Cultural diversity

Newsletter
The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Vol. 11, no 8, Monday, April 18, 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 guidelines for implementing the Convention. Since then, four ordinary and two extraordinary sessions have been held, for a total of six meetings.

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

At press time, 117 Parties (116 states and the European Community as a regional economic integration organization) had ratified this treaty. On March 15, 2011, Costa Rica submitted its ratification 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

The French minister in charge of European affairs responds to the French Coalition regarding the future comprehensive economic and trade agreement with Canada

In the March 7 News Bulletin, we discussed the letter sent by Pascal Rogard, President of the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, to Nicolas Sarkozy, in which Rogard expressed his concerns regarding the status of culture in the current negotiations surrounding the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) and recalled France’s major role in writing and promoting the text of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Following a response from Guillaume Lambert, head of the Cabinet of the President of the Republic, it was time for Laurent Wauquiez, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, to respond to the concerns of the French Coalition. In a letter dated March 25, 2011, the minister started by recognizing the commitment of both France and Canada to implement the UNESCO Convention:

“France’s position within the framework of the negotiations regarding the E.U.’s economic and trade agreements with third party countries is both firm and consistent. France seeks to exclude cultural and audiovisual services from any trade liberalization commitments. France has produced a document, entitled For a New European Union External Cultural Strategy, which has been distributed to European institutions and our partners. This document notably contributed to define the major principles that guide negotiations regarding cultural cooperation. [...]

More specifically, with regard to negotiations with Canada, the Government of France firmly reiterated this position in the very mandate given to the European Commission. As a result ‘audiovisual and other cultural services’ have been excluded across the board from negotiations regarding services.

The Government of France is paying close attention to ensure that the European Commission respects these stipulations and does not fail to assert this fundamental principle of exclusion at every stage of the negotiations [...].”

For the full text of the letter from Wauquiez, visit the French Coalition website.

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SACD is concerned about the attitude of the EC regarding trade negotiations with Canada

In a memo regarding the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, SACD (Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques, France chapter) provides a brief update of the Convention. It notably addresses its inclusion in community legal systems and its implementation. It also reiterates the importance of the Convention to trade negotiations, specifically within the framework of such negotiations between the European Community and Canada. In this sense, SACD shares its concerns regarding the attitude of the EC, stating as follows:

“Trade negotiators do not feel bound by the commitments made by the European Community with regard to cultural diversity. They even appear willing to barter the broad cultural exemption Canadians want against advantages in other strategic sectors.”

Further on, SACD adds:

“The issues surrounding the negotiations between the European Union and Canada—two major defenders of cultural diversity—are crucial to the progress of the movement in favor of cultural diversity. These include:

  • The credibility of the European Union and its ability to act in the field of cultural diversity in the coming years;
  • The status given to culture and audiovisual media in future bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations, because their inclusion in the Canada–EU agreement would certainly create a precedent which others would follow.”

For the full text of this memo, visit the Coalition for Cultural Diversity website.

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Highlights of the Survey on cultural practices in Quebec

During the symposium entitled 50 Years of Public Initiatives in the Cultural Sector in the Province of Quebec being held to mark the 50th anniversary of Ministry of Culture, Minister St-Pierre announced $250,000 in funding for the intervention project in partnership with HEC Montréal dedicated to providing tools to cultural management organizations. At the same time, she presented the positive results of the 2009 highlights of the Survey on cultural practices in Quebec.

This Survey, carried out since 1979 by Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine, seeks to get a better understanding of the development of the cultural behavior in Quebecers. Every five years, it measures activities practiced, as reported by residents age 15 and over. In 2009 a total of 6,878 interviews were carried out—the largest sample in the history of this survey. It covers a number of cultural sectors and provides information notably on media consumption and Internet use, reading habits, listening habits and music consumption, visits to cultural establishments, attendance at films and concerts, as well as data on the purchase of artwork, artist trades, and artisanship.

We invite you to read Bulletin de la recherche et de la statistique SURVOL (Number 17, April 2011), which provides the 2009 highlights of the Survey on cultural practices. The bulletin is available in French only.

For the full program of activities celebrating 50 years of culture in Quebec, visit the Révolution tranquille, un courant d’inspiration website.

