Cultural diversity

Newsletter
The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Vol. 11, no 5, Monday, March 7, 2011

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, four ordinary and two extraordinary sessions have been held, for a total of six.

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

French Coalition concerned over the European Commission’s stance in negotiations on the comprehensive economic and trade agreement with Canada

Members of the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity have expressed their “deep concern regarding the inclusion of audiovisual and cultural services in the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) currently being negotiated.” Their website reports:

“By seeking to combine culture and trade in this agreement and invoking interests that threaten certain cultural services, despite knowing that Canada favors sweeping cultural exemptions, the Commission is underscoring its desire to use culture and creation as bargaining chips in these negotiations in order to promote other economic sectors.

The French Coalition for Cultural Diversity is appalled at the attitude of European negotiators. They have overstepped their mandate and are compromising the European Union’s commitment to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which recognizes the distinctive nature of cultural goods and services and states that they cannot be treated as mere bargaining tools.

The French Coalition therefore calls on the European Union—which for years has consistently stressed its desire to play an active role in the implementation of the UNESCO Convention—to respect its commitments to culture and hold true to its convictions.

As the Coalition noted at negotiations surrounding the Protocol on Cultural Cooperation annexed to the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Korea, it is vital that the E.U. adopt an external policy that draws a clear distinction between cultural and trade negotiations.

The French Coalition also calls on the French authorities—who have played an exemplary role in promoting the diversity of cultural expressions and who, during Québec premier Jean Charest’s recent visit to France, advocated protecting the diversity of cultural expressions in this agreement—to be firm with the European Commission and the 26 other Member States with regard to keeping audiovisual and cultural services out of CETA.”

You can read the letter the French Coalition sent to French President Nicolas Sarkozy on its website.

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UNESCO launches an international call for applications for technical assistance missions: Strengthening the Governance of Culture in Developing Countries

The first stage of the project, which is funded by the European Union (EU) and seeks to strengthen cultural governance in developing countries, established a pool of cultural policy and governance experts. This pool was formed through a call for experts from which 30 experts were chosen for the diversity of their expertise, experience, and knowledge of the culture sector in developing countries.

UNESCO is now launching the project’s second phase: an international call for applications for technical assistance missions in developing countries.

The beneficiary countries whose mission applications are selected by the Steering Committee will then be able to choose experts from this pool to carry out the technical assistance mission. These experts will work directly with the public authorities, contributing their valuable experience and know-how.

According to the UNESCO press release, “These missions will be based on the needs and priorities of the beneficiary countries and will be undertaken by top experts in the field of cultural policies. The missions will support the beneficiary countries in their efforts to establish legal, regulatory, and/or institutional frameworks and/or introduce policies that address the role of culture in social and economic development, particularly through the cultural industries.”

The list of eligible countries is available on the UNESCO website. These countries are the developing countries Parties to the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural expressions that are eligible beneficiary countries under the EU Investing in People program.

To be considered, applications must be received by the UNESCO Secretariat no later than April 30, 2011, (midnight, Paris time) or June 30, 2011, (midnight, Paris time).

Selection criteria and application documents are available on the UNESCO website.

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OIF launches a 2011 call for projects: Soutien à la circulation du spectacle vivant

The International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) has launched a call for projects to help professional music, theater, and dance artists from the Francophonie to tour and perform at international festivals. Applications must be submitted no later than four months before the tour or festival.

OIF sees this as a key way for contemporary artists from southern countries and central and eastern Europe to travel abroad, connect with international programming networks, and develop their professional skills.

Note that projects will be considered in April and September 2011.

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The 5th World Summit on Arts & Culture Melbourne 2011 offers support to delegates from developing countries

IFACCA and the Australia Council for the Arts have announced that application forms for bursary assistance for World Summit delegates from developing countries are now available from the Summit website. The Summit will be held in Melbourne, Australia, from October 3 to October 6, 2011.

The deadline for applications is Friday, April 15.

The bursary seeks to support participation from the widest possible number of countries by providing assistance with Summit registration, travel, and/or accommodation.

For more information on selection criteria, please visit the 5th World Summit on Arts and Culture website.

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Recent Publications

The inaugural edition of the Optique culture newsletter is out

The Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec (OCCQ) team at Institut de la statistique du Québec has published the first-ever edition of its new statistics newsletter. Eight years and 70 editions later, the Statistiques en bref newsletter has now been replaced by Optique culture.

For more information, please visit the newsletter online.

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Politiques et pratiques de la culture

French publisher La documentation française recently released Politiques et pratiques de la culture (Cultural Policy and Practices). It explains the inspiration for the 304 page work—edited by Philippe Poirrier and part of its Notices collection—as follows: “France’s culture ministry turned a symbolic 50 in 2009, paving the way for a series of far-reaching reforms . . . Given the current pace of change in the cultural sphere, these administrative changes regularly call into question the role of public cultural policy. The study of public cultural policy and practices from a perspective that is not only institutional but also historical, sociological, and economic spurs the debate on what sets France’s cultural model apart. Each volume in the Notices collection contains contributions from leading experts for a comprehensive and well-documented tour of a major area of public action.”

