues have been central to the study of international relations for at least two decades. The major issue of this thesis deals with the process of the emergence of international normative frames, the dynamics of their construction, as well as the factors of the international norms production. As a result, we seek to analyze the sequences of the construction of the normative frame in relation to the "trade-culture" interface and to attempt a temporal study in order to find the norm building mechanisms and to explore the complexity of its elaboration. We claim opening the black box of the building process and opting for an international political sociology analysis. Our scope is to observe closely the actors, their strategies, their interactions, as well as their constraints along the process of the construction of the normative frame."

The complete text is available on the website of CCSD (Centre pour la communication scientifique directe).

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CapsulesMonde, November 2010

The November edition of the CapsulesMonde newsletter includes references to the following topics regarding globalization and culture:

Public Policy

  • Great Britain : The English model of creativity
  • Canada : The neoliberal turn in cultural policy

Cultural Identity

  • International: Sport as a foundation of identity throughout the world (French source)

Cultural and Creative Industries

  • Canada : toward a renewed vision of the artist's role

CapsulesMonde is published by LEPPM (Laboratoire d'étude sur les politiques publiques et la mondialisation)

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Cultural Policies in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia

The Boekman Foundation ( Amsterdam, Netherlands) has just published Cultural Policies in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia.

The publisher's summary of this 272 page book reads,

"Interesting dynamics are at play on the cultural scene in Arab countries. An independent sector is emerging, which opens up space for contemporary artists and has an impact on the role and accountability of governments in cultural life. Cultural Policies in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia provides an introduction to the realities of public cultural administration and policymaking. A pioneering tool for policymakers and practitioners, both in the region and in the West."

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Accords bilatéraux et diversité culturelle, December 2010

The December issue of Accords bilatéraux et diversité culturelle addresses a number of important issues:

Digital Issues

  • Forum d'Avignon: Digitalization, the cultural industry's great challenge
  • UK copyright reform

Digital Piracy

  • Illegal book downloads: Status report since the iPad

Books and Publishing Industry

  • Agreement between Hachette Livre and Google
  • Paywall: Mixed results for the Times UK and Sunday Times

Trade Agreements

  • ACTA: Finalization of the agreement
  • Protecting cultural exception under the Canada–European Union FTA

Film Industry

  • Amazon invests in the film industry
  • Rapprochement between Hollywood and Bollywood

News

  • The Association of Cities and Local Governments recognizes culture as an essential aspect of development

 Accords bilatéraux et diversité culturelle is published in French by CEIM (Centre d'études et d'intégration sur la mondialisation), on behalf of the International Organization of La Francophonie.

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Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices

Mapping Cultural Diversity – Good Practices from Around the Globe: a Contribution to the Debate on the Implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

The German Commission for UNESCO and the Asia-Europe Foundation, together with experts from the Cultural Diversity 2030 U40 Program launched "Mapping Cultural Diversity – Good Practices from Around the Globe" during the fourth meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee.

The publication is made up of 39 case studies of sustainable, innovative projects to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions. These best practices showcase aspects of creation, production, distribution, or broadcast, together with the appreciation of and access to cultural expressions. These examples reflect the interaction between practices and policies in work to reach the Convention's objectives and demonstrate the role of culture as a key component of sustainable development. The projects address various Convention themes, including the arts, media, creative industries, international cooperation, policy development, research, and education, at the local, national, regional, and international levels.

This publication was sponsored by Culture360.org, a Web portal forming a bridge between Asia and Europe through the medium of arts and culture. UNESCO has hailed the website as a platform for the exchange of information on best practices.

The document is available on the Fondation Asie-Europe , Commission allemande pour l'UNESCO , and Culture360.org websites.

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The 3rd Edition of the World Festival of Black Arts and Cultures lights up Dakar from December 10 to 31

The third edition of the World Festival of Black Arts and Culture, under the theme of the African Renaissance, is underway in Dakar, Senegal, December 10 to 31, 2010. The first edition of the Festival, the brainchild of President Léopold Sédar Senghor, was held in Dakar in 1966. In 1977, a second Festival was hosted by Nigeria. In the words of the press release: "The 2010 Festival conveys a new vision of Africa as free, proud, creative, and optimistic. With Brazil as the guest of honor because of its history as a country rich with artistic cross-pollination and cultural diversity, the Festival will emphasize dialogue between peoples and cultures."

The programming unites African artists with those of the great African diaspora (the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia) in a spirit of dialogue and openness. Renowned intellectuals and researchers will take part in a forum to discuss and explore the theme of the African Renaissance and black people's contribution to world civilization.

Ambitious projects are programmed in every discipline where the black peoples have made their mark. Some highlights include arts and crafts exhibitions (the arts of Africa, plastic arts, photography, design, traditional arts), concerts featuring great musicians, an exhibition on the history of black music, concerts and exhibitions highlighting the new urban cultures (rap, graffiti), fashion shows, and a book fair showcasing literary works.

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