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The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture calls for proposals

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) is an independent Arab initiative established by local cultural lobbyists and a group of international donors in 2007. The fund has designed specific programs, such as the Arab Documentary Film Program, in partnership with the Sundance Documentary Institute, to address current topics and respond to specific areas in need of funding.

In this context, AFAC is launching an open call for proposals for its general grant in the literature, visual arts, and performing arts categories. All individuals and organizations working in the cultural and artistic spheres whose projects target the Arab region are invited to submit their project proposals. The following types of projects are eligible for this open call for proposals: performing arts (development and production of theatrical, dance, and other forms of performance arts), visual arts (production and organization of art exhibitions, installations, and other forms of visual arts), and literature (research, writing, and publishing of literary works, including novels, short stories, poetry, translations, and biographies, in print and online).

Applications for projects must be submitted online by May 13. For information regarding this call for proposals, visit the AFAC website.

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Recent Publications

Finnish report on indicators to strengthen the knowledge base for cultural policy

In Finland, cultural policy has been actively developed in recent years. In 2009 the Ministry of Education and Culture drew up its own strategy for cultural policy that extends to 2020, while a government report on the future of culture was completed in 2010.

This report discusses the changes affecting the cultural policy operating environment, sets development targets, and proposes concrete measures for achieving them. However, simply setting targets and measures is not in itself enough. These days, the implementation of measures within central government needs to be monitored to determine whether the measures have achieved the targets set and whether the targets were socio-politically relevant. As part of its strategic development work, the Ministry of Education and Culture carried out a joint cultural policy indicator project with Statistics Finland and Cupore, the Finnish Foundation for Cultural Policy Research.

The resulting report examines the need to develop indicators on the societal effectiveness of cultural policy and the opportunities to create such indicators with a view to strengthening the knowledge base for cultural policy. The nature of artistic and cultural activities makes it very challenging to determine the sector’s societal effectiveness. Cultural activities are creative, active, and dynamic and their impact is related to human experiences and interpretations. Moreover, the causal relationships of impacts are difficult to pinpoint and may not appear for quite some time.

The document, available in English and Finnish, can be downloaded from the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland website.

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Culture and Local Governance publishes an edition addressing “Culture and Sustainable Communities”

The online journal Culture and Local Governance has published a special edition that features many articles of interest, including “Cultural Planning and Community Sustainability: The Case of the Cultural Facilities Plan of Catalonia,” “Local Agenda 21 and Culture: Lessons from the Czech Republic,” “The Link Between Culture and Sustainability in Municipal Planning,” and “Developing a Local Cultural Indicator Framework in Australia: A Case Study of the City of Whittlesea.”

Culture and Local Governance (CLG) is a peer-reviewed online journal that offers a space for dialogue across disciplinary boundaries, between established and emerging scholars, and between academics and practitioners. In order to enhance the social impact of work published in its pages, CLG emphasizes research diffusion and communication. In this sense, it proposes free access articles, and publishes original, theoretical or empirical works addressing the links between culture and local governance.

All of these articles are available in English and can be downloaded from the Culture and Local Governance website.

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The April 4, 2011 edition of the Accords bilatéraux et diversité culturelle newsletter

The April 4, 2011 edition of the Accords bilatéraux et diversité culturelle newsletter features the following topics of interest:

Audiovisual industry

  • FESPACO 2011: an overview of African cinema
  • Adopting government measures for the film industry: the case of Italy and Germany
  • MEDIA: dialogue between the European Commission and Europe’s film industry
  • Television channels in Europe: an overview

Digital issues

  • The Google Books project clashes with American law
  • U.S. initiatives against counterfeiting and digital piracy

Publishing industry

  • France: obstacles on the road towards a single price for e-books
  • Upcoming reform of Canada’s publishing industry

News

  • Second call for proposals for the International Fund for Cultural Diversity

The Accords bilatéraux et diversité culturelle newsletter 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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Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices

International Conference on Artists in Residence in Debrecen, Hungary

From May 23 to 26 in Debrecen, Hungary, the regional meeting of Res Artis will be held. Res Artis is a Netherlands-based global network of artists’ residence centers. The members of this network come from 60 countries. They encourage the development of modern art and provide support to artists through mobility programs.