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The Arterial Network releases “Adapting the Wheel: Cultural Policies in Africa”

The Arterial Network has released a cultural policy framework entitled Adapting the Wheel: Cultural Policies for Africa. “Developed by the Cultural Policy Task Group during 2010, this template not only helps to project African thought into international debates on these themes but also provides African countries with tools to evaluate, amend, and develop cultural policies appropriate to their conditions,” reads the UNESCO website report.

The document is available from the UNESCO website.

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Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices

IFACCA links 100 culture newsletters from around the world

Links to nearly 100 arts and cultural policy newsletters are now provided on the IFACCA website. Along with other news-gathering activities, IFACCA staff members review every edition of this diverse range of newsletters to ensure that ACORNS (the Arts and Culture Online Readers News Service) constantly provides the most relevant news.

The Diversity of Cultural Expressions news bulletinis featured on the list.

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Imagine Ireland presents over 1,000 Irish artists and producers across the United States

This first-time, unprecedented celebration of Irish arts—an initiative of Culture Ireland—will see over 1,000 artists and producers from Ireland create over 400 individual events across 40 U.S. states from January to December in all art forms, including theater, music, literature, visual arts, dance, and film. Imagine Ireland will involve dozens of U.S. partners in over 200 cities across the country, including key cities like New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Culture Ireland was established by the Minister for Arts, Sport, and Tourism in 2005 as the state agency for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide. It creates and supports opportunities for Irish artists and companies to present their work at strategic international showcases, festivals, venues, and arts markets.

For more information, please visit the Department of Tourism, Culture, and Sport of Ireland website.

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On-the-Move provides information on international mobility in the arts

The www.on-the-move.org website aims to facilitate cross-border mobility in the arts and culture sector, thereby contributing to a vibrant European-shared cultural space that is strongly connected worldwide.

“On-the-Move collaborates with cultural information providers at a local, national, and international level through the OTM 2010+ network for cultural mobility information.
The objectives of the network are

  • To build up a common hub for exchange and coordination on cultural mobility information between grassroots, national, and European providers and key players
  • To develop channels for an efficient and transparent dissemination of information
  • To contribute to raising awareness and discussion on topics concerning cultural mobility and help advance them at the E.U. political level by following the political process, especially as concerns the OMC expert groups, mobility pilot projects, and the European Agenda for Culture,” according to the organization’s website.

On-the-Move was set up by IETM, then the Informal European Theatre Meeting and now known as the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts. In 2001 the European Cultural Foundation (Netherlands) funded a feasibility study undertaken by IETM in collaboration with Relais-Culture-Europe (France), with advice from the Lasipalatsi Film and Media Center (Finland).

From 2007 to 2009 On-the-Move developed a partnership network of connectors who provided expertise, content, and knowledge in the fields of online information and the performing arts. In 2009 the network was expanded to become On-the-Move, a network for cultural mobility information with over 30 members in over 20 countries in Europe and beyond.

The site is available in English and German.

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Conference on Cultural Diversity and U40 Africa launch

“Arterial Network and the Department of Arts and Culture will coorganize a conference on cultural diversity which is to take place on March 30 and 31, 2011. The aims of the conference include informing civil society in the creative sector about the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and its current status internationally and within South Africa. It will also launch a mechanism to advance and monitor the implementation of the Convention within South Africa and between South Africa and African and international partners.

“The conference will also facilitate the launch of the South African chapter of U40. The U40 forum offers young experts under 40—postgraduates, PhD students, young professionals, and similarly qualified young experts—the opportunity to participate in the international debate on cultural diversity and the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005),” reads the press release on the Coalition for Cultural Diversity website.

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Other News of Interest

“Culture in Motion: EU-backed culture projects benefit innovation and public services”

Culture in Motion: Pathways to EU2020, a two-day conference held in Brussels on February 15 and 16, showcased close to 30 cross-border cultural projects supported by the European Union. The event brought together over 600 participants and highlighted how innovative cultural partnerships can contribute to the Europe 2020 goals for smart, inclusive, and sustainable growth.

A selection of projects were presented in an interactive Culture in Motion conference exhibition and in four plenary sessions that tackled the following topics:

  • Cultural and linguistic diversity and intercultural dialogue
  • Helping artists with their careers
  • Strengthening the capacity of the cultural sector
  • Increasing public access to European culture
  • Promoting the circulation of works within Europe and beyond

The latest Culture in Motion brochure is available in English, French, and German.

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