This meeting is organized by the Center of modern and contemporary arts (Modern és Kortárs Művészeti Központ- MODEM). It will include an international conference on artists in residence, provide a platform for dialogue between new and experienced organizations, and offer an opportunity for learning in order to support and develop international discussions, especially for regional and municipal organizations, art institutions, diplomats, and institutions dedicated to artists. It will also present different models and conditions for residencies with a production or interdisciplinary approach (e.g., arts, business, and science) and assess their impact on the development of the local cultural scene.

 The deadline for registration is April 30. For full details on this conference, visit the MODEM website.

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The first meeting of Latin American screenwriters

The first meeting of Latin American screenwriters will be held July 6–9, 2011, at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México’s Tlatelolco university cultural center. This event is intended to contribute to the work and training of screenwriters by allowing them to share and discuss their approaches, strategies, and experiences. It will seek ways of strengthening the very foundation of the Latin American film industry—scripts and screenwriters. A number of established screenwriters have confirmed that they will attend, including Eduardo Sacheri, whose film The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de sus Ojos) won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (Argentina, 2009); Brazilian screenwriter Braulio Mantovani, whose film City of God (Ciudad de Dios) was nominated for four Oscars in 2008; Víctor Gaviria, screenwriter of the 1998 Columbian film The Rose Seller (La Vendedora de Rosas); and Senel Paz, whose 1994 film Strawberry and Chocolate (Fresa y Chocolate) was nominated for the 1994 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

This event will also include a feature film scriptwriting contest. Winners will have the opportunity to present their scripts to major producers and perhaps even see their projects materialize. Eighteen grants will be awarded to screenwriters from IBERMEDIA member nations.

The deadline for registration is April 29. For the terms and conditions of eligibility for these grants, visit the event website.

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International Arts Professionals Summer School

The International Arts Professionals Summer School, to take place in Brussels, Belgium July 18 to 22, 2011, is an intensive week of learning for creative practitioners, arts managers, and cultural project coordinators interested in engaging with the current debates and research in visual and performing arts management. It is organized by the University of Kent School of Arts in partnership with ENCATC (the European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centers) and will be hosted at the University of Kent in Brussels.

The Summer School will include contributions from leading international experts and cultural leaders from the U.K. and Europe. It will be based on a mix of lectures, presentations, workshops, and practical exercises delivered by both academics and international experts. Key themes that will be explored during the Summer School are public and private investment in the arts: from national trends to organizational strategies, leadership in arts and cultural organizations, individual giving to the arts: new fundraising frontiers, and innovation in audience development and engagement.

Early bird registration is by April 30, 2011. For all information regarding this summer school, visit the International Arts Professionals Summer School website.

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Other News of Interest

The 25th Salon international du livre et de la presse de Genève

The 25th Salon international du livre et de la presse de Genève will be held April 29 to May 3, with honorary hosts Armenia and Switzerland’s Federal Office of Culture. The program includes the major special exhibition L’Art de la Franc-maçonnerie showcasing remarkable volumes on loan from collectors and never before displayed in public. Other events include the special exhibitions Daniel Pennac : L’imagination n’est pas le mensonge, Le théâtre : de l’écrit à la parole, and Catherine Louis : Chinoiseries.

A number of themes relating to authors from Switzerland and abroad will be explored. A major festival entitled Le Temps de le dire will feature interviews, public readings by “associated” theaters in French-speaking Switzerland, and exhibitions exploring literary creation.

For the complete festival program, visit the Salon du livre et de la presse de Genève website.

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4th Indigenous Peoples’ Film Festival in Chaco, Argentina

From April 27 to 30, over 40 indigenous communities will host the 4th Indigenous Peoples’ Film Festival in the Argentinean province of Chaco. The festival will showcase films about the original inhabitants of what became Latin America or created by indigenous filmmakers.

When it first launched in August 2008, this touring film festival was mainly focused on bringing together the communities of Qom, Wichi, and Moqoit through the language of audiovisual media. In addition to film screenings, it involved the production of audiovisual works. Today, the festival includes the objective of promoting and respecting indigenous cultures, communicating the indigenous reality in Latin America, and contributing to the process of organizing and promoting access to audiovisual media for the Qom, Wichi, and Moqoit communities as well as the region in the interest of defending the right to communication and the creative use of technical tools.

For more information on this festival, visit the Cine indigena y comunitario website.